A therapist takes in a man who tells a story in which he claims to be true of a life he had, but the therapist is convinced it was just a dream. Was it real, or was it all a dream? Find out.

What is time? What does time feel like? What does time taste like, smell like; why is there time? One thing for certain is that time is very valuable. Lives have been created and destroyed because of time, people have succeeded and failed because of time. Time is the difference between wealth and poverty, it is the difference between happiness and misery. The world revolves around time. It is the one thing that everyone is given in equal amounts. We all have time, as we use it in different ways. Everything that happens in our lives happens over a period of time; our lives are time. For that, what we do in time, is what defines who we are. We are time.

Dr. Benson was getting ready to leave his office building, until he heard a knock on the front door. He walked over to the door as he began to open it.

“Hello?” He asked.

There was no one at the door, all Dr. Benson could see was the parking lot where his new Lexus stood alone. Dr. Benson was looking around as he saw no one, he looked confused. Oh, never mind about it, Dr. Benson thought to himself.

“Dr. Benson!” A man out of nowhere burst out, as he jumped from the side into Dr. Benson’s face.

“What the hell!?” Dr. Benson exclaimed in fright.

“I need your help, Doctor!” The man cried, as he forced himself into the office building.

The man appeared to be a garbage man as he was in his blue suit with his blue beat up rubber boots. The man smelled of garbage, everything about him reeked; he was sweating all over, as his uniformed was heavily stained.

“Oh my god, what is that smell!?” Dr. Benson cried, as he was covering his face in a look of disgust.

Dr. Benson then grabbed the bottle of Febreeze Apple & Spice as he sprayed the whole room with it. That’s better, Dr. Benson thought to himself.

“I never seen you before. Now who are you?” Dr. Benson questioned.

The man was looking at a wall of the waiting room as he seen an award on the wall that said “Therapist of the Year”, and a picture of Dr. Benson shaking hands with the President. The man was breathing heavily so it took him a while to catch his breath.

            “I know you don’t know me, Dr., but I need you!” The man panted.

            “What are you talking about!?” Dr. Benson responded.

            “I need your help! Will you please have the time to help me!?” The man begged.

Dr. Benson looked at his watch as it said 9:30.

            “Ahh, the wife has taken the kids to their grandparents for the weekend, what do I got to lose?” Dr. Benson admitted.

Dr. Benson then closed the door, as he led the man into his office room. When the two went into Dr. Benson’s office room, Dr. Benson walked over to his roller chair; it was brown, had two arm rest, and was made out of soft leather that when Dr. Benson sat in it his whole body had slowly sunk in it. One would wonder why he would need a comfortable chair, if he wasn’t the patient.

            “Have a seat please,” Dr. Benson insisted as his hand was directed towards the chaise longue in the room.

The man slowly walked over to it, as he laid in the chaise longue. The chaise longue was bleach white, as it looked like one of those Serta mattresses. It was soft for the man as it added a little comfort when he closed his eyes for a moment and took a long deep breath of relaxation.

            “Nice office you have, doctor. Better than the waiting room out there” The man stated, as his voice got calmer and lower.

Dr. Benson’s office was well organized and well nice. Its wall were brown like caramel and sand, it had a brown rug on its grey carpet, there were bookshelves and a plant, as Dr. Benson sat down away from his black desk, and the man had laid in the chaise longue.

            “Is that your family? “The man pointed out.

He was referring to a picture of Dr. Benson with a women, a boy that looked around 13, and a girl who looked around 10 as they were in front of the Eiffel Tower.

            “Yes,” Dr. Benson confirmed, “That was last year in Paris with my wife and my two kids.”

The man kept observing Dr. Benson’s office as if he was a kid looking into space with a telescope for the first time.

            “Now, what is your name, and what is it that you need help with?” Dr. Benson addressed.

            “My name is Peter Lane, I’m 37 and I am a waste collector; in other words I am a garbage man,” The man informed, “I came to you, because I needed to tell someone my story, and nobody would believe me, except for you.”

            “Why would I believe your story, and nobody else would?” Dr. Benson asked.

            “Because, you’re a therapist, a psychotherapist,” Peter replied.

            “There’s hundreds of psychotherapist in Seattle, why did you choose to come to me, especially at this time of night?” Dr. Benson questioned.

The man started to smile.

            “Let’s be honest, doctor,” Peter chuckled, “you are not like any other therapist. You have done so much in this field of work to so many people. You have had written books about it, been on tv shows and news stations, hell you even met the president for all of your great work. You are like Dr. Phil, but better.”

            “Interesting point, so what is this story you have to tell me?” Dr. Benson wondered.

            “Well before I began, I want you to know what I’m about to tell you, the series of events that occur in this is nothing like anything you have ever heard or experience before. So bear with me, but please do not interrupt until after I am finish, and then you can truly help me,” The man declared.

            “Fair enough,” Dr. Benson agreed with a smile on his face.

