The Reluctant Time Traveller

The Reluctant Time Traveller

Author: Vaibhav Vijay

“So how far back do you want to go?”, the djinn asked.

That was a good question. Here was a spirit ready to take me back to any point of time, start anew, so to say. I should’ve thought of a definitive answer when I was daydreaming about this exact scenario in school classrooms. “Give me some time, would you?” 

“That was the plan.”, the djinn replied sarcastically. I chose not to pay attention to his impatience. An opportunity was presenting itself to me, one that I was not sure I would get again, of course I was going to give it a good amount of thought.

A chance to rewrite my own history. I could go back to being a baby. Childhood again did sound like a good idea. I would have no responsibilities to handle, no deadlines to make. Back then it seemed like playing outside all day was the end goal in life. What fun it would be to relive all that. The thought was exciting and I had almost already given up my existence on this timeline.

Sheru, my Golden Retriever, appeared from behind the sofa and nuzzled up against my leg. The djinn bent down to give him a pat on the head. “Nice pup you’ve got here”. Sheru had seemingly arrived on cue, just to remind me my actions had consequences. 

“I’ll never see him again, will I?”

“Nothing is guaranteed.”, the djinn replied matter-of-factly. Suddenly, the idea of time-hopping gave me pause. Even as a child, I remembered wanting to be an adult, manning the sails of my own ship in the ocean we called life. I was living the child me’s dream right now, albeit not as glamorous as I’d envisioned it then. I had made all the choices I had made over the years just to reach here. The people I’d met along the way, the times I’d shared with them, my best memories were being hidden away because of my short outlook. Even in these trying times, I have managed to surround myself with the people I like being around. Sure, it didn’t feel like I was enjoying life right now but there had been some real highlights over the year, moments I did not ever want to let go of. 

Sheru stared at me with his deep brown eyes, his goofy smile permanently plastered onto his face and tail aggressively thrashing about. I’d made my choice then. My current life didn’t feel perfect, but it was still precious to me.

“I see you’ve made up your mind.”, the djinn said as he was slowly beginning to fade away. “Always remember why you decided to stay. I should never have to come back.”, he continued.

“What do you mean? What would have happened if I’d chosen to leave this life behind?”

The djinn disappeared. The last thing I could see was a smirk on his face.

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