Time6 mins 96 6 mins 96
Deepti Nair, the love of my life, the apple of my eye, my oxygen and my reason to live. They say there is no such thing as a perfect couple but we were perfect. I met her on the first day of college and thus began what seemed like a quick-paced, adrenaline-filled love life. However, never in my wildest dreams had I thought our love had an expiry date. Deepti got placed at an MNC in Canada. Our first and final fight was because of the job’s location. She wanted to go but I refused. How could I let her go? This is not an internship or a contract job from which she would come back. It’s a job through which one settles abroad. I could not crack such job offers as I am not as smart as her in technical knowledge. Ultimately she decided to move on and travel to Canada. She moved on, quickly which hurt even more. I stayed back and became the college professor, not because I liked the job but because college was where I fell in love with her. She moved on, while I clung to my past and relive the memories of us in college but this time as a professor.
I had many contacts in Canada through which I often get updates about her. She is single but I have also heard rumour of her going out with a guy from her office. Whether it is a platoon relationship or not I don’t know. The thought of another guy with her makes me sick. That is when I decided I should not let the anonymous guy succeed. I left my job and used up all of my savings to travel to Canada and rented a place next to her house.
She smiled when she saw me, shook my hand and said she was very happy to see me. I knew from the way she greeted me that it was not a greeting from a loved one but it was a greeting from a friend. I confronted her and she said she was not interested in a relationship and became angry when I enquired about the guy from her office. I provoked her to check on her feelings for him by insulting him and she became furious. A girl who had my back for four years is now defending another guy. I knew this had to stop. She might have given up on love but I would never. Every day I started to go to her house and try to explain things to her but she never agreed. One day when I went to her house I saw the office guy at her house. Both were sitting on the sofa sharing a blanket and watching a romantic movie. I decided to kill the guy and bury him inside the house itself. Instead of rage and fury, a burst of emotional trauma, tears and anguish. Embarrassed and ashamed I ran away from there.
I got a call from my mum about my dad’s health condition which got worse. I rushed back to India and the doctor instructed us to take Dad to Singapore for an operation as the required equipment for the complex surgery was not available in the country. My mum asked me how much savings I had. I killed myself inside my mind at that moment. Being the only earning member of the family I should have been more responsible. All of my savings were spent on my last trip to Canada and did not even have a job at hand. I could not face my mum as she screamed at my face and told me to never come in front of her sight. With insufficient money, my dad did not undergo the surgery and I was forbidden to step foot in my parent’s house.
That was the last day I saw my mum. I came to know about my dad’s death only through a relative. With my broken up girlfriend; dead dad and a mum who refused to speak I had no idea what to do and started to roam the street in disbelief at how my life turned out to be such a mess.
The setting sunlight blinded my weary eyes which made me stop. Walking aimlessly for the past one hour in the scorching heat made my throat like a dessert. I had nowhere to go, nothing to do because all of my desires have been buried alive. I started to walk again but tripped on the road and fell off from the bridge which was under construction. Luckily I fell onto the water and slowly swam back to the shore. My exhausted body tried to walk as my leg hit something and I fell to the ground. It was a black box covered in sand with a bird’s emblem on it. I was curious about how a box made of leather and jewels fitted to its side was thrown away. When I examined it closely I saw a message carved on it.
“He who possesses the power of time also possesses the power of reality.”
I waited for some time for someone to claim the ownership but no one came. I took the suitcase home as I thought that it might fetch me some money in the pawnshop if I sell it. I got home and tried to wash the dirty suitcase when it suddenly opened and revealed its contents. It was a suitcase that gave me a second chance, hope and redemption. The suitcase had the power to travel through time. The instructional manual note was placed on the side. It was as if someone wanted me to find the suitcase and use it. But for what reason was the question for which I thought I would perhaps never get an answer. I started the machine and went back in time again to have my dad and my love. I changed the things necessary to ensure my dad’s safety and my love intact. However, when I came back to the present nothing was changed. I knew that coming this far had to do something with my destiny or else I would never have got the time travelling suitcase in the first place. I tried again and again but no change in the present however I tried it. Twenty years of time travel took a toll on me and each time I failed only made me one step closer to becoming a lunatic.
For the first time in my life, I was about to give up. Give up on my dreams, my love, my dad everything that I cherished. I decided to take the suitcase to the same bridge I found it from to dispose of it. On the way to the bridge, I opened the suitcase to reset everything back to normal when a message suddenly popped up. The message was an IP address. The IP address gave me curiosity disguised in the form of hope.
I knew that this could lead to the creator of the time travel machine and got excited for the first time in twenty years. I immediately arranged to travel to the place. It was an island and the address pointed me to a small house in the far end of the island. I knocked on the wooden door.
The door was opened by an older version of myself. I realised that I was caught in an infinite time loop known as a bootstrap paradox.