Seven minutes

Oneshot for the oneshot competition :)
About losing yourself (but everything is maybe just a metaphor)

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2. Seven minutes

”Bill”. A guy shakes my shoulder. I sit up, leaning my back against the headboard of the bed I am in. I see black dots everywhere, and it throbs in my head. I am a bit disoriented, so I look at the guy who woke me up. It is a young man, not much older than me, maybe around 20 or something like that. He is African, his skin reminds me of chocolate. Actually he is quite handsome. If I was a girl, I would have been attracted to him. The guy smiles.

“Hey, where am I?” I ask. “And who are you?” I recognize nothing, everything seems foreign to me.

He laughs, sounds a bit nervous. “Leondre. I am Leondre. You are in the recovery room at Griffin’s Hospital. You were completely gone, when you came in. Unconscious.” I think about it, but I do not remember anything.

“Ey, Leo? Can I call you Leo? Do you know, why I came here?” I am asking nicely, I really am, it is just weird not to know anything.

He looks at his feet, like if he doesn’t know what to say. He takes one step closer to the bed I lie in.

“Leo is okay. You just woke up from one of the seven minutes periods. I shouldn’t tell you this, I will get in trouble.” Leo becomes silent. I just look at him, actually I don’t think I understand what he just told me.

“The seven minutes periods? You must be kidding me. There is nothing that lasts seven minutes - think about it. It is a weird period. What is it actually?” I hate when there is someone kidding me, and this must be a joke, but Leo doesn’t look like one who is likely to tell me more.

At last Leo sits down. Not on a chair, not at the foot of my bed, but it had damn also have been a bit too weird. He just sits on the floor.

”Bill, I can’t tell you anything. I remember, when I was seventeen myself. They day you turn seventeen, everything changes, but there is no one to warn you. When you die, you will get a déjà vu.” Leo stops, moves his feet nervously and then continues: “Scientists, who lived long ago, found out that those déjà vu lasts exactly seven minutes. But think about it. You feel, like you live a whole life and time is stretched. You can die again in those seven minutes. And so do you. You live through another déjà vu in seven minutes, and you die again. It is a never ending cycle. Do you know Hinduism?

I sit, trying to understand what the guy is telling me, and know he asks, if I know Hinduism? I can tell you I don’t. You know, extinct religions just aren’t my thing. I shrug. “A little bit,” I answer.

Leo starts to talk again: “The Hindi folk believed in reincarnation. You know, rebirth and things like that. Actually it is similar to the seven minutes periods. You just aren’t really born again - you live the same life, but die a new death. It is strange, isn’t it?”

I nod. “But where am I now, then? Can you see how long I have left before the next period? Can everybody do that?”

To my horror I see Leo nodding.

“Yes. I know how long you have left. But not everybody does. I am not affected by the seven minutes anymore. I get no déjà vu. You can choose to deselect it. You can just ask me to sto-” He doesn’t finish his sentence, before I interrupt him.

“Then why don’t you just do it - pull the plug and stop this?”

Leo gets a sad tinge in his eyes.

It isn’t worth it. You see people live and die from you all the time. You don’t die yourself, but you live everyone else’s seven minutes. When you die yourself, you will never be here again. But your mind doesn’t die - you will only see black, black and more black. It is different shades of black.

“Black doesn’t have shades.” I sound a bit angrier than expected. Actually, nothing happens as expected right now.

”Black is not a symbol. I don’t try to act like a philosopher which I am not, but with black, I only mean sadness and other gloomy things. Don’t you think, it is sad thinking to know, that you will end up in a coffin stock somewhere?”

I realize I am nodding. Leo is right. But still I don’t know why I don’t remember a thing. I ask Leo, and again he gives me one of his mysterious glances. It drives me crazy.

“It is something we only recently have solved. You know that feeling of that you have forgotten something, but later on, you can remember it? We have discovered parallel worlds. It is complicated, but shortly said then we don’t storage our thoughts in our memory, as we have always thought we did, we storage them even further away.” Leo now moves a step backwards, as if he is afraid of me. “Normally, we can get the memories and the thought back, and we do so, but sometimes we can’t. You have apparently thrown your whole memory to a place like that, and you have to take them back. But there is one problem ...”

I feel more and more frightened as Leo keeps telling me these things. I look at him. “Can I ... can I get them back? My memories, I mean.

“In principle, you should be able to do it. But you have to hurry.” Leo looks at his wrist even though there is no watch. Anyways, he says: “You have two minutes and eighteen seconds to get you memories and come back to this world again. If you don’t, I don’t know what will happen.” I feel that Leo is hiding something. I think he knows what will happen if I don’t get back in time.

”How do I get to the portal?” I am curious and I stress. Two minutes and yet about ten seconds aren’t a lot of time.

”There it is.” Leondre points at my forehead. “Inside of you. Listen to me, relax. You will slowly find the portal. Do you feel it?”

I open my mouth to answer, but there is only a gurgling sound. I can’t answer, I can’t see anything anymore, all my senses are gone. I just float in a black void. But it is not just black. I think of Leo, and I hear him say: ” Black is not a symbol. I don’t try to act like a philosopher which I am not, but with black, I only mean sadness and other gloomy things.”

I am afraid that I have made the greatest mistake ever, that I by mistake have pulled the plug and forever have to live in this black something. Suddenly my hearing gets back, and I hear a fierce rumble, as a tsunami in an aluminium tube. I want to swim away, but there is nothing to grab, and even air doesn’t seem to exist her. I feel on my chest and think about my breathing. “Breathe, Bill, you are dreaming, of course there is air here. I see light, see colors. Purple, grey, yellow, red and blue.  All the colors of the world are represented here. I instantly know, that it is my thoughts, and I collect them. I remember:

Bill six years old. I am blowing out the candles on the cake. Shift. Bill nine years old. I run around playing with the stupid, pink ball my sister gave me. Shift. Bill thirteen years old. I shout and scream. I regret instantly. It was certainly not necessary to scream. Shift. Bill seventeen years old. I get hit by a car.

There are no more thoughts, no more memories, nothing. I know I didn’t survive the impact. I know I have just seen something unique. I have seen the first seven minutes begin.

I begin to run back, remember that I don’t have much time, but at the same time I remember, that time is stretched out. I relax. I see the surface and feel my own body again. Then everything disappears. Or, not everything. I can still hear, still see. I can’t move my irises around, but I see. And I do hear, I do see. Leondre is speaking.

“He is gone. I didn’t make it.” A snuffle.

A man, I don’t know who is, answers him. His voice is rough but at the same time it is mild. I like it.

”No, he didn’t make it. But you know, he found his memories. There is nothing more to do. You know, that when you don’t get back from a portal before the seven minutes are over, you will never get back.

I am in a shell, I will protest, say that I am here, but it is impossible. Leondre starts talking again.

“Then I pull the plug.” I hear a click, and then nothing.

I am nowhere, I feel so incredibly heavy. There is black, black and more black. I think about how Leondre could live without being a part of the seven minutes periods, without living in a black hole. I will never get the answer. I fall ...

 

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