A Better Life
A flash of light introduced a thunder clap.
Rising to his feet, he found himself in the janitor’s supply room; two floors above his intended location.
Every second counted. Jack burst out of the closet, dashing into the nearest stairwell. He only had one chance to prevent this horror. If he didn’t stop it now, the moment could never be undone.
Tripping over his feet, he tumbled down the stairs, smacking into the hard concrete wall. Head spinning like a carousel, he wobbled to his feet. Bolts of pain streaked down his leg.
His desperate eyes glanced at the time.
Stumbling away, he ignored the burning currents that tormented him.
Was he too late?
He limped onto the second floor. Seventy feet separated him from his destination.
He didn’t want her to be scarred forever.
Ignoring an out of service sign, Jack hurled himself at the bathroom door.
Clutching a torn white dress in his hand, the janitor stood over nine year old Josephine. Huddled in the corner, she wept.
Before anyone could react, Jack crushed Janitor against the wall and slammed his head against the sink.
Hobbling past the unconscious predator, Jack handed Josephine her clothes. “Did he hurt you?”
She pressed the ripped dress against her quivering body. “No.”
Jack turned away.
“Who are you?”
“That doesn’t matter.”
“I remember your face. You caught me last month before I fell down the stairs.”
Jack sighed. Preventing that fall spared Josephine from a wheelchair, leading her down a new life path.
“Are you my guardian angel?”
Guardian angel sounded better than time traveling soul mate. “Can you do me a favor?”
“After I leave, count to ten before screaming. Tell everyone he slipped and banged his head. Tell them what he wanted to do to you. Can you do that?”
She nodded. “Will I see you again?”
He knew the heartless rules of time travel. Amend the past, you change the future. Rescue the girl, you alter the woman.
“I hope so.” He staggered away. Seconds later, he leaned against the stairwell wall.
How many times will he transform her life? Will each new path lead her back to him? He peeked at a photograph of Josephine on his cell phone. He admired his future bride standing in a white wedding dress. She sat in a wheelchair in the original photo.
Jack knew the dangers of playing with her past. Saving Josephine from tears may destroy their destiny together.
Will she still love him in her reconstructed future?
Only if they were meant to be. If not, he had to be content knowing he gave her a better life.
Photo taken from Google Images.