I and I.
There he was. He was standing alone. Nobody else. Only I and him. I remember very clearly that he was me. Or was me, he. I was confused. It was like I just drank four bottles of wine.
The world around us swiveled and turned, all except him. He was standing there firmly all the time. He was trying to say something. I could not make head or tail out of it. The thought that he was me, troubled me.
I got dizzy. I couldn’t stand. My legs felt lifeless. I found a table nearby. I took hold of it for grip. There was a white flower vase on it. I pushed and it broke. Finally, the turning-swiveling of the room stopped. I felt a little steadier. This was when I noticed that a large pod-like structure was behind me.
“Where am I?” I asked. “Who the hell are you?”
“There, there,” said he. “You’ve presently come to the future. You are me. I am you, only a few years old.”
“How the heck did I come here?” I asked.
“The pod-like structure behind you is a wormhole transporter. I foresaw a grave danger awaiting you. That is why I rescued you.” said he.
I did not believe a word of his. I searched for the gun in my pant pocket. No, it was not there. I neared him. He backed away from me. “Look, whatever you want to do, we can talk,” he said. “I prefer no violence”
“But… but…”, I stammered.
“But what?” asked he.
“How did you know that a danger was near?” I asked.
“I saw it coming,” said he. “you know, we have wormhole telecasters here.”
I looked around the room. It was painted blue, and a bookshelf of brown stood in the corner. The pod-like structure was pure white.
“What was the danger?” I asked.
“Ummm… You will get to know it later….”
“What is it? You better tell me, otherwise….”
Unfortunately, he had an arrester gadget at that time. He arrested me — that is — he made me so that I couldn’t move a single bone or muscle in my body. My pupils were free though. He neared me, and whispered, “You will surely know it when the time comes.” He laughed and went away. As soon as he went, the door disappeared right behind him.
The next time he came — after 3 hours, I was free. I begged him to tell me the reason. He finally unraveled the secret. “See, the danger was that you were going to meet your girlfriend that day…”
I was so shocked that I screamed out my wits. “WHY? WHY DID YOU DO THIS?”
“For certain reasons, which you’ll know in a short while,” he replied.
But I was so panic-stricken that, in a huff, I took my handkerchief and blocked his breathing. Within a few minutes’ time, he was unconscious. This was a blunder…. No…. a crime! What will the patrol do if they get to know this? I was so frightened. I locked him in the bathroom, took the room keys, locked it.
The next thing was to know where I was. I cannot go to my universe without knowing how to operate the wormhole transporter. I figured out that we were in the same house as my cosmos. Only an additional small room added to house the time machine, wormhole telecasts, and such kind of things.
Next, I sought to make things just the same. Since the meeting with my girlfriend had been canceled in my universe, it was canceled here too. I went to see her. She was so surprised at seeing me.
“Two years ago, you told that you’d meet me,” said she. “but then you suddenly disappeared for two years! Where have you been?”
“Uh….” I stammered. “I had to fly abroad due to urgency. So… That was the reason.”
We were married since then. It’s been only 1 year or so after our marriage, when one fateful, dull day, a phone call came to her. She picked it up and started speaking. Suddenly, she frowned and stared.
“What’s the matter, my dear?” I asked. She replied that someone called her with my voice and my name. I was puzzled. Who could it be? (I’d forgotten about the additional room long ago.)
I took the phone from her and spoke.
“Hello? May I know who is this?”
“Hi, Grey. It’s me, Grey. Remember? Well, I don’t think so! Happy with your wife? Well, tell you what, I did the same thing as you. The guy I made unconscious did the same things as you, my dear Grey. We, I and Ruth were living a happy life. But I foresaw that the relationship would break by this very phone call. And so, I made the situation the entire opposite.
It was a chain, my dear. All Grey’s had to suffer the fate of their life with this phone call. But they kept averting it. But you, you broke the chain! Now you cannot go to your universe because you don’t know to drive it.
There were only two possibilities: Yes or No. Break the relationship, or let it continue, ruining your life.
There are only two possibilities: Yes or No.
So, good luck, my boy! Have a nice life!”
He hung up on me. The phone kept humming, “Ting, ting, ting.”
This was my first sci-fi story, which I wrote for the Quantum Shorts competition. You may find the website in the link below.