• Magdalena Reilly

Story #15: Why are you late?

Why am I late? I thought.

How do I explain a lifetime of events that accumulates into a single instance of lateness. It began before a time of conception when a distant relative of a relative had began to act awkwardly at all social events and the like. Somehow those behaviors imprinted into the DNA of the humans of the future. That mutated through wars, hardships, famines and social upheavals. Then it has landed on my genome, like a dust particle settling unnoticed. Gosh, where does my own behavior control begin and end? Am I on automatic response time?

This was an annual health check-up at my general physician’s office and I had just traveled a century back in time.

“Can we reschedule you to another date and time, we are overbooked today outside of set appointments” said a meagerly lady of no significance.

“Sure, how about September 9th, 1919? Do you guys have one of those bulky time machines back there there? Those people from that time period, will explain everything, my lateness, my illness, my weirdness.”


I had forgotten to speak. I was stuck in a thought loop and began to feel dizzy after remembering my knees haven’t moved more than a few feet in over an hour.

“I will call back to reschedule.” I lied. I will never see a doctor again.

Breathing in the fresh autumn air, I felt alive in the modern world. Splashing in puddles, walking with a sassy tune in my head. Embracing the morning rain fall, orange and yellow leaves stuck to the sole of my shoe and hair whisked by the wind.

Deep breaths.

In and Out.

At last a moment of freedom from myself.

A moment alone.

I closed my eyes and stepped onto the street.

A car turned from around the corner and had hit my side, ribs cracking into all my organs. I was rushed to the emergency room where I bled internally.

September 9th, 2019 forever taking with me to the grave the lateness gene.

#shortstory #philosophy #century #doctor #hospital #healthy #life #autumn #simplicity #family

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