The Time Travelers

The Time Travelers

She shakes and says, “Hold me,” and I do. I smile in amazement at her eyes, glassy drunk, checked out and gone; sight seeing somewhere beautiful, somewhere out of sober’s spectrum. I wish Nirvana would show me its colors too, but considering the awe baked into her lazy eyed gaze, I’m fairly certain by now that whatever it is she’s witnessing, is reserved only for the enlightened.

I gently peel her sweaty bangs off her forehead, and she says to me, “We’re like time travelers, you and me. Together us goin’ back like we do…rightin’ all them wrongs… like super heroes, we are. Where’s our capes?” She still gazes into different dimensions. She squeezes my hand.

“See baby, we’re addin’ new colors to all them nightmares, putting new faces on our demons…God, who would’ve thought? Who would’ve thought?” She trails off. I smile.

“Look at you getting all lost in genius,” I say while running my fingers through her sweaty hair.

“No no… I’m serious, you see,” she says, looking at me with this want, this pleading in her eyes for me to believe, so desperate for me to believe.

“It don’t have to hurt now, baby,..not like it did before. Not anymore… They don’t have ta’ stay villains if we don’t want ’em too…If we can change the breath of demons, we can change anything.”

I look at her in awestruck admiration because this is the girl who wrote the blue print on how to save herself, on how to save me.

“This isn’t about forgiveness, this is about discoverin’ cures.”

She closes her eyes. Then she bites her utopic grin, and reaches down, and lets her hands move all up and down her body, dragging her hands over her crotch and stomach, before landing heavy, and sensually gripping her breasts. I break my hold of her completely and lean back and let her arch just right to complete her frolic. She then grabs my cheeks and brings me in. She tells me with passion and truth, as if she’s giving me the recipe for world peace.

“See baby, I’ve done rewritten the script…I’ve given ’em softer faces and kinder hands, and when I smile up at ’em…this time…they smile back down at me… they smile like you.”
She’s getting lost in the remembrance, her bottom lip wiggling as the emotions flow through her.

“See baby, they pin me down, but no, don’t you worry bout me none…not about me, not this time…because now they do it with care, with plenty of care,” she says.

“Well, they better,” I say, watching her tipsy and high just fly.

She giggles with nervous excitement.

“And here I am. There I was,” she says, as if past and present tense were colors that were mixing.

“Me all lyin’ there, all paralyzed and bare, but this time, this time you see… they’re saying please, they’re askin’ please…”

She’s crying these tears of joy, these tears of healing as she bares witness to the once-agonizing memories now painted over with such a thick coating of consensual make-believe, that the forceful and violent layers of truth are now gone and forgotten.

“See baby, denial’s our swords, it’s our weapons, and they’re slicin’ through all our real like something razor.”

I smile at her and I kiss her. I tell her that it was her who made me believe in God again. She smiles and rubs my cheek and she tells me that she’s so happy, she hopes tonight she’ll die before she wakes. Then I ask her, “Will you be my wife?” and her happy cry that already was, just flows in continuation, from one joyous reason to another. Tears run down her temples and leave shimmering trails. She nods yes. I hug her. She sniffs.

“Oh, God…imagine the places we’ll go,” she says to me as she begins to weaken in drowsy.

“Hold me,” she says again, and I do, and this time I don’t let go, and she falls asleep in my arms.

That night I dream of us as children, and in that dream it felt like the way we used to be, before we were wounded, before the world hurt us both like it did. It’s summertime at Mema’s and she’s sitting next me on a soft green lawn, making me dandelion bouquets. I watch her as her hair whips around in the warm wind, her auburn strands sticking to her lips.


About the Author

W.A Coleman has appeared in over a hundred literary magazines including the Evergreen Review, Gone Lawn, 3 am, Houston Literary, Sonders Review, and many more. His short story collection entitled Wound and Suture (Montag Press) was published in 2014. 

Photo by Matteo Raimondi on Unsplash