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1899
1899

1899

Franc68Lorient Montaner

I know there are those skeptics, who will not believe the claim of the unique narrative that I will present. What I had experimented was surreal in nature and unfathomable in its genuine essence—but it was real. I do not have another perspicuous explanation so that the reader could better understand the complexity of the experience that I had lived and corroborated, with my asseveration. Even now after all of these days that have elapsed, since my inexplicable return to the present century, I still can remember every minute detail of my story, as if it was fresh and ineffaceable in my mind and journal. How I was able to transcend the established boundary of time and the realm of reality, only the elaboration of science could ever resolve that intricate enigma. There are endless secrets of life that remain elusive and mysteries that are never revealed for what they actually represent. How could a man from the 21st century return to the 19th century, as a time traveler? I had always considered myself a man with polymathic sense and a lucid expositor of innovative ideas, but the phenomenon that had affected me was non-pareil in its occurrence and diuturnal effects. My name is William Tasker, a renown writer of mystery novels.

It all began one early morning during the week, as I was walking casually down North Street in Boston, when I had entered a bookstore and then walked toward North Square that was located at the intersection of North Garden Court and Sun Court Streets. There was a brief light of flashing luminescence that had blinded me for a moment, as I passed through it. I had forgotten an item back at the bookstore, and I had returned, but as I did I had noticed that the bookstore had disappeared completely. Instead, what I had discovered was an anonymous place, whose name was Burham Inn. It was an inn, not a bookstore. That was the first of my sudden surprises and reactions. While I was observing, I had then noticed that the brick buildings were shabby tenements and that the streetlight at the end of the corner was excessively tall. There were nearby stores that I did not even recognize, but it would be the conspicuous attire of the people that had mostly astonished me. The strange individuals that I had seen on the street were all dressed in late 19th century Victorian clothing.

A herdic carriage that was pulled by a horse had passed me by, as I stood in utter bewilderment. These types of carriages were a predecessor of the earliest taxicab built. Was I dreaming, and the whole sequence of events was nothing more than a creative response of my subconsciousness? I would discover quickly that it was no apparent hallucination or dream, and that I had somehow found myself in the midst of North Square in the inconceivable past. I was dressed properly as well in the articles of clothing that was demonstrative of the time period I had entered. I had a morning suit that had a waistline seam and cutting away in the front, dark trousers and shoes, and a blue tie over my white shirt. I was wearing a bowler hat. There was one particular item that was very distinguishable that I was wearing as an accessory, and that was an elegant garnet men's ring in gold. My Apple phone had been converted, into a vintage gold pocket watch. A stranger with a fedora hat and lounge suit had seen me standing in the middle of the road and had inquired about my presence there. I had asked the man what year was it, and he had paused as if he thought that I was inhibited by alcohol or some potent drug, before he uttered to me that it was the year 1899. I had looked on with even more disbelief and incredulity.

I had seen a newspaper stand and a young boy with a Gatsby cap selling newspapers from the Boston Globe. He had identified himself as a newsie, dressed in a noticeable jacket and knickerbockers that were buckled below the knee. I had never heard the term before, which was a term for newsboys. Once I had read the headline of the newspaper, it had confirmed to me that I was indeed in the year 1899, but how was that feasible? What I was unaware of was that I had passed through a slit of time that had permitted me to time travel into the distant past. At the time, I had no reliable clue about what had transpired to me or what had caused this anomalous occurrence in the first place. The only thing that had seemed real and definite was the fact that I was present in that year. There were notabilia everywhere around me that had depicted the era that I was in.

The area in which I was in was notorious for illicit activities during that time period. I had entered into a nearby tavern that was called MacNamara, thinking that I could find more answers to my questions by the utility of investigation. A woman who was a barmaid had addressed me. She was interested in knowing what I had wanted to take for a drink. I was still confused about the situation I was confronting that I had told the barmaid that I only wanted to know, what city I was in. I needed more proof to determine the validity of my ordeal, although I was exposing myself to a certain ridicule. She was extremely baffled by my inusitate comportment, but she did reply to me that it was the year 1899. I left the tavern and had stepped back outside, whereupon I was met by a woman in a provocative red dress who had identified herself as a jilt or a prostitute.

