Time (8)

Time

The next morning, Simo woke up alone in his room. Sunlight encompassed him. A strong pain immerged from his eyes. He tried to sit but, as soon as he lifted his head, he started to lose balance. He leaned on his arm but the world kept on spinning around him. The pain migrated to his frontal lobe. A desire to vomit grew in him. The floor below disappeared. His heart beated faster, he was out of breathe and his vision became blurry. Panic got to him. Numbness invaded his body. Mechanically, he moved his fingers and realized there was a solid matter underneath. He focused on that, kept on moving his hand to regain sensation of his body and took deep breaths that slowed his heartbeat. He regained his composure.

‘Simo! Wake up! Josh’s father is here.’ The latter jumped: his pupils dilated, his muscles tightened, his mind lost in between two worlds. Time stood still. Then Simo took a deep inspiration: he forgot to breathe. His sight cleared. He was confused; the floor and the roof were in place. Simo felt the warmth of the sun on his skin and could hear birds cooing outside of the walls. He gazed around and recognized the harmony of his room. Although, what he experienced seemed to be a dream or an hallucination, his headache was very present and it spread to his temporal lobe. ‘What?’ Simo located the origin of his ache. When he looked at Ezekhiel, his eyes burnt. ‘What? Who’s here?’ He said as he stood up. ‘Josh’s father is at your doorstep. Let’s go! Your father is waiting for you to… I don’t know, do something.’ Ezekhiel announced. Five minutes later, Simo joined his parents at the door. ‘Where’s my son?’ Josh’s father. He had no response. ‘Tell me where he is?… JOSH! COME OUT!’ He started to lose his patience. ‘Calm down, sir.’ Simo’s father stepped up. ‘JOSH! You, little scum! You better make him step out or…’ – ‘Or else what?’ Simo interrupted.

The latter stared straight the abusive man in the eyes. Unafraid.

– ‘What are you going to do? Beat me up? Then what? Drag your son out of my house to yours then beat him up a little bit more? I don’t where i’m going with this but i have a question: where’s your wife?’ Simo realized he touched a sensible subject. The man’s face changed. Simo glanced at his right. ‘I’m sorry. I thought wrong: i thought you killed her but from your expression, it seems like you didn’t. I’m guessing you started to drink after her death, then. Trying to forget, grieving, i understand… I saw the pictures on your walls, when we broke in your house. You looked happy: you, Josh and your wife. She didn’t look – how can i say this – like, dangerous. No, that’s not the word…’

– ‘Violent.’ His father helped.

– ‘Violent! That’s it! She didn’t seem violent. None what so ever.’

– ‘Your point being.’ His father tried to shorten his son’s speech.

– ‘My point is that what you’re doing right now, who you’re becoming, right now, isn’t the person she fell in love with. I don’t think that she would have been happy seeing you beating her son like that.’

As Simo voiced his thoughts, Josh’s father felt the anger grow bigger in him to a point where he couldn’t control himself anymore. He walked towards the young man and punched him in the nose. Simo fell on the ground. Josh’s father attempted to hit him more but Simo’s father intervened. Simo’s mother called the police. Ezekhiel ran to Simo to make sure he was alright. And Josh stood there: overwhelmed. The police arrived, five minutes later, breaking the fight bewteen the fathers. Two officers handcuffed both of them and brought them to the police station to clarify the situation in a neutral space. Another asked Simo, his mother and his friends some questions then notified them that a social worker will come within the hour. ‘Here: put some ice on your nose.’ Ezekhiel handed a towel filled with ice cubes. They sat in cercle in the kitchen waiting for the bell to ring. A silence settled.

‘What now?’ Josh’s voice resonated in the air for the first time since he left his house. Simo looked at him. The latter had fear in his eyes. Then Simo turned his head to Ezekhiel hoping he will have an idea. But he remained silent. ‘Wait for the social services to come and we’ll figure it out then.’ Simo’s mother said. Her son took a minute to think. He stared at the table, his hand pressing the towel on his nose. ‘Do you have any family other than your father? Like an aunt or uncle.’ he asked. ‘Grandparents.’ Josh said. ‘My mom’s parents live in New York.’ Simo looked up. He grabbe his phone and handed it to Josh. The latter entered a phone number then handed it back to its owner. ‘Do you talk to them often?’ Simo asked while the tone rang. Josh shook his head. ‘When was the last time you saw them?’ Josh raised four fingers in the air. ‘Months?’ He shook his head again.

