Back From the Future
A knock at the door catches you off guard. Upon answering it, you’re greeted by a man who
says he’s from the future—and he can prove it. More important, he says he has information
that will save your life.
“What? Go away. It’s my day off. No work today! Ugh.” I stumble out of bed, bleary eyed, rubbing my face, grabbing a random shirt and jeans, throwing them on, go to the bathroom run a brush through the tangled mess of long thick hair, all the while the insistent knocking at the door continues unabated.
“I’m coming. I’m coming, okay? It can’t be that important. I glance at a wall clock. 6 Am. Maybe the neighbor locked herself out again. It has happened before. I go to the coffee machine, going through the motions like an automaton to get it started then reluctantly shuffle to the door. I look through the peep hole. Kind of early for Jehovah’s, I think sleepily yawning. I see a young man in a suit. But he doesn’t seem to be carrying a bible or a pamphlet. I squint. Have I seen him before?
“Who is it? No solicitors. I even posted a sign.” I see the person looking anxiously at the door, and glancing at a watch on his wrist. It was a weird looking watch. Maybe one of those smart watches? I couldn’t keep up with the latest tech if I tried.
“It’s important. I don’t have a lot of time. I have to talk to you. Your life depends on it.”
“My soul doesn’t need saving, Junior.” I say grumpily. I was having a pretty sweet dream when I was so rudely woken up. I couldn’t remember the details now. I just remembered it was nice.
“I am talking about your life. Please, open the door and hear me out.”
I reluctantly unlocked the deadbolt, opening the door a bit, looking him over.
“May I come in? For just a moment?”
“Who are you?”
“You can call me Eric. I don’t have much time. So I’ll make it quick.”
I sigh, against my better judgment I open the door further and wave for him to come in.
“You probably won’t believe this. But I am from the future. And, I can prove it.”
“Are you from some weird new age cult?”
“No. See this watch? It is going to move me to another timeline in about 2 minutes. It is my job to ensure the future of humanity. Well, there are many of us with this job, but I was sent to your time to save you, because if you die in the car accident you may get hurt in later today, then an important philosopher won’t be born, who starts a whole movement to advance technology so we can live on other planets. His writing becomes so important it starts a chain of events. But, when we sent someone back to save someone else, somehow that caused you to die in a car accident, so now we have to save you.”
“Okay. I think you are missing the point of the butterfly effect. I’ve seen the movie you know. You can’t keep going back messing with time, or you will have to continually go back fixing your mess.”
“You may be right. But, it is too late now. I have told you your fate. So, stay home today. Your boss is going to call in about 15 minutes to call you in to work at the restaurant. I need you to not answer. No matter how many times it rings.”
“Is that all? I think I can manage that. “
The man boy had a serious look, eyes of concern that seemed phony. “I’m sorry to do this, but you can’t tell anyone about me, either. “
“Like I would. People would think I was crazy.”
“That’s the spirit. Well, looks like I have to go to my next posting. Good luck.” And he was gone. I shook my head. Maybe I wasn’t quite awake. I got one cup of coffee down and the phone began to ring insistently. I was told not to answer it. I let it go to voicemail. Checked it to see if it really was my boss.
“Meg, Stan called in, I really need you to cover his shift. I know it’s your day off but it would mean a lot to me.” My boss sounded panicky and frazzled. I looked out the window at the trees and other apartment buildings. I watched the cars zipping down the road. I just watched the traffic in a fog for awhile. A couple hours went by; I ignored several rings and beeps from my cell phone. My boss wasn’t going to give up easy.
As the cars continued to zip by I saw a cat dash across the street and I saw a small blue Corolla slam on its brakes suddenly to avoid hitting the cat, the car behind it crashed into its rear and the Corolla ended up hitting a tree. Soon ambulances and police were there lights flashing, street completely blocked off. I felt a chill, and put a sweater on, hugging myself. Was I still dreaming? Again the phone started ringing. Finally I answered it, it was my mom. “Are you okay, Honey? I just heard of a multi car accident in your neighborhood and I thought of you. I wanted to make sure you were all right. Why haven’t you been answering your phone? Your boss was worried too.”
“Oh, I don’t know. Guess I was feeling under the weather, “I say lamely. I could never explain that morning. I didn’t even know how to try.