Sherry was staying at the same hotel as myself – we went to check if our rooms were ready and only mine was. She accompanied me to my room so she could “freshen up.”
Her lips were puffy and her smile was soft. Her eyes were blue and her hair was jet black. She wore a pantsuit and a mans white shirt beneath the blazer. Her lipstick was red and her eyeliner was black. Her neck was long and tasted like perfume – a sweet and intoxicating flavor. When we finally got to the room we fell onto the bed and stayed there for the next several hours. She was a supermodel and somehow made me into a superman that afternoon. I truly was grateful for my 50 year old knowledge and 26 year old body.
We had dinner that night and then we had a nightcap in my room. I woke up the next day with a pounding headache and my arms tied to my bedpost. Something was in my mouth and the clock was unplugged. My legs were tied to the posts by the end of the bed and I knew that I had been drugged. I fell asleep – I woke up and had no idea of how much time had passed. My mind was hazy and images of different times in my life kept on popping up in my mind.
The door opened.
I screamed a silent scream but it brought the attention of the cleaning lady who screamed a not so silent scream. She ran out and came back minutes later with a man with a walkie talkie. He took the sock out of my mouth; I coughed a dry heave. I was given water which helped me – images of my life kept flashing by. Births, deaths, friends and enemies.
“What time is it?” I asked.
“It's almost six. Please sit down, we have a Doctor coming. What-”
“I have to go.” I pulled on my pants, threw a jacket on and my shoes – ran out the door. The flight was scheduled to depart in 14 minutes – there was hardly a chance I would make the flight and ensure that John stay on. But I had to try. I took the elevator to the lobby and then ran through the entrance to the airport. Luckily i had a boarding pass for the flight back home that night, I showed it and ran through the terminal. I stopped, looked up at the “departures” television set. Airlink flight 5719 was delayed. I ran into Sherry on the way to the departure gate. She knocked me to the floor.
He lay on his back as she began to punch him.
“What are you doing here?” She whispered in his ear. “I tied you up and gave you enough drugs for a fucking horse.”
He pushed her off of him; he noticed two security guards coming towards them. “What are you doing here? Why did you drug me?”
“Because I am from 2023 and I was sent to stop you from allowing John to get on the plane.”
“You are full of shit – get away from me.” He spied the guards speaking into their walkie talkies and he smiled. “Just a lover’s quarrel gentlemen. Sorry.”
Sherry wasn't allowing that, “He tried to rape me, please help.”
The guards began to run towards me and I ran the other way; I somehow managed to elude them and ended up at the opposite end of the terminal. There was a clothing store; I purchased a jacket, hat and some sunglasses. I put them on in the bathroom and pushed out the lenses of the glasses. I turned up the collar of the coat and put the lid down on my face. I made my way towards the departure gate; the flight had still not departed. This was strange, in the history of this flight there was no delay and everything had seemed in order. Something was wrong or perhaps, corrected? I watched as security personnel walked around searching for me and was able to conceal my identity quite easily with just the baseball cap, jacket and glasses.
I got to the gate but the passengers were already lined up on the ramp; I asked the person at the counter what the delay had been and she said there were issues with the landing lights but that it had since been repaired.
“Can you page John Gilbert please? He is boarding this flight and I need to tell him some important news regarding our business.”
“Of course sir, just give me 30 seconds.” She smiled a very pretty smile. “OK, ‘paging passenger John Gilbert, John Gilbert please return to the gate.’ ok?” She asked.
“Perfect, thank you. Are you going on this flight?”
“Yes, I am.” I felt a sense of sadness for this lovely young girl. She didn't know it but I was possibly one of the last people she would speak to.
“God be with you.” I smiled to her. She smiled back.
“Someone paged me?” John Gilbert, with a heavy Russian accent.
“I did.” I said. “We need to speak quickly.”
“Who are you?”
“My name is unimportant. I was sent to tell you that under no circumstances are you to not get on this flight.”
