Chapter One: First day
The alarm clock gave a soft buzz and I am drifting in a dream. I am in a house eating dinner with my wife. She smells of lavender and her gentle eyes tear up as she talks about her son’s recent love life. She is 5’6; her dark eyes and hair remind me of the dew on grass at predawn in the summer.
I put my fork down as I listen to her.
“Mike! Do you understand what I am saying?” She tosses her silverware on the plate. “Our son, Sam, refuses to get on the airplane! He wants to stay one extra week to be with his boyfriend. Why can’t he ever care about what I want?” She huffs and puffs as she jumps up and storms into the kitchen. Dishes and pans rattle as she takes out her frustration on them.
I have a step son who is 17 years old. His name is Sam and he is gay. Deep down I believe its each person’s personal decision to be what they want to be but I worry that he isn’t mature enough to make such a decision. It seems such an adult thing. I understand what my wife is feeling and decide to remain quiet. It’s hard to articulate the pain a child inflicts as they move toward leaving the nest.
I drone out her angry mutterings with some world news. Remembering what a political science professor once said, “CNN is so damn censored it’s referred to as Communist News Network by some,” I laugh as I settle on CNN World News. Stories of global warming and unrest in Israel and Egypt take my mind off my wife. A most interesting segment catches my attention. A star in the sky is burning out and is going to create two weeks of extra light. Apparently by burning out, the star is going to create a black hole and burn bright for two weeks. The reporter jokingly concludes that perhaps we are living at the end of times and shows a few clips of millions of people gathering in spiritual places around the world. The phone rings and April drops whatever dish she is holding.
“I bet you its Sam.” She quickly shuffles back into the living room and picks up her cell phone. I paused as two things simultaneously occur. The first was on the flat screen TV, an emergency warning popped on screen and said to stay tuned. The second was her phone. It wasn’t the regular phone she used, but instead it was old cell phone she threw out back in 2012. My mom gave her that phone when she thought that solar flares were going to wipe out everyone. This didn’t make sense. I then realized something else as my blood chilled. The living room I was in was from 2012 and we were back in Michigan. This was 2014 and I lived and worked in Washington D.C.!
My wife starts to screech, “Oh my God, Sam! What’s happening?” Color drains from her face as she instantly looks thirty years older. She looks me deep in the eyes and real tears come to her as her expression goes frantic. She is about to tell me something. Instead all I hear is a buzz. It is distant but persistent. My awareness pulls as I feel myself lift up. My spirit loses touch with the dream as I open my eyes. My wife murmurs in her sleep “Turn that damn alarm off!”