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his regretful eternity
“Everyone, please remain calm. I repeat, remain calm and wait for further instructions,” I
screamed into the microphone, not bothering to restrain my panicked voice.
“Michael! It looks like both engines are severely damaged and the wings cant find the right adjustments. What should we do”? Damien screamed at me through the deafening noise.
The enormous pressure from above sent the plane staggering to the side. I forced my trembling fingers across the switches and flashing buttons as I racked my brain for a possible way out. Beside me, my twin brother was desperately trying to contact the airplane center to inform them of the situation. The plane wobbled and whipped through the air at an uncontrollable speed, tipping its head back and forth. What should I DO? There were more than 200 passengers on this plane who entrusted their lives to me.
Suddenly, everything around me was a blur and Damien’s voice drowned below the madness going on inside my head. I could hear my own heart beating in my ears as I tried to think of a plan. How can we land? The plane was above the ocean, there was no way we could reach land, I thought. All sorts of different calculations whirled around in my head. Every cell in my body told me it was impossible and the most terrifying thing was, I knew it. There was no hope for us now. It was all over. As if on cue, the mysterious air raced below the wings and pounded hard against the fuselage. The force of it sent the plane crashing down.
Strangely, I didn’t feel scared. The misty waters almost seemed comforting as I stared into its depth and prepared myself for the dive underwater. I let my stiff hands slowly slip away from its desperate job on the control panel as the head hit the water. Still clinging on to the last bit of hope, I fell unconscious wrapped in the cold arms of the ocean waters.
A sharp pain probed along the back of my skull. Where am I? I groaned softly. My whole body felt sore and worn out. Wait a second, I thought. Am I dead yet? I tried to open my eyes and the first thing I saw was…. black. Darkness followed wherever my eyes looked. As I squinted my eyes and looked into the eerie darkness, a narrow passageway appeared. Whoa. Am I hallucinating? Suddenly, out of nowhere, an image appeared behind my eyelids. It was a blurry picture of a clock being inserted in a beautiful glass lock.
Michael, come. Come. Save us…
The familiar voice of my brother was filled with pain. I froze. Damien! It was as if my body moved on its own. I walked into the narrow corridor and concentrated on every step. My legs screamed in protest as I lunged forward towards the end of the passage. It looked nothing like the picture I saw in my head. Instead of glass, there was a fading wooden colour that covered the walls. The lock itself was a hole! On the floor beside it, was a tiny hand watch. I slowly bent forward and picked it up.
“What the…”I stared at the clock, shocked. “Damien… what did you…?”
That’s when I suddenly remembered. This was the only thing that dad left us after he past away. How did it end up here? Then, I gasped out loud. Colourful lights suddenly streamed out from the centre, dazzling my eyes. Cautiously, I ran my fingers along the delicate strokes of paint and the rusting metal. However, deep inside, I knew something was different. The moment I touched the clock, it just felt so…wrong. It was as if I had seen something dangerous. I pushed the thought away as I slowly closed my eyes. I could see every single detail of the clock perfectly. I could remember every stroke of paint, every tattoo that was carved into the delicate body of the clock.
Suddenly, the lights started to fade and disappear. I have to hurry. I examined the lock again. It looked nothing like what Damien showed me. However, there was a tattoo marked above the hole, barely noticeable. Just then, I felt the strangest sensation. Suddenly, it felt like someone pulled a trigger in my head. My mind itself stretched out and millions of images, words, and memories circled around me. However, among all of this madness that was going on inside my head, a single sentence stood out the most.
The lives of countless people, is in your hands, Michael. You can save them…
A wave of nausea swept through me. I finally understood. They were trapped inside the strange darkness. They were all alive. Through his memories, Damien showed me their regret and hope, sadness and happiness, fear and calmness, all of which are emotions that contradicted each other. All the anger that was buried deep inside of me rushed out and rang through every part of my body. Tears silently trickled down my face.
“So you want me to give up my own life?” I whispered, although I already made up my mind.
Michael…I’m sorry, but if you don’t want to do it for me, do it for the countless children, families, and friends that didn’t have a choice…please.
I slowly lifted the tiny instrument in my hands to the lock with trembling fingers. I used what it felt like all the energy I had to insert the clock into its rightful place. The moment it touched the lock, I felt it. I gritted my teeth to stop the nervous breakdown I was having inside. The clock slowly sank into the lock and disappeared. Its small metal pointers spun wildly out of control. That’s when it happened.
The pain was unbearable as I writhed in pain. I was left with all the sadness and grief and drowned in a pool of despair. I was awake, but I was dead. The worst kind of feeling a person could every feel. I was a person that had no mind, no body, and my soul trapped eternally in this nightmare. However, because of me Damien and the others can be free. It didn’t matter that they would not even remember my name. For the first time in my life, I felt so proud, and…somewhat saddened.
This was my choice after all, and I have all the time in the world to learn not to regret it.