“I once believed that what I do would be enough, but I realized that they all see me. And they do not let go easy…”
(The year 2069 – 30th March. 6:30 pm)
“There you go, sir. You are finally free.”
“Thank you, Jeff. Hope you have a good day.”
Then the old man left the building. It was the end of March; the Balkan wind was still heavy and fierce as it had always been. The old man then went to his old car and went to the nearest supermarket to buy some food. As soon as he got into the first store, he found out that he left his grocery list in the car. After he got it and headed back, he decided to take a smoke before heading in. Unfortunately for him that smoke cost him one of the products to be bought out and he had to go to another 5 stores so that he could find the product that was needed before going home.
He lived thankfully or unfortunately with his wife in the countryside near the big city.
Today again he would receive his ‘warm’ meeting.
“I am back!”
“Finally! What have you been doing all this time! I am going to starve to death because of you!”
“It`s not my fault! I had to go around 100 stores to get your damn product!”
“Shut up and put the groceries on the table so I can make something for dinner!”
He put them out and then sat on the chair in the living room. The old gloomy woman then went to the kitchen and started to work on the dinner. Meanwhile, the old man turned on the tv to check what is on the news.
“We have a special announcement before starting with the regular news! Today at 11 pm, over the Balkan Peninsula will be able to see a meteor shower over the clear bright sky and also have a cool night temperature. We advise you to make as many wishes as you can for a stroke of good luck and fortune. And now with today`s news…”
The old man suddenly jumped from his chair and moved to the kitchen as fast as he could.
“Look, William! A meteor shower! Quickly make a wish!”
The old woman quickly then grabbed both her hands and started to mumble her wishes silently.
But William got other things in his mind. It was still 10:00 pm, why there are meteor showers now? It said that they would appear at 11 pm just a couple of seconds ago, why now? After his 72nd birthday, lots of meteor showers had gone every year-round this time of the year. To him, those things were irrelevant. He cared if he could make enough money now, so they could pay the rent for the month and then go somewhere or maybe just sleep at home. His wife was not a big adventurer either. Her only wishes were either to see his grandson or go somewhere without William. Although they were an old couple, they weren`t very happy together.
“Come, old man, time to eat.”
They ate and after a half-hour, they went to bed.
His wife went immediately to sleep while he was still awake and looking through the window, exactly where the meteor shower was going by. William then gave a quick thought of life prior to that moment. He got despondent, gloomy, unhappy even got married without any passion or what they call a ‘bond’. His job was okay but lacked something, he tried to remember his old and wacky days, but the only feeling that was left from them was regret. Throughout the years William tried to expand his knowledge, and understanding, and even dared to choose a hobby as work, but he quickly gave up either because of his financial position or because he was the only one who wanted to pursue his dreams. His wife mocked him and told him that it was too late, his parents were gone by that point, so it didn`t matter but his circle of friends who were in the same position as him questioned him as well. Why? Was it not better to be with them chatting and ‘laughing’ rather than trying to pursue a ‘fruitless’ dream? Or when he chose to go to the university where his crush decided to join, so that he could have a chance to make a spark between them and then possibly live happily forever after? Or when he trusted his best friend that he wouldn`t steal his girlfriend, but shortly after he hears that they were in a relationship before even she became his girlfriend.
If he had to be honest with himself, he should feel even lucky that he had a wife who he did not know what she had done in her past at all.
William then looked for one last time before going to sleep at the falling stars.
(If only I knew better and I were more decisive, I would probably be in a better position than being here.)
Then he went to sleep.
* * *
William suddenly heard in a low voice somebody calling him. His vision was fuzzy and couldn`t see very well. As more as the fuzziness got clearer, he realized that he was in a white room. But where?
“Hello! Is anybody out there?”
He got no answer. After a few minutes, he decided to walk a kept calling for somebody again. After some time, he gave up and decided to stop. After he looked down, William realized that he looked way younger and started to touch all parts of his body. And it was indeed true, he was younger because that was how he visualized himself in his dream but he did not know that. William only knew that somebody was calling for him and that his now in his best year`s body if he could call it like that and was getting the goosebumps of not understanding what is happening.
A loud voice echoed from somewhere. William immediately fell to the ground out of fear. What was that? Who was that? What did it want? So many questions overwhelmed him at that moment that William froze on his spot.
“Human! Do not be afraid of us!” the voice echoed.
But William still was like a frozen statue. The very bright light started to shine in front of him, forcing him to unfroze and protect his eyes. Of course, he did not unwrap his hands from his face because he was still scared.
This time the voice did not echo. William decided to unwrap his face. After that, the only thing that he could describe was only a beam of lights from various positions flying in the air with a different color on every beam. Or better say it looked like crystals that illuminate light at a very high degree.
