aghavan had one message from the Med Center waiting for him in his inbox. He knew for sure that it was bad news and dreaded opening it. He left it unopened for a while and went about his morning chores. Half an hour later he sat down for his breakfast. He had finished half a toast when he stopped eating, pushed his plate away and walked towards his computer.
He opened the message. It was bad news as he had predicted. He was going to die in 5 days. The Med Center had fixed an appointment for him in an hour to discuss.
* * *
The chief doctor at the Med Center had explained the situation to Raghavan.
The uneasy silence between them was broken by the doctor’s secretary who peeped in and said “Trasportation Services is on line 2!”
The doctor picked up the handset. He must have heard some very good news because he almost jumped from his seat. He profusely thanked the person on the other end, looked at Raghavan and rubbed his hands together unable to contain his excitement.
“Son, get ready to travel. You are going to meet someone very special.”
* * *
Raghavan was onboard the TTX2. He wore his favorite dark blue suit, a new white shirt, a silk tie and silver cuff links. He had a dossier marked CONFIDENTIAL that was given to him when he boarded the vehicle. The dossier contained information he was not aware until this moment—There was a version of himself alive in a parallel universe and he was going to meet him!
The Time Travel Express departed on schedule.
* * *
Raghavan did not know what to say. He felt very awkward sitting before someone who looked exactly like him. On second thoughts, he was probably overdressed for this occasion meeting his other version who was dressed in a round neck tee and shorts. He wore dark glasses and seemed to stare at the horizon, except that he was blind. He had a small scar an inch above his left eyebrow.
“Do you know that Transportation Services has never allowed someone to travel on these grounds before? Although you and I are genetically identical multiple versions that spawned from a single spacetime event, we are different because of the environment in which we grew in… and I am going to die if I don’t get a bone marrow transplant. You are a natural match and Transportation Services made an exception on humanitarian grounds.”
“I am sorry to hear about your condition. In my universe, I have had a lonely life. When my parents—our parents—took the decision to make that trip that eventually led to your creation, I was orphaned in this universe. I grew up missing a lot of things that you probably would have taken for granted. ”
“You do understand that I did not know anything and had no part to play in that decision, right?”
He was silent for a few seconds and then said, “I will do it. But, I need a favor from you!”
* * *
They were waiting for their train when a well-dressed young man in a dark suit, white shirt, silk tie and silver cufflinks approached them. He was in a hurry and was not wanting to be noticed.
“I am Raghavan, your son from the future that you are going to create.”
The couple was shocked. Raghavan’s mother started crying unable to bear the revelation and the insanity of the situation. His father was trying to pacify her.
A few seconds later, the train arrived.
“Why did you take this decision?” asked Raghavan.
“We were supposed to go back in time before you were born and take care of the defect that caused him to go blind through genetic engineering at the right time. The scientists told us we had to leave him here since we were going back in time when he was non-existent!”
Raghavan thought about what he was going to say.
He said, “You need to abort this plan. Get back home and take care of little Raghavan. He needs you more than I need you or the two of you need me!”
His parents left the station, thanking him in their minds for saving them from a big blunder they were about to commit.
Raghavan sank into a bench on the station and loosened his tie. That’s when two agents from Transportation Services came to him and said, “Mr. Raghavan, you are in contravention of time travel rules. We are taking you into custody for deportation proceedings!”
He looked at his watch which showed that he still had three days to live.