Maybe it wasn’t as wonderful as he thought it was in the first place. After all, memories always seemed brighter than he remembered. Was he even remembering them correctly?

He paused, took another drag on his cigarette. What if it was already falling apart in the first place? All it needed was a catalyst to give it a slight push. To make it all happen.

The problem is, he didn’t know. All he could do was speculate. From behind rose-tinted glasses, all he saw was a loving and wonderful story that took place over two years of his life.

Was this the way things were supposed to pan out? Nobody could give him an answer. The funny thing about the future is, it hasn’t been written until it happens. Sure, you can guess at what happens – but there’s no way to tell until it comes to pass.

It’s the same dilemma as thinking that you can go back to the past to change what happens in the future. How do you know what you do will make a difference? Who’s to say that you won’t end up in a situation that’s worst than the present? Short of drastic measures like murdering somebody (then again, you’d probably end up in prison instead of being celebrated a hero) – changing the past could drastically alter the outcome of your present life.

Life isn’t linear. If something happened differently in the past, chances are you’d be sent down a completely different road in the future. Think of all the little choices you made that seemed so small back then – not opening your mouth to say hello to your current best friend, deciding to stay at home instead of going out drinking, changing flight dates because it conflicted with another date, not dressing up or looking your best on your first date. Anything and everything would change the way life played out.

Sure, you mess up at times. Looking back, it’s hard to accept some of the worst mistakes you’ve ever made in life – but there’s no going back and changing things. You’ve made your move, now deal with the consequences. The most you can do is to continue living and not let history repeat itself. It sucks, it hurts, but hey – you live and you learn. At least you’ll still have those memories. Right?

He put out his cigarette, shut his journal, packed his things and put his backpack on. He entered a date into the time machine and stepped in. The door shut itself after him.

Hidden in his alcove, the watching tortoise shed a tear. Goodbye, it whispered into the darkness.

Revisionist History

“What if it was doomed to fail in the first place? And that incident only served as a catalyst to speed things up? What if we were already falling apart at that time, but just didn’t know it?”

“And what if it wasn’t? What if you weren’t so fucking stupid and didn’t do what you did – what then? Would it have ended some other way?”

“Not that I can think of at the moment…”


I dragged on my cigarette and exhaled into the tortoise’s face. It didn’t seem to mind – it never did. It just stared ahead, through me, seeing through all the smoke and bullshit.

“Stop trying to revise history. Just swallow the pill and man up. You fucked up, that’s all there is to it. There’s no point trying to believe otherwise.”

“Can I make things right?”

“It’s unlikely. And if I were you, I wouldn’t even try. Why the fuck would anybody give you another chance to let them down again? You’re better off dead. You should’ve killed yourself in that car crash.”

“Yeah, I should’ve stepped on the pedal harder.”


There was nothing left to be said. I put out my cigarette, and walked back into the house.


“And to think I was actually rooting for him,” the tortoise thought to itself. It turned and retreated into its alcove.