– ‘Are they ni…. Hi! Good morning! Am i speacking to Josh Scarrey’s grand-parents?… Hello, sir! I’m sorry to call you this early on Sunday. I am a friend of Josh’s and euhm, there’s a bit of a situation that you might solve with us… Ha? So he was violent even before your daughter died?… Oh. Alright, i see… Yes… He’s fine. He’s next to me right now… I’ll let you talk to him in a minute, he’s eating… Yes, i was wondering, well, we were wondering if it was possible for you to become his foster parents or guardians. To give him a safe place to live until he can fly with his own wings…’

– ‘What are you saying?’ Ezekhiel commented. Simo stepped away.

– ‘Do you know what that implies, right?… I mean, financially, could you handle it?… Oh! Perfect!… Mmh, mmh… Ok, cool! Well, for now, i can’t do much. Since i’m just a kid, still. But a socail worker is going to come to my house to talk to Josh about his situation. We’ll explain to her/him and talk about you… Euh, yes, my mother is here: she’ll do the talking… And after, that, Josh will wall you back to let you in the know. And that would be it… Ok… I let you talk to him.’

On that note, Simo gave his phone to Josh who left the room for more privacy. Simo reported the conversation to his mother and Ezekhiel. An hour later, a woman appeared at their door step. She requisitionned the living room to speak to Josh. Simo’s mother insisted in being next to him throughout the process.

Simo and Ezekhiel were locked out of the conversation. Simo glanced in their directions some time to times but his headache intensified. ‘Are you alright?’ Ezekhiel noticed the discomfort his friend was experiencing. The latter nodded. He massed his skull to ease his pain. It didn’t seem to work: ‘I’m going to lie down for a moment.’ As he walked through the hallway, he met the social worker. She stopped and scanned him, a smile on her face. ‘Hi!’ she introduced herself. Simo turned around. They starred at each other for ten seconds then the social worker realized her strange attitude. ‘You must be Simo. Josh’s friend. The one who convinced him to walk away from his abusive father. Josh yarned me.’ she said as they shook hands. ‘Euh, yeah. I mean, yes.’ Simo replied. She used her right hand.

They teleported to another house, the social worker rejuvenated by twenty years. The room they were in was dark: blinds were shut and lights were off. She looked up to Simo, fear in her eyes. Suddenly, a slammed door made her jump. A man rushed towards her, a belt in his hand. As he came closer, he prepared his arm behind his back. The little girl made a step backward, her hands as only shield. The man was close enough. He swang his arm. The belt followed the movement.

Before the belt touched its target, Simo came back in his own house. The social worker’s face was blank: her eyes were wide open, her heart skipped a beat, a chill went through her spine. Suddenly, her facial expression turned into worry. ‘Your nose… is bleeding. Are you alright?’ Ezekhiel joined them, intrigued by their sudden immobilization. The social worker offered him a tissue but the latter seemed to have frozen. His vision became blurry again then returned to normal. ‘Are you alright?’ Simo looked up: ‘Mmh? Yeah, i’m fine. Sorry.’ The social worker smiled to him. She said goodbye and left.

The three teenagers gathered in Simo’s room. Discussions were flowing like they were old friends. Josh was silent most of the time but a smile appeared on his face. Fear slowly vanished from his mind: he felt safe. When the conversation faded, he asked: ‘How did you know about me?’ Simo took a moment to think: ‘Euhm…’ – ‘You have bruises. When he rescued you at the party, yesterday.’ Ezekhiel responded. Josh was lost in his thoughts. He stood up and enclosed himself in the bathroom. Ezekhiel scanned his friend.

– ‘What’s going on?’ he asked.

– ‘Yesterday, we went to a party…?’ A silence passed.

– ‘Is that a question? Or an affirmation?’ Simo thought.

– ‘A question.’ Another silence.

– ‘Thea’s birthday… You don’t remember?’

– ‘Apparently not.’

– ‘Where do you think we met Josh?’ Simo remained silent. ‘You don’t remember.’