“Human! Do you wish for a second chance?”
William still couldn`t believe that one of the beams actually could talk. He tried to pinch himself hard to the point of actually hurting himself.
“Please, stop doing this! You are trapped between the gates of life and death!”
Suddenly he stopped what he was doing.
“What are you saying?” William replied almost on the verge of going insane.
“You have died, human. And we who you call ‘constellations’ are going to judge your worth.”
He couldn`t believe his ears. Constellations?! How!? On what bases are they judging him?! For what reason?! Suddenly his memories appeared in front of him again for a full second. His nervousness suddenly faded and he collapsed to the ground almost numb. The only thing that came out of him were teardrops from his eyes.
“So, what…Am I going to be sent to hell?!”
“No, and stop whining you weakling!” said one of the beams.
“Calm down and get your act together!” ordered the beam in the center.
William brushed his tears and stood up facing the central beam.
“We are one of the many who do and who do not judge. We are mighty beings known to you as gods, constellations, divine beings, apostles, legends, and so on. Though we hold enormous power, you weaklings manage to survive just like the insects you hate the most. A long time ago we were known through myths and legends, but because you have grown to have some power, you think that the ingenuity that you have now created is making you now more powerful than ever before. Well, true that is correct and we welcome this change with open hands, but it seems that you might need our hand again. Thus, we have come to a mutual agreement to send those who have the most potential, back in time, so they can become a leader or an important figure of time that can at least shake up your stupid nature in a positive direction. I go by the name of Lupus.”
“I go by the name of Libra.”
“I am Phoenix.”
“And I am Taurus.”
William didn`t know how to respond.
“Human, we have chosen you to go back in time, but that won`t be done with a single regression. You have to go through trials, so you can regress exactly to where you made your first bad choice. Are you willing to do that?”
He did not answer.
“Come on, you do not have all day! You either go or not! Choose!”
He went silent for a moment. After a couple of seconds, he sighed and decided to speak.
“What will happen if I were to choose not to?”
“You will lose your soul in the eternal void and will be reborn on a new world, back, forth, or present in time, or simply be disintegrated in the void with of course not remembering who you were or what you were.”
“Then what is the point of doing it at all? Also, can please tell me who is speaking?”
“Taurus is speaking. You are right, you can just let go of the past and move on, but are you sure you might not repeat the same mistake in that new world?”
“Libra is now speaking. You must understand that although your environment nurtures you plus your genes play in the equation as well, you must understand that your soul still carries some value to the other world as well.”
“Phoenix is now speaking. Human, we have chosen you because the underworld plus the void is filled with weaklings like you. Your predecessors are twice the people the likes of you. We have given them a chance time and time again because of the value they hold, but you… You are despondent, ugly, greedy, immoral, gruesome, fearful, unfaithful-”
“That is enough Phoenix! He got it. Lupus is now speaking. We are giving you a chance because you were nurtured and also because you chose the wrong way. You got the potential to become someone like your predecessors. But before making your decision, please ask yourself: Was this a life you want to repeat again?”
“No, of course.” William answered immediately.” But I never wanted to end that way…”
He clenched his fists.
“I wanted to have a proper girlfriend and a close friend, have a business that allowed me to relieve my stress and also do my work without being always tired, I never wanted to end this way!”
“Then what do you choose?”
William’s face became very angry and vengeful.
“I will do whatever it takes to go back and smack myself to success even if I have to sacrifice my soul to get it!”
Suddenly a shockwave hit him at a high pace.
“You must listen carefully! You will be regressed to previous important moments in your life until you finally get to the first major moment that started your diversion from the path and until you find how to fix the problem in that specific moment you will eventually die with the choices in this new timeline you have created! But do not worry because even if it takes 10 or 20 years if you can correct your mistake, you will be regressed to your previous major moment! But be careful to not create new ones since we won`t be able to remove them! That is the cost for regression! Regress endlessly and then finally fix the problem or hope that the void won`t break you while you transcend to your next life! Let the luck of dawn and sun guide you through your hardships!”
* * *
William found himself to be in his previous apartment.
“Old bum! Get up! It`s time for the interview!”
William`s mind was a little hazy from his wild dream. He could hardly recognize anything.
“What time is it?”
“Nine in the morning! Get up or I will throw the breakfast right on your face!”
William`s eyes were all over the place he then focused his attention on his wife. Her silhouette was much different from yesterday if he could call it.
“Come on! You`re going to be late for the interview!” She then threw some clothes on the bed. “Get changed! Quickly!”
William looked then at the calendar on the wall 2039.
“Ah, I see. Today was the worst day of my life.”