            “Now like I said, I’m a garbage man, and I’m 37. My life hasn’t really been good, ever since I became an adult. My life has been exactly what my job is all about, garbage. I’m single which I always have been, I don’t make a lot of money, I don’t talk to anybody really, my house is all messy, I hate getting up for work, I’m depressed; my life really sucks; time has destroyed me, doctor.” Peter admitted.

Dr. Benson was observing Peter as he was listening.

            “Now this is the story that nobody believed, Doctor,” Peter informed.

Dr. Benson took off his glasses, as he felt that the mood of the almost empty room had changed.

            “It was couple of weeks ago, like almost a month ago when it happened,” Peter explained.

I woke up around 9:00 a.m.; as I opened my eyes I was looking up at the bright sun. I was in my backyard on one of the tires I had in the back. I had a beer in one hand, and a Hustler magazine in the other. It was just another night that I try to enjoy before waking up the next morning to begin my crap day in my crap life. I threw the beer bottle at one of the trees in the back yard as it shattered in pieces. I then dropped the magazine, and went inside my house. I looked at the clock as I realized I was going to be late, so I didn’t even take a shower. I’m already going to get dirty anyways, who cares, I thought. I instantly looked onto the couch where my uniform was as I put it on with my boots. Maybe I should eat something, I thought. Instead I just took a couple puffs of my marijuana joint, it always gave me what I needed to get on with my day. Before I left out the door, I looked back to get a glance of the living room. The messiness and disorder of it always reminded me of how much of a waste my life was, but it was ok. I needed to be reminded, so I could know what’s expected of me every day, nothing. I then left my house as I saw my neighbor Ted watering his garden

“Good morning Peter! Hey I was wondering can you cut your grass when you get the chance, it’s getting into my lawn,” Ted addressed.

“Go to hell!” I sassed, as I walked to the bus stop to catch the bus to work.

I eventually got to work, late like usual. When I got there, I was greeted by my supervisor, Mr. Guy, he was such a pain.

            “Peter, how many times are you going to be late!? Mr. Guy questioned.

            “Sorry Mr. Guy, I won’t be late anymore,” I promised.

            “You better not, because next time you’re late, you’re fired!” Mr. Guy barked, as he stormed off into his office.

I then got into my truck and started the usual schedule of collecting the trash. Hours went by and I was almost done with my shift. Can’t wait to go home, I thought to myself. I pulled up to this one house where I got the trash into my truck, but the back door wouldn’t shut.

            “What the hell!?” I shrieked.

I then got out of my truck to the back to see what the problem with door was. I tried to force it down, but it wouldn’t close. I decided to go inside and see what the problem was. If I die in there, it would be better than dying outside in a world like this, I thought to myself. I went inside the back of the truck were all the garbage was. A normal person would have instantly vomited because of the smell, but not me. I was use to the smell, almost 20 years being a garbage man and I ended up liking the smell. I guess that’s why I never could get a girlfriend. When I was inside, I was looking for the problem, but suddenly the door shut, I panic.

            “Help! Help! I’m stuck in here! Can anyone hear me!? Help!” I screamed in a worried panic.

I then fell back deep into the garbage as I was buried in it.  I was trapped, and I thought I was going to die. I always joked about my life thinking if it was going to end, I would not care because it was useless, but not then, not anymore. As I was being buried beneath pounds of trash, I could see the dim light of the sun outside getting darker and darker as my throat felt pressure on it, and I was losing oxygen. This is it, I thought to myself.

            “Ahh!” I screamed as I fell onto a hard wooden floor as if I was dropped from the sky.

I was slowly getting up from the wooden floor; I didn’t feel any garbage on me, and I had my air. Once I got up, I looked around and realized I was in an empty bar. The bar was all wood, as there were stools with dark padding on them. I was so confused on where I was at; I thought I was dead, until I heard a voice say,

            “Hello, Peter.”

I turned around, it was a man. He was in an all red suit with a black undershirt, black church shoes, he had slick back black hair, and a long pointy nose.

            “Am I dead?” I asked.

The man smiled, as he walked towards me.

            “Hardly,” he chuckled.

            “Where, am I? How did I get from the garbage truck to this bar, if this is a bar, wherever this is?” I questioned.

            “You were going to die inside the garbage truck, and I saved you, Peter, so be thankful,” The main claimed.

            “How did you do that?” I asked.

            “I have powers, beyond any human being comprehension. And I find that you will believe me when I say that, especially since you went from almost dying in the inside of the back of a garbage truck to being in a bar with an unknown man in a red suit.” The man elaborated.

I looked a little bit convinced, I thought that he had must had been telling the truth.

            “So why did you save me?” I questioned.

            “Because I have a plan for you Peter. See, I have watched you for a very long time, and I have seen that you have lived in extreme misery for almost 20 years, because of one moment. One moment that you failed to capture, and it was taken from you. That moment that has haunted you to this day; it is the reason for all of these hardships you have endured these last 20 years,” The man stated.

            “Taking Emily to prom?” I assumed.