Ezekhiel’s tone was grave. He looked at Simo who seemed worried as well. Am i losing the small control i have on this thing? Simo thought. Josh came back in the room and noticed a familiar look on his saviors’ faces: both of them were scared.

To Be Continued.

Time (4)

Time

Days passed. In the first week of the new year, Simo tried to wrap his head around his new ability: he realized many experiences to acknowledge the extant of his capacity. He touched each of his arms with each hands: nothing happened. Then tried the same experience on strangers: he purposely walked into customers in a coffee shop. Beside the weird look people gave him, Simo learned that his right hand was the one holding the keys to others’ past. He then proceeded to study the length of the flashbacks and for that he needed a volunteer. He called his best friend to be his victim, later in the evening, but the latter made a good point: ‘You know, you’re like a brother to me, but dude, I can’t just.. let you go through my memories like that. That’s… That’s… That’s just weird.’ Simo had a moment of reflection. ‘Mmmh. Then who will be our experiment?’ Ezekhiel felt tired of the scientist side of his best friend. ‘Alright… What am i supposed to do?’ Simo didn’t hesitate and reached for Ezekhiel’s arm who dodged just as quickly. They froze for a second. ‘Wait. How does this work?’ – ‘That’s what we’re trying to figure out.’ Simo replied. ‘I know, but how… What’s going to happen?’ –  ‘Just…’ Simo let his sentence hang in the air and acted on it.

They’ve been teleported to few hours earlier.that day, in the middle of a crowd. Ezekhiel was sitting at a table, pretending to be on his phone. While in reality, he eyed a girl sitting on the other side of the terrace. When she stood up to leave, he mimicked her. On that moment, Simo and Ezekhiel were pulled out of that place to return to Simo’s room.

‘What happp…’ Simo started. ‘WHAT! WAS THAT!?’  Simo stood still, speechless. He didn’t understand. ‘What are you doing?! I wasn’t ready! You can’t…’ Ezekhiel took a deep breathe to contain himself. He began to be worried. ‘What’s up with you?’ Simo asked.  ‘Listen. If we… If i’m going down this road, this dark, fuggy and uncertain road, with you, we need to set some limits, boundries.’ From Simo’s eyes, Ezekhiel saw confusion. ‘Alright, first: whatever you’re going to see, it has to stay between us. Second, you can’t judge me for anything you’re seeing. Third, i give myself the right to add other rules, later on.’ Simo didn’t get to reason why he needed to state the obvious but agreed anyway. ‘Alright. Now, what are we doing? Walk me through it like i’m a baby.’ Simo took few seconds to find his words: ‘Let’s start with that. Ok, think of a specific moment of your past.’ He then invited Ezekhiel to hold his hand. After taking a deep breathe, the latter proceeded to the experiment.

Simo’s room changed to become Ezekhiel’s room. The latter was in his bed, under the covers. A ring broke the silence of his sleep. Hardly, Ezekhiel reached out for his phone and checked the message he just received: Meet me at The Coffee Shop, at 10. He grunted, put his phone under his pillow, screen faced down, and went back to sleep. After few seconds, he sat on his bed. He stayed still until a knock on his door pulled him out of his paralysis: ‘Hey, Zee, wake up! Dad’s waiting for you.’ Once the voice disappeared, Ezekhiel put a foot on the floor, then then other one. He stood up and went to the bathroom at a very slow pace.

As the door closed, Simo and Ezekhiel witnessed the change of scenery from a bedroom to another. ‘You didn’t have anything less relevant than that?’ Ezekhiel gave his friend a death stare, before ignoring him. He checked the chronometer he set up earlier: ‘Four minutes.’ Simo took a serious pose. ‘So, the longest you can see is four minutes.’ Ezekhiel confirmed. He nodded. ‘Alright, what no…’ Before Ezekhiel could finish his question, something warm surrounded his elbow, bringing him back to the terrace he kept watch on a girl, from afar. As she walked away from her table, Ezekhiel turned to his unconsiderate friend: ‘What are you doing?’ Simo glanced at the girl and turned his head to his friend. ‘Hold that thought.’ Simo slowly let go of Ezekhiel’s arm. Once they were no longer in contact, Simo stepped back and waited for few seconds to see what happens. Nothing. He then followed the girl to her home, when the background switched again. ‘What happened?’ Ezekhiel asked. ‘You just disappeared, suddenly.’ A silence settled. ‘Bro! Explain!’ Simo said. ‘When you let go of my arm, i came back to your room but you weren’t there. Where were you? Still in the past?’ Simo nodded. He started to pace. to get his thoughts in order.

