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Fast Forward and Rewind

Glenn Francis F. Faelnar is an aspiring writer with a love for novels and graphic novels. He has found writing as an outlet for the crazy ideas inside his head. This is his first publication in Daily Science Fiction.

Right now, I'm 12 years old. I'm staring at this girl sitting by the window in class. Her name's Anna. She's one of the prettiest girls I've ever seen. I just can't take my eyes off her. Then I get hit on the head by something. I put my hand over the area where it hurts. I look down and it's an eraser. I look up and see my teacher, arms folded, staring at me in anger. He says something and all of my classmates start to laugh. I didn't hear what he said. I quickly glance over at Anna to see if she's laughing. She is and she looks really cute. I look away so that she won't notice. I bow my head in shame, but I smile, knowing that she laughed even if it was at my expense.
Right now, I'm 22 years old. I'm still in love with Anna. I'm not in the same place I was ten years ago though, because now we're friends. We have lunch together. We talk on a daily basis. I've established a pretty good relationship with her. The sad part of our relationship is that I have to hear her complain about how much of an asshole her boyfriend is or how she likes some guy I don't care about who doesn't deserve her. I know that I could change things if I had the courage to tell her how I really feel. There's a huge possibility that things could go right for me and she would actually agree to date me. But there's an even bigger possibility that she rejects me and feels weird and awkward and distances herself from me. I'd lose her as a friend. I don't want that to happen. So, I decide to keep my mouth shut.
Right now, I'm 27 years old. I'm on my knees, holding a ring in my hand and proposing to the girl that I love. Stacey says yes. I put the ring on her and kiss her. After we kiss, she hugs me tightly. My suit feels a little damp from her tears as she buries her face on my chest. I hear claps from the people in the park. It's the happiest day of my life. I couldn't imagine spending my life with anyone else.
Right now, I'm 35 years old. I'm in a bed with different pillows and different sheets. I see Anna walk across the room, her naked body glowing in the morning light. She tells me that I should get up or I'll be late for work. I ask her if we could stay in bed for a little while. She declines and says she has to go to London for a conference. She picks up my pants and throws them at my face. I laugh and throw them back at her. I look up at the ceiling and think about how much of an asshole I've been for the past 3 years. How could I do this to Stacey and the kids? I love Stacey and I love my kids. But there's just something about Anna that I couldn't resist.
Right now, I'm 82 years old and going into cardiac arrest. I look around and I'm surrounded by doctors and nurses. I hear them shouting but none of their words register in my head. I guess that's what happens when you're dying. I look around and see if anyone I cared about is at my bedside when I'm minutes from dying. Nobody is there. My wife Stacey and my two kids, Joseph and Sarah, aren't there. Even Anna, the girl I was always in love with, isn't at my side as I'm dying. This isn't how I want to die. I don't want to die sad and alone. And then it all fades to black.
Right now, I'm 7 years old. I remove the glasses I put on a few minutes ago. It's Christmas and I'm in the living room. My family's looking at me with smiles on their faces. My mom asks me if I like it. Instead of answering her question, I ask her who gave them to me. She said that a man dressed as Santa Claus was giving them away. Says it was a limited edition toy and that kids will love it. I stare at them, dumbfounded with a blank expression on my face. I just saw myself die. That isn't how I want my life to go. I know I can do better. So, I run to my room and lock the door. I take a deep breath and tell myself that I'll do it differently this time, out loud. Then I put the glasses back on.
Right now, I'm 12 years old.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

Author Comments

With this story, I wanted to illustrate the concept of superposition (which is being in different states at the same time) using my experiences of indecision when it comes to expressing my feelings for someone--which we can all relate to. I wanted to show how some decisions we make lead us somewhere we may not have expected. One of the challenges was to tell the story in a unique way. Having the story unfold in snippets was the approach I decided on.

- Glenn Francis Fulache Faelnar
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