The man smiled.

            “Yes. And if you let me, I can bring that moment back, I can give you back the time you wanted all these years. To capture what you want, what is yours, and to truly live the life you want, Because Peter, it’s all about time,” The man claimed.

            “Why would you do that for me?” I wondered.

            “That is for my own interest,” The man replied.

            “And who are you; how do you know my name?” I continued to ask.

            “All your questions will be answered, in time Peter,” The man responded.

            “What would happen if I refuse?” I questioned.

            “Then you will wake up in the driver’s seat of your truck as if you never was trapped inside the back of it, and you will carry on with your day and your life. You will also have no memory of this conversation. The choice is yours but there are great rewards if you put your faith in me, Peter,” The man added.

I took a moment to think as I took a deep breath. I looked around the bar as it remained empty. This is really happening, I thought to myself. I then approached the man closer as I asked,

“So what do I have to do to accept your offer on this opportunity?”

“Just close your eyes,” The man gently assured.

I closed my eyes, as I felt that I had no control of my mind or body, and as if I had lost conscience. I opened my eyes, as I awoke. I was resting my head on a desk, as I looked around where I was at. I was in a classroom full of students, and a teacher talking. It was my 12th grade English teacher Mr. Kelvin. I looked out the window to see a reflection of myself. I saw my younger self back when I was in high school. I looked at the date on the board as it said May 6, 1996; the date was just two weeks before prom. This is the day, when Barry ask Emily to prom, I thought to myself. The bell ring, as I left the class. Not this time, I thought to myself. Unlike before, I knew exactly where Emily was at, so I had the advantage over Barry. I had to get to Emily, and I will, I thought. As I went near the bench where I remembered Emily to be at, I saw her sitting down reading a book. This is it, I thought. I approached her.

            “Hey Peter,” Emily greeted with her beautiful smile.

            “I wanted to ask you something, no I wanted to tell you something, Emily,” I said.

She closed her book, as she paid close attention to what I had to say. I began,

            “I have been knowing you for over 10 years, and I am proud to say that knowing you have added happiness to my miserable life. You were there when I was down, you have been with me through all the good times and all the hard times. Even when my family had abandon me, even when my father told me I was no good and will never amount to anything, you were there to remind me that I am somebody that I am special. You’re more than a friend to me Emily. I do not know any words to describe what you mean to me, but you are the greatest person I have ever met. And for that, I say thank you. It is because of the time I have known you and what has happened in that time, that I have felt bonded to you; I feel attach to you. I never had the strength or pride to say this to you, but somehow by saying to you right now, it feels like my life and all its misery has exploded into a billion stars that a family could look upon together at night. I like you Emily, and I would want to go to prom with you.” I confessed.

At this moment, Emily had blushed, as if she was going to explode into something.

            “You are so sweet, Peter! And you’re such a great guy! Of course, I’ll go with you to prom!” Emily exclaimed as she jumped on me and hugged me.

I don’t believe it, I did it. All that time, all those years of misery has finally been toppled by one moment, this moment. Life really can change in a moment, it really is all about time, I thought in my head.

At this moment, Barry had shown up.

            “Emily?” Barry questioned.

            “Oh, Barry! Peter has ask me to prom! I’m going with him!” Emily cheered.

Barry looked like he didn’t know what to say.

            “That…..that is great!” Barry responded.

            “Nice to see you again, Barry,” I added as I gave him a hug.

            “What are you talking about, I just had classes with you in the morning,” Barry chuckled.

We all walk off together, the feeling I had by just being around those two, by accomplishing something that gave me self-worth that I never had even in my old life was breathtaking. I had finally done something, and used time to my advantage to get what I wanted, to get who I wanted. Within the two weeks, I received a ton of respect from everybody including my family, but I didn’t care. The only thing I cared about was the person who I had always admired; had always loved, Emily Cooperman. Prom eventually came, as I took the most popular and beautiful girl in the school, and my best friend Emily to it; Barry ended up taking Sophia West to it; she was a girl that had a crush on him so he finally acted on it. It was great being there with people who I called my friends, everyone got what they wanted; time was good to us. I danced with Emily ask expected.

            “This is great, Peter,” Emily stated as we were dancing.

            “It is, I am very lucky to be here with you. You are the most be beautiful being I have lay my eyes upon,” I admitted.

            “Thank you Peter, you are very sweet and nice,” Emily cheered.

We continued to dance through the music.

            “I know it may seem like I’m use to happiness in my life,” Emily addressed, “but none of it is anything to this moment, being with you. The only thing that makes me sad, is that this moment won’t last forever, and we will never share it again. I’m going off to college, and you’re going to explore your life; we won’t have this moment again. I only wish time could stop, so we can live in this moment forever.”

Hearing those words come out of her mouth was very enchanting, I fell for her even more after that.

            “Put your faith in it, and we will withhold the test of time,” I assured as our lips locked together.

