|Submitted by G.S. Williams on Fri, 08/24/2012 - 03:42|
I made it back with the writing on my hands, and a good indication of how to aim the machine properly. I decided to set out for September 11th immediately. It would be my last attempt at warning Frank, for all the good it seemed to do. Then I could check and see if he took me seriously. The party was on the 19th, and maybe I could find out if he took me or not.
Through examining the differences between the 17th, 18th and 19th, I had an excellent idea of how to aim at a specific day. I could compare that to the times I went to the 12th and the 11th, and be even more precise. I programmed in the settings and got onto the platform.
September 11, 2008 or bust!
Once I oriented myself to the past I sprinted down the street, making my way in the direction of the coffee shop. I was glad that I was a regular jogger, else all this exercise would have been as exhausting as the transitions themselves. I had to reach Frank before he met me, if I had any chance of preventing his death.
I made it to the shop and went through the door. Frank was right in front of me, as if he’d just been about to exit. He had a cup of coffee in one hand and a briefcase in the other.
“Have we met yet?” I said to him directly.
“No, uh, wha...” He stuttered in response as I came up to him forcefully, intent on capturing his attention. I grabbed hold of his suit and got in his face. Frank dropped his briefcase in surprise.
“Stay away from me, if you want to live. Whatever you do, stay away!”
He started to take a step back, so I tightened my grip on his suit jacket. Frank looked into my eyes and almost immediately his face softened. He looked more intrigued than scared and I felt a tremor run through me. I didn’t need to love him right now. I needed him to avoid me like the plague.
“Hey, I don’t want any trouble,” he said softly. “It’s okay!”
I had to turn my gaze away, feeling myself waver. That he could be gentle and attempt to soothe me even when I was a stranger... I pulled him closer, down to me, and kissed him hard. I didn’t know if I’d ever feel his breath mingle with mine again and I wanted a proper good-bye.
“I love you, Frank,” I said, and then I ran for the door.
I pushed my way through pedestrians on the sidewalk and went around the corner. I glanced at a boss that was stopping there and went into a doorway instead. I could already feel transition starting, and returned to the present with the memory of his mouth still tingling on my lips.