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Time Changes Everything

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“I’ll never speak to him again.”

“I’ll never speak to him again.”

“I’ll never speak to him again.”

That sentence was always running through my head lately. Nothing I did could push it back into the depths of my mind. I couldn’t get it out of my head, no matter how busy I was.

It was like a knife. That one sentence had seemed to take the life out of me. I was always a quiet person, but after I heard those words, I crawled deeper into my shell. My mother, always one to panic whenever one of her children was acting different, fussed over me when I arrived at the restaurant. I always told her the same thing:

“I’m fine, nothing’s wrong with me.”

That might have been one of the biggest lies I had ever said.

Every night, I watched that interview. The way he said it, the venom clearly present in his normally light voice. His anxiousness nowhere to be seen, seeming to just evaporate whenever someone mentioned my name. It clearly showed in the interview how much hatred he held for me.

It might make me feel less miserable if our relationship was always like this. Or if we were never close at all. I remember those days, back in the mid 90’s, where we would always hang out and goof off. Ross would always yell at us, telling us that we had work to do, and the recording process wasn’t meant to be fun. It was work after all.

I think the time period during our first four albums was the greatest time of my life. Back then, we had something to prove. We were trying to make a name for ourselves. And once we made it to the big league, the goofing off started to disappear. Work started to become work. And along with the fun of it disappearing, our relationship began to disappear also.

After all these years, it ended up like this. He, married to a porn star, still in a successful rock band. Me, married to a model that’s cheating on her husband with an older man, working at his family’s restaurant. It’s pretty depressing, if you couldn’t tell.

I sat down on the park bench that I always ran to after work these days. It was routine by now. Like usual, I closed my eyes I relaxed, imagining I was somewhere else, somewhere where I could truly be happy again. I quickly zoned out, escaping from reality.

“Do you mind if I sit down here?”

My eyes flew open. I didn’t know if the voice came from my head or from someone else. My question was soon answered, as I noticed an old man standing in front of me. I nodded at him, embarrassed that he caught me zoning out. Most people are in bed at 11:45 at night.

“Had a bad day?”

I look at the old man. He has a concerned look on his face. That surprises me. Most people don’t go up to complete strangers and ask them if they’re okay. At least, in the world I live in, they don’t.

“I guess you could call it that.” I respond after realizing that he’s patiently waiting for me.

I can’t believe I’m talking about my feelings to a complete stranger right now. I never open up to people that I hardly know. Hell, even people I know, I don’t usually open up to, unless I trust them with my life. Jon was one of those people. Or so I thought he was. Now, not so much.

“Here. I think you need this more than me.”

At first I thought the old man was going to hand me his medication or something. I was about to refuse when I looked down at his open palm. He was holding a wooden hourglass. It looked ancient. I would be surprised if it still worked.

“An hourglass? Why would I need an hourglass?” I ask, confused.

He places the hourglass into my palm, “You’ll see. Now I’m afraid it’s getting late, and my wife will be wondering where I am if I don’t return home soon.”

“Wait! What does even do?” I cry out to him as he begins walking away.

No response. The old man seems to just vanish into thin air. I sigh and run a hand through my spiky black hair. Sometimes, I wish my wife would wonder where I am. But no, I know that she won’t even be home when I get back. She’ll be fucking another man. Not like I love her anyways. If I told her who I really loved, maybe she would ditch me. Probably not, though. She needs me for my money.

Like I predicted, my house was empty when I got back. The only noise was coming from the radio, playing an alternative song. I sat down at the kitchen table, placing the wooden hourglass in the center of it. I stared at it for a minute, before twisting the knob at the bottom.

I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Nothing happened. The sand remained suspended at the top of the glass. I sighed in defeat. The stupid old man probably just wanted to dump his stupid old piece of junk on someone. Out of anger, I jabbed my finger against the glass.

Immediately, my head start to spin. I felt like I was going to throw up. The last thing I saw before my world went black was sand falling down the glass.

When I awaken, I’m lying down on a bed. I can feel the satiny sheets underneath my fingers and the soft, velvety pillow underneath my head. Was my wife nice enough to carry me up to bed? No, that’s not like her. I can already tell that the room I’m in isn’t my own. It’s too dark and something smells different. It smells like someone who wears a strong brand of cologne sleeps here. It almost smells like his cologne. It can’t be. He would never let me lay in his bed, let alone even talk to me.

There’s something heavy lying on my chest. It’s a person. I can feel their chest slowly drifting up and down. Their arms are hugging my waist tightly, making it feel like they’re too scared to let go of me. Whoever it is, it must be someone who’s close to me. I don’t really know anyone who fits that description anymore though, to be honest. I peek down at my waist. What I see makes me hold back a scream. It’s him. He looks younger though. He’s much thinner, almost looking like he's anorexic. He has medium length brown hair, all tangled up and all over the place. I can make out his eyebrow ring, glinting in the small amount of light that’s present in the room.

I have no idea how I even got here, and now Jonathan is lying on my chest, looking like he did when he was 22. My head is spinning, and I feel like I’m going to throw up any minute  now. I need to find a bathroom. And a light. I can’t see hardly any except for that mirror on the wall over there.

Wait. A mirror? How come I haven’t noticed that until now? I look around the room until I spot it. Like I predicted, I look totally different than I did back in 2016. I’m officially twenty again. I have my trademark bleach blonde hair again, except that it’s not spiked up with gel. I can’t believe what I’m seeing. It’s me, but it’s not me. I really need to find somewhere where I can throw up, otherwise, I’ll probably throw up all over Jonathan, and that won’t turn out too well.

Instead of throwing up, my mind blanks for a second, the world around me tossing and turning like it's a cotton candy machine before my body can’t take it anymore.