Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
Akira Robertson was eight years old and he was smart, as smart as one could be in the fifth grade. He had been moved ahead several times in school, and his father said he would probably graduate high school before he turned sixteen. He wasn’t merely just smart, he was gifted in the way Einstein, Di Vinci or Edison had been. Of course that had caused him to suffer the animosity of his older classmates.
Akira didn’t let it affect him. He knew they were just jealous. He didn’t need to rely on Akako’s explanation, he new it intuitively. He always referred to them as John and Akako, never mommy and daddy that was just way too childish. Even calling them mother and father didn’t seem to be appropriate; it somehow seemed demeaned his innate intelligence.
Akira was playing in the sandlot of the nearby school. Though the campus was only a few blocks away from his house Akira didn’t attend this school, instead he went to the school across town, the one for gifted students. Despite its particular standing in the community, he didn’t see the other children as all that gifted or intelligent, even if all the others students in his grade were older than him. He would rather be playing video games, but Akako had insisted that he go outside. Akira didn’t mind that to much as long as he didn’t have to play with other kids.
With his hands Akira had dug out what was the beginning of a vast underground labyrinth for his action figures. Batman was a full two inches taller than Princess Amidala, so he would hold the Star Wars queen closer to him so they would appear equal to have equal proportions. As he played he was still cognigent that the superhero was taller, as he was taller than all of his toys.
Akira spoke an octave higher than normal in an attempt to replicate what a female voice sounded like to him. “…Don’t go to work…Stay here with me marry me…” She pleaded.
He then lowered his voice to sound like Christian Bale’s Batman. “Silly woman, my job is important…it is saving the world…I could never marry you because you are too silly and stupid.”
Something eclipsed the Las Vegas, sun as a shadow fell over Akira. He looked up to se an adult man, like him the stranger was of at least partial Japanese descent. At first he thought it was his maternal grandfather, but the man had died last year in Japan. Akira blushed at being caught at playing something as silly and mushy as the game he was playing with his toys.
The man’s breath had a smell that Akira, even at his young age associated with the smell of alcohol. There was anger in his eyes that told Akira that he was very mad at the boy. Akira wasn’t sure why, obviously he hadn’t done anything to this man, but then he also knew adults sometimes got angry for no apparent reason.
Maybe he was going to try to hurt Akira, the boy hadn’t given him a reason to but, Akira knew that sometimes adults hurt children for no reason.
The man looked like he was going top punish Akira. It reminded the boy of John when he was mad but didn’t have words to express his anger. For a moment to Akira stranger looked like he was going to fart and the boy laughed at this. He knew it wasn’t appropriate but he couldn’t control himself.
The man looked angrier then confused, and finally his face softened. He stared at the boy as if he expected Akira to say something, and then whispered in a tone so low the boy could barely hear it, “You don’t suck.”
Then he turned around and walked towards the school buildings. Akira was confused by the strange man’s even stranger actions. He gathered up his toys. He would have to tell John and Akako about this. But by the time he had gotten home and washed up the incident had fled his juvenile brain.
Akira Robertson was forty-eight years old and a failure. As much as someone with a Noble Prize could be a failure. True he had money, academic achievements, he even had adoring fans among the younger intellectual circuit. There was talk about adding his portrait in stained glass next to Einstein’s in the National Cathedral. But in his personal life he was a failure.
That failure was the reason why he had returned to Las Vegas a city that he said he would never go back to. To a Scholl he use to play at, but never attended. To 2013 a time that forty years behind him. he had traveled so far to punish the one who had ruined his life, a younger version of himself.
John was wrong he had graduated high school when he was fourteen. He didn’t have any friends in college, not at least after the novelty of his young age had worn off. It didn’t matter he was there to learn not to make friends. The college students just like the high school students and elementary students before them were just jealous of Akira.
He had met Shelly when they were both eighteen, he was beginning graduate work and she was a freshman. She was attracted to him because of his intensity and intellect. He found her appearance more than attractive and was curious about the tenacity with which she pursued him. She had been with a hand full of boys before, he was a virgin.