I had known that in my time period of the 21st century North Street was known for strip clubs, but I was not accustomed to seeing what were called jilt shops or brothels, where the prostitutes were so overt in flaunting their sexual liaisons. Adjacent to those buildings were burlesque vaudevilles and a cruel spectacle that was called rat-baiting, where captured rats were in an enclosed space with eager spectators betting on how long a common dog would take to kill the gutter rats. I had heard related stories of cockfighting, but this type of event was disturbing to say the least. From what I had seen so far of North Street and North Square in this time period, it was the embodiment of an area that was mostly of immigrants and low-class individuals of which was typical of the late 19th century, from what I had read in books. As a sentient man from a middle-class upbringing, I had sympathized with the plight of these people to progress in such harsh conditions and misfortunes.

I was in the city that I had known since my childhood, but it was not the same Boston that I had truly known. I had no idea of what to do next. I was lost in my inconclusive thoughts. The thought of returning home was immediate in my mind. My residence was in Blackstone Street. I had walked there and was able to see a Victorian house that had resembled my own home intact. Some of the buildings around my home were familiar, while others were not. When I had knocked on the front door, I was met by a woman who I had never met nor seen before. She had seen the puzzled look on my countenance. She was about to leave, when I had appeared. She was donning a straw boater hat with a bonnet, a silhouette dress with small vertical puffs at the shoulder, a bell-shaped skirt, bodices with gigot sleeves, frills and lace trimmings. She wore a jacket, and her hair was specifically arranged with neat chignons, soft curls at the front, curling feathers, ribbons and flowers that were on the hat. What I had noticed without a doubt was her striking beauty.

Before I could utter a cordial expression, she had asked me who I was and why I had come to her residence?

"What can I do for you sir?''

''I am William Tasker. Forgive me if I may ask, how long have you been living here?"

"I have been living here for several years? Are you the former proprietor of the house, because I don't understand why you are asking me?

Inadvertently, I had quickly responded by affirming that I was indeed, the previous owner, "Yes I am!"

She had excused herself, "Forgive me sir, if I be so disrespectful, but I have an appointment to attend to at this moment."

"By all means! I understand. I will not take anymore of your time madam."

Before she had departed she said to me with a smile on her face, "You are welcomed to return on another day, when I am not that occupied. I would love to share a conversation with you on the house. My name is Jane Reeves."

"That would be great!" I answered.

As I left her, I could not help but sense an unusual bond with her, as if we had known each other before. I was at my home. However, I was a total stranger to it and could not enter it as I had wanted. I did not know what to do next. How long was I to remain trapped in this bygone century? Was I a prisoner to be here forever, or was there more to be enjoyed than displeased? Was this some kind of destiny that had eluded my awareness and comprehension? Whatever it was, it had to have a logical answer and a definite cause? The street had remained the same, but the people were not the same people I had known in my neighborhood. As with the places in North Street, some of the familiar shops were not there. They were replaced by other businesses that were established. It was so odd to witness, such an abnormal display of differences in time elapsed by centuries. I tried to correlate them with the apparent model that I had recognized which was the pattern of time.

There had to be something that was relative to the passage of time and how I was capable of transcending through it with some form of magnetic field? A portal it had to be, but the question was what type of portal and how did it function in the end? Perhaps, my answer would be found in the local library. If I had accidentally been transported into the late 19th century, then there had to be an elucidation that could verify my rational suspicion. Fortunately, for me, the only library that was close was still intact and one that I was familiar with its existence. The building had not changed that much in its general structure, with the exception of adjoining attachments to it, but when I had entered, I had quickly noticed that there were no actual computers on display. I had to rely on old catalogues that were manual than digital to distil the information that was vital to my search and investigation.