I closed my eyes as we kissed, and suddenly I felt like I didn’t have control of my mind or body, and I once again felt like I lost conscience. When I opened my eyes, I was looking at the sun; I thought I was back in my backyard, and my joy ride was over. But when I got a better feel for where I was at, I saw that I was on Venice Beach, in swim shorts, laying on a towel. I looked around me, and there was an older woman laying right next to me bathing in the sun with shades on. I got a closer look at her.

            “Is everything all right, honey?” The woman asked.

            “Emily?” I wondered.

            “That’s my name,” She gloated.

I was shocked and confuse on what was happening, one minute I was at my high school prom with Emily, and the next I was with her on a beach as we’re older. Suddenly I feel pressure on my back.

            “Daddy!” Two young voices exclaimed as they jumped on my back.

I turned around to see who they were. It were two little children, boy and a girl, around 9 and 5. I looked at them as if I didn’t know who they were.

            “You’re not going to hug your kids back?” Emily inquired.

Kids, I thought to myself. I was shocked at what I had heard, but I was happier to see that somehow I had a family with the girl who I had like for so many years.

            “It’s nice to see you two!” I greeted my kids, as I hugged them.

            “You see them every day, are you sure you’re alright?” Emily asked.

            “Yes, hun I feel great! It’s just a good feeling to be here with you all, making the best of time!” I admitted.

Emily just smiled as she continued to bathe in the sun, and the kids played with each other.

            “Let’s go have fun in the water shall we,” I suggested.

            “Sure! That’s what we came for!” Emily agreed.

The 4 of us went into the beach as we enjoy the moments we were sharing, and the beauty of all of it was that it wasn’t just a moment, it was life; this was my life. When we got done at Venice Beach, Emily drove us home; the car was a new Chevrolet Equinox. It was different since, I was use to catching the bus all the time. When we arrived home, I marveled at the house for how much magnificent is was compared to my old frail home. It was one of those houses on the hills in L.A. It was a white sleek house. Its structure was very geometric; it was simple, but it sure did look nice and organized. It was 2 stories.  Out in the parkway was a red Lamborghini.

            “Don’t tell me this is mine!” I cheered as we got out the car.

            “Of course it’s yours, you bought it with the money you got when you become executive,” Emily added.

            “Executive!?” I exclaimed.

            “You’re acting funny,” Emily laughed as we went inside the house.

The inside of the house was something beyond I have ever since. It screamed luxury; it had some many bed and bathrooms. It had a beautiful view of the city, there was an outside cinema projector on the wall, and its pool was beautiful. The pool was long and rectangular, with clean water. It wasn’t the home I was used to, but somehow, someway it felt like home. With all the excitement going on, I had forgotten the time. It was 2:30, on a sunny Saturday.

            “Let’s go out today, and enjoy ourselves,” I suggested to my wife.

            “Go out? We just came back from the beach,” She responded.

            “I know, but I want to do something. Something that would bring back the olden days, the good days,” I explained.

            “This is the good days, we have a family together,” Emily addressed.

            “I know, and I love you and the kids so much. But today I just want to spend time with you living life,” I asserted.

            “Well I’ll send the kids off to my sister, she always love their company, and we can go out,” She concluded.

I hugged her as I kissed her; we were both smiling.

            “I love you,” I said.

            “I love you too,” She replied.

Emily’s sister picked up the kids, and Emily and I went out in my Lamborghini. We had a wonderful time.  We went out to the Santa Monica Pier. While we were there we played games as I won Emily a stuffed Fred Flintstone, she loved the Flintstones as I remember. We rode on the rolling coaster, but my favorite part was when we were on the Ferris wheel, as we had a great view of the water. After we enjoyed our time at the pier, we went to the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. It was great going to places that I had dreamed of in my previous life. When the movies were over, it was around 8:00, so it was night time. We decided to drive through the city seeing the city night lights. I was reminiscing the past as I was trying to get back the feeling Emily and I shared at prom. That’s all I wanted at that moment, was to bring back the past. Finally we settled down at the Cicada Restaurant, an Italian restaurant downtown. Emily claimed it was me and hers favorite restaurant; the food was good.

            “This restaurant is so good, I love the food here. I remembered the first time we came here,” Emily cheered as I was eating farfalle with smoked salmon, chive, shallots, and vodka sauce and she was eating basil gnocchi.

            “This is a good and fancy restaurant indeed,” I agreed.

            “Though you’re happy and enthusiastic every day, I never saw this much charisma from you in years. It’s like you had a spark in you that took everything to the next level!” Emily exclaimed.

            “It’s just good to be here in this life with you Emily, and with the kids of course,” I explained.

Emily smiled. The restaurant had a dancing floor below.

            “Let’s go dance, Emily,” I said.

            “I would love to,” She replied with glee.

We went down and started dancing. With my arms around her waist, and hers around my shoulder, it reminded me of our prom dance.

            “I may sound like a broken record, but Peter, again, you are very live today; I like it. I’m very glad that I fell in love with you,” She confessed.

