A Thousand Threads Outside of Eternity
Author: Sarinom

Chapter 17
The Awakening

I had given up my only chance of humanity to save them from an unstoppable evil. There was, there isn’t, and never will be a chance to turn back now because the past can never be changed by one’s own hand. But I am free now and I have the power to make a change.

            I’ll never let myself forget the callousness I showed towards a friend who was with me through my trials. I found him dead in the desert fifty miles and twenty days from when I pushed him away. I turned back time until he was breathing.

“Tanaka-san, You have taught me more than you could possibly know, and for that I thank you and I ask for your forgiveness.”

“You let me die, time and time again, you treated my life as one would an insect’s,” he rose to his feet weak and dehydrated. “and here I am again dying and you ask me to forgive you,” He shook his head, “but yet, I find it impossible to reject your apology.” He cracked a smile and leaned wearily upon my shoulder, “friends are the ones that come true in the end. But right now I could use some water and about a week worth of rest.”

Before he could say anything else, he was back to safety, in Japan a week before the Bomb. “We’re only here temporarily, it still isn’t safe here.”

            “Then why did you bring me here?”

            “To help you get your family of course.”

Tanaka-san cracked a wide smile, “thank you.”

            “Ill give you four days to explain and whoever you wish to bring, have them here on the fourth day and I will bring you to safety.”

            “Understood. Where will you go in the mean time?”

            “I have a family that I have neglected for thousands f years, I hope that I can repair the damage.”

He grasped my shoulder tightly and said, “Just tell her that you love her, that’s all you really need to say.”

            “thank you’

 

I couldn’t live with the knowledge of leaving Cindy by herself for so long, neither could I live with the death of Benjamin’s daughter on my conscience. I needed her to know that I did something wrong, and that I am sorry. I came to Benjamin’s door a month after I had left and knocked. It was Benjamin who answered the door.

“We thought you were dead.” He shook his head in disbelief, “She’s been heartbroken this whole time, you left me to pick up the pieces and then you randomly show up on my doorstep? What is wrong with you?”

            “I can explain everything, Ben, I’m sorry I had to leave like that but I had to.”

“No don’t explain, just get in there and fix it.” He grabbed my arm and pulled me inside.

“Wait here” he walked up the stairs to get Cindy.

I could hear her door open and shortly after her shout, “what do you mean!” and then frantic footsteps down the wooden staircase. As our eyes met she slowed down as if she could not decide if I were a figment of her imagination or real. Her eyes filled with tears and she ran towards me colliding into my legs. “You left me!” she beat my legs with her little fists, “you lied and you left me!”

I could not hold back my tears. Benjamin came down and watched, with his arms folded and eyes that screamed, how could you do this to her?  My body swayed as Cindy pounded my legs.

“Baby—” her crying and screams got louder “Darling, I—I” I tried to calm her through my own tears.

The beating stopped and she clung tightly to my waist, sobbing. Benjamin’s eyes full of conviction burned my conscience.

“Don’t ever leave me again daddy, don’t you ever, ever leave.”

I couldn’t speak.

“I love you daddy.” She grunted in frustration, “I love you.”

“I love you too Cindy,” I managed to squeeze out without bursting into tears. I had to be strong for her. “I have to show you something. Will you come with me?”

“Why would you even ask? Of course I’m going with you, I’m never leaving you.”

“Fine, go pack your things; I need to speak to Benjamin alone.” I said with a smile as I guided her towards the stairs. She kept her eyes on me as if I would disappear the moment she looked away. “Go on, we have to get going soon.”

            “I have no words for you, what you did was unforgivable, even if it was just for a month.”

“I’ve already apologized, Benjamin, I’m not going to beg for your forgiveness.”

“I’m glad that you feel so good about yourself given what you have done, you know you didn’t just put her through a lot of stress. My girls came to me, begging me not to leave them like you did Cindy. At first, I thought I was doing a friend a favor. A friend that I presumed dead, you know, because that is what he would do for me. We were already stretched thin and you just go and dump her on me, you put my whole family through so much; but what could I expect from someone who always only thinks for himself. So what do you have to say for yourself? I’m really eager to hear this one.”

“If you only knew the half of it… you probably still wouldn’t understand.”

“You truly are an evil, evil man. You’re lucky she took you back so easily.”

“Listen Benjamin, I don’t expect you to understand, but keep in mind that when you go to New York, Your girl will get to see many more birthdays because of me.”

Benjamin’s face contorted into a mixture of confusion and disgust. “What? What does that mean?

“Nothing yet Benjamin. That’s what I mean, things are far more complicated then you could ever understand.” I said as he scowled at me.

“And now you insult my intelligence? Just get Cindy,” He grunted in anger, “and get out of my life.”

            I did as Benjamin had instructed, and my life could not be any more complete. Cindy and I walked, with her hand gripping mine tightly, to what used to be our small home. There were piles of mail at the foot of the door and eviction notices covering every inch of the door.

“What are we going to do daddy?”

“Don’t worry Cindy; we weren’t coming to stay here any way. If there’s anything you need, let me know, because after we leave, we’re never coming back. ”

“Never, ever? Where are we going?” she questioned with her big grey eyes looking up at me.

“That’s right, never, ever.” I couldn’t help but to crack a smile at her question. “Do you need anything in there?”

She shook her head, eager to see where we were going.

“I bet you’ve been waiting to see where we are going,” She shook her head again, this time with a smile, “What if I told you we were going to go to the future?”

She giggled, “I’m little daddy, but that doesn’t mean I’m not smart.”

“I’m serious.” I said, keeping my grin, “Close your eyes and when you open them, we’ll be at our new home.”

 

            Tanaka-San was ready on the fourth day. This time, he remembered me. He met me with a handshake and a smile, gesturing to the small group behind him. With him he had: his daughter- a small, black-haired, big-eyed girl with a silky pink shirt, his wife, his mother, and two friends.

“Hello, I presume you all know where you are headed,” they nodded their heads unanimously, “And that once we leave, I will not easily be persuaded to take anyone back,” They nodded once again, “Grab your things.”

 

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