Imagine reliving the best parts of your life again, and in a way that you control.
Would you change anything about that day? Maybe you wanted a different result? Or wanted someone else to have a different outcome?
I thought I stumbled upon a way of doing so, although now I think I’m being tested by some higher power. Twice I have gone back to a time in my life I thought was happy, twice I have failed to preserve that time as I remembered it. Now things have changed completely, I didn’t realize the consequences before, but I do now.
I have no choice but to finish whatever it is I’ve started. I’m documenting this so others can learn from my mistakes. I’m going to rot in hell if I don’t decipher this.
I don’t know how or when I fell asleep outside the bar, but when I woke up the noise hit me. I couldn’t tell you when I last went home, and by the state of my clothing, I must have resembled the local homeless guy curled up in the door stoop. Which FYI was bloody cold and remarkably hard.
Rubbing my eyes didn’t do much more than make my head hurt again.
Why did I still feel so groggy? Was the alcohol that the barman serviced me that strong?
I pushed myself unsteadily to my feet and turned to the orange glow of the windows. The noise from within saturated the night in pungent notes. I pushed the door, and a man fell out with a hand clamped to his mouth. His wet retching adding to the rambunctious sounds from within.
How the hell had I slept through this?
The bar was packed, people of all ages and creed stood, danced and swayed within the small space. The barman smiled at me as two others paced around behind him serving other customers.
He knew why I was here and didn’t worry about the pleasantries. I came to sit on a newly vacate stool, and he placed an orange pint before me. The people surrounding me all looked a little watered down like the lights were on but nobody was home. Again I thought about how strong the beers were.
“Where will you go this time? I imagine somewhere much like this…only more – extravagant.”
The barman teased me with the glass. The etching of a pigs face grinned back at me.
Still curious I sniffed the drink and was surprised to smell bacon. Now don’t get me wrong as an avid meat eater, Bacon is my favorite. But bacon flavored beer? Maybe I have died and gone to heaven.
This time I was ready. I would play it smart, take in the situation, play it as I remembered it. I’d make sure that I wouldn’t fuck this one up, who knew whose life would be at stake.
I drained the glass in one; the thick liquid clogged my throat as I chugged it down. A part of me though it was real pig fat, but I convinced myself otherwise to prevent vomiting.
Again the barman and the sounds around me warped until I was standing a table ladened with food. A cherry colored punch bowl at its center and a ring of all sorted finger food standing sentry around it.
Disoriented I looked around and was surprised to find myself at my works New Years disco. My colleges looked a lot younger than what they were in my time, and I came to realize just how hagged life had made them.
A banner stretched over the DJ booth announcing the year in sparkly letters. 2006.
This was the year I met my wife.
I scanned the room seeking her out. The stakes just took an unexpected jump; this was a memory I didn’t want to fuck up. I spotted her talking to a group of ladies. Debbie had started little over a month ago from this date, and I hadn’t found the courage to ask her out yet.
The only reason I eventually asked her waddled passed me. Jason Swain, my boss, and all around cunt. I often pulled out my endless supply of he’s so fat jokes around the water cooler for cheap laughs, but In truth, I hated him with a passion.
He had stopped me getting a promotion a handful of times and each time he would sneer at me through his office window while his fat fingers crammed another donut or chocolate bar into his fat fucking mouth.
I remembered now, what had happened here and suddenly I found myself with an internal struggle. You see, Jason in all his gluttonous glory was allergic to latex.
What does that have to do with food?
Well, because of his allergy, Jason was also extremely allergic to avocado, which contains the proteins of the protective skin coating.
At some point tonight (as I’m unsure when this was) Jason will scoff a bite-size chocolate cake laced with avocado. No, it wasn’t an assassination attempt, just a poor catering decision, and for some unknown reason, I would be the one who saves his fat ass.
This event would get me talking to Debbie and like they say, the rest was history.
Jason rested his grotesque weight on two chairs as my colleagues succumbed to the alcohol. I watched in disgusted as he picked at a plate crammed with savory snacks. Each bite sickened me more and the years of trauma from his endless triage of workplace abuse made up my mind.
