A Thousand Threads Outside of Eternity
Author: Sarinom

Chapter 4
Leaving Love Behind

When you are a child, the world seems so big, so magical; and as you grow up to understand those things, the magic is gone, killed by actuality. It seems that the same goes for when you are human, the things you don’t understand, the things beyond your comprehension, the things that you can’t foresee; they seem so hopeful and full of potential. I never went back to Cindy because it was the right thing to do. I saw that she would only be hurt for a year or so, a relatively short time. She would eventually move on and be better without me. If I went back to her, I know I would fail her. I would ruin her life because I can’t see things the same way she does, she wouldn’t understand the decisions I make or the reasons behind them. The decision was not hard to reach; it was the only logical thing to do.

I remember the day clearly. I had just left the lab, seconds after I exited onto the sidewalk, the doors burst open and a couple of scientists tried to restrain me, but they could not manage to touch me, I wouldn’t allow it. Most of my clothes were burned off, so before I got too far a scientist offered me his lab coat.

“Well, its cold out here, wherever you’re going, you may need it.”

“It’s fine, just leave me alone.”

“Sir, you’re almost naked. Please take it, this is a delicate situation and we don’t want to have anything traced back to us. I’m sure you can understand.”

“No, I don’t. You shouldn’t have been doing this in the first place, why shouldn’t I tell the police about you?” It was then, at that very moment, I began to clearly see the future and past as one. It didn’t matter anymore.

“Sir, please don’t, we’ll give you whatever you want. This research is very important and it can’t be jeopardized.”

“Your money is worthless to me. Your research will be fruitless, Edison wins and your lab is going to close.”

“How could you possibly know that?”

“How? Your research, thats how. Give me that coat, I have somewhere to be.” He rushed over and handed me the coat just as the last charred shred of my clothes fell like a feather to the ground.  On the way home, I kept seeing the same man every block or so. It was the man who gave me the pamphlet, I would have gone to see him, to see if he had any part in this, but I had too much on my mind, I was overwhelmed by the influx of information, it was too much. All I could think about, all I could see was Cindy and before I knew it, I was at my front door with the key in my hand. I opened the door and there was Cindy, scribbling on a raggedy piece of paper.

“Cindy, I have good news.” I tried to sound excited, but in another reality, I was at her funeral looking at her casket being lowered into the ground. Things were still confusing and I could not control where my mind, no… where I went. Her voice brought me back.

“You have food?”

“Not yet, but I’m taking you to a friend’s house and he has food.”

“But daddy, we can’t pay him back, that’s not fair and what’s with your clothes? Where are your pants?”

“You shouldn’t concern yourself with those things, and yes we can pay them back, daddy has a new job and this is the uniform. Get your stuff together, let’s go.” She smiled when she heard me mention my so called job, but I could tell she was skeptical of the awkward uniform. While she was around the corner, I rushed to put some pants on and then we hurried out the door.

The walk was short, I saw the man again, but only once, he seemed to be laughing as he read the newspaper in the rain. We came upon the steps of my old friend Benjamin's house  from my last job. I knocked and almost immediately he opened the door.

“Well hello, I wasn’t expecting you guys, come in. How are you?” he opened the door wide, with and equally wide smile. Benjamin was such a jolly man with a heart of gold and more importantly he would have a prosperous future. Cindy looked confused,

“Daddy I thought you said that he—”

“You know what, I forgot something back at the apartment and it’s really cold outside, say, Benjamin can you keep an eye on Cindy for a while until I get back?”

“Sure buddy, you would do the same for my Molly, I don’t see why not.”

“But Dad, I want to go with you!” Cindy grabbed my leg and gave her best sad face.

“Cindy,” I kneeled down to her level after prying her off of my leg, “It’ll only take a second. By time you count to, oh let’s say five, I’ll be right back.”

“That’s ridiculous daddy” she giggled.

“Well then you’re just going to have to wait. I promise it won’t be long.”

“You promise?”

“Yes, I promise.”

“Ok, you can go then.”

With her permission, I left. Indeed it took less than a second for me to get home, but I would never return to Benjamin’s.

 Cindy cried for days on end, and Benjamin did exactly as I knew he would and cared for her as one of his own. A year and a half later, the wounds were beginning to heal and I was no more than a phantom in her memories. With the turn of the century, Cindy got to experience some of mankind’s greatest innovations, the automobile, the airplane, the telephone, just to name a few. When she turned eight, she called Molly her sister for the first time; she never did call Benjamin her father, only Ben.

 

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