What had happened to him did not even matter
After all, there must be the end for everything
What mattered was the pain of others,
Or THE other, that came along with his end
The sky was dark grey above a white building with neat garden surrounded it. A girl on a wheelchair was sitting under an elm tree. Her eyes seemed locked on the lavender field in front of her but nobody knows what was in her mind. A nurse was behind her helping with the wheelchair. “Shall we get in? The therapy session will start.” The nurse said, that was replied by the girl by slight nod. As the wheelchair turned around, it started to drizzle. The girl now stared at her prosthetic legs. What was in her mind remained unknown, even to her.
That was the second turbulence in 10 minutes. A few seconds after, a blinding flash struck, followed by ear-shattering glare. As soon as that, the electricity in that aircraft was off, halting the captain who tried to announce and tell the situation to the passengers. The turbulence started to be unbearable. A pair of young woman and guy who had stopped their exciting conversation and laughter since 10 minutes ago, sat on the left side, clung closer as the thrill in the plane continued. They heard disturbing noise, as if something was cracked from the outside. The guy, who was closer to the window, saw what he’s never imagined that would happen to him during a flight. What happened next was him helping the girl to put on the lifeguard suit before himself. The horror continued while the crews tried to calm down the crowds. Not so long after that, another explosion from the left part completely shut the aircraft down, creating more horrifying panic.
He was not sure…
But what he saw next was something he had never ever seen before..
And then it was dark.
He couldn’t see anything but he could feel that something was watching him. “Do you wish to flout the past?” That voice was genderless and it seemed that whoever behind it had read his mind, understood his regret well enough to hit directly to what he was thinking about. “I know you even think about cheating it for the sake of her, don’t you?” Another bingo. “Very well, you shall have your chances.”
The darkness had gone and a sudden flash of light hit him. In less than a second, he had been transmitted to a familiar place. “Talk to him. You flout it from this point.” That voice instructed him as if it was a tutorial. He frowned to see clearer, and was shocked by what he saw in front of him. He ran as he suddenly knew what to do. Almost yelling, he called the kid that stood couples of meters in front of him as if he tried to warn something. “Nope, not like that, big guy.” The genderless voice said. Another light hit him.
That happened three times until he figured out something…
“I’ve never seen you before,” that little kid stared as if he was familiar with the guy he was talking with. His earlier statement contradicted the way he looked at the guy. “You haven’t,” the big man replied with unfinished tone. He then looked away before finally whispered as if he had an urge to say it yet he didn’t want the kid to hear what he murmur, “and you actually shouldn’t.”
“Well, you do not say what you do not need to say.” It said. Another light struck him.
Everything surrounded him was white. The more peculiar parts were the absence of angle, as if the white room was a sphere, the strange emptiness and the unseen limit of the white space. He started walking without knowing where to go or what to find while his eyes looked around to figure out if there was at least another object but him.
“Keep on walking. It’s up ahead.” That same voice, sounded unisex, surprised him once more that he could not say anything to respond. He did not even gasp and just continued walking as if he got sudden clarity about his direction from the androgyny voice. “There it is. You stop there.” As the voice faded, the white space, faster than anything he could imagine, disappeared and changed into somewhere he was familiar with. He, deep in his mind, questioned what has happened and where in the world was the white room at that moment? “You are stronger than I thought, but not as smart as you supposed to be,” the voice said as the guy slowly collapsed.
He woke up with overwhelmed memory. It felt like someone had transferred a whole NASA computer into his head. It was too much that he could not even talk to himself about the new information. It consisted of the one of himself, some disturbing facts and some impossible shits that he only read in science fiction. He did not know exactly what were those piles of information in his brain for. One thing that he was sure: Using the memory, he must finish what he had been asked for. That’s what the androgyny said over and over again in his swift slumber.
2001, in a park
“He is the one, isn’t he?” The genderless voice talked to him again. The guy fixed his eyes into a kid with red tee and white sneakers, playing alone. No other kids bother to be at least around him. He seemed left behind by his own pals. “What date is it today?” The guy asked. The androgyny had gone.
The kid approached him
“I’ve never seen you before,” that little kid stared as if he was familiar with the guy he was talking with. His earlier statement contradicted the way he looked at the guy. “You haven’t,” the guy replied as the sentence was unfinished yet he realized something. He stopped there. The kid seemed waiting for more from the big guy. “We haven’t met.” He emphasized as the kid nodded. He was confused. “You are not from here.” The kid threw a statement that sounded like a question. “I am not.” He lied. He remembered that place too well as he recognized the little pal in front of him.
“Now you know what to do.” The voice dramatically said it as it was something to be decoded.
