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Adventure Science Fiction Drama

I had a good feeling about this one. All the tests so far had gone as they should. This might be it.

As exhausted as I was after the long day of work, I couldn’t wait to tell my husband about my day. He was a biochemist too, but he focused mainly on bacterial diseases. Even if the clock was nearing 11 pm, I knew he would still be up watching breaking bad.

“Frank!” I yelled as soon as I stepped in through the front door.

“Geez, Lydia, my heart nearly jumped out of my throat!” he screamed in shock.

“Sorry!” I yelled back as I took off my coat, “I’m just really excited. I think this might be the one!”

“You’ve said that about pretty much all the other ones too!”

I entered the living room with a joking pout.

“But I have an even better feeling about this one!”

“Well that’s great honey, I believe in you.” he smiled.

I told him all about it, all the little details. I love having a husband who’s as big of a nerd as I am.

---

A few weeks went by, and me and my team were getting closer. So was the end of the year.

New years eve. As the clock struck 12, I closed my eyes. I heard people around me screaming “Happy new year!” But I just thought to myself: This is it. My research will save so many lives. A somewhat selfish thought also went through my mind: I will be remembered as one of the greatest scientists of the decade, century…

---

The alarm bored through my brain the next morning. Yeah, people usually have new years day off, but I decided I wanted to go to work anyway. I figured that getting the vaccine out even a day earlier would save some lives. And that’s the most important part.

As I stepped out the door, I put on my mask. On the bus stop I noticed a man without one. I sighed. I'm working as hard as I can, and some people can’t even do the bare minimum. As I got on the bus, I had to do a double take. It wasn’t uncommon that there was one or two idiots on a bus, but a bus full of them? I was bewildered. No-one was wearing a mask! Was this just an occurrence of some really small probability, a sick joke, or a dream? And the most confusing part? They were looking at me weirdly. 

I got off the bus in the city center to switch to a tram. As I was walking, I heard a little boy ask his mum: “Mommy, why is that woman wearing that thing on her face?” The mother looked at me confused. 

“Well, I’m not sure… That thing is a face mask that everybody had to wear three years ago, during the pandemic.” she answered.

I stopped, and they kept walking. I heard the boy ask: “What’s a pandamic?” I just stood there, the wheels turning in my head, trying to make sense of what I just heard. I sat down. This must be a dream. I know that during dreams it always feels real, but this was different, they never feel this real. I looked around, and didn’t see a single person with a mask. Then a statue across the street caught my eye. The face looked… familiar? It can’t be. I walked closer and read the sign next to it: “This statue honors Frank Davis, the biochemist who led the research to discover the vaccine that ended a global pandemic the year 2021. For his work he was also awarded the Nobel prize for medicine the same year.”

I stopped reading. My thoughts went faster and more up and down than any rollercoaster I could imagine. Time travel isn’t real Lydia. It just isn’t. It’s impossible according to all the physics we know today. Well, some things that are possible today were thought to be impossible a century ago. What even is “today” right now? The day after yesterday or three years after yesterday? So, even if I thought time travel was impossible, it would make more sense if I had actually entered a time machine or something. This just happened!

Then my thoughts went into something else. Frank. Frank? Frank! He had a statue! And a Nobel prize! “He” had ended a pandemic? How? Why? What about my research of almost a year? I can’t believe this! He stole my work and got all the credit? I can’t believe he would do this! 

I sat down on a bench and tried to clear my head for several minutes. I finally took off my mask. After a few more minutes, I decided to go to the library. 

There was an entire section devoted to the pandemic. Books from all genres, everything from fictional love stories to science books to autobiographies. I went to D. I found Davis. Frank Davis. I flicked through the pages. No mention of Lydia Davis. I was somewhat furious, but the disbelief was larger. However, slowly but steadily, the fury took over. Then, without thinking, I grabbed my phone from my bag and called Frank.

“Frank!” I yelled angrily. I got some annoyed looks from other people in the library, so I started rushing towards the door. 

“Lydia?” He answered. His voice sounded surprised, a little bit tired, and… on the verge of tears?

“How could you! You of all people! I trusted you! I-” my voice began to break.

“Lydia, calm down, can you hear me?”

I was confused about this question. Of course I could hear him! Why wouldn’t I be able to?

“Yeah, of course I can!” I was full on sobbing at this point. “All my hard work, Frank! All my hard work!”

“Lydia, please open your eyes. Otherwise… I don’t dare to believe this is real.”

Open my eyes?

The library faded away as I did. It was replaced by a ceiling. 

“Lydia?” I could hear his voice trembling.

I was laying on a bed, and turned my head towards his voice.

“Frank?”

A few seconds of silence went by as we stared at each other. He had a stubble and his hair was a bit longer and messier than before. But he was still as handsome as always.

“Frank.. why am I here?”

“You.. you were in a car accident, a few days after new year 2021” he swallowed, “and have been in a coma for 3 years.”

3 years. That’s a pretty long time to miss out on your own life. My brain felt blank. So much must have happened during this time. Where could he even begin to explain? But before I could ask, Frank spoke:

“Why were you yelling?”

It took me a few seconds to remember what I had seen. Or dreamt, really. I told him everything. I noticed a small smile on his face. 

“I was so angry. I really thought you had betrayed me.” I felt a bit ashamed.

“Dreams always feel real. And in this case, there was a small piece of truth.” His smile grew.

My eyes widened.

“I did continue your research after the accident.” He stood up and walked towards me. “But I did it all in your name. You have a statue. You have a Nobel prize. You have an autobiography. I came here often to tell you all about it, and your brain must have twisted what you heard into a nightmare.”

It felt amazing to hear that what I had done had really helped the world, and that my hard work had been recognized. But what shone brighter than my pride at that moment, was the love I felt for my husband.

“I love you” I said.

“I love you too, Lydia.”

And I pulled him in for a kiss.

September 04, 2020 09:07

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4 comments

Laiba Noor
02:04 Sep 09, 2020

I really loved this story.. What I like the most that you use current situation and the other that your story has a happy ending and you satisfy the need of prompt as well as your language and words were easy to understand, In short it was awesome.

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Milja Luomala
06:04 Sep 09, 2020

Thank you so much! :)

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Megan Sutherland
19:46 Sep 07, 2020

Awwwwww! This was so sweet! I loved the storyline and how you explained why she was in 2024. Very unique spin. Well done Milja!

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Milja Luomala
20:08 Sep 07, 2020

Thank you so much! :)

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