            “Well, I’m bless that you have. I’m bless for all of this: you, the kids, my job, the house, all of it, especially this moment. I am so bless to have this moment with you. I know we had many moments like this, but this moment, this moment is the best,” I told her as we were dancing to the slow music.

            “I understand what you’re saying, and feeling, Peter, and I agree. Something about this time I spent with you today, this moment that makes me feel like this is the first time we had it, which makes the feeling better. And it brings tears and joy that after all those years, decades we are still together. From elementary, to high school, to long distance in college, to marriage, to here; we have stay intact. We have withhold the test of time, Peter,” Emily assured.

I gave her a look of surprise as I was shocked that she remember what I said almost 20 years ago at prom.

            “I remembered what you said,” Emily stated as she was looking into my eyes smiling, “that night at prom, I remember what you told me, when I was afraid and certain we wouldn’t share a moment like that ever again. You told me to put my faith in it, and we will withhold the test of time. Those words stuck with me ever since, and tonight at this moment, I feel that the feeling that I have for so long hold onto from that night at prom has finally came back. It’s beautiful, Peter.”

            “It is beautiful, Emily, but we don’t need to try to relive the past anymore. We don’t need to grab and hold onto the past to keep that feeling we had that kept us alive. We don’t need that because we have that feeling now; the time is now. We don’t need to reminisce the past because we have now, we have each other, forever.” I concluded as Emily and I had kissed.

At that moment with those words, the feeling I tried so hard to get by trying to bring back the past was gone, as I didn’t care for the past anymore. I was so stuck on trying to bring the past of that prom night, but not anymore. The only thing that was on my mind, was what was in front of me; my life with my beautiful and wonderful family. We ended our night there as we went back home; Emily’s sister brought back the kids. Emily and I ended everything as we rested in our beds together.

            “I enjoyed everything today,” Emily stated as we were looking at each other smiling.

            “So did I,” I agreed.

I gave Emily another kiss, as we said goodnight to each other and went to bed. That night while I was asleep I had dreams of some sort. They appeared to be dreams, but I realize that they weren’t. As I was sleeping that night, I had visions of the past, my new past. Actually going to a college which was in California near where Emily went to Stanford at, dating Emily, graduating from my junior college, and going off to Cal Berkeley, staying in touch with Barry, earning a degree from Cal, my father becoming a reform Christian as he and my mother’s marriage continued and improved, marrying Emily and having kids with her, their names and ages: Chris and Sally, Barry and Sophia getting married, becoming executive at Bank of America; I remembered it all. I still remembered my old past, but I was given the memories of my new past as well; it felt like I had lived 70 years. Over the next few weeks life was good as I expected: spent time with Emily and my lovely kids, Emily and I had lunch with Barry and Sophia, we had got back in touch with them towards the end of my college years, being the executive at Bank of America continued to be fun; life was excellent, until one night. I was in my bed until I was awoken by some rattling sound downstairs. It sounded like pots and pans clanging and banging together, like someone going through the drawers for spoons, forks, and knives. I was surprise that Emily wasn’t disturbed by the noise as she was fast asleep; I decided to go downstairs and check it out. When I went downstairs, I saw that it was the man in the red suit; he was making himself coffee.

            “Hello, Peter,” He greeted as he sat in a stool with his legs cross as he was stirring a cup of coffee with a spoon.

I was surprise to see him again; I almost forgot he existed.

            “It’s you,” I gasped.

            “Mhm, indeed it is, Peter. And I like what you did with the place, your life, you know? How much better everything is, and this house is so much better than that jungle you had before.” He chuckled.

“Even though I don’t know who you are, I must say, thank you. Thank you for all of this, for giving me a 2nd chance to change time, so I can have all of this: my life, my kids, and most of all Emily. Though I’m the one living all of this, you are the one to thank. You truly are my angel; the fact you did it to a complete stranger for apparently no reason is amazing. Thank you,” I acknowledged.

The man in the red suit smiled, as he drank the coffee.

            “How flattery, but ironic as well,” He smiled, “I’m afraid you spoke too soon, Peter.”

He got up out off the stool as he stood straight looking at me; he was serious, and I felt the mood of the room had changed for something that smelled of danger.

“What, do you mean?” I questioned as I tried to keep a smile on my face, but my worry was preventing it to be fully shown.

“I mean, you 15 seconds of fame is over. There won’t be any more of this: house, car, job, money, fun, kids, and Emily; it’s all over, Peter,” He stated.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing; I was confused as well.

            “What, what are you talking about?” I trembled.

            “I’m talking about, the reason why I was doing all of this for you. That reason is what I’m doing here right now. See, after I gave you a 2nd chance so you could change your life and move out of all that misery into complete happiness, you had to do something for me. That something is leave all of this in the new life I gave you, and come with me, for eternity. Come with me Peter, for you now belong to me,” He explained.

I was terrified at what I had heard.

“This is crazy! This can’t be true! Why, why would that be your intentions!? I questioned.