“You are miserable, kid.” He felt something tickled him as he said that to the kid. The kid frowned but remained silent. There was an awkward silent for about two minutes. “You will ask who the hell am I, aren’t you? Let me tell you that it is only you that can see me because I am your imaginary friend.” He stopped, not for the kid to react, but more likely for himself to recall something in his mind, “and I am here to help.”
The minutes after that felt like severe pain in the back part of his head as he recalled more peculiarities. His head was flooded with script-like information, telling him what to say and what to do next.
“Mystery revealed? Literally Mind Blown, eh?” That androgyny interrupted.
The kid’s expression changed from confused to alerted. “Nice try, psycho.” He was about to leave the big guy as he turned back. The reaction of the kid had been predicted. “Show me to anyone around here, if you don’t believe me.” The kid halted as the big guy challenged him so. He was triggered. That was, also, expected. The kid ran to a woman nearby. The guy was not sure about that but he assumed that was how it supposed to be. The kid pointed at him and soon after that the woman shook her head while staring in confusion at me. The guy could see the kid showed more hesitation before finally walked slowly to him. “Who are you?” The kid asked cautiously. “I’ve told you. A friend. Imaginary one.” He was not satisfied with the answer. He looked at the guy more thoroughly. There were some familiar features and there were some scars. The guy knew he was being observed yet he was certain the kid would not notice who he was. Like it was reading his mind, the androgyny voice suddenly said,”you sure he won’t notice you?” There was no answer to that but the guy was so sure that what he had in mind wouldn’t cheat on him. “You look like, strangely familiar.” The guy was surprised with that response. That one was unexpected.
“This is the last chance. Should you break it, it is done and nothing shall change.”
The guy heard the final warning clearly. The rule is obvious: He should not say something that will raise the kid’s suspicion that will make him close his mind and disbelieve the guy existence. “You know…” There was an awkward pause before he continued, “I lied. I lied about your experience seeing me. This isn’t actually the first time. I have done this thrice and this is the fourth attempt. The problem is, only I remember while you got your memory about this erased right after I failed and disappeared.” He held his breath while explaining the ‘truth’ to the kid. The kid? Frowned harder. The androgyny was about to announce the end of it.”How will you help me?” The kid asked, still with deep frown. “Tomorrow, at 2 in the afternoon, something bad will happen. You shall go nowhere but home.” He disappeared. Something changed his mind in the last minute.
What’s more painful than death?
To her, witnessing the death of significant other brings more agony than thinking of the death of herself.
She was on her wheelchair. After being rescued and becoming the only survivor on that fatal plane crash, she lost both of the lower limbs and also her sight.
“Seeing her, crushes you, doesn’t it?” Silence was the response to that question. The guy was frozen. He couldn’t blink yet he couldn’t bear to see her. “Why it doesn’t change?” He finally had a stomach to ask. “It is not over yet. I bring you back to the present time where nothing has changed. In case you missed her.” The androgyny, as expressionless as usual, said. “Bring me to the next day. I should give another warning.”
Following day of the past
The guy followed the kid to make sure he did as he had been asked to. He did and he could feel some part of his memory changed. “You no longer belong to this dimension. Thus, the memory shall be changed and modified yet you won’t forget what has happened during your days here.” The androgyny explained. “Whatever it takes,” he replied.
As the kid followed what the guy said, the memory kept changing. The problem was that it was not really changing to the guy but rather increasing immensely. He had the changed version and also the old version of it. The first attempt was successful since the kid did nothing but what the guy had told him to. What happened next was the guy instructed the kid to go through certain way without changing his destinations. “You know what you are doing will not entirely change the tragedy.” The androgyny said. He didn’t care. To him, it was not about his own sake. He kept guiding the kid as an imaginary friend who the kid also started to be comfortable with as he followed whatever the guy suggest to him. The bond last for several years until the kid grew to a teenager. “This is the last day you’ll see me.” The guy said to the young boy in front of him. “My last message to you will be a name. A name that we have avoided for years and you have to keep it that way.” The teen waited curiously. “Lucina.” The guy looked into the teen’s eyes. “You know what to do. Whatever it takes, don’t make any attempt to get into her. There will be only one Lucina and you know what to do should you encounter her.” The teen didn’t blink until a blinding flash hit him, bringing severe pain in the head. The guy had gone.
The morning news reported plane crash had occurred in the middle of a jungle in Brazil. The shattered plane indicated that the aircraft exploded before it finally hit the floor of the jungle. Lucina watched the news as she was spreading peanut butter on her toast. She didn’t understand but the news brought undefined pain to her.
Behind her, a slight shading figure of a guy smiled before finally disappeared.