Monday, 27 January 2014

The Time Traveller's Regret

Tonight Emily built a time machine out a cardboard box. It reminded me of a dream I once had.

The dream made me sit up, take stock, and think.

It might be a cautionary tale for you to take with you too.

I was newly married, happy and in love. Husband lay asleep next to me in bed, and Emily was tucked up safely in the room next door to ours.

But I had a secret.

I had found a way to move backwards and forward in time. All I had to do was really think about it and I would be gone.
What would I do? Would I mend broken friendships?  Would I walk a different path entirely? Or would I take back what someone had stolen from me all those years ago?

I thought hard.

I wanted to erase someone from my mind entirely. I wanted to take back what he had stolen. The belief I held that everyone had good in them. My naivety. My youth. I wanted to take it all back. I wanted him to have not had the pleasure of my presence.

As if we had never met.

And so I went back.

And just like the song, I turned a different corner and we never met. I had done it. All the memories had been erased. I was ready to go back to my life.

I concentrated. Awoke next to my husband, as if nothing had happened. Pleased with myself, I got out of bed and walked to the bathroom.

Something was missing.

Where the door to Emily's room had been, there was just a wall. I ran my hands over the wall, in blind confusion. Then blind panic.

Then realisation.

I ran into the bedroom screaming.

"Where is Emily???!"

My husband jumped up from his sleep in panic at my distress. "What? Are you OK?"

"EMILY! Where is she?"

"Who do you mean?"

I sobbed, tears streaming down my face, the look of confusion on his...

"Emily..." I rocked back and forth on the bed. "You know Emily. She is only five. She is small. She has frizzy hair. And she calls you Dad!"

I struggle to breathe through my tears.

"Kez are you alright? Shall we take you to a doctor..."

Crying and shaking uncontrollably.


I awoke from the dream. Crying and shaking uncontrollably.

Sometimes things in the past can hurt us. And sometimes things do happen for a reason. We can have regrets about what we do, but we can never go back, and we can never change them.

And if we could, would we?

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