Man of Time

“Where are we now?” Harold asked.

“I thought you would know,” Pieter said.

“That’s Eddy,” Harold said. “What are we doing here? Take me Back! I don’t want to be here!”

“Why not?”

“You know very well why!” Harold was indignant. “Why did you bring me here?”

“To help you remember,” Pieter said.

“You keep saying that!” Harold was at the end of his rope. “I don’t want to remember.”

“You believe if you took the route where you never met Liz that perhaps you can save your friend, Eddy. Each road leads the same way no matter the different turns you make.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Harold said.

“If you have never met Liz, the memories you do have will disappear and become somebody else’s memories,” Pieter sighed softly. “She would have married someone else, made someone else happy, but what happened to Eddy was inevitable, you would only delay that which was unavoidable.”

“Eddy was my best friend,” Harold broke down in tears. “I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t have known.”

“Nobody knew,” Pieter said, “that is why his death hurt everybody close to him. He was a broken man, nobody could have guessed. He was deeply troubled and he hid it well.”

“I didn’t known,” Harold sobbed. “Why would he do it? Why would he take his life? It angered me so, I sometimes took it out on Liz. I always wondered if she knew.”

“Why would she know anything?”

“Eddy liked talking to her,” Harold said, “At first I didn’t mind, then it started to annoy me and eventually I hated how chummy they became. I was jealous at times.”

“There was no reason to be jealous, was there?”

“No,” Harold said bitterly. “I had myself believing there was. I guess that’s when I did all that I did. Please, take me away. I don’t want to see anymore.”

“Very well,” Pieter obeyed.

Wherever Pieter took him it caused them to linger in darkness for a bit longer.

“Why is it always so dark?” Harold asked.

“In the beginning, it always dark,” Pieter said.

A small ray of light appeared, at first it spread slowly, then it quite rapidly dispersed.

“Where are we?” Harold was adjusting his eyes to the brightness.

“Don’t tell me you don’t recognize it?”

Harold blinked a few times, from a distance he could hear a baby cry. “It’s the day my twin boys were born… We thought it was only one, then to our surprise it was two.”

“You had your hands full,” Pieter smiled.

“That was the best day of my life,” Harold recalled happily. “We thought the twins were the first and the last, then we had our daughter and then our son, James. I was a family man.”

“Then it finally comes together,” Pieter said.

The last thing Harold had flashed through his mind was the day he taught his sons to ride a bike.


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