New Years is a time to reflect, make resolutions, blah blah blah ... but what if it was more than that? What if you could go back and change the past instead of simply changing the future? What if you had magical powers for a day? Better yet, a fairy god mother/father who could help you travel back in time to right a wrong or change the outcome of a difficult situation? Here's a little story about just that ... is there a moral to the story? maybe...but that's for you to decide. Enjoy!
Time to Decide
My throat dry, my eyes felt full of sand, and my head was throbbing. I should blame the Marlboro Lights and the red wine but instead I will blame the son of a gun who promised to love honor and cherish me until death. Dammit Ben, you swore this was happily ever after. Where are you now? You may not care, but I’m staying in some shit hole hotel in the middle of nowhere. I pick up my cell phone to text him something smarmy about today being Christmas day or a happy anniversary since tomorrow should mark our four year wedding anniversary. “Screw it” I said while throwing the phone at the rickety dresser with the peeling paint. Wow, I must have smoked a lot; I think I’ll go back to talking to myself inside my head, this out loud stuff is painful.
“Are you okay beautiful?” said a very sexy male voice from across the room. I can’t believe it. How much did I drink last night? I didn’t really bring home a stranger, did I? Although … score … he’s hot!
“Are you talking to me?” I croaked.
“Of course Crystal. There’s no one else here, is there?”
I look at our shabby surroundings and realize how ridiculous I must have sounded. And what’s worse is I’m sure I smell funky, have mascara under my eyes, and horrible bed head. This gorgeous man has also probably heard me snore, and watched me drool in sleep. How can I gracefully handle such an awkward situation?
“Well … ummm … not to sound daft, but do I know you?”
“Oh sweetie, it’s not at all what you’re thinking. I don’t care about your snoring, the drool, or your hair. And before you ask, we did not have sex last night.”
All the tension flowed right out of me and I relax on the bed and close my eyes trying to remember who this is and how he got here. My eyes flash open and I sit up.
“How did you know what I was thinking and who are you?”
“Just relax. I’ll explain. Do you remember the story of Cinderella? Of course you do. She had a fairy Godmother, and you have me. I’m sort of the same thing. My name is Akal which is a Punjabi name meaning timeless. I can’t turn mice into horses or a pumpkin into a carriage. It is my job to help you change things by altering time; we need to figure out how to save your marriage.
“Akal, that sounds fantastic, but my marriage is hardly worth saving at this point. Even if you are what you say you are, Ben and I are done.”
“Is that really what you want?”
Who the hell is this crack head? Of course it’s not what I want. I stood at the altar of my childhood church and vowed that our love would transcend all time and understanding. I meant every word of those vows. I turned the other cheek when he was unfaithful, I ignored the rude comments and his controlling nature, and I wasn’t the one who wanted this. They say that you can’t fix stupid and when it comes to women, Ben was as stupid as they come. What a cliché – he knocked up his secretary and then he had the audacity to ask me to move out. He screwed up and now I’m the one watching my tears fall onto a cheap polyester comforter at a flea bag hotel while he plays house with that little floosy in the home we built.
“Crystal, is that really what you want?” Akal broke into my thoughts, demanding an answer to his question.
“I don’t know what I want. So much is wrong with our marriage. I don’t know where to begin.”
He crosses the room and takes my hands into his “that’s what I’m here for dear. Together, we will figure this out. How far back in time do you think we need to go to fix things?”
“The beginning” I said sarcastically with a laugh.
“We could do that, but I want you to think long and hard about what will work. Don’t make a hasty choice, because once we’ve changed time, I’ll be gone and you have to live with your decision and there’s nothing I can do to help you.”
I scoffed “what ever happened to the genie in the bottle and three wishes?”
“I’m not a genie and I can see you’re in no mood to make an important decision right now. Make yourself some coffee, take a shower, and think about your options. I’ll be back at three and we can talk more.”
“Okay” I agreed while he sauntered toward the door to leave. I roll over hoping all of this is just a dream or a nightmare or something.
… knock …
… knock …
… knock …
… knock …
I groan and roll over. I tell her to go away and call down to the front desk to request another night’s stay. I could honestly afford to live here (not that I want to), since it’s only $29.99 per night and our mortgage was over $900 a month. I smile at the thought of living in this joint. When I checked in, they practically asked if I wanted the room by the hour. My friends from the yacht club would get a kick out of that one. I can practically hear them talking about ‘poor Crystal’ and how she went from being a spoiled society wife to turning tricks to make ends meet. I flop back on the bed in frustration. If only I were tired, I could spend the whole day under the covers.
If this Akal is really all he says he is, how far back should I go? When did things get bad? I grabbed a notebook and pen to think about my options.
1 Our first date (I could kiss him instead of making him wait. That wouldn’t really change much, but maybe we never would have gotten married if he hadn’t found me so ‘different’ than the other girls who threw themselves at him)
2 1997 Muskie Tournament (I could change things by not having sex with him and we never would have gotten pregnant and had to give the baby up for adoption, but that seems too selfish)
3 2001 Valentine’s Day (I could stay home from the wedding and he wouldn’t be able to cheat on me with his ex, Tara … I think that was the first time … but what if it wasn’t?)
4 The night he proposed (I could say no and break up with him and we could agree to be friends)
5 Yesterday (Instead of walking away I could demand that the house is half mine and I could force him to leave)
These all sound like viable options. I need another glass of wine and that shower Akal mentioned really does sound divine. I can take a shower, make myself look presentable, and walk back to the bar and have a few cocktails while I think about Akal’s offer.
The shower feels amazing and the peppermint bodywash helps me forget about the mold on the grout between the tiles, the poor water pressure, and the squeak of the bathroom fan. Maybe there are other options. Instead of helping him back in the boat the day he fell into the freezing water, I could drive away … it sounds sinister, but a dead husband is better than a cheating husband … and we did vow to love honor and cherish until death do we part. I wasn’t proud of the thought, but it was an option.
I toweled off my hair and wrapped up in my robe then headed for the bed to sit and ponder a few more moments before lotion and dressing. My heart stopped when I saw the bed. Ben was lying on the bed with a knife stuck in his chest. He was gasping for air and looking at me wild eyed. Akal was standing in the corner smirking …
Now was really the time to decide. Do I dial 9 1 1 ? Do I give the knife a twist? Do I walk away?
May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and tough moments that eventually enrich your life.