Read Time: 7 Mins
As he gestured me to the chair in the middle of his office, I did the math. I had been alive for precisely 17195 days. But I will skip this little detail. It would lead him down a rabbit hole.
“I have had this overwhelming feeling of déjà vu for the longest time. Images, scents, conversations. Even the flippant remarks of strangers would unravel a carefully rolled scroll, from a past I don’t think existed.” I explained while adjusting myself to Dr. Mendelson’s office. I couldn’t even remember the question that he’d asked.
“Do you suppose that any of these incidents could be real?”
“Highly unlikely. I was born in the mid 70’s. Real or not, I wouldn’t be able to confirm.”
He made several notes on a yellow legal pad. I would pay a fortune to compare notes of my last four therapists. It would be fascinating to see what similarities existed between them.
“Have you ever spoken to your parents or other family members who lived in that era?”
“I have. Unfortunately, none of them have ever been to Nairobi.” I lied.
“Interesting.” He adjusted his glasses and made a few more notes.
“Why Nairobi?” He established a more relaxed posture to which I was accustomed.
“It is where all the memories come alive you see, doctor. Nairobi, Kenya.”
He fidgeted a little. It was the reaction I anticipated. Now I crossed my legs with a pronounced strut kick.
“It is not unnatural to have very vivid recollections of the past.” He was visibly unsettled.
“These, very vivid recollections, as you call them, are from 1939 or even further back. Yet some are from a future which you have yet to experience.”
He wrote on his notepad again, adjusted his glasses, shifted his weight. “And how far into the future are we talking?”
“For the purpose of this visit, exactly 48 hours.”
In a break with professional behavior, he leaned forward, steering at my shoes for a moment. Then he snapped his head up, looking directly into my eyes.
“Where did you get those shoes?” He looked as though he had seen a ghost.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Those stilettos. I have seen them before.”
“They are available at any retailer on the high street.” I shrugged.
“You must forgive me. Even the scent of the leather endures in this momentary mental flux. Up here.” He fingered the side of his head.
“I appreciate the infantile attempt. I know what déjà vu looks like, Dr. Mendelson. Perhaps I made a mistake scheduling these sessions with you.”
He fixed his gaze upon me. Then setting his notepad aside, he calmly stood up.
“I have seen those shoes only once. And it was not at a retail store.” He continued with a Perry Mason type gait and tone.
“Would you prefer to switch positions, doctor Mendelson?” I teased.
“I know we are complete strangers, but I feel an uncanny, eternal familiarity to you.” He tapped his chin with his pen as he walked around me.
“I can assure you that we have never met each other before today.”
“I was lying face down, in a muddy swamp. In terrible pain. It was all a dream, but I felt very much alive, and dying at the same time.” He paused in front of me again.
“And my shoes remind you of this nightmare you had?”
“Yes. Yes. I’m afraid you must have a horrid opinion of me by now.” He sat down again, hands clasped between his knees, and his eyes fixed on my shoes.
I had worn them on purpose. It worked.
“Dr. Mendelson!” I snapped my fingers in front of his eyes. He had drifted off into a memory.
“I do apologize. But perhaps it is best if we reschedule this appointment. Shall we say two weeks from today?” He was back in his notepad again.
“I see no reason we can’t continue. Your little outburst was quite fascinating… beneficial even.”
A pensive grin was his response, then he said “I do have a flight to catch. And I must admit, I am rather distracted.”
“A wedding in Nairobi?”
“Yes. How did you know?” He rolled the pen between his palms as a child would roll play dough.
I pointed to the itinerary on his desk.
“You’re quite observant.”
“Dr. Mendelson, I will be brief. You are rather expensive, and I have a very short time on this earth.”
“Well, that was rather insulting and fatalistic at the same time. I’ll admit that…” I touched my finger to his lips to silence him.
“We have on average 30,000 sunrises to experience in our lifetimes. You sir, will only make it to 20,442.” I could see his mind attempting to calculate the numbers.
“Allow me to elucidate. You, my good sir, have currently existed for 56 years. Today was your birthday. You are on your way to Nairobi, to celebrate with your rather handsome friend. But you will not make it.”
“I am not fifty-six. How could you even possibly know that?”
“There is a birthday card on your secretary’s desk. You will leave tonight for the Ivory Coast. Fly to Cameroon, then on to Kenya, in less than 48 hours. Your flight sir, will be delayed.”
He sat with a blank look on his face. So, I continued.
“Kenyan Airways, flight KQ507 is scheduled to depart Cameroon around midnight. Am I correct?”
He hesitated, but eventually reached for the itinerary on his desk. A reluctant nod followed.
“You will be ill advised to travel from Cameroon. I would suggest you reschedule or make alternative arrangements.”
“On the murmurings and premonitions of someone who is clearly mentally unstable?”
“That is rather unprofessional. But yes.” I was stung by his insult. “You saw these shoes, in your dreams, while laying in a swamp, dying. For that is where your plane will make a premature, unplanned, un-piloted, nosedive. I cannot be more concise and direct.”
I looked at my watch. My time was up. I had no intentions of paying this quack another penny. In fact, he should be paying me. Yet, I was the unstable one. I nodded a polite good evening and made my way out of his office. What he chose to do with the warning was on him.
Sunrise 17198. The television in the cafe showed the news of a missing Kenyan Airlines flight. Dr. Mendelson had not heeded my warning. But he was only a splinter of the infinite just like me, and his time was up. Nothing more I could do about it. I had just over 12,000 sunrises remaining, and I wanted to enjoy every one of them.
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