As I had looked and searched for any pertinent books on the topic of physics, I found the only thing that was of any tangible substance that I could peruse and analyze with meticulosity. It was a book that had dealt with slits of time that were conduced by apparent waves. I was fascinated to know more about this book. In 1801, an experiment performed by a certain Thomas Young demonstrated that light and matter could be linked to the incongruous demonstrations for both waves and particles, which were considered indisputable evidence, for the probabilistic nature of what was known thereafter as the science of quantum mechanics. Was it possible to fathom that the slit of time that I had entered was intrinsically entangled in some form, with the active mechanism of time and the manifestation of light, like some type of cosmic vortex?

To travel through the slits as a wave, light would split into two waves that would enter each slit. When these waves would cross over again on the other side, they would interfere with each other in some evolving capacity. The double-slit experiment had showed light behaving as particles and a wave, in time rather than actual space. A light that passes through specific times in quick succession. Electrons behave like a wave through slits but when they enter in observations, they travel back in time to the slit to show their interaction as a patent particle. I was not even certain that this possibility was linked to the phenomenon that I had experienced at an interval. How could I corroborate something that I did not fully understand? I needed more substantial evidence in order to facilitate a theory that would correspond, with this unexplainable occurrence of mine and the singular concatenation of events.

I was a firm exponent of physics and science, but I was not an expert of these fields and only could approximate with my suppositions, the measurable possibilities that were at my disposal. It was too unimaginative to ponder the causation of my phenomenon. If it was not unprecedented, then what was it in its definition? I had little knowledge to even consider a valid inference. However, I had to find an answer that exceeded any mere speculation I had proposed. This was a difficult task to overcome, especially when there was not much to compare my experience with other known phenomena already established in the world. I did not know if the slits in time were cyclical. The variable nature of such possibility that I had experimented was only shared by a few it would seem. I was amongst those few successful that had ventured into a time portal or vortex that had sent me precisely to the year of 1899.

I had left the public library and began to walk. I had reached Tremont Street, where there a subway, trams riding over black and white lines tracks that ran from the Public Garden through Boylston Street, Park Street, North Street, Congress Street and Commercial Street. I had money which was from the late 19th century. Somehow the money I carried as with everything of my personal items was converted into this era. I got on a tram and ventured to Blackstone Street, and I had stopped at the brick house of the old Ochtorlony house and Tremere house to observe them both. It was indeed impressive to see the great alteration that had transpired from one century to another. I had found myself compelled to return to the one place that I was secure and that was my home. The problem was that it was occupied then by another person.

Before I dared to return, I had thought about where would I stay in the meantime. I could not evict her legally, because she was the rightful owner of the house in the year 1899. No one would believe that I had time traveled from the 21st century. I was able to stay at a local hotel near the house. It was affordable and not that far from Blackstone Street. There was nothing that was a certainty for me, except that I was trapped somehow in the 19th century. I was apprehensive to accept the reality that I could be forever lost in this evolving century, and a hostage to time. Who could I resort to in assistance, since all the people that I knew had not even existed yet? I was confronted with that daunting realization. I had never before felt a complete stranger in the city of Boston, until these unique moments in time. The only person I had trusted was the young lady that was occupying my house, whose name was Jane Reeves.

That night in my room, my mind could not help but be swayed by her feminine attraction and her aura. I was a divorced man and had not had much luck in the adventures of love lately. It was not my intention to ultimately fall in love with this particular woman. Returning to my century had been my main concern and urgency. However, I had no clue or idea for how long I was to remain in the year 1899. My knowledge was limited to the facts and to the situation that was unfolding before my eyes. There was so much that I could not resolve on my own, and the uncertain feeling of helplessness had begun to cause me to doubt the eventuality of ever returning back to my former time. Where would I find the next feasible slit that would allow me to return? I could not predict that anomaly.

