How many of us want to travel in time? That’s something almost everyone dreams of. However, what would happen if we manage to travel in time, say about 50 years in the future? How would we see ourselves? Well, first and foremost, imagining it isn’t childish, predicting what we would have 50 or more years in the future is something many scientists do for a living. As for what we would see, we can see anything, our predictions might not turn out to be true. But here is what would probably happen.
3rd September 2020,
Aiden Roca took a stroll outside as he cried over his parent’s divorce, which is something many children suffer through, but only some are not able to handle. Aiden lived in a house of toxicity, he would hide under the covers as soon as heard the sound of his dad’s under-conscious footsteps come in. He would squeeze the blanket and try to sleep and not to hear the abusive shouts of his drunken dad and his mother’s even louder cry.
In school, Aiden would doze off with his puffy eyes.
He would be awakened by some student spanking him, "Hey Aiden, come play with us...now, don't be lazy."
Now at that stage, any teenager will have thoughts of death, but some would fight the suffering. Aiden fought the suffering, although throughout he wanted to swap his lives with someone else. It’s natural as all of us wonder about that. What if we were a rich celebrity?
We think our life has the most troubles and we would be better off being someone else but that is so not true. We have equal shares of troubles. Personally, I think I have the least troubles, and I don’t want to exaggerate my problems. Nevertheless, that isn’t healthy either, if we keep thinking we are not in an actual problem and that we are exaggerating, we will avoid if we actually need help.
Aiden wanted to be so much more and so many people. One night, his parents were out and the house was the quietest it had been in a long time. He still felt the need to escape, he sat in the hall imagining what it would be like if this tiny room for a hall changed into a hall like that of a mansion. He knew that it could be true only if he was someone like Jason or someone like Shawn and the list went on.
Imagination is somewhat built-in to us. Sci-fi movies are all a result of this imagination. However, getting this image to come true is far more of a complex idea.
Aiden thought about how two people could change lives, without people knowing. Changing the souls of the people, not the bodies. But soul and angels just sounded too childish, we have to change the brains of the bodies he thought.
He knew that this was a brilliant idea and could lead to a whole new technology. It was an entrepreneurial idea as the people craved for such a thing to happen.
Aiden made an effort to concentrate in classes and sleep at nights now that the divorce had happened and there was no more shouting. Times got even rougher for his family, he stayed with his mom who now had to make a living. He took the science stream, applying physics in biology. He scored straight A's in high school and got a scholarship in college, he worked part-time to afford the dorm room and be independent. He didn't want to go back to the toxic house. After college, he was employed as a computer science engineer in Spacex. Soon he was able to create a blueprint for a machine named Gleba. Something he endeavored for.
10 September 2030,
After many months of work for creating a blueprint, Aiden slept peacefully and dreamt.
* * *
I found myself in a park filled with machines, each had its specific function and was calling people to choose them, except there were no people. I was the only one, and I seemed like an award to them, they argued as to who would win me. In the end, the time machine swallowed all the other machines and sent them far in the future. How was all this happening? Was I in a simulation? I had no idea, although it did seem like one. The time machine jumped like a kangaroo coming towards me. I ran away as fast as I could, but the time machine still chased me. It felt like I was a weak teenage girl in a third world country with a rapist chasing me and no one around. Well, for a time machine, I couldn’t use pepper spray. Finally, I gave up and the time machine engulfed me. The system speakers shouted in a robotic voice to choose the number of years. I thought of picking up the least number of years, but the least available was fifty years. It then asked me F or P, I chose F thinking that it meant future and indeed I was true. I landed in the same park except with people around. Now with people and shops around the park looked similar to the park near my house. The one thing the protocol had said was that I wasn’t allowed to say that I am a time traveler.
I went and sat on the bench and observed.
