“So what happens now?” Younger me asked.
“What do you mean,” Tom said. “You’ll just have to go back to 2012.”
“Maybe she’s here for a reason,” I interjected.
“Maybe we’ve completely screwed up the entire world,” Tom said beginning to get angry. I wondered if his anger didn’t have something to do with me. I mean, he was out of my league.
“Did you notice the entire world being screwed up when you went out just now,” I asked.
“Not any more than usual.”
“Did you go to my old apartment, was I there?,: I asked.
“I went there, I knocked on the door, but you didn’t answer. I asked a neighbor if they knew you and she said she thought you had moved a while ago.”
“This is awful I could be lost somewhere in the last five years,” said younger me.
“Look, I really do think the only way we can ever solve this is to go back to the day I disappeared,” I said.
“What if you were murdered,” Tom suggested.
“I wasn’t murdered because, I’m alive in 2015,” younger me said.
“That’s not necessarily true,” Tom said. “There could be hundreds of you running around all with a different scenario.”
“My head is swimming,” I said sitting down and beginning to cry.
Younger me came to my side and patted me on the back.
“Okay, let’s go to the date you disappeared” Tom said with a shrug.
There was no way the three of us could fit into the time machine together. Younger me went first, Tom made sure the dials were set to October 7th 2013. There was an awkward silence between the two of us as we waited for the time machine to stop. Tom refused to look at me at all, staring directly at the door. I wondered what would happen in the future to make us a couple. He didn’t even seem to like me very much.
After fifteen minutes Tom got in the machine and I followed fifteen minutes later. I arrived to find Tom crouched silently in the closet. Tom put his finger to his lips and motioned for me to get down. We could all hear someone milling about in the bedroom, but the door was closed so we couldn’t see them. After a while the tenant left and we all took a guess that we were alone in the apartment. We ran for the door and out into the street.
“Where is she,” I asked.
“I have no idea,” Tom said.
We got on the train and headed for downtown to catch the bus to Beverly Hills.
“Tom, were you living in that apartment in 2012,” I asked.
“Do you think that was you in the bedroom?”
“It could have been. It might have been you as well I mean maybe she, um, you got curious and was walking around the apartment looking for stuff.”
“Here’s what I don’t get, when I traveled to 2009 I went to my apartment and lived my old life for, basically forty eight hours and I was the only one there. So when younger me traveled from 2012 how come she encountered me. It doesn’t make any sense.”
“Whenever I traveled to the past I was always very careful to never change anything, “ Tom said coldly. “I was always afraid if I did that I would mess everything up.”
We passed the rest of the trip in silence. We arrived at out stop and walked a few blocks to my old building. We walked up the stairs and knocked on my door, but I did not answer. I opened the door and we walked inside. I was embarrassed at how messy it was.
We turned on my computer and went into my e mail. The very last message I had written was not there.
“Tom I have something to tell you, “ I began.
He shrugged and listened to me,
“I never was psychic of course and I never believed that I was. I started my business out of economic desperation. I t grew and grew and I got pretty good at it. I moved into this apartment from an absolutely horrific dump that I had been living in. I felt like a phony, I needed an outlet and there was no one I could trust, I only had fair weather friends. I started a secret blog where I wrote what I really thought about my clients and I never showed it to anyone. I said I lived in New York and not LA and I never shared it on any kind of social media, it had very few hits and I used no tags, but really, I should have made it private.” I felt like I was going to cry.
“I had been driving around in an old beater and it died. I went out and bought a used Honda that looked nice on the outside. It broke down a lot and I finally had to have the transmission replaced. I should have bought a new car… I did not. The mechanic asked me out his name was Steve. We dated for a year. One drunken night I told him about my confessional blog.”
The thing is, Steve was not a nice guy. He was emotionally abusive. He called me an idiot a few times, sometimes he wouldn’t talk to me for days. Eventually he cheated on me. I went on Ripoff Report and gave Transmission Co, his garage, a bad review. He retaliated by going on Rip Off Report with a link to my secret blog. I started getting less and less business. I had to take a customer service job. I was eventually fired and went on unemployment and needed a cheap place to live and that was how I found you.”
“When did this happen,” Tom asked unfazed.
“We met in November of 2010 and broke up towards the end of 2011. I posted my post on January the 5th of 2012 and he posted his a couple of weeks later.”
We went to my old blog and found that it was still up and active. As I read the posts from 2009 on, Tom looked around my apartment. He looked through my desk drawer and pulled out a large red greeting card envelope and began to read the card inside.
I think you better look at this,” he said.