I was no scientist, just a common man who had traversed the boundary of time and motion at the same time. In the morning, I could hear the noisy bustle of the street. There were children riding bicycles, trams passing, carriages crossing, and even the unique glimpse of a Winton motor car. I was well-accustomed to the noises of Boston, but what I had heard and seen thereafter was a scene like no other. I left the hotel and headed for the house, uncertain of what to expect. I had suspected that I would be welcomed, as was told at the house upon my prior visit. I was somewhat nervous, when approaching the house. Would she receive me or tell me to come on another occasion?

Her garden was roseate and I had plucked a flower to give to her, as a token gesture. I had mustered enough courage to knock on her front door, whereupon she answered me, with a gleaming smile and sparkle in her dark eyes. She accepted the flower and had invited me, a complete stranger to breakfast, where we would converse in person at a quaint café that was nearby in distance. During our conversation I was mostly intrigued to know what her life was at the house and in Boston. From what she had relayed to me, she was born and bred in Boston. She had bought the house from a prominent family, whose surname was Shelton. I had learned that she was not married and had no beau at the present time. She was a lonely child like myself. I in return had told her that I too was born and bred in Boston. When she asked me where I was living, I had to tell her a lie. I told her that I had recently moved back to the city from New York.

"I was always curious to know, who had lived in the house before me. Did you enjoy the house, as much as I have, Mr. Tasker?"

"Yes indeed! I only regret that I did not buy it before."

"I must admit, I am a bit envious of you. It is not every day that one finds comfort in such a fine house or meets the former proprietor."

"True. I also share that sentiment."

"What made you purchase it, if I may inquire?"

"That is a good question. Well, it would have to be because of the area."

"That is a good response. I too chose the house for that particular reason. It seems we have a lot in common."

"I am beginning to think the same."

It had been a long time, since I had enjoyed the real company of a woman, and I could sense that it had been some time since she too had been in the company of an eccentric man, who could make her feel special. Despite the considerable difference in our centuries and parlance, there was a strong bond of affection that was beginning to become more transparent by the minute. Thus, was the seed of our romance sprouted. Perhaps, it was foolish to believe in love at first sight in the 21st century, but I was in the 19th century. Something about her and this time period was causing me to be more receptive to love, and adventure than I would ever have been in my own prosaic century. We left the café and had visited one of my favorite parks that was also her favorite, which was the Boston Public Gardens.

The park at that time was missing some of the neighborhoods that had been built afterwards in the 20th century, but its essence was still captivating and engrossing. There were graceful swans that had glided in the pond from the proximate bank and plenteous of flowers in the botanical garden that were more abundant than in my century. There were people paddling small boats in couples, with their small children. It was a grand time of merriment and disportment. We stood at the bridge and stared at the wonderful sight of the park, and talked about how much we enjoyed each other's company. There was a moment, when I could not believe how fortunate my luck had changed. I was once lost in a century that was unusual to me, but then through the sheer contact of a beautiful woman who was the owner of my house, I had grown to appreciate the simple things about her century. There were no Samsung televisions, smart phones, or even wireless stereo loudspeaker systems. None of these things had been yet invented. The car which would change the course of history was still in its infancy.

After the visit to the park, we took a tram and went to a place that she was fond of and I too unbeknown to her, the Old Corner Bookstore that was once a gathering place for distinguishable writers, such as Wadsworth, Longfellow, Hawthorne, Emerson and Dickens. The structure of the building had not changed much from my century. There were countless magazines such as, Arena, Argosy, the Atlantic, Bookman, Harper's Bazaar, Ladies' Home Journal, etc. I had been there on several occasions, but I had not read any of these magazines that were available. Remarkably, Jane had shared much of my interests in reading and writing. She was passionate of the arts as I was. She had even met Oscar Wilde, while in London during one of his famous plays.

"I don't know what it is about you Mr. Tasker, but I feel that there is something about you that tells me, you are a stranger, but at the same time, you have always been here".

"Please call me William."

"William it shall be. And you can address me as Jane."

"As for your question, Although I have traveled much, Boston is the place I call home."

"Are you unwed?" She asked.

"If by that you mean not married?"

"Yes."

"I am not. And why have you not married?"

"I have not yet met the bold man, who has swept me off my feet."

