For his blog this week Dan Repp decided to write a short story, and he warned us that it was a bit perverse, so read at your own peril.
The Creepy Time Traveler by Dan Repp
I wanted to spend a lifetime with her, but not like this. Love is complicated and after mixing in time travel, it becomes chaotic. I thought we were meant to be until I was caught lurking outside her grandparent’s home last Thanksgiving. I wasn’t watching her to catch a perverted look at her changing. I wanted to earn her love before I let my perversions take over. I just liked watching her smile. I thought my life would gain purpose if just one of those smiles were caused by me.
I was taken off guard when her grandfather caught me stalking their turkey dinner. He calmly put his hand on my shoulder while I was lost in her smile. I wanted to run, but instead I braced myself for a punch. One never came. He just stood in front of me with a grin on his face. All I could think of was how creepy he must be if he could creep out a stalker like myself. Then I recognized him.
He was the man who came to my mother’s funeral four summers ago. All of my gossiping aunts were certain he was my mother’s long lost and extremely older lover, but none of them had seen or heard of him before. He didn’t introduce himself to anyone or share a single story of how he knew my mother. I remember him because I felt a strange connection. I dismissed the thought that he was my real dad because I knew that if it were true, my fragile state of emotion would be crushed. He cried over my mother’s open casket for an awkward seven minutes. Then he dried his eyes, walked over to me, and whispered in my ear that he was not my father. Thanks for saving me years of questioning my mother’s loyalty to my father and replacing it with a dreadful fear of a man who could read my thoughts. What an asshole!
And now the asshole was grinning at me again. He didn’t address that I was invading his family’s privacy or even ask what I was doing there. All he did was hand me an old photo and told me I will find the smile that brings me purpose soon. Then he apologized for the nightmares and therapy that he caused after our previous meeting. He walked back into the house without even making sure I left his property.
Was he my guardian angel? How did he know his granddaughter and I were not meant to be? Was this old man stalking me? Questions barraged my mind as I stood on the side of his house. I was so frightened by the man that I forgot to look at the picture, the picture that changed everything. Why did I shove it in my pocket and forget about it until now?
I got home that night and decided I was going to break all of my rules to gain her love. I promised I would never use the machine again because it ruined my first love, Star Wars.
I built the time machine after seeing The Phantom Menace for the first time. It was really dark and gritty. It lacked the humor and excitement of the original trilogy, but everyone seemed to like it. Except me. So I built the machine to right the wrongs of Mr. Lucas. I can’t remember the logic of making the passenger area in the machine the size of an airplane bathroom, but I crammed my 315 pound body into it and went to convince George that he needed to add some humor to the new trilogy. Somehow I convinced him and I will forever be the cause of most fanboy’s nightmares. The lighthearted wit that George added was named Jar-Jar. Sorry world.
I tried to go back and talk George out of it, but every time it kept getting worse. I ruined my first love and I couldn’t fix it. So I let it be and promised to never time travel for love again. I kept that promise until the creepy old man of my nightmares told me I didn’t have a chance with the woman I loved (but never actually talked to.)
I mapped out every time I saw her and what prevented me from talking to her. From the first time I saw her in the elevator to the time she dropped her bag of groceries and I helped her pick them up. I was going to fix them all and ask her out.
History continued to repeat itself. Instead of making things better, I made them worse, to the point where she placed a restraining order against me. I was ready to give up yesterday when I realized that no matter what I changed, the Thanksgiving night with her grandfather stayed the same. I searched through all of my jean’s pockets and found the photo. It was an old wedding photo from the 40’s. I was the groom and the bride looked almost exactly like her. The bride had her smile, but not her eyes.
That’s when I realized the love of my life’s blue eyes came from me and I am a truly twisted, perverted time traveling son of a bitch. I was the old man of my nightmares. I fell in love with my granddaughter to lead me to the woman that I will marry, her 80-year-old grandmother. I turned the picture over and there was a date and a note saying that I will meet my bride on this day.
I have tossed and turned in bed mulling over the situation. I realize now that as long as she exists, that means I eventually have to go back in time and marry her grandmother. Destiny really is an unpredictable bitch.