“I am going on it; you just pulled me off.”
“They may make an announcement that there is a weight issue and that they are looking for a volunteer to take the next flight. You are not to be that volunteer. We need you to be on this flight, do you understand?”
“Yes, I understand.”
“Have a good flight and John?”
“Nothing, nothing.” I waved and smiled. I noticed the flight attendant with her small bag and clipboard closing the gate and locking the door behind her.
I sat in a separate area and waited until the flight departed; it ended up departing at around 7 o’clock. My flight was at 940p but I needed to go back to my room and collect my things; I couldn’t leave a trace.
I went back to my room and there was a man cleaning up. I told him that I just needed to collect my stuff and would be on my way. He pulled out a revolver and told me to sit down on the chair in the corner.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“I don't want any problems, just give me your wallet, your watch and your money.”
“I don’t have much cash but here you go; just let me keep my license so I don't have to deal with the motor vehicle department, ok?”
“Sounds like a plan, Stan.” He said this in a spanish accent and it pissed me off. As I went to give him my cash I pulled on the revolver and broke his wrist. The gun fell to the floor and I kicked him in the face. Picked up the gun, all of my stuff and hit him over the head for good measure. I locked the door and put the “Do not disturb” sign on the knob. Wiped the gun clear of my prints and threw it in the ice machine.
I was still wearing my disguise when I went to board my flight at 920. I sat in my seat and waited the twenty minutes to depart. I heard some commotion in the front of the plane and saw security coming my way. I pretended to be asleep; they walked past me and I heard one of them say that there was no one on the plane who fit my description. Security left and the flight took off on time. About an hour into the flight I noticed Sherry walking towards me.
“What's the deal with you?” I asked.
“We both had jobs to do and it seems you got it done, while I did not.”
“Where, when are you really from?”
“Same time as you, Freddy. I was sent here to keep you from having him killed.”
“So are we going to go through this again and again?”
“No, you know as well as myself that once we go back in time it's a very dangerous mission to go back a second time. It's not worth the effort and the potential break in time continuum can cause havoc on the world and on ourselves. But you know that already, right Freddy?”
“Listen I am married…”
“Hey, what happens in the past stays in the past.”
“Where are you based?”
“I can’t tell you that, Fred, you know that.” She was smiling and she stood up and walked away. I suddenly felt dirty and wanted to go back home. But there was one thing I needed to do first.
I got back to my apartment and fell asleep right away.
I felt the pain and a feeling of hopelessness which accompanies a divorce. I was coming home and laying in bed, eating and drinking too much. I was hurting more than I was able to understand and more than I was willing to express. I needed to be strong for my sons, strong for the world who seemed to be looking at me for some breakage they could report at the next card game or dinner. I didn't want to look like that guy who wore his heart in tatters on his sleeve. So I acted and walked around with a smile on my face. You cannot understand the energy it takes to pretend to be all right when in fact you are devastated. I needed to give this kid a sign that life will get better and that he would love again. He would love again but first he would need to go through a painful period – but that too shall pass.
I woke up in the morning and went to a Hallmark Store on Kings Highway and east 14th street. They had this machine which allowed customers to write their own cards. Knowing what the 1993 me was going through, I wanted to leave a card to let him know that everything would be ok.
I went back to my apartment, placed the card on the table next to my bed and closed my eyes.
I woke up in the same time period; December 2nd, 1993. This hadn't happened before. I closed my eyes again. I was still in 1993.
Since I was supposed to be in Miami for the weekend I decided to close my eyes and try a deep meditation. This was the last option – if this didn't work I would have to wait for several hours and then try again.
I woke up an hour later – still in 1993. Something was wrong. I began to panic and then regained my composure. I needed to keep myself sane in order to ever be able to get back home again; panicking would only make things worse. I took some deep breaths. I needed to figure out what to do; I lay still and meditated and tried to will myself back home