I lifted her in my arms, "Now, you have finally met that man."

Within a week that had passed, we had extended our courtship, and I was on the verge of moving in with her, and being engaged to her. Perhaps, it was mad in my century to even contemplate the notion of an engagement to someone that I had only met a week ago, but I had felt that strong affinity with Jane that I had never felt before with another woman, during my lifetime. We were inseparable and spent as much time together, like a joyous couple who were refreshed by each other's company and wit. I had begun to see her as my authentic soul mate, and we shared experiences that few people of our place in time could ever experiment. I was willing to forsake my attempt to return to the 21st century, in order to remain behind in the 19th century with Jane.

One day she had invited me to the Museum of Fine Arts that had a public gallery, which had included prestigious works such as John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sergeant and Gilbert Stuart. She had surprised me and revealed to me a painting that she had personally painted and was on exposition there at the museum. Naturally, I had no idea of her artistic talent and prowess. The building was located on Copley Square. This museum in my time had been converted into the Copley Plaza Hotel. Each time that I would see something that had been changed in location or structure, it would give me instant chills. On one hand it had stirred my curiosity and on the other hand, it had reminded me of the place I had found myself emerged in its inexplicable mystery. She was ravishing in the silhouette dress she wore with small vertical puffs at the shoulder, bell shaped skirt, bodices with gigot sleeves, frills and lace trimmings.

With more details that I had learned about Jane, I had appreciated her even more. Her way of thinking had reflected much my own, and despite our obvious difference in centuries, we had accommodated each other's interest and likes with a reverential trust in each other. Where had this remarkable woman been in all my years of searching for the right woman? How odd it was that destiny would bring me to her, in such a manner that I would have never expected of its blessing. Her natural beauty and ingenuity were rare but exciting, as was her appeal. I could divulge to her my most inner secrets and she would reciprocate the same. I would play the piano, while she would sing. It was difficult to imagine that in the world that I had known as technological advances with the advent of modern devices, I would gradually dismiss their importance. Had I finally accepted my fate in this simplistic century?

We had taken a playful bicycle ride together along the Public Gardens. It was the first time in decades that I rode upon a bicycle. I was used to driving my car. In particular, a bicycle that was a model that was from the year 1899. I felt like a spry adolescent, who had remerged from his dull isolation to discover a fascinating world of new adventures. All I knew was that I was somewhere in time enjoying every precise moment I could savor with the waft and foliage of nature, beneath the sky with a delicate shade of blue. Whatever had brought me to Jane, it was because of destiny. I could not concede to the notion that one day, this would all abate with the passing of our centuries. A new century was on the verge of arriving. It was close to the year 1900 and the 20th century. We were engaged to each other, and time could not award us any great reward than our priceless devotion toward each other.

"Where have you been all of these years William? I have searched for Mr. Right, and then you came along from nowhere it seems. It can't be from nowhere. It must be from somewhere."

My intuition was telling me, she was close to deciphering my mystery, "Perhaps, but all I know is that you are my true soulmate."

"What do you mean by that?" She inquired.

"It means that you are my fresh breath, the beauty I admire. You make me feel like no other woman has made me feel before."

"You are so flattering in your words that they are winsome to hear. You as well, exude this quality in me that makes me inseparable from you."

"I speak only from the heart Jane."

I found myself then, speaking like a Victorian.

A month had passed, and I was living with her in her house as her future husband. It was so bizarre to make that acknowledgement, because the house would belong to me one century and half afterward. The house that I had known from the outside was the same, but from the inside he had changed considerably. The living room that I knew was divided into a parlor and hallway. The other rooms including the bed rooms upstairs were different as well. I had mostly preserved the original antiquities of the Victorian house that I had been living at, but the antiquities that I had seen in the year 1899 were much more valuable and decorative in their pristine appearance. Despite the changes, the house had retained the charm and comeliness of its refinement. Oddly enough, the polished piano was still the same as I had known of its structure.

