Story by Simon N.
From the beginning of time, human has developed an ardent desire to be able to foresee or predict the future. Works of science fiction and concepts such as “time travel” and “time machine” are quite prominent in popular culture. It’s human nature after all to be curious about everything around us. I cannot tell you how many times I wish I could fast-forward time to see what will become of me ten years from now. But then again, it might not turn out to be what I have hoped.
Melissa was the most attractive girl in town. Suitors were literally lining up to ask for her hand in marriage. In the end, she decided to marry her high school sweetheart Tom. For seven years, their marriage was the envy of the town; their love seemed to have withstood the test of time. The couple had two lovely children together. Melissa’s life was nothing short of perfection, until tragedy struck.
Melissa was on her way home from the grocery store one day when she was hit by an out-of-control vehicle. The impact was so strong that it sent her body flying through the air. As her body was flying, time appeared to have come to a standstill. Images of her loved ones were flashing in front of her. She wanted to reach out to grab hold of these precious memories, but couldn’t. Melissa’s body plunged onto the rugged walkway. Within minutes, she lost consciousness.
It was a typical day at the town’s main medical facility. A young nurse was checking on every room in the hospital to make sure everything was in place. While checking on the patients, she detected visible movements in a patient named Melissa -- a woman who had been in a coma for nearly 25 years. Within minutes, the room was filled with doctors and nurses. It wasn’t long before the local TV crew was present at the hospital, reporting on this phenomenon.
After several months of intensive rehabilitation, Melissa had mostly recovered from the coma. Her prognosis was quite good; she was scheduled to be released from the hospital. As she sat in the lobby waiting to reunite with her family, many wonderful things were on her mind. She wondered what had become of her loved ones after 25 years.
“Tom must have remarried by now and is living a happy life. My two children must have all grown up and become successful individuals.”
Melissa wanted nothing more than to see her family again.
Five long hours had passed, but there was still no sight of any of her loved ones. The once crowded lobby was now dreadfully empty. Melissa, however, continued to persist; her eyes remained affixed to the lobby entrance. Unfortunately, none of her loved ones showed up on that day. She had been all but forgotten.
After she was discharged from the hospital, she returned to her old neighborhood seeking for information on her loved ones. Her house was now occupied by another family. They told her the previous residents moved out about 20 years ago and left for another state. She was devastated by the news. Could her husband and children have truly forgotten her? Melissa's parents were her only glimmer of hope. "I am my parents' child. They have always loved her. They would never abandon me."
When she arrived to her parents' house, which was only a couple of blocks away, the fence gate was chain-locked. The front yard was filled with dead grass and thick bushes, indicating it had not been maintained for some time. When Melissa was about to soberly take her leave, she spotted her mother's close friend Marie walking down the street. The old lady did not recognize her at first, but was in tears when she called out for her.
After a quick embrace, the two sat down for a chat. Melissa asked her about her parents.
"Your mother was the only one who believed you would someday recover. She visited you at the hospital every morning and stayed there until past noon. I accompanied her a couple times and she was weeping the whole time.”
“She was diagnosed with cancer ten years ago. Before she died, she instructed your father to take care of you in her absence. Your mother truly loved you. Your father passed away three years ago."
Melissa listened to Marie with a somber heart. Did she indirectly cause her parents' deaths?
After she bid farewell to Marie, she wandered her hometown hoping to rekindle old memories. A lot had changed since the accident. Technology had advanced so much from her days. The once open fields were now filled with homes and businesses. Melissa felt like a lost bird in an unfamiliar environment.
Nostalgia led her back to the exact spot where the accident happened; she was overwhelmed with emotions. She started to question her very existence in this strange and unforgiving world. Mentally exhausted, Melissa collapsed. As she was lying on the ground, images of her loved ones were once again flashing in front of her. To this, she smiled -- relishing the moment. She wished it would never end.