“Because Peter, that’s my job. Your soul must belong to me now. It has to be like that because you sold it for this new life,” He stated.

“I never sold my soul to you! You never told me about what was in it for you! You tricked me!” I yelled.

“Yes, just like I tricked, many others; I tricked you, Peter,” He boasted.

“No, I won’t go with you! I’m not leaving this, not my family!” I argued.

He took a deep breath like a bull as he started to lose his patience.

“Peter, I could take you right now, but it would be better if you just comply. You don’t want to do this the hard way; it’ll only end badly,” He tried to reasoned.

“No! I don’t care! You could go to hell! You’re not taking me from my family!” I shrieked.

“So be it,” He responded, “but Peter remember, you made it this way.”

His voice started to get deeper as he started to sound devilish.

“You made it this way. This way where now you’re going to feel the pain of 6,000 years of mankind’s suffering. The pain where you’re going to see the palaces and kingdoms that you work so hard to build, crumble and be destroyed as you watch helplessly. The pain where all that you have loved will only know death!” He screamed as his jaw grew longer and his teeth become razor sharp.

I was a little bit frightened as I didn’t know what I had got myself into, but no matter what I couldn’t leave my family like that. I would die before seeing my family in pain of something like what he wanted. I was staring him down with fire in my eyes, until I felt a tap on my shoulder, so I turned around.

            “Peter, who are you talking to,” Emily yawned as she was in her robe, with her eyes half open.

I turned back around, as there was no one in the kitchen except for Emily and me.

            “No one, I was just thinking out loud,” I admitted.

            “Well, go back to bed, you’re going to wake up the kids,” She suggested.

We went back to bed. I was sleeping with what had just transpired on my mind, but I was able to fall asleep. I called his bluff, I thought. The next morning, I had awoken at 10, alone in bed. This is strange, I normally get up before Emily, I thought. Disregarding it, I went down stairs to get breakfast. As I went downstairs, I saw Emily as she was crying watching the news.

            “He’s dead, Peter. Barry is dead!” She cried.

I looked at the KTLA news as the headline said Lawyer Killed In Horrific Car Accident, as the new spokesmen informed,

            “Early this morning around 8:30, Barry Rogers who was a lawyer collided with a big rig in a head on collision. He was announced DOA when police had arrived on the scene. The driver of the big rig was reported to have fallen asleep at the wheel, something very common among truck drivers.”

My mouth had dropped, as my body had almost done. I couldn’t believe it. Barry, my friend since we were little kids was dead. I didn’t know what to think or what to say only that I wish I could of actually feel and experience all those times I spent with him in my new life rather than just remembering them. I walked over to Emily as she kept crying on the couch. I comforted her by hugging her.

            “I know how you feel, I feel the same way. He meant to me as much as the meant to you,” I whimpered as tears started to run down my cheek.

            “What’s wrong?” Chris asked with his little sister behind him.

Both Emily and I had turned to face them as we tried to wipe the tears off our face; we instantly turned off the tv.

            “Nothing, it’s ok. Mommy and Daddy were just watching tv,” Emily tried to assure.

We both smiled at the kids. I had to take a moment to look back on what just happen; I couldn’t take it.

            “I’ll be back, I have to go out for a ride,” I said as I kissed Emily and the kids.

I was walking towards the doors as Emily cautioned,

“Be safe!”

“I will,” I assured.

I left the house, and took off in my Lamborghini. This isn’t happening, this isn’t happening, I kept thinking to myself, All that was on mind was Barry, and all those moments I shared with him, the real moments I had actually felt with him. When we were little kids playing on the swing set, at our little birthday parties, our sleepovers, going into middle schools, even in high school when he stilled talked to me, at his football games; I remembered all those moments me and him shared. Suddenly the memories of my new life that were put into my head didn’t feel real anymore; they felt like an allusion as if they never happened. If I never felt them, then what are they other than images; they weren’t even memories to me.  The funeral was the next week. Family and friends of Barry had come; his wife, Sophia was still mourning; she had every right to be. Chris and Sally had come with Emily and I as they understood what was happening. I took a look at Barry one last time at the service where his casket was open for viewing. When I went to take a look at him, I notice there was a sign of a cross on his head, like a tattoo of some sort. I was shocked at it, as I was looking around and nobody seemed to be alarmed by it.

            “Do you see this?” I asked Emily.

            “See what, besides his body?” She responded.

            “That cross on his head,” I stated.

            “What cross? There is no cross, you’re just having a hard time like everyone else is,” Emily assured as she walked away.

I turned back around, and the mark of the cross was still there. Could this be all of his doing, I thought to myself. We then drove to the cemetery where Barry was to be buried. It was so painful to watch. As I looked upon everyone, I notice a figure walking in the crowd through everyone. I took a better looked, as I seen it to be the man in the red suit. My eyes grew bigger, I couldn’t believe it was him. He was walking through everyone, and nobody noticed him. He was looking at me with a mean mug on his face. He walked past a person and he was gone, I couldn’t see him anymore; it was like he had vanished through the air. After the funeral we drove home, it was a quiet ride the whole way. Neither did Emily or I wanted to discuss it in front of the kids, so we all remained quiet. When we got home the kids went upstairs, as Emily and I stayed to talk.