What do i know? I can travel through memories…It’s insane… I can choose the memory i want to see, but it will last two minutes and a half only. If the victim volunteers and picks a precise moment to show me, i can stay in it longer. Then, i’ve tried this once, but let’s assume it works every time: i can move into that memory, without the owner. I can walk around in the memory…. I can walk through it… His vision became blurry. Think. Say i can move, i can displace objects: will that change anything to the present? Logically, no. It’s a memory. Nothing can be changed… Although, i disappear from the present when i walk in the remembrance. What does that…

Simo gazed around him. The floor replace the roof, again and again. Furnitures encercled him as if they were alive. He looked at Ezekhiel and tried to focus on him to keep a landmark, but the latter spinned like every thing else. Simo began to lose balance: all he could see, now, was shapes. Indistinguible shapes that became lines mixing walls with furnishings, people and hard floor. A sudden change of pace destabilized Simo: his feet weren’t touching the ground anymore. A sweet feeling of free falling traveled through his body. Face to him, a hand appeared in the middle of fuzziness that surrounded him. It approached his face with a certain slowness. He could see the fingers passing at the focus point of his vision. Then a thumping sound quickened the scene: the hand went out of Simo’s sight. Ezekhiel’s face appeared. And: pitch black. Simo blacked out.

 

To Be Continued

Time (3)

Time

‘Pfff….Pfhahahahahahahahahahaha!! You’re kidding, right? Right? Oh no, you’re serious?’ Simo stared at his friend, his face as serious as it could get. Ezekhiel stayed quiet for seconds, he tried to contain his laugther. ‘I don’t care if you don’t believe me.’ Simo said as he turned his back and left the room. Those last words resonated in Ezekhiel’s ears. He reacted as fast as he could and grabbed Simo’s arm before he disappeared. Time froze. Ezekhiel’s mind was transported to his eighth year of life. He was standing in the middle of a baseball field, surrounded by other kids his age. Bats were thrown on the ground, particules of sand flew in the air. Ezekhiel looked upset: he gesticulated violently towards the group that kept its smile. Despite the fact that kid Ezekhiel was screaming his lungs out, no sound resonated. Ezekhiel had a spam and felt something between his fingers. He turned his head and saw Simo looking at him straight in the eyes. A strange feeling spread in Ezekhiel’s body, when a wave of dioxygen disturbed the atmosphere, followed by another one. And another one. Until the frequencies aligned perfectly: ‘BACK OFF!’ Kid Simo shouted. All of the other kids shut up. They stepped backward as Simo walked in between Ezekhiel and them. ‘Pff, it’s not funny anymore.’ one of them said before leaving. ‘They said…my…my father’s dead…’ Kid Ezekhiel confessed, tears flowing on his chicks. ‘They’re…they’re lying! He’s… He just left. He said he’ll be back! He said he’ll be back!’ Sobs didn’t allow silence to settle in. ‘He said: he’ll come back.’ The calm gained the boy’s mind and body. A urge to scream grew in him, but more tears came out instead. Ezekhiel remembered that feeling: being at the edge of facing the hard truth of reality. ‘I know.’ Kid Simo’s voice pierced Kid Ezekhiel’s thoughts. Simo turned around: ‘. I believe you. He’s gonna come back.’

As he let go of his friend’s arm, Ezekhiel found himslef back in his room. He gazed around then put his eyes on Simo’s. They stood in silence for a couple of minutes. Simo looked astonished and yet excited. Ezekhiel understood then: ‘I believe you.’

