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“Wait—can’t we just stop Jake from getting captured in the first place since we have the Accessory?” Kate asked.
“I thought I already explained this,” Jill said.
“Right, you said, history can’t be changed since traveling through time is part of history but what if you’re wrong?”
“I’m not wrong.”
“But how do you know?”
“I’m a scientist, that’s how.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means I have evidence through trial and error. Every time I tried to change something, something went wrong or got in my way or I made a mistake.”
“Fate was working against you?” KJ asked.
“Fate is an abstract concept. There’s just no way to literally change time.”
“How many trials did you do?” Kate asked.
“A hundred. All I tried to do was change something simple, too–and every time, I failed.”
“Something simple? Like what?”
“Just tried to get this person to not buy a banana. Every morning a neighbor of mine would buy a banana from a corner place by my building.”
“Huh?” KJ said, perplexed but still smiling.
“I staked out the corner place from across the street one morning and thought I’ll just go over there and buy all the bananas. Then I saw myself turn the corner and stop just outside the door. I saw myself look toward me with a determined face and then go in.”
“What the–?!” KJ was perplexed but not smiling now.
“Yeah, that was future me. I thought I could just observe how my neighbor would go in on a particular day and then go back and get in there earlier. But I literally beat myself to it.”
“So, what happened then?” Kate asked.
“I still made my observations. I saw myself come out of the corner place with an arm full of bananas. Then I joined myself by the look out.”
“Wait—I thought that was a recipe for an imploding universe,” KJ said.
“Don’t worry—I was careful not to touch myself,” Jill said missing any double entendre in her statement. Of course, KJ didn’t miss it. He snorted and smiled. “Uhhhhm… OK?”
“You mean you didn’t come in physical contact with yourself.”
“Yes,” Jill said, still oblivious.
“So, did you say hello to each other? Or just focus on the mission?” KJ fought back a giggle.
“Yes, we watched as my neighbor went in and came out with a banana.”
“But you bought all of them,” Kate said.
“I did buy them all.”
“But you couldn’t have,” KJ said.
“Well, I confronted myself. I asked her what happened. And she told me she was sure she’d gotten all of the bananas. I shook my head at myself. ‘Impossible!’ I said, ‘we just saw our neighbor walk out of that place with a banana!’ She replied by saying: ‘Yes, and I knew that would happen—remember, I’m you, like ten minutes ago!’ and she had a point.”
“And?” Kate asked, on the edge of her seat.
“I told her she had to be wrong. ‘I’m not and you’re not going to believe me until you see it for yourself!’ I knew she was right, so I just stormed off to my apartment and went back in time and then went down to the the corner place, but stopped outside the door and gave myself a dirty look.”
KJ and Kate laughed.
“Then I go into the place and demand every damn banana. I tell the guy I need every banana they have. I got pretty emotional. The guy even went in the back to make sure there weren’t any more bananas waiting to be put out. There weren’t, he said. Then, after I paid for them, he asked me to leave because his other customers were annoyed with me taking over the store just for some bananas.”
“So, that was it?”
“Well, with two of me already in the same are of time, it gets a little messy to go back and try again, but I did try with different scenarios and I never could work out a way to not get in my own way.”
“Incredible!” Kate said, adding: “I still want to try to do it some time.”
“Once all this strife stuff calms down, we should do it together,” Jill said.