            “I’m going to miss him, you know,” Emily whimpered.

            “So am I, he meant a lot to me, to us. We were all so close together,” I agreed.

            “I just can’t believe he’s gone so early,” Emily claimed.

            “I know how you’re feeling Emily, and we’re going to be here for each other,” I stated.

Emily smiled at me as I smiled back.

            “What do you say, I take you and the kids to my parents’ house to get our minds off of this. A change of scenery from this city is what we need,” I insisted.

            “Ok, let me get the kids,” Emily responded.

Emily went upstairs to get the kids. It was a tragic losing a person like Barry, but I had held onto the idea that better days will come, that my happiness with my family was going to withhold the test of time. I suddenly heard a scream upstairs; it was Emily’s. I quickly dashed up the stairs to see what was going on, as I seen Emily on her knees crying in our bedroom. Next to her were Chris and Sally laying on the floor unconscious.

            “Oh my god, Peter! What’s going on with them!?” Emily cried.

I looked at my two kids as they lay in my wife’s hands like dolls with their necks back. I saw that they had the same cross on Barry’s head on there’s. I realized that this was a work of him; the man in the red suit.

            “I’ll call 9-11!” I stated as I ran for the phone.

I called 9-11 as the ambulance came and rushed my kids to the hospital. Emily and I immediately drove our cars to the hospital. When we got there, we tried to get into the rooms were they were operating on our kids, but they wouldn’t let us: we had to watch from the door, looking through the window as we had desperation of the fate of our children. We were worried as we held onto each other and tears were running down our faces.

            “They’ll be ok, they’ll be ok!” I assured Emily.

I didn’t know what to say or what to believe, I just wanted my kids to come out alive and well. I can’t lose them too, I thought to myself as Emily and I looked upon the doctors attempting to shock our kids back to life. Though I only had memories of the times I spent with my kids, and never had I actually felt those moments, I felt the pain at that moment. I felt the pain as I worried that my kids whom I felt a bond between that felt like a lifetime, we going to be taken away from me too soon. Finally the doctor came out with the news; he had a look of sorrow on his face. He delivered the news to us, and it felt like a bomb had been dropped all over me. My life had just crashed. Emily had dropped to her knees and had let out the biggest scream I had heard. I couldn’t believe all that had happen in a week, and now this. My kids being taken away from me without me knowing about it, and that was what was so sad about it. That through living 2 lives that equal a timespan over 70 years, I felt the enjoyments of both, but I also felt the pain and the agony of both. I was only 37, but I had suffered for 70 years. This life was a torture for me; it was hell. Emily raced out the hospital as she drove her car home. I took a moment to think; as I left the hospital in my car. When I got home, Emily was upstairs; I assumed she was lying down in bed. I didn’t bother, I just sat down in the couch staring at the wall. For 5 hours I sat there in the couch staring at the wall. I had lost everything even if it was in two different lives, I had lose all I had cared about. It hurt so bad how the good moments didn’t feel real unless I had actually experience them, but when it came to moments like this, they all felt real regardless which life I had experience them in. They all felt the same: my parent’s death, Barry’s death, and now my kids’ death. The only one I had left was Emily; she was all I had, and I was all she had. We needed to stick together and be there for each other. I then walked upstairs slowly in depression, as I came into our room. Emily body was turned the other way so I couldn’t see her face, as she looked like she could had been sleeping. I approach her I put my hand on her shoulder.

            “Hey, Emily, you’re not in this alone,” I began, “I’m here for you, and I want you to know that no matter what happens, all that we have lost will never be forgotten in our hearts and that I will always love you.”

There was no reply or movement from Emily, I got kind of worried.

            “Emily,” I said as I shook her shoulder, “Emily. Emily!”

I turned her around as her blue pale face had looked at me with her dead wide open eyes. She had the cross on her head.

            “OH MY GOD!” I yelled as I backed away.

I ran downstairs to get some help, as I was stopped by a voice coming from the kitchen.

            “Hello, Peter,” The man in the red suit greeted, “you still thanking me?”

He was drinking some coffee like he was the other night. As he continued to drink it I seen that the cup was filled with blood as he was enjoying the taste of blood. I was terrified as I ran outside.

            “Help! Help!” I screamed.

 It was nighttime as no one heard me. There was no one in the streets; everything was so empty. I got in my car, as I tried to start it but it wouldn’t work.

            “I see we like the same color, Peter,” The man in the red suit snickered.