The paintings on the walls were picturesque, and the pictures that Jane had of herself were uniquely representative of her beauty and her glamor. She was befitting of all the accolades and admiration that any man could bestow upon her. Our first kiss was as memorable as the last one. Our stare at each other was irresistible and original. We were a magnet for the whims and delights that had consumed us in the emotion that is called love. Jane had purchased a device called a phonograph and large cylinders. It had played orchestral music. I was from a century, where music was downloaded. The contrast was extremely noticeable. She had invited me to the Paris Exposition that was to be in the following year of 1900.

There was one thing about our situation that had made me felt guilty of its relevance, and that was that I had not told Jane that I was from the 21st century. How could I even begin to confess to her that incredible fact? Surely, she would think that I was insane or confused with my words, but I was growing impatient with this anxiety of not telling her the absolute truth.

We had taken a trip to New York, then London by ship over the Atlantic Ocean. We had visited other immemorial cities in Europe, such as Paris, Amsterdam and Madrid, before we had returned to America. Our wedding was set for the following year of 1900, which was only months away. Along the voyage, we had contemplated having family and beginning a business that we would both be involved in its handling and management. I was never one to predict the future, but it did seem to be something beautiful to imagine in its entirety. I was haunted by only one thing that was constant in my mind, and that was for how long would I physically remain in this time period? There was a part of me that was doubtful and a part of me that did not want to burden Jane with this uncertainty, but we were in love. That was all that mattered it would seem to me.

We had gone to the Boston Music Hall which was located on Winter Street one night to see a fantastic concert by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This building had not existed in my time period. A movie theater had been built then afterwards. The Symphony Hall which I had been accustomed to visiting had not been built until the year 1900. The rigid society-mold of the Victorians was fading, for there was a new and fresh breath of freedom in the air, symbolized by the extravagance of the clothing. Jane was dressed in an elegant silk satin, beaded embroidery dress, with a cape over it. The scent of her perfume was infused, with an irresistible lavender fragrance. I had a black tie over my white starched shirt, with a stiff collar beneath my blue two-piece suit. My trousers or pants were also blue, but my shoes were of a polished black. It was to be an intimate night shared together, and one that would be lasting in its significance.

While Jane was listening to the harmonic sounds of the orchestra in our seats, I would see the bright glare of her eyes and smile. I could feel her heartbeat, with every rhythm of the musical notes played. I knew that her heart had beaten for me, as mine had done for her. How could I know then that our time together would be reduced to fleeting moments and precious time shared daily? It was impossible to suspect that our time was ending, and that it would end in the most horrible way ever imagined by me, our material separation. This I had believed. For the rest of the night, we had returned to our home and our bodies embraced in the torrential passion that we had stoked with the irrepressible flame of our love. These were actual moments that I had cherished and valued in the presence of Jane. Her soft, rose petals Iips had seduced me.

"Your beauty is unmatched Jane. There is a sensual sparkle in your eyes that makes any man succumb to its passionate spell."

"You are so debonair that you know, what to say to me to conquer my heart William."

"Let my flesh wrap you with desires that will make you shiver."

"It seems it has been forever that I have been waiting for a genuine man like you to appear in my life."

"Allow me to savor the wetness of your begging lips."

"My lips are yours to taste, and my body for you to feast."

We would write personal letters to each other with the ink of a fountain pen, while we were apart from each other. There were times, when I had to leave on business trips from Boston, and she would stay back at the house and tend to the business. We gave each other also personal keepsakes, such as a pocket watch for me and a silvet trinket for her. We would spend time at the Boston Harbor, the sunsets on Sundays watching the ships pass and the sea gulls fly above us, or we would escape to the historic lighthouse by the harbor at Little Brewster Island. Like two curious adventurers, we would climb up the iron stairs to see the umplumbed depths of the cerulean waters, as we breathed the fresh waft of the ocean from the balcony. Our genuine romance was born and created from the very essence of our love. I had deeply believed in my conviction, but the one thing that would inhibit the blossoming of our affection would be the very same thing that was attached to it, time. You see, time was something that neither Jane nor I could control. Sadly, it was the uninvited cruelty of reality.

