Time Travel Break Up by Roy Huff
Rainey sat slouched back against the sofa, pondering what to do about the mess her ex left. She tugged against her long, black hair which she’d recently straightened. Her nutmeg colored eyes squinted, her nose slightly wrinkling against the backdrop of her otherwise taut face.
“This is too much. Why did he have to leave all his junk here? He doesn’t even have the decency to take his own trash,” she said, shaking her head.
Her blood rushed. Her skin rose a couple of degrees as she simmered on the emotional pain he’d inflicted over the last year.
She found herself walking towards the garage, still unsure if she would rip everything up or toss it outside to start a makeshift bonfire. When she arrived, the clutter infuriated her even more.
She sat down, steadying herself from her pounding heart and the flood of emotions that made her feel as if she were a spectator looking down on herself. Then she noticed it, a golden glimmer behind a pile of cardboard, metal contraptions, and oil-stained, musty, flannel shirts.
She cleared the area, revealing a six-by-three foot enclosed platform. Digital readouts with times and dates covered two medium-sized panels near the center front next to a glass door enclosure.
She furrowed her brow, squinting her eyes, and tapped on the panel. Maroon numbers and letters blinked on the readout.
Her breathing quickened. Several options appeared on the panel: departure, return, date, time, and location.
A line below it read: Travel log. She tapped the readout, scrolling to the first departure date. June 5th, 2022, exactly nine months ago, the same date as the big fight, the one that changed the course of their relationship.
Before she could process what it all meant, the platform shook. The panel emitted a loud buzz. The words: Return: March 5th , 2023 09:23:35 quickly blinked a steady green.
Smoke rose from the inside giving off the odor of freshly popped fire-crackers. Dense white smoke obscured the inside. It shook violently. Seconds later, it all stopped.
The door cracked open. A familiar figure: tall, muscled, and tan stepped off the platform. The figure exhaled, wrapping his hands around her thin forearms.
Rainey stepped back. Her heart jumped. As the smoke cleared, Ignacio’s picturesque face emerged. “I did it. I went back and stopped it,” he said.
“Stopped what?” she replied. She’d forgotten why she was in the garage. Her heart returned to its normal rhythm, the air now nippy.
Ignacio almost spoke, but then he stopped himself. She stared at his face, waiting for him to speak.
“It doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that it works. And this changes everything. All those dreams you had. All the stuff we wanted to do.”
“What is this thing?” She asked.
“Our future,” he replied.
Roy Huff is a Hawaii-based author, research scientist, and teacher. At a young age, he struggled in a family plagued by severe poverty and mental illness. After high school, he moved to the islands and since earned five degrees, worked on projects forecasting Kilauea volcanic emissions, and trained on geostationary satellites for NASA’s GOES-R Proving Ground. He still dreams of traveling into space and discovering the secrets of the universe but until then, he makes Hawaii his home, where he creates new worlds with the stroke of a pen.