Dating Jack

Jack is immortal. He can't die, and never will. Earth has a second attempt, but something has changed. Something that might change the human race forever - but for better or for worse?


7. The Old Days

Original Earth, Summer 1994.

I knew I shouldn't travel like this - vortex manipulators tore holes in the fabric of reality. But just for a while, I needed to be certain that the version of Earth that I knew and loved had happened. It wasn't just a myth, a winter's tale. It was real - somewhere where everything had a beginning, an end, a proper life, not an artificial existence at the hands of a power hungry scientist. Immortality was wrong. I was wrong.

I wanted to remember my life before I knew I could never die.

My boots were brisk against the pavement, slowly roasted by the mid morning sun. The heat was strong to the point that I removed my jacket, letting a slight breeze brush against my arms. This was something I always loved; the feeling of a summer's day, wind enough to dishevel my hair but not too forceful to be unpleasant. Good weather was a rare luxury, it seemed, and I was keen to indulge in every second of it.

I took a seat on a sturdy park bench, slightly speckled with age. I inhaled the scent of greenery and stretched my legs, adjusting the straps of my rucksack. People wandered aimlessly around the water fountains scattered lazily around the area, admiring the flowers and rejoicing in the sunlight that England was so rarely graced with. Humans everywhere, happy, normal, a new day awaiting.

A young girl sprinted towards me, a bunch of flowers clasped in her tiny hand. She laid them down gently beside the bench on which I sat, patting the heads of the flowers, before taking a seat beside me, swinging her legs.

"Are you okay?" she asked. I turned to her, surprised.

"Yes, I'm okay. Why do you ask?"

The girl looked pensive, studying her embroidered shoes carefully. "You look sad."

"I'm okay," I insisted, looking straight ahead. Children are often the best at detecting lies, so I wasn't surprised when she continued to talk, a curious edge to her voice. "I like to sit here when I'm sad," she said simply, tracing the woodwork of the arm with her finger.

"It is a lovely park." I told her.

"Yes. My daddy used to take me here."

"That's nice," I told her, feigning interest, but checking my watch.

"Yes," she said, hopping down and re-arranging the flowers she had brought. "What's your name?" she asked earnestly.

"Jack," I said.

I stood, reached for my backpack. A glint of gold caught my eye. Her words came back to me as I read the name on the memorial.

In memory of Peter Tyler.

I allowed a smile to spread across my face. This version of Earth really was fantastic.

This version had Rose.

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