Everyone traveled through their pods, the sky was full of traffic, it was a busy day, once upon a time this sky used to be a navigational tool for our ancestors as they gazed at it to know basics about the universe. Now the starships have been across the distant stars, and martian colonists are fighting for their rights, the advertisements on the big screen of a skyscraper displayed. Soon the benches were filled as the big screen started premiering a Non-fiction film. A movie that got me thunderstruck- “The only thing that has changed in humans is the desire of living as someone else. Gleba had enabled people to exchange lives, people celebrated that the technology of exchanging lives finally came, little did they know, it wasn’t something to be celebrated” the caption read as the movie started. Gleba? My Gleba? I froze as I covered my face with shame. I don't think anyone recognized me.
The movie went something like this- Clare and Tommy like all their other classmates registered in the life exchange program. The machine was ready to function without blasts. The children stood in 2 lines as pairs went in Gleba which had two pillars and exchanged lives. The starting of a new millennium.
Clare started to live as Tommy, she was finally able to escape her alcoholic mom and abusive dad. Would she now be happy? The family thought of her as Tommy and no change was made. Clare went into Tommy's room which looked somewhat like a bachelor pad, Clare was a clean girl, and Tommy disgusting. She tried Tommy’s fancy makeup and clothes. Tommy, born in one of the richest families of Manhattan must live as a queen, Clare thought. Tommy’s dad brings in his mistress whilst Tommy’s mother is on a business tour. Clare didn't know the norms and she slept till late.
The maid yelled, "You rich brat, get up-".
"I am sorry, how dare you yell at my daughter like that?'' interfered the billionaire.
"I-", the maid stuttered and looked down, "I'm sorry."
Well, of course, sorry wasn't enough for that man and the maid was fired only to be replaced by another awful one.
Clare was able to get anything she had ever wanted because she lived as Tommy. People started to compliment her, although she got too used to it. One day she wore Gucci’s new bag, but she didn’t get her usual compliments, she went home and cried. Whenever Clare sat at the dining table with a meal, her eyes would be satisfied seeing all the delicious food laid down on the table. She had been suffering for so long and when she saw a table like that, she wasn't able to stop eating. Clare was now a brat that Tommy was alarmed to not be. Clare had Tommy's body, however Tommy herself didn't eat so much. Clare vomited and although Tommy's body was being affected, Clare was the one who felt it. Tommy, on the other hand, lived a hard life like how Clare used to live. Nonetheless, she was happy to not live as a fake person. She liked the feeling of being independent. Living like a princess she faced restrictions. However, when Tommy was Clare, she could do whatever she wanted and no one cared. Tommy could now be all 'cow-boyish', something that her dad never allowed her to be. One day Tommy cooked Clare’s mother rice with raisins, unaware of the fact that Clare’s mother had an allergy of raisins. Clare’s mother had a weak body of an alcoholic and the body didn’t take it.
Tommy had gotten attached to Clare's mom, especially after she said those last words "I don't want to die so soon..." she inhales slowly, "I know, I am an addict, but it wasn't my fault, I am sorry that I am a mother like this-" she lied unconscious on the kitchen table.
Panic-stricken Tommy couldn't do anything, the ambulance was too late and Clare's dad didn't do the paperwork when he saw the amount of fees. Soon Tommy had a memorial service, Clare’s dad had ran away.
The exchange program ended in a day or so, Clare and Tommy couldn’t bring their lives back to how they were, living as someone else did please them for some time, but soon that went away and it’s side effects weren’t worth it.
In the end, the movie broadcasted the number of people who died in blasts and whose brains stopped functioning and the number was a lot.
Then my name was shown, my grave was shown and people spitting on my grave were shown.
I realized so many things, and as my brain was about to burst I heard a bang.
A lot of bangs and the scenery fainted away into complete darkness. I realized the darkness wasn’t darkness but simply my eyes were closed.
I opened my eyes and saw my housemaid along with my room. I wasn’t so surprised as all along I knew that I was in something like a simulation and I would get out eventually. The housemaid’s first sentence was- “Sir your blueprint’s investors are sitting in the hall”.