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Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

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Maria checked her phone for the tenth time in five minutes, nothing. Not that she was expecting a message to just appear in her inbox, silently slipping past the alarms. She scrolled back through her messages Maria, meet me at the hicky in 20 min. I’ll find you. Yepp, it was still there, and she was still sitting here in the hicky (something only students called the Hickory Dining Hall) twenty-five minutes later. She was cursing herself for actually showing up, but the fact that the message had stated both her name and the term “hicky” lured her in. Besides, this place was packed, what could happen to her here?

“Hello... Maria?”

The voice belonged to a gaunt, pale man in a long black trench coat. She guessed he was about her age, and a fellow student by the steaming slice of veggie lovers pizza on his plate. Word had spread this morning that the pizza was fantastic today.

“Yeah, and you are?”

“Mark. You know I really didn’t expect you to show up, but I’m glad you did. I have a business proposition for you. I am aware that it may sound a bit obscure, so I’m going to ask you to hear me out and save your comments until the end.”

Maria sat stone-faced as the stranger weaved his outrageous story. This man must be insane! Everyone knew time travel existed only in the minds of fiction writers. Yet, he seemed quite knowledgeable on the subject and pretty level headed otherwise. In fact he almost made sense... No, no this couldn’t make sense. It was insanity.

“So” Mark said after finishing his presentation “What do you think?”

“I think you’re completely loco, of course. What I really want to know is why you are telling me this? Is this you way of picking up girls? If so you really should consider online dating.”

“I see someone thinks awfully highly of herself. No, this is not some futile attempt to get a date, I am dead serious. You see when we started the project we forgot that human beings must be treated differently than inanimate objects. Write it off as a beginners mistake. We realized that we needed someone with extensive knowledge of the human body, something techies like us know little about. From what I hear you’re one of the best med students in the school and just going by the fact that you’re still sitting here you have a pretty open mind. So what do you say, are you in?”

After a minute Maria responded deliberately.

“I’m not saying I believe any of this, my picture would be right next to the word gullible in dictionary if I did. However I’m too intrigued to just say no now. Yeah, I guess I’m “in” whatever that means.”

“Great, I promise you this is going to turn the world upside down” Mark said as he stood up.

“Doubt it” though Maria as she watched the stranger take his plate to the kitchen. Though she would not let the idea creep into conscious thought, she knew her life had just changed forever.





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