Scientist or romantic, everyone secretly longs to have a lost loved one back in their life…
Sara switched off the DVD and the holographic image disappeared.
“Well, that movie was confusing.”
“No it wasn’t,” said Adam. “It’s just Quantum physics, and the theory that there’s a web of simultaneous existences. For example, you’re here talking to me right now, but in another version we’re not having this conversation, or you could be making dinner or putting the washing on.”
“But all the ‘me’s’ are real?”
“Right-oh. So why, in all those other worlds am I still the one doing the chores, and not my twelve-year-old son?”
Adam smiled. “There’s an infinite number of worlds. In one of them you could be discovering a cure for cancer.”
“Amazing, but I still don’t understand.”
It didn’t surprise her that Adam did – he’d been top of his science class every year from 2085 to 2088. His room was full of contraptions and gadgets he’d invented.
“How do you know so much about Quantum physics?”
“Researched online. I wondered if there was a way for our consciousness to cross from one existence to another. If we could… we might find a world where Dad is still with us.”
Did the Saras in those other worlds have a crushed heart too right now? She thought her son had come to terms with his dad’s death when Adam was barely two. How could she have been so wrong?
Sara walked to a cupboard, rummaged around and pulled out a DVD.
“Let’s watch this next.”
“What is it?”
“Something you haven’t seen for a long time. Too long.”
The holographic image projected in front of them was shaky at times, but clear. There was Dan holding baby Adam close, staring at him with awe and love. Now he changed Adam’s nappy, laughing when he got peed on.
Next Dan held Adam’s hand as he took tentative steps across the room. Then his first birthday party, trips to the park, the beach. Only two years of Adam’s life with Dan, but hopefully filled with enough love to last Adam a lifetime.
When it ended, Adam wiped his eyes and hugged his mother.
“This was just what I needed to motivate me to work on my latest project. Thanks.” He headed to his room.
Sara kicked herself for not realising how much she had let Dan slip from his life. Sure, photos dotted the walls, but she couldn’t remember the last time they had spoken about him and reminisced.
She might not be smart about Quantum physics, but there was only one thing she needed to be smart about – being a mum.
She pulled out a stack of photo albums and started working on her own project.
A memory book of Dan for Adam.
She knocked on his door the following evening, and found Adam where she usually did: at a desk crammed with electronic bits and pieces.
The object in front of him looked like a football-sized futuristic kaleidoscope with all sorts of
apparatus sticking out of it.
“Something I’ve been working on for ages. I think I’m close to perfecting it.”
“What will it do?”
“If it works? It’ll be the greatest invention ever.”
Sara smiled. She knew her son was smart, but he might need a bit of coaching on being humble.
“I’ve finished a project myself.” She handed him the book and hugged him when tears filled his eyes.
“Thanks, Mum.” When he pulled back, he handed her his invention. “Here – you try this first.”
“What will it do?”
“You’ll see… I hope.”
She placed Adam’s invention on her bedside table, as he told her to, and fell asleep staring at the soft yellow glow that
came from within it. Perhaps it was a sleeping aid, because she felt her eyes growing heavy within minutes, when
usually she tossed and turned for hours.
What didn’t change was how she dreamed of Dan again.
This time he lay down beside her in bed, then tucked a daisy behind her ear. He held her tight and told her how he loved her and Adam so much.
The worst moment always hit when she woke, and realised that it had all been just a dream.
Sunlight filled the room. Sighing, Sara threw back the covers, then grabbed a hairbrush from the dresser.
That’s when she saw it in the mirror. She raised her hand, she touched it gently… the daisy tucked behind her ear.
Her son was right. The greatest invention ever.
We’re sharing another sci-fi story from our archives every Monday and Wednesday throughout November. Look out for the next one!