Upon the morning of December, the 31, there were fresh snowflakes falling on our front lawn. It was the active sign of winter. We had awakened and stepped outside, to make a snowman and a snowwoman that had embodied our general features and soul. The winter was much more special to me, because it had meant that I would spend it with the woman that I loved. We had gone to the department store to collect some items for the party that we were to tend on that memorable night. There were festivities that were planned and moments to be cherished. Neither Jane nor I would know that it was our last day and night together for the time being, as a couple committed to each other. I would have a strange sensation that something unexplained was lurking in the background to be displayed. If I could only have known of what was to happen, I would have attempted to avoid its unannounced occurrence.

That night of the eve of the new year and the new century, Jane and me were seated at the fireplace beside the parlor talking about our plans for the upcoming year. I had told Jane that we would expand our business and she was delighted to hear the news, but there was something that was more important to her, and that was that we were expecting a child. There was sheer excitement in the both of us, and we had celebrated the especial occasion. We went to the festivity that we were invited, but had returned early, due to some complications that Jane was experimenting. Apparently, she did not feel well, and I had comforted her in her bed. It was not serious to warrant a doctor, but I was concerned about her. She had told me that she needed only rest.

I had finally decided to confess to her, about what had truly happened to me, concerning my time period, "Jane, there is something you must know about me."

She looked on with confusion, "What is it my dear? Don't keep me in suspense!"

''I am not from this century."

''What do you mean?"

''I am from the 21st century. I am a time traveler."

She was in utter disbelief, "How can that be. Are you jesting?"

I had grabbed her by the hand and said to her, "I wish that I was, but it is the absolute truth. I came here to this century, through what is called a slit of time. I know it may seem far-fetched to believe, but such phenomena had occurred in history from what I had read."

''What you are telling me does not make any sense William. People do not time travel. That is only seen in things that are of weird fiction magazines. I am afraid I can't believe what you are telling me. It is not rational."

"I know it is not, but it has happened."

'How can you prove it?"

Among the priceless antiquities of her collection, I had discovered an item in the house that had mysteriously been in place during my time there a century and a half afterward. It was my laptop. This was the confirmation of my assertion. It was a device that no Victorian had ever seen before. Jane's reaction and expression had displayed her belief in what I was saying, "I still can't believe it. How is this even possible? I have never seen such a strange thing."

"All that I know Jane, is that I love you and I am willing to stay here in this present time with you forever."

''And I love you too William." Those were her last words to me.

With an oil lamp I stood by her bedside, as she had slept. I had slept on the Chesterfield sofa in the parlor, thinking I would awake to see Jane's pretty face anew, with the splendid rays of the morning sun entering through the velvet curtains. When I awoke, I would discover that the new year had arrived, but instead of it being the year 1900 and the beginning of the 2Oth century, it was the 21st century. Somehow unbeknown to me, I had returned to my former period in time. I had made the sudden realization that the house that I had lived in before had changed to the modern arrangements that I had in my house then, when I had purchased it. Immediately, I went to the bedroom to check on Jane, and what I discovered was that she was absent. Desperately, I had searched for her, calling out her name, but to no avail. She vanished into thin air or was left behind in the past of 1899. The only thing that I had found of her was the priceless trinket that I had given to her.

When I left the house to search for her. I went in my car down all the main streets and areas of Boston such as Allston Village, Bowdoin Geneva, Brighton, Chinatown, East Boston, Egleston Square, Fields Corner, Four Corners, Greater Ashmont, Greater Grove Hall, Hyde Park, Upham's Corner, Roxbury, Mission Hill, hoping to find her. I went to the places that we had visited, yet I would return empty-handed. I had even returned to the place where I had time traveled previously, the area of North Street and the bookstore I had once entered. No matter how much I had tried fine Jane, I would fail to return. I was stuck in the 21st century and worse, without her beautiful presence. There was one place in particular, in which she had cherished being with me the most, and that was the pond where we would row our boats on Saturdays.

