The Time Traveler (A Short Story)

The Time Traveler

The Time Traveler's Dream

The day before I first discovered time travel.

My wife killed herself.

 

I understand that she was struggling with depression.

And our marriage wasn’t working out.

And the kids weren’t happy.

 

It was maybe because of the significant amount of time I spent on building a time machine.

 

So to try to resolve all my inaccuracies and miscalculations.

I decided to travel back to the day I first met her.

Sucking me into a vortex of space and time.

 

It brought me back toΒ December 19, 1999.

At our graduation ceremony.

At the university where we got our Ph.D. in Experimental Physics.

 

Surprisingly she was not with me, she was with this other guy.

She was so happy and cheerful with this other guy.

Unlike her sadness and doubt with me previously at this point of time.

 

This made me mad and confused.

 

So to once again try to resolve all my inaccuracies and miscalculations.

I decided to travel to the day she killed herself.

Sucking me into a vortex of space and time.

 

I thought maybe I could prevent her from killing herself.

Maybe I could tell her I’m sorry for all my imperfections.

For spending so much time on building a time machine.

 

But when I opened the door.

The house was empty.

The house was quiet.

 

No wife.

No kids.

And no time machine.

 

Why did I build the time machine in the first place?

What was I trying toΒ prove?

What was I trying to discover?

 

Then it suddenly hit me.

 

Thinking tomorrow would be the day I first discover time travel.

And how that day would never happen in history.

 

Because on the day before I first discovered time travel.

On the day my wife killed herself in another alternate universe.

On the day I kill myself.

 

Was the day I first discovered the most startling discovery of my scientific career.

 

Without any hypothesis.

Without any experimentations.

Only a conclusion.

 

“That we were never meant to be.”

 

That space and time can never co-exist with the most powerful force in the universe.

 

Love.

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31 thoughts on “The Time Traveler (A Short Story)

  1. I don’t find the sense of your plot device, but since I don’t know how you define how time travel works, i can’t quite follow the proceeding events (why there’s no wife if he didn’t made any changes way back on 1999? Or if he killed himself on the spot, who will discover time travel?) There is some discrepancies on your plot, so I can’t appreciate it well. Same as your ending.

    Forgive me for the blunt criticism. I’m just active enough when there’s the word ‘time’. I’m Janus, btw.

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      • Ok. So when he first travels he didn’t actually travel back to his timeline. He travels to an alternate timeline where he never met his wife. Now as he travels forward he comes upon a empty house which. This can be interpreted as * he traveled to yet another alternate timeline where he killed himself on the day his wife committed suicide or * he traveled to the future of this timelines future where he never met his wife and thus never lived in this house. That’s how I interpreted this poem. However there is another interpretation. This all may be in his mind just before he killed himself. Like Jacobs Ladder. What do you think about that?

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      • It is plausible. But the suicide part, it is impossible. This triggers the grandfather paradox.

        It still doesn’t make sense. The story implies the impossibility of love and spacetime, which is probably specious with this kind of representation.

        Sorry to ruin this poetic story but it doesn’t make any sense from the plot device to the ultimate purpose. He can actually just go back in time and fix things with her wife but he needs to hide his past self because she might see two of him.

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  2. Wow, too much bs on my prior comment lmao. What i just meant is that time travel is an ambiguous plot device, so its really hard to pull it right without making holes.

    I know some of it since I’m interested of time travel tropes

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    • I should’ve done some research haha. And your prior comment is helpful because now I realize some silliness in this short story due to the plot holes. Ahaha. I don’t know what to call it but I used a style to generalize how love cannot co-exist with space and time which made it confusing in some way. Anyway, thank you for your helpful criticism πŸ™‚ I appreciate it πŸ™‚

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  3. Reminds me of the anime “Stein’s Gate”. And that will explain why he couldn’t find his wife later. He was in a different worldline, get it? So have seen that anime. Nice story by the way. Well written. Keep it up.

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