Snapshot20BeFunky_2011-04-15 15.jpgWhat? OMG! A sneak peek at a different kind of time travel?
“Lalitha. Listen. I’m sorry. But listen. We have to figure out what we’re going to do.”
She didn’t move. She just stared, and her skin seemed to pale to a yellowish cast.
He realized the open-ended vagueness of his statement. “We’re both travelers here. We’re outsiders — tourists — in our own pasts. I don’t know if we’re trapped. I don’t know if we can get back to our own time, or even if we should.”
“You know what happened to us just before we were transported here. If we end up back where we were, we might die. But while we’re here, we have to decide what we want to do.”
“I don’t know what we can do.”
“I have my friends. You have yours. None of them know, of course. So we can go ahead and go with the flow of our old life. We can replay it.”
She shook her head. “But I know everything that is going to happen to them — my friends. I’m not a student anymore — not that young anymore. I feel like I’m acting like I am when I’m with them. I can’t tell them what has happened to me, so I can’t talk to them too much.”
“Yes.” He nodded emphatically. “Your thoughts are in Kuala Lumpur as well as here.”
“So you know that.”
God, it’s good not to be alone in this, even though I regret that I’ve drawn her in. I made a conscious choice to get involved with these experiments, even if I didn’t make a choice to come here like I did to go to McNair two times. But she’s a victim.
“Well. I’m not sure if we can really replay the past anyway. I mean, we’ve already changed it by being here.” He waved his hand around the apartment.
She understood what he meant. “I don’t know if I can just stay with my friends and go through it all again. All those courses.”
He nodded. “Mmmmm-huh. And I don’t know if I can keep replaying — saying into the recorder what I said before. That was easy enough this morning: the path of least resistance, in fact. Just follow the script in my head. Don’t take chances. But your being here changes it. I can’t just go through the graduate classes and sit in the GTA office knowing that you’re here — knowing that if I let you go now and let you go in the future like I did before what my fate will be. With wife number three, I mean.”
“Wife? You’ve been married?”
You slipped again, Tyler, he told himself. But did it matter? She was a time traveler as he was. Her 1996 mind was possessing her 1983 body as was his.
“Twice, in this world, anyway. But I’m supposed to meet Beth, my third wife, here at Shawnee.”
“So you think I’ll keep you from getting married again?”
Tyler hauled himself out of the chair. His chest felt as though a huge stone were lodged in it. “I can only hope so,” he said. “But I still have choices: I have to realize that. Even if you walk out of here, and I don’t see you until the summer, I can still make other choices.”