When I went there, I had looked around for Jane. I would gradually accept that it was unlikely that I would ever see her exquisite face again or be with her in the mortal sense. I tried to make sense of all of what had occurred. Intuitively, I began to think about every action that I had taken the prior night. What did I do that had caused me to return to the 21st century? Had I involuntarily entered another slit of time and this time it was to stay in my century, as an unwilling prisoner of my own fate? How could I return back to Jane was becoming my unbearable obsession, as I sat dumbfounded in the chair of my studio wondering? My clothing and settings had returned, but not my heart and soul. They were back there in the year 1899 with my dearest Jane.

I held on firmly to her sentimental trinket, pressing it against my chest. I went to the place where her pictures were at in the hall, and they were still there. So was the last picture that we had taken together at the park. Somehow, they had survived the passing of time. Days would pass and then weeks, with no sign of returning to Jane or her to me. I was oppressed with the solitude of my despair and the gloom of my regret. Her love letters had appeared out of nowhere in the drawers of our bedroom. I had sat in our bed reading them, as the plaintive tears ran down my eyes profusely. Somewhere in time had drifted our love to the clouds above, where only in our minds and hearts we could reach its perennial paradise. There was no doubt in my mind that she was dead by then. Her presence had faded like the gnast of a snuffed candle. The possibility that I would never see her, nor my unborn child had consumed me in such immeasurable guilt. The nights were spent in the unbearable silence of the corridors and the coldness of the
singularity of my isolation.

I had searched in Boston for any relatives of hers under her presumed surname Reeves, hoping that I could locate her and know her fate and my unborn child. I had looked in my laptop to see if I could find any pertinent information about them. I had managed to locate a possible relative of hers whose residence was in the area of Mission Hill. I had knocked on the front door and was received by a certain young woman, who was indeed a relative of Jane. When I had told her who I was, she had instinctively known about me. She had allowed me to enter, and I waited for her in the living room. When she had returned, she handed over to me, a treasure trove of Jane's personal items and recollections with me in 1899. She had assumed that I was related to a Mr. William Tasker. I had not given my name to her, but she had known that I would come to visit her inquiring, about Jane one day.

"You are related to William Tasker?"

I could not reveal to her my actual identity, "Yes. I am a relative of his."

"It has been so long of a wait, but I knew this day would come."

"Indeed it has!"

"I must know why have you waited until now to find me?"

"I suppose it is because it was the right moment."

I was eager to ask her about what had happened to Jane and her presumed child, I was told by this woman whose name was Charlotte that Jane had never married. She would live to be the ripe age of 89, dying in the year of 1969. I would be informed that she had been buried in a cemetery next to her beloved son on Boylston Street, between Tremont Street and Charles Street. What I did not know was the fact that our young child died a year after his birth in 1900. There was an eerie wind that was blowing, when I went to visit the cemetery in my car. Once I had arrived there, I was able to find the graves of both my son and beloved Jane. Tears had moved me to a sudden and wistful sorrow, as I had kneeled to the ground before their emotive epitaphs. Why did I not perish with them? I did not want to continue to live any longer.

The wind had begun to be reduced to a soft breeze that had caressed the lineaments of my pale face exposed. The melted snow had left behind as a vestige, puddles of water that had cast a listless reflection. I was able to see my crestfallen image. It was then that the familiar flashing light of luminescence had reappeared before me. I knew then that it was the slit of time that I had previously passed through. I could see on a grim tombstone that was beside that of my beloved son and Jane's tombstone, another name attached to that one. It was the name of William Tasker. Written were the words born in the year 1874, died in the year 1969. Although I was not born in that exact year, what had arrested my attention immediately, was the year that I had supposedly died. I knew then that the portal of time had opened up for me to re-enter again as I had desired. I thought only of Jane, and I did not hesitate in my decision. Thus, I went into the mysterious passage of time to forever remain, within the past of the indelible dawn of the 20th century to be with her again.

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About The Author
Franc68
Lorient Montaner
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8 Mar, 2024
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