TITLE: A Ripple in Time
As part of a school carnival, 17-year-old Anna is hypnotized on stage with a group of students. As her boyfriend, Josh, watches from the crowd, Anna's subconscious veers off course and brings to life a recurring nightmare that unknowingly affects Josh as well.
My voice shook as I spoke, but I didn't try to hide it. “ I called out for you?”
“ Not my name, though,” he shook his head in confusion. “ But I know it was for me. You looked straight at me, almost as if you were pleading with me to help you. It took all my strength to not jump up on that stage. You kept saying Michael. Help me Michael. I can't swim anymore, Michael. And then you said the most jarring thing of all. You forgave me for being late. You forgave me. You crawled to the edge of the stage, panting for air, and addressed me saying, Michael, I forgive you. You were late, I forgive you. You freaked me out.”
As a personal cold front moved through the cafeteria, I shuddered and wrapped my arms around myself. The news was even more disconcerting than I initially imagined. “ I'm sorry,” I whispered, upset that I brought Josh into my dream world. Upset that my dream world put on a show for my school to witness.
“Don't say you're sorry. You addressing me didn't scare me. That's not what I want you to think. It's something different. Something about what you said is nagging at me.”
“About being late? I guess that would disturb someone who is perpetually on time,” I said with a breathy laugh, hoping to lighten the mood. It did little to remove the pain from his face.
“It's not what you said either, well, completely,” he began as he took my hands in his. “ It's, well, I remember it.”