|Submitted by G.S. Williams on Wed, 08/29/2012 - 15:15|
Something about our last few conversations sunk in as I sat down in the lab upon my return. Frank would risk anything for me. He had fought bank robbers, ignored my warnings about his death, and escaped the Tree of Life mental facility just to see me. He had wanted to love me, and also wanted me to be safe.
I had a responsibility to live my life knowing he cherished it. I couldn’t risk it or harm myself, because it would invalidate his efforts. Yes, I would grieve for him. I would miss him. But I could try to live my life, and make it worthy of his memory somehow.
Instead of struggling to save his life, I could sit still for a moment without feeling panicked. It gave me a chance at some clarity. I started wondering how he’d escaped the facility to begin with, and why he had activated the WHEN. Why had he come here and not to our home? It didn’t make sense. I stood up and paced. Why hadn’t they called to say he was missing? This didn’t add up.
I got out my cellular phone from my bag on the table and dialled our lawyer, Mr. Hansson. He would have to get to the bottom of this, or I would raise hell. As the phone rang I noticed a book on the table. It was fairly thick, and bound, but it wasn’t a published text. It looked more like a journal.
“Hello?” a secretary answered.
“Uh, yes, hello. This is Calla Wiley for Mr. Hansson please.”
“One moment please,” she said and then I was on hold.
I picked up the book in one hand as I waited. I hadn’t put that on the table. No one ever came into the lab. I had been wondering how Frank got in here. Was it his?
I tilted my head to hold my phone against my ear. With both hands free, I could open the notebook and look inside. I was astonished to see Frank’s hand writing and start reading.
“I met a beautiful woman today. Twice. I’m still trying to figure that out...”
“Calla, hello, how are you?” Mr. Hansson finally answered.
I put the journal down. “Oh, I’m actually in a bit of a pickle there, Jay.”
“It’s funny timing that you called just now,” Mr. Hansson said, apparently not registering my words. “I just got off the phone with the Tree of Life people. Diggory went missing night before last. They’ve searched the building and the grounds and can’t find him anywhere. They’ve called in the police to search, and just contacted me now to inform me.”
I nodded. “Oh dear. Well, do they have any idea where he is?”
“None. I highly recommend that if you’re not home you get there fast, it’s the most secure place and he’s most likely to look for you there. Then we can get him the help he needs.”
“Speaking of help,” I said, “I have a bit of a problem at my lab you might be able to advise me about.”
“Well, I came to run some tests today and there’s blood everywhere. Lots of it. It’s a little frightening, really,” I told him.
“Blood?” he asked, finally giving my words his complete attention. “Where’s your lab?”
I gave him directions on how to find it on campus and waited for his arrival. In the meantime, I carefully removed the computer programs that turned the particle accelerator I’d designed into a time machine. Without the sequences I’d programmed for the lasers intensity levels and frequencies, it wouldn’t do anything but light up and heat things. I could bury the research. I could make my dissertation about the WAS force field, it was groundbreaking enough on its own.
I didn’t need anyone figuring out what the WHEN could do, not after Frank’s trial and Bianca’s testimony about his time travel theories. I didn’t need further scrutiny. Let Mr. Hansson and the police figure out that the blood was Frank’s, I didn’t need to help them and I didn’t need suspicion cast on me.
I had more important things to do, and a journal to read.