I looked in the mirror as he was in the back seat smiling. I turned around as I could see his razor sharp teeth. I ran out the car and down the street as I tried to call 9-11, but there was no answer. As I looked back, I seen that I was then being chased by people in black druid like robes. I couldn’t see any part of their bodies, just black robes, as it covered their entire bodies. I was running from them and looking back at them at the same time. I turned my head back around to see what as in front of me when I ran into the man in the red suit. Running into him made me fall back on my behind. I was looking straight up at him as I was breathing heavily in fear of what was going to happen next.

            “I have you now,” he declared as he reached his hand towards me.

Everything went black after that. I then woke up in my backyard on my tire. I was in my old house, with a beer in one hand and a Hustler magazine in the other just like the day I had fell into the back of the garbage truck. The sun was shining up on my face as I had awoken. I instantly jumped up as I searched around to see where I was at. I check the clothes I was wearing as it was a dirty white tank top and boxers. I checked my face as I felt the unshaven bumpy skin on my face.

            “What the hell is going on!?” I asked myself.

I went inside my house as it was dirty like usually; the time was 9:00 am. I was still terrified of everything I had seen, though I was confused on what had happen. I didn’t bother getting ready for work; it wasn’t on my mind. I went on my computer as I had searched up my kids Chris and Sally. I put in their names, ages, and the word death in Google. Shocking articles about two kids with the same names and same faces had shown up. It appeared that Chris was a kid who lived in New York that had been hit and killed by a bus, while Sally lived in Florida where she drowned in a pool. Both of their deaths were on the same day as it happened a couple weeks ago. I got more and more suspicious and scared. I then searched up the Barry Rogers and Emily. The articles I found about them revealed that their jet had crashed when they had left L.A. Barry and Emily’s death was on the same day as Chris and Sally. I was convinced that this was no coincidence that it was by design. I was scared and shocked so I didn’t go to work, I just stayed in my house caution of everything as I contemplated on what to do. After hours of thinking, I decided to seek you out after I remembered viewing your work before. I took the bus down here. That, Doctor, is how I ended up here. So tell me Doctor Benson, can you help me?

“Well, I’ll say Peter, I don’t know,” Dr. Benson responded.

Peter got up out of the chaise longue as he sat straight up.

            “What you mean you can’t help me!? You’re supposed to be good at this!” Peter criticized.

            “Well if I had to give out an explanation on this I would either say you’re just making this up, or you’re crazy,” Dr. Benson explained.

Peter had looked as if he had lost his patience.

            “Seriously!?” Peter assumed.

            “Ok, then I’ll give you something. Based on what you said happened when you woke up in your backyard and found out that your two childhood friends had died in a jet crash, and that two kids from different parts of the country with no relations with each other had terrible accidents and deaths, I came to a conclusion. The death of your childhood friends had put you in so much stress and depression that you had come up with a scenario in your head where you would spend time with them; by coming up with that scenario you would keep the memory of your friends alive in which you added some kids that you may had heard about in the news or something which you probably didn’t remember since the death of your two friends had overwhelmed your mind recently,” Dr. Benson explained.

            “What, what? That can’t be right! I saw it all! The prom, college, marriage, the kids, the executive position, L.A., being with Emily! I saw it all Doctor,” Peter claimed.

Dr. Benson approached Peter as he put his hand on his shoulder.

            “It’s been a long night, and probably long couple of weeks for you. Just go home, and sleep. For the next few weeks have some fun, relax, and if you’re still having trouble, come back to me, and we’ll sort this out, Peter,” Dr. Benson assured.

Peter got up as he faced Dr. Benson

            “Maybe, Doctor, maybe,” Peter agreed.

Dr. Benson smiled, as he chuckled,

            “The Patriots have won, so I want to go cry at home about it. I need to get out of here, Peter, and so do you,”

            “Thank you, Dr. Benson,” Peter admitted as he and Dr. Benson were smiling at each other.

Peter then left the room and the office. Dr. Benson went on his laptop and searched up on a New York boy named Chris as he seen that he was killed by a bus couple weeks ago. He then searched up on a Florida girl named Sally as he seen that she was drowned a couple weeks ago. Finally he searched up on Barry Rogers and Emily as he seen that they were killed in a jet crash on the same day.

            “Strange, but true,” Dr. Benson said to himself, “but devils and time travel is not possible, Peter.”

Dr. Benson then put up his things as he was finally getting ready to leave when he heard a scream coming from the parking lot. Dr. Benson then closed the doors of his office as he left the office to see what the scream was. As Dr. Benson walked upon the parking lot he spotted a body. Dr. Benson approached the body; it was Peter, and he was dead. It was unknown how Peter was dead but he laid on the ground pale with his body frozen as the corpse he was and with his eyes and mouth wide open being frozen. Dr. Benson looking upon the body of Peter, putted his hands on his head as his hands stayed there for a moment. When Dr. Benson released his hands, a mark of a cross was on Peter’s head.

            “I have your soul now, Peter,” Dr. Benson said in a devilish voice with a devilish grin as his razor sharp teeth had shown.

If you enjoyed this story then please check out my science fiction book on Amazon.