1244 words long
But of course there's no such thing as time travel.
Notes from the author:
Time travel has the same potential problems as three wishes: you have to really be sure you know what it is you want, and that you’re prepared to deal with the consequences of getting it. (Time travel has other problems, but mostly they’re to do with engineering.)
“Be careful what you wish for” is the moral of the story. Any story, really. Anyway, a lot more stories than you might think.
I get to thinking about time travel on my way up the hill to Carlos’s grave. Time travel’s about fixing shit so it will never have gone wrong, and there’s a lot of shit needs fixing. Carlos being dead, for one. Carlos dying while his baby’s on the way. We were supposed to be in this together. That was the whole point. He wasn’t supposed to leave me to handle this alone.
It’s only a mile and a half to the cemetery, but it feels like a long way now. And I’m not just talking about the weather. I used to jog every morning, rain or shine. But I can’t jog now, obviously. I can’t even wear my running shoes anymore. I can’t reach past my belly to tie the laces. And these canvas slip-ons? Worthless. I have to take short steps to keep from walking right out of them.
“Just as well,” Mama had said when I complained. “Wasn’t right, you putting your body on display for every man between here and Northpark.”
And what I wanted to say was, I wasn’t doing it for the men, Mama. I was doing it for me. But I knew she wouldn’t understand. So instead I tried to make a joke, the sort she’d appreciate. “But jogging was how I kept my ass in shape for Carlos.”
“Carlos was a good man,” Mama said. “He loved you just the way you were.” No sense of irony whatsoever.
Thing is, though he really did. He loved that I loved running. He understood how it made me feel alive. He certainly never asked me to make myself smaller for his or the baby’s sake. If he were still around, I wouldn’t be contorting myself around these horrible canvas slip-ons because he’d be tying my running shoes for me. And kissing the toes when he was done, knowing him. Nauseatingly romantic, that man. I miss him.
If time travel were possible, I’d bring him back....
This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for October 27, 2017. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (1244 words) from Patreon as an ebook or audiobook depending on their pledge tier.
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