Janey was in shock that Kate was still living in the same house as she was when she was a child.
"So", started Janey, "what's changed over the years?"
"Well, as you'd expect, really", replied Kate, "but it's different for you. I have lived through the changes slowly, so there was no real culture shock for me, but for you, well, this world is completely different than the one you can remember".
"To me, Kate, I shot myself six weeks ago. I know that it was sixty years ago, but I feel like I'm seeing the future Kate. It's like I got into a time machine and travelled to the future within
moments. It's so strange!"
"It's hard to understand how you must feel".
Janey then remembered to ask Kate about her brother.
"Do you remember my brother, Michael?" Janey asked.
"Yes, I do".
"Well, I want to know, is he still alive?"
"I think so", replied Kate, "I last heard of him about a year ago, when he was sent to prison again".
"I think I'd better explain. After you shot yourself, Michael was the only one left, so after a few years when he got of prison for the armed robbery at the care home, he continued to commit crimes, over and over again. He's been in and out of prison all his life, mostly for burglary, I think. I can't count on both of my hands the number of times he's been away".
"That's awful", said Janey, relieved that her brother was still alive, but upset about the person he had become, "so how long until he gets out?"
"I don't know", replied Kate, "but you can visit him. I don't think he would have heard about you waking up".
"It will shock him, I would imagine. I can only remember his young face".
"Well, he must be pushing for eighty now, is he?"
"He'll be seventy-seven. Why would he want to commit crimes at that age?"
"You'll have to ask him".
Janey was so disappointed about who Michael had become. She wished she could just go back to the past, but she knew she couldn't. What was done was done, and it could not be changed. Then she
thought to herself, "is it my fault? Did Michael continue to commit crimes because there was nobody else there for him?"
"Anyway", said Kate, trying to change the subject, "I'm sure you'd like to know about my life!"
"Go on then".
"Well, when I left school, I set up my own business. It was a bakery, you see. Then I retired at the age of sixty five. There wasn't much to tell, to be perfectly honest, but that was basically my life over the last sixty years".
"I have a more interesting one", laughed Janey. Then she had a thought. She wondered if Steven, the person who had raped her all those years ago, was still in the area.
"Is Steven in the area?" asked Janey, remembering that Kate had dated him behind Janey's back.
"Steven?" said Kate, "oh, I haven't heard from him in a while. I couldn't tell you!"
"Alright", replied Janey, "because there's nobody else, is there?"
"No. Everyone else is dead now", replied Kate, "everyone except for us".
"I still can't believe I'm talking to the future Kate!"
"I suppose I am the future Kate to you. In your head, you're fourteen, aren't you?"
"Yes, so I'm a fourteen year old having a conversation with a seventy-four year old!"
"I have an idea!" cried Kate, "why don't I take you around London. You'll see the futuristic world you've entered!"
"That sounds like an...interesting idea", replied Janey, joining Kate on a little adventure into the heart of London.
All day, Kate and Janey visited London. They went to see a film in 3D, which proved to be frightening for Janey. "When Dr.Kindle said I've stepped into a futuristic society", said Janey, "I didn't know it would be this futuristic!"
Then, the two went on the London eye. Janey hesitated at first, but she loved it when she went on it. She stood in the pod for half an hour, looking at the modern buildings, including the shard and the gherkin. They looked very futuristic to Janey.
Throughout the day, Janey had seen more and more things, and she slowly learned about the world that she had entered.
"This has been a fantastic day, hasn't it!" cried Kate.
"Thank you for taking me to see the modern world!" cried Janey.
"Do you remember when we were children, and we used to think about what the future would be like?" asked Kate.
"I would never have thought I would be in it!" yelled Janey.
Although Janey had enjoyed the day, she knew that inevitably, she would have to face the harsh reality of life, and that was the fact that her brother was in prison, her mother had died a horrific death and Janey had missed out on the vast majority of her life. She tried to come up with different coping strategies, and found that the best way to deal with the stress of everything was to focus on something else and make the most of her life, no matter how much time she may have had left.
The next day, Janey was ready to telephone the local prison to find out if Michael was there. It was true, and Janey was allowed to visit Michael that day, since it was visiting day. She felt both excited and nervous. What would she say to him after sixty years? She wanted to rehearse what she was going to say, but then, she thought that it would be best if she did not.
Janey arrived at the prison, and she was prepared to visit her older brother. She entered the visiting room, and she had no idea which one it was. She looked around, trying to see if she would recognise him. There were only a few old men, and a couple of them were staring at her. Then, everybody else had sat down and started talking to their loved ones, and there was only one person who was left alone.
"Are you Michael?" Janey asked him, approaching him.
The old man nodded.
"Thank you for agreeing to come and see me", she said.
"Well, I'm here now", said Michael.
"I can't believe it's you", Janey said.
"Why did you do it, Janey?" he asked.
"Why did you put a bloody bullet in your brain?"
"Oh, Michael...I was messed up, I..."
"You left me alone with nobody but Marilyn to look after me. And when she had that baby, she didn't want to know any more".
"Marilyn had been through a lot", said Janey, "she was a good person to take you in".
"Ah, well. She's dead now. So who cares?"
"Did you go to our mother's funeral?"
"Well, you didn't. Did you?"
"No. I was inside at the time".
"Wouldn't they let you out?"
"I didn't care about it, did I? Janey, I'm not the person you want me to be. I'm not a good person. I didn't go to my mother's funeral because I didn't know when it was. I probably could have found out, but the people inside her don't like the others getting out of prison, and I have to do my best to fit in with the crowds".
"So, you were pressured into not going to your own mother's funeral?"
"Do you even know where the grave is?"
"You mean, you've never visited your mother's grave?"
"Who are you?"
Michael looked at Janey. He was clearly a tough person, and looked like he could easily kill someone if he wanted to.
"I told you", Michael said, "I'm not a very nice person. I'm not the kid that you remember. Now, if you came here to see me, you've seen me".
"You're not even bothered that I've woken up?"
"Janey, I stopped caring about you the moment you shot yourself, so for all I care, you could have died in that coma".
"You're a very heartless person", said Janey, getting up to leave.
When she left, she burst out crying, devastated at who her brother had turned out to be.
© Copyright 2016 declan mckimm. All rights reserved.
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