Back to the Present

It was 2am, and I had to pee in the middle of the night again. As I lifted the covers, I noticed that Josh wasn’t in the bed next to me. After using the bathroom, I went downstairs. No sign of Josh there, either. I looked out a front window in the living room. His car was in the driveway. I looked out the back window in the kitchen. A light was on in the barn.

I grabbed a jacket and slid on a pair of loafers I keep next to the back door.

I walked the hundred or so yards through the back yard to the barn and opened the door.

“What are you doing in here…”

I didn’t see him.

“Honey?”

Nothing.

A faint noise, reminiscent of an old film projector, began emitting from a distance. The sound grew louder and closer.

An enormous light flashed and I heard a loud crash, which produced a cloud of dirt. I was temporarily blinded and inadvertently backed up into the wall of the barn.

“Honey! You won’t believe what happened!” Josh was geeking out. A frequent event.

“Josh?”

“It’s possible!”

The dust began to settle, literally and figuratively.

“What’s possible, honey?”

I had learned a long time ago not to get my hopes up. This probably had to do with Xcode finally working properly or something. Though, that wouldn’t explain the machine in the barn that looked like an exact replica of the Apollo 11 lunar module.

“What’s the one thing I’ve always wanted to do?”

“Uncover the secrets from Area 51?”

“Close. Time Travel!”

Ah, yes. Josh has often talked about pulling off the perfect time travel prank. Something better than going up to people and asking them what year it is. Maybe that explained why he was dressed like an extra on Mad Men.

Sensing my doubt…

“No, honey. It’s not a prank! I really did it.”

“We really did, Nathania.” Jim climbed out of the lunar module. I should have known this would involve Jim.

“Jim texted me around midnight.”

“I didn’t want to ring the doorbell and wake you and the kids.”

“He had a DeLorean!”

“Yeah, I got it off eBay. I was tinkering around with it and programming the clocks inside. I had to show Josh.”

This was starting to feel like a terrible remake of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

“And then we decided to hack the speedometer to set it permanently to 88mph.”

“But when we did – BAM! 1969!”

At this point, I had many concerns, chief among them that we had a stolen lunar module sitting in our barn.

“Ok, then where’s the DeLorean now?” I was beating around the bush.

“That’s the best part.” I’d never seen Josh so giddy in my entire life.

“We ended up in Cape Canaveral and snuck into Kennedy Space Center.”

“We took the DeLorean’s clocks into the lunar module and hacked its speedometer to 88mph. BAM! Here we are!”

I just stood there, staring at them. They had certainly worked out a story. It wasn’t going to fly with the feds, but at least they would keep investigators busy. The lawyer could easily go for an insanity defense. I prepared myself for a life known as the wife of a non-violent yet criminally insane man. Perhaps I could sell the rights to my story.

“Dude, we gotta get back to work and get out of here.”

Hmmm, maybe they could dispose of the module and stay out of jail.

“Don’t forget to wipe your prints.”

My comment was met with giddy, maniacal laughs. Oh dear.

“Honey, guard the door. You can’t let me in here.”

“You are in here,” I reassured Josh.

“No, I mean present day me.”

“What?”

“Tonight’s not the night that Jim came to the house with the DeLorean. It would be bad if we met.”

I humored him and guarded the barn door. They were probably going to sneak the machine out the back. Actually, this was good for my plausible deniability.

After a few minutes of the guys tinkering away, Josh walked back over to me.

“Honey, in the future, if I never make it back, know that I love you.”

He grabbed me and kissed me passionately.

“And tell the kids I love them too!”

Josh walked back to the lunar module and climbed inside. Another flash of light and dust-up of dirt and they were gone. It was suddenly very quiet. I walked back to the house, put away my jacket and rain boots, and went upstairs. In the bed, Josh was fast asleep, snoring loudly as usual.