Shelly provided him with his physical needs and what little emotional support he might require. But she wanted so more from him. More than he could or was willing to give her. Shelly was a distant second to his schooling in Akira’s life. She began to act more bizarre and outlandish, vainly she tried to get his approval and his attention. Until the night she took a bottle of pills and never woke up. It was only then that Akira realized that he loved her.
But it wasn’t his fault. She should have understood how important his work was, not only to him but the world. She shouldn’t have been so dammed emotional.
He graduated with honors she was buried at the Shady Chapel Commentary.
After graduation Akira went in to the corporate sector. He realized that he would need to have enough money before he could do the pure research he wanted to. By twenty eight he held over a dozen lucrative patents.
Martina was smart enough to keep his interest and realize that his work would always come first. There marriage was a reasonable conclusion. It was preformed by a justice of the peace, no flowers, or brides maids nor a honeymoon, the next day he went to work and she visited family in Delaware.
The relationship continued this way in blissful neglect until Albert was born. He was a quarter Japanese and all theirs. Akira began to cut down his time at work and switched his devotion from his research to his family.. They spent more time as a family. With hindsight Akira would realize that he had never been so happy in his life.
But it didn’t last forever. As a physicist Akira realized better than most that nothing lasts forever. The siren call of his work began to beckon to him again. Martina, even though she might be fine with this, was at least accepting of it. Albert was not. By the time he had gotten to Junior High he was rebilling and acting up. First, in the way he dressed, then by using drugs and shoplifting. Eventually he dropped out of school, a black eye on the man who was literally redefining the way the world looked at the universe.
Albert had gotten himself in trouble again. It was with the law this time. Martina had bailed him out. Akira was at a conference, or he would have forbid it. Let the boy learn the consequences of his actions.
The boy sat across his large oak desk. Then he explained how everything was Akira’s fault. The drugs, the dropping out, the money that went to get girls’ abortions, all of it was just to get Akira to say that he didn’t suck.
Sternly Akira looked his progeny in the eye and said “You cannot hurt me any more.” He then dismissed the boy. The next day Akira got on a plane to Stockholm to receive his Nobel Prize for the invention of Three Laws of T-Coronual Physics.
But Akira was wrong, there was another way that Albert could heart him. After the ceremony the Swiss police informed him that Albert had slit his own wrist and killed himself. On the wall with his own blood he had written TELL ME I DON”T SUCK.
When he returned Martina had only left behind a note saying that she couldn’t stand it or him anymore. She had left and never wanted to see him again. When he put the note down he realized he had been in love for the second time.
He began to drink, it wasn’t his fault. He was to smart for this to be his fault. He drank more and he realized he was the victim in this too. The victim of all the years of him not sharing his emotions, of hiding how he was thinking. Traits he had developed young. It was the fault of his younger self.
Intoxicated but no inebriated he returned to the lab that was behind his house where he had achieved his greatest academic advancement, tThe discovery how time itself worked.
He would go back and tell his younger self what a fool he was. Inform him how he had destroyed his current life. How useless he was. How he was all to blame.
But when he saw the younger version of himself playing in the sandbox, he remembered something. Something that happened a long time ago. Something his conscious mind had forgotten but apparently his subconscious mind had not.
He remembered the day the old man had accosted him. Yelling at him telling him he was a failure. And he realized his whole life even though he didn’t know it at the time he had been trying to prove the man wrong. Giving up everything and everyone around him just to show the old man, whose name he didn’t know, that he was not a failure.
It was his fault; he had caused this when he traveled back in time.
So he stomped off just telling the younger him what Albert so desperately wanted to hear. That he didn’t suck.
He had changed things of course. Well maybe not. Maybe nothing changed. Maybe his actions had changed things at a literal molecular level? Maybe the universe would implode because he had done things differently this time.. Maybe he had made things worse. He wasn’t sure.
As Akira felt the chronometric energy swirl around him and penetrate him, taking him back to his one time he wondered if things would be diffent when he got back. Would Martina be there? Would Albert? Would Shelly?