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Time Perception: a person's subjective experience of how fast time moves, or how a certain event in time flows, which can can be completely different between individuals and/or in different situations. Some think time is a concept. I believe time is a concept of concepts. Which is why things as time perception exist. Being able to feel the flow of time not by time’s standards, but by our standards, as humans is a wonderful thing. Which is why this leads to yet another concept. Self time travel. Turning our perspective of time into reality. For example, looking back at an ugly high school photo, asking yourself,
“That was so long ago, I wish I could change it.”, then… Poof. You would be right back at that moment of high school just by thinking about it. Just by shifting your perspective of time. Time is such a wonderful thing. Don’t you agree?
I hear a slight muffle in the back of my ear.
“Wake up. It is time to go to school Elijah.”
A robotic voice shakes my very soul and forces me to open my tired eyes, which by the way, feel like they have been closed for centuries. Not to mention, the voice pronounced my name wrong. Only one person does that in my house. Google. That’s only when I talk to her on my phone.
My eyes shoot open so fast that the surrounding air finds its way into them just as quickly. I jump out of my bed as Google tells me that “The Morning Sequence” is beginning. My room that light just barely peeked through just moments before welcomes the sun in completely opening the apparent 360 degree window that surrounds my dorm room. It was then everything became clear to me.
Flying cars, building elevated hundreds of feet above the ground, holographic billboards as far as the eye can see.
I pinch myself. The pain is all too real.
Last night it was 9:00 PM, May 13, 2019 when I went to sleep. I go to my nightstand for my phone, where it usually is. It’s not there. I then reach to my old fashioned alarm clock under my pillow. It’s not there. I feel the sweat dripping from my pores, my breath lessening. Out of shock, out of pure instinct. I yell.
“Google! What is the date and the time?”
“7:30 AM, May 14, 2900.”
Google activated without me saying ‘Ok’ first. I guess I really am in the future. It seems as if there is no escape.
I reach for my drawer, as soon as I grab the handle, another voice speaks in my dorm, this time being humanlike and male.
“Classes begin in 20 minutes.” In the midst of all the chaos, I guess I’ve forgotten that I’m in college. I laugh to myself to keep my sanity. I then start to feel hot tears running down my face.
“I want to go home, back to Maryland Heights, back in 2019.”. I’ve sounded so weak in my life. Out of my sheer lack of pride at this point I go to the nearest corner and cry. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to go home so badly.
I peek out my corner to look outside and see the world around me… in flames. Blazing embers surround my apartment as I gaze into the sky of raining fire. Then I blink, at what could’ve been the worst time in human history to blink, when I open my eyes, one of those flames from the sky greet my face.
I feel a slight ringing in my ear, then I feel motion.
I jolted up with a thousand bolts of energy and I shake my head side to side out of pure reaction, to see a grasshopper hop out from the side of my ear. Immediately the first thing that catches my is our family crest above the door in our backyard. I sigh a sigh of relief being reassured that everything would be okay. I walked to the backdoor and as soon as I approach the door to open it. I hear my voice.
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll take out the trash, it’s no biggie.”. Other me reaches for the doorknob, trash bag in hand and turns the knob. Hoping he sees me I try to speak, but to no avail; no words escaped my mouth as walks through me, as if I was a ghost you’d see in one of those old cartoons. It was at this point that I made a second realization. I fell asleep at 9:00 PM, May 13, 2019, in my bed. I never fell asleep in the grass.
I feel a paper make contact with my forehead, which is a small target. Not to my surprise, I wake up again. This time in the future once more, this time in a class where the whiteboard is holographic and as big as a theater screen, which also can display a date.
“Mr. Walker, falling asleep in class again?”. A tall figure, with a wisened voice catches my attention. I have no idea who he is. Yet, his name leaves my mouth.
“No sir, Dr. Bodon.”. I respond.
“It’s only 7:55. Was your sleep okay last night?”. He asks me this question that not even I know. So many questions cloud my head. Questions that need to be answered.
“I’m just a little overwhelmed from this lesson. Ya’ know?”. I respond once again. He begins to laugh. Then everyone joins the chorus. The room seems to light up, even if just a little. For a moment, I even forget about the situation I’m in.
“That’s pretty funny, Mr. Walker. No one has said that since the early 2000 's.”. I start to laugh but once again it immediately shifts to crying. Subconsciously everything, everything that has happened and all of my emotions burst and come out as one number.,
“Excuse me? Mr. Walker?” I barely heard what he said it feels like everything around me is escaping my focus, everything is becoming irrelevant. My perspective… My perception…. Is shifting.
“I don’t belong here. I belong in 2019.”. As soon as I speak those words, everything goes black, it’s as if I’m floating in a void. I run, and as I run I’m not becoming tired, nor do I have energy. Everywhere around me seems so empty yet so full, as if I can breathe even in the midst of drowning.
“Am I dead?”. A reverb follows my question and it pulses throughout the entire space, like someone took my question and dropped it into a pool.
The longer and longer that it feels like I'm in the void, the more I feel like the way I perceive time is being warped. Then, as soon as I feel as all hope is lost, a voice answers the question that I feel like I asked so long ago.
“No.”. A sharp pain reaches my ears, simply because of how long I haven’t heard anyone else’s voice. Or so it feels. My eyes close as a reaction to the pain, and in that instance, the void feels as if it closed and as if light was introduced to the scene after so long. Once I open my eyes, all of my assumptions were correct. Two chairs parallel from each other greet me, so does a small coffee table and a night lamp placed on top. I stand up, and an unseen force pushes me into the chair. As soon as I blink the figure adjusts himself in the chair and looks at me. It’s as if I’m looking into a mirror.
“You’re… me.” I say. I’m not surprised that’s the only thing I had to say. Other me begins to laugh. But, just like me, snort and all.
“Ah, Elijah. This is just the way you perceive me. I’m a lot of things to a lot of people, probably since I’m the one that keeps everything flowing. It’s weird, I’m everything, yet I’m not. I am the reader, but also the narrator. I am a murderer yet I bring life. All from natural causes. The name’s Time.” everything he says goes right past my head and thrown into the cloud of my mind.
“What does any of that have to do with me?” I ask.
“Well, Mr. Walker. I can tell you everything that’s been going on.” I snap to my senses, faster than anything can, since I’m the only one here. At this point, anything that anyone could tell me about this mess is worth it.