November 17, 1980
You know, you really had me worried? Weeks of panic, as to who this mystery woman was, and what she knew, and you could have easily just told me right off the bat? It’s ok, I’m glad it was you.
When I woke up this morning, I had no idea what was going to happen. My plan was that I was going to see Grandma, but then there was a knock on the door. I looked at the clock, and it was only 7:30. I haven’t been sleeping well, and I wasn’t happy to be woken from a rare moment of true rest.
I answered the door, and saw your face. Same hat, and same glasses. Your expression was warm, none of the surprise of before.
“Hi Mikey,” you said from outside my door, and while your face hadn’t let me know who you were, that did.
“How are you here?” I was immediately weeping, when I realized it was you.
“Same way you are. Maybe a little more round about.” You laughed and came in hugged me tight. I’m sorry that I never hugged you as tight as that before.
“How long have you been here?”
“Not long, a little more than a month.”
“I’m old. I know.” You laughed, and I stood, stunned still. “I’m only about 55.”
You nodded, and got ready to explain. “Yes, well, in order to get back here, since I was jumping further than you had, I had to take multiple trips. You estimated you aged about a month in the travel process, and when you arrived back here, you were so undernourished that you probably weren’t far off of dying. I was going to be leaping twice as far, so you thought it would be a good idea for me to take multiple trips. Each about ten years, and renourish myself for a month, and then jump back further. There was a contingency plan in place in which I could even shorten the jumps if I was feeling too much bodily strain.”
I looked at you with my jaw slack. “I thought?”
“Yeah, the you of my time. And you think I’m old?” You laughed again, and it was like music, I just wanted you to keep laughing.
“Your time being 2041?”
You came in, and settled, and I made you cup of cocoa, and you kept explaining the method, and how the device itself needed a months charge to be able to make a jump anyway, and how somehow the device was more precise with location, so you didn’t end up offshore like I had.
“You know, I know that you remember 1990 better than I do anyway, but you’re going to be so surprised when you get there. I went and saw New Kids On the Block, and it was amazing.”
I laughed. “I don’t know who I’m going to go see. I got to see The Empire Strikes Back on opening night a few months ago!”
“Please tell me you didn’t mouth all the lines as the movie played.” I had forgot how much you hated it when I did that.
I shook my head, “no, I went to see with my girlfriend, and a couple of friend.”
“Yeah… How’d you know?” I hadn’t mentioned her, and was surprised you knew her name.
“She’s a big part of the reason I came back.” It was the most serious you’d been since you arrived.
“Oh?” I must have looked nervous.
“You need to tell her. She deserves to know, and she loves you.”
“Have you met her?” I still think I’m the more clever, but you seemed to knock down that line of thinking.
“I’m not going to tell you about your future. Just tell her. Understood?”
Even though we moved on after that, I haven’t been able to stop thinking that this must be how Grandma feels every time we talk, because I pick and choose what information she gets to learn, and when. I need to be more careful, because I’m sure she must think constantly about all of the blanks I haven’t filled in for her.
“Mikey, I’m going to stay a little while, but then I’m going back.”
“You’re not staying?”
You shook your head.
“No, I’ll stay another month. I really need to fully recalibrate after all of those jumps, and then I’m going to head back, but I’m going to alternate intervals. You see, each of the jumps, I saw you. I spent the month with you each time, and my hope is to hit all the fives on the way back.”
“So I’ll see you in 1985?”
“Yeah, you got to avoid seeing me in 1985 the first time around, but this time you’re going to have to deal with me.”
“Do you need a place to stay? Like now?”
You shook your head.
“The you of 1990 gave me enough cash to survive a couple of months back here.”
I hugged you again, and I never wanted to let go.
When I had to get ready to go to work, I offered you my car, but you explained that you didn’t have a valid 1980 license. That you’d take the bus back to the place you were staying, and I’d see you tomorrow.
Sam, I’m so excited that I get to see you again tomorrow. I’ve missed you so much.