 

To be continued

Time (2)

Time

Bright. Yellow. And blinding. The sun was high in the sky when Simo opened his eyes. He sat down and looked ahead of him. The impact of the white dwarf created a crater in the middle of the park. The dirt has settled down on the ground, covering the green grass. Simo felt a pain coming from his brain. A strong ache. As he tried to control his misery, he heard a branch crack. He scanned the area when someone suddenly grabbed him by the collar then dragged him behind a tree and covered his mouth. They stood still for few seconds when a group of armed men, dressed all in black, invaded the field. ‘All clear.’ each one of them yelled to their partners. Simo felt less pressure around his chest. He turned his head to take a look at who kidnapped him. ‘Zeke…’ he whispered. The latter ordered him to stay quiet. They both glanced behind them: men in orange arrived carrying heavy cases. They started to analyze the object while the men in black secured the place with barriers. Ezekhiel poked Simo on the shoulder then showed him the way. As silently as they could be, they ran away on the opposite direction from the tumult.

Once they were out of any possible reach, they slowed down and mingled with the crowd. ‘What was that?’ Simo asked. Ezekhiel looked back, making sure they weren’t followed. ‘I don’t know. I just found you lying there. What happened?’ Simo tried to recollect his memories but they were fuzzy. ‘I touched it then…’ – ‘You blacked out.’ Ezekhiel finished. Simo nodded. As they made their way in the crowd, Simo was shaken by a passer-by. For a split second, something changed: his left foot sinked into sand before concrete reappeared. He slowed his pace before stopping. His headache amplified and the world spinned around him. His vision became blurry then darker and darker. ‘You’re alright?’ Ezekhiel asked. No respond. Simo lost balance all of a sudden then blacked out. The next thing he knew, he woke up in a room he recognized. Next to him, his friend was sitting in a chair, watching his computer with a particular attention. ‘Mmh, what happened?’ Simo mumbled. Ezekhiel raised his head then turned to his bed. He pointed a glass of water on the nightstand: ‘You fainted.’ As Simo drank few sip, he laid his eyes on the screen. Ezekhiel was watching the news about the white dwarf: journalists discovered its landing point and has surrounded the scientists that were studying the area. ‘It appeared, from the footage we received from one of our reporter on site, that the dead star created a relatively large crater in the middle of Kiho Park. But it seems that there is no object at the bottom of it. Scientists are actually analyzing and researching for the white dwarf….’ Ezekhiel gazed at Simo to have some explainations. The latter noticed a look on him. Thoughts and images of the lasts events ran into his mind. ‘It disappeared…?’ He finally said. His friend nodded. ‘You didn’t see anything when you found me?’ A silence passed, letting Ezekhiel time to think. ‘Mmmh, no. I don’t think there was anything.’ he replied. ‘What happened?’ Simo took a deep breathe and narrated his evening. ‘And what happened before you fainted today?’ Simo thought: ‘I bumped into a woman then… walked on a beach for a second.’ – ‘A…beach…But… we’re in land.’ Ezekhiel said. Simo agreed. He stood up then started to pace, trying to understand what was going on. He let his eyes travel on the room’s walls, his mind went empty until he realized he wasn’t in his room but in Ezekhiel’s: ‘Wait. How did you know i was in Kiho Park?’ The latter stood up and charged his computer: ‘You’re parents called me this morning asking if you were here… I told them you were still sleeping, then i figured you went to the park to see the star.’ – ‘Clever.’ Simo replied before yawning. ‘Well, thanks. I can’t think of anything right now.’ They both understood that it was time for them to go separate ways. As they were starting their handshake, Simo felt strange. The wallpapers faded, leaving room for trees. The bed and all furnitures disappeared, green grass replaced the floor and a gentle wind blew. Simo recognized the place. Kiho Park. He scanned around him and saw Ezekhiel running towards someone sitting on the grass. He grabbed him then dragged him behind a tree right before a swat team got closer to Simo. The latter looked at his feet: he was standing in the crater. He looked for the space stone but there was no trace of it. Zeke was telling the truth. On that thought, he found himself back in his friend’s bedroom. ‘You’re alright?’ He gazed around, trying to find his bearings. ‘What? What happened?’ Ezekhiel insisted. Simo felt lost, he didn’t understand and couldn’t explain it. As he stood still, Ezekhiel poked him on his shoulder sending Simo deeper into paralysis. After a long ten seconds, the latter regained consciousness and looked at his friend with wide eyes. Ezekhiel reached for the shoulder one more time to bring him back to reality, thinking he went on auto-pilot mode again, but Simo dodged him. Ezekhiel felt a bit confuse. He saw a light in his friend’s eyes. ‘I..I think… that when someone touch me…I’m teleported…In the past.’

 

To be continued