United States

I'm a 17-year-old writer, developer, and activist. I write creative nonfiction, poetry, and prose, although I've also dabbled in other writing forms ( I live in NYC/NJ and enjoy animation, design, and photography.

Message from Writer

Chaser of dreams and lover of chai.
I live in the big city and climb mountains on the weekends.
Feel free to find me online @sharontlin.

Einstein's Dreams - After the Light

September 6, 2016

PROMPT: Final Note

18 April 1955

A young man opens up the door and breathes in the fresh air. He steps outside into the streets of Gerberngasse and slowly makes his way down the road.

Nearby, a young mother water her petunias on her front porch. She smells the sea breeze and wonders whether summer will arrive earlier than she expected.

Two friends settle down in steel wire seats by a cafe. One man stares down at the Aare River, the other to his menu. Neither speak.

"It's a lovely day out. It's almost like time has passed too quickly," the first man mutters a few seconds later.

The second man coughs and wipes his mouth. His meal has already been ordered and finished. 

The first man see the second man smile at him and blinks. There is no one in the seat. A second later, a couple he does not recognize sits down in the table next to him. After that, their child with his own fiance.

In this world, time is nothing but a plane of existence. It can be traveled backwards, forwards, from one way to another, observed only in the moment. In time, only one version of each person ever exists, but many different realities may occur from their travels through their lives.

Some people live their lives with reckless abandon, knowing that at any time, they can redo their actions and make right their wrongs. Some travel backwards in order to fix broken friendships, take back harsh words, treat well those they have wronged. Still others travel back and forth along their timelines, indecisive, never able to move on with their decisions.

The first man has already determined the reason for his friend's departure, and he panics for a second, realizing that he has overstayed his time at the cafe. 

His emotions surprise him. He normally exists as a passive observer, not a member of his dreams, but he suddenly sees the world again, the figures darting in and out of time, some flashes moving faster than others. If he squints, he can see the changing of the buildings, the way they seem to shimmer as if they themselves were a mirage.

He stands up, his hands waving wildly at the waiter. 

Dumbfounded, the waiter makes his slow way over to the table, wielding a menu.

The man considers for a moment. He see his wife in his mind, his long walks along the riverside, his beloved violin, his first paper. He remembers the feel of his mother's hand, the brushing of the wind in his hair, the taste of salt water as it mists by the walkways. 

He looks around and sees the haste. He notices that some figures are not, in fact, moving faster forward, but rather backward. He realizes that they are reliving their lives, perhaps in another world, another dimension where their fates were already known. He wonders if he has any regrets.

The waiter arrives and ask if he can help. He holds the menu back out to the man.

The man contemplates his decisions for a second, and decides to order a cup of peppermint tea. He settles back down into his seat and looks out in the rippling sea, his mind at peace with the gentle waves.
Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to the characters or people - real or fiction - depicted in this alternative ending.


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