Before and After

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man is granted immortality.

Submitted: June 19, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 19, 2014



2 Weeks B.I.

Slivers of light shine dance across the face of the redhead sitting across from me. There must be a god, I smile, how else would I be lucky enough to have her. The restaurant hums, drowning out everyone around us. My head spins with anticipation as the waiter brings the check and the night grows old. I will do it. It’s now or never. On the walk home I stop by her favourite place, dubbed the End of The World, looking over the river, where we watch the sun melt away behind the city. “Beth Sanders,” I whisper, “Will you marry me?”

2 Days B.I.

“William Cooper, we are going to have to tell my mother.” Beth states. “I know you two don’t like each other, but please, just one hour?” She gives me a weak smile. I am not the brilliant doctor her mother wants her to marry. I’m a lifeguard making $9.50 at the Y and I will be there for the rest of my life. But we get by, Beth and I.

“Hey, I can be civil.”

“Only on your good days.” She smiles back.

2 Hours B.I.

God, she looks beautiful. Her hair is swept effortlessly up into bun, her cream coloured sweater drawing attention to her cerulean eyes. “Ready for the meteor shower?”

She takes my hand in hers. “Of course.” The chairs, blanket and firewood are loaded into the back of her car. Beth has always loved the stars, she says the remind her of how small she is in this universe. She’s always been smarter than me, ever since the second grade. I don’t quite understand it all. But as long as I have her that’s enough.

2 Minutes B.I.

A million pieces of light streak across the sky. The stars dance just for us tonight. I but my arm around her and she rests her head on my shoulder. “I love you WiIl.” She whispers. “I know.” I kiss her on the cheek.

2 Minutes A.I.

My world is pain. It explodes around me. Fire sweeps through my body. Screams fill the air. It hurts to breath. Agony seers my head. Help. Please.

2 Hours A.I

The world is white. Everything is blurring together. I sit up and a white sheet slips off my body. The first coherent thought fills my mind. I’m in a morgue. Oh god. I stumble over to the nearest garbage can and throw up. Purple and green splotches cover my body. My nails are dirty half moons. What the hell happened?

“Who are you?” a voice trembles from the corner.

“I-I,” my words shake, my throat aches, “I’m Will.”

The voice, belonging to a young mortician, starts again. “But you... you’re...”  She chooses not to finish the sentence. She runs for the door instead.

2 Days A.I.

The world hates miracles, I’ve decided. Because that’s me, the miracle man. And there’s currently a sea of protesters outside my hospital room. When Jesus rises from the dead he’s the son of God; when I do it I’m the spawn of satan. I wish I knew what happened. Some blast from space hit me during the meteor shower. Two days ago I looked like I had been run over by a truck. Now there is only faint marks criss-crossing my body. Beth is sleeping in her chair next to me. She is safe. She never got hit. And that’s all the matters for now.

2 Weeks A.I.

I just want to go home. I’m sick of the hospital, the tests, the hate. It’s not my fault. I want to know what’s happening. Last week I slid my finger to quickly across the reports; I felt it slice open. When I looked at my finger there was barely a drop of blood. Yesterday I dug the steak knife into my palm. It closed before the knife was across my hand. I’m getting stronger too. Everything seems so light, the wooden door collapsed as if it were made of paper when I shut it too hard.

A pair of arms wrap around my torso. “We’ll make it through this together.” Beth reassures me.

2 Months A.I

There’s always something special about the first snow of the year. Crisp flakes twirl out of the sky and cover the ground, masking the dirt and mud and dead leaves. It’s even better this. Year, Beth’s hand is lightly clasped in mine as we walk down the avenue. The new city is beautiful. And no one knows who I am. A brilliant Christmas gift, really. A whole week of freedom before I have to return to the research facility. Beth hates that place, says it gives her the chills. Not that I have much of a choice. I need to know what happened. But for now I walk along the moonlight path with her. Everything was looking bright for once. Until she slipped. Her boot slid across the patch of black ice and her head plummeted toward the sidewalk. Time slowed, and my hand shot out to catch her. My hand wrapped around her forearm. A sickening crunch filled the air. Her scream pierced the cold night. The blood drained from my face.


“Get away.”

I stepped back. Her arm was mangled. Blood stained the white snow.

“Oh God...Beth.”

2 Years A.I.

I never saw her after that night. Well, she never saw me at least. I watched her. My heart broke when I left the hospital without her. Today was the last time she would ever be Beth Sanders. Tomorrow she will be Beth Ives, married to one Oliver Ives. A doctor. Helped with her rehabilitation. I’ve debated going a thousand times, but it’s not logical. Whenever I see her stump of an arm guilt fills me. I’ve been living with too much guilt. Or unliving. I’m not sure what I can call me existence anymore. Six times I have died. And I’ve been shot several more. The world hates what they can’t explain. And I am the unexplainable.

20 Years After A.I.

Sixteen years ago I promised myself I would never try and find her. Technically I haven’t broken that yet. I didn’t purposely go looking for her, but there was no mistaking her identity. Coming to this city was always a terrible idea. The world wants me as their weapon. The strong, unkillable, William Cooper. No thanks. I’ve been hiding for a while now. 20 years later and I’ve barely aged a day. I still want answers, but they come at a cost. I’m not ready to pay yet. So for now, they leave me alone, I leave them. But this city always drew me back in. So now I’m sitting in a Starbucks staring at that lovely red hair. But her eyes are warm brown,  so much like her father's.

200 Years A.I.

Everyone’s forgotten about the miracle of William Cooper. I’ve forgotten them too. Even the name leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. William Cooper had a home, he had love. I have neither. He was my past. Beth has been buried for over one hundred years now. Her daughter even more. Sometimes I wonder if I had been there I could have stopped the car crash. Her daughter was only twenty when they laid her to rest. Mostly I was jealous. It is truly a luxury to die.

© Copyright 2018 Erma Young. All rights reserved.

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