Suddenly Jason stiffened, and the people around him clamored to help. I watched as Debbie came over, this was my cue.
Jason fumbled in his pocket, but nobody noticed the epi-pen clattered to the floor and roll under his chair. Even when he folded to the ground and stretched out his useless flabby arm to reach it. His concerned colleagues tried in vain to hold him down and flip him into the recovery position.
Jason clutched at his throat and clawed desperately at the hands trying to helping him. In all the commotion I found myself following the step I had before, I reached into the darkness of the chair and grabbed the pen, on the side read ZXGVVKJ in big type. Uncapping it, I stabbed him through his thin trousers and into his thigh with the zealous that it was a knife. His eyes locked on mine and relief flooded them with gratitude.
“Fuck.” There went my plan.
“That was amazing, how did you know he had an allergic reaction.”
Debbie stroked my arm; I forgot that look of admiration on her face.
“I have a cousin.” I fainted. “He’s allergic to shellfish, the same thing happens.”
“Oh my god, I would never have thought it, I just thought he had something stuck in his throat.”
I smiled as Jason sat up panting heavily. The disco had come to a standstill as everyone watched the episode unfold. I would be a star in the office for a few months after, but then Jason’s tirade would start again.
“It’s Debbie, right?”
“Yes, and your Daniel? I’ve seen you about.”
It was still a surprise that she knew my name, Debbie was and always would be out of my league.
“Would you like to go out something?”
I scratched the back of my next nervously, not because of Debbie, I had been with her nine years and married for four of them in my time. I was nervous I might have fucked the memory up in some subtle way. Although I was pretty sure I had done everything right.
We spent the rest of the night talking until she had to leave. On the way out Jason stopped me down the hall, I told Debbie to wait for me outside as I wouldn’t be too long.
“Look, Daniel, I appreciate what you did back there for me?” His chin wobbled in the direction of the sports hall.
“Dan, but no problem man, Anyone would have done the same.”
Jason grinned and pulled out a bar of chocolate from some unknown folds.
“Um, Jason. Can I ask you a question?”
“Sure, but if it’s about the upcoming promotion, senior management won’t allow me to divulge information.”
I knew I wouldn’t get the job, fuck; he would stop them giving it to me even after I saved his life. Fat fuck!
I pushed open the nearest door to me – “In private?”- he glanced down the empty hall as I beckoned him inside.
I didn’t bother flicking the lights on once the door close, I didn’t want him to see me unwrapped the cake I had concealed. I pounced on him, shoving the chocolate avocado cake into his cavernous mouth.
“Dan…wha..Argh” He gagged as we toppled to the floor taking a desk table with us. His fat squelchy body cushioned my fall.
I made sure the whole fucking piece was in every crevice of his face. I wanted him to choke on the last thing he ate.
He flailed around for his pen, but I snatched it out of his hands and rolled it away to the far side of the room and went to the door. As the narrow slither of light closed over Jason’s convulsing body, so did my vision.
Let them find him sprawled out on the floor clutching desperately for it.
A clink of glass replaced the closure of the door as it was placed heavily next to my head. I startled upright.
Damn, it happened again. Why couldn’t I control myself?
The barman stood watching me but he wasn’t alone, the two employees stood like silent sentries on either side.
“So you chose to save him only to condemn him?”
“Why does my brain feel so muddled, it’s like I’m hungover again but I only had that one drink.”
He grinned at me all teeth and shined head, “yes, the drinks,” – he glanced at his colleagues, – “are experimental.”
I rubbed my head and glanced at the empty bar.
How long had I been out this time?
“Where is everyone?”
One of the others answered in a bored voice. “The party is over.”
I reached for my phone to see the time and date but I couldn’t find it.
“Where’s my phone? I’ve got to call my wife.”
“Your *wife* is fine Daniel; she is happy that you are here with us…for now.”
I didn’t like the sounds of that and quickly left for the door. The other two watched impassively as I exited the bar. I ran home, and Debbie is okay. She was a little concerned about my appearance but has put it down to the anniversary of my brother’s death.
I’m not going to tell her about the bar yet, as I’m still trying to figure it out myself. It seems that nothing has changed by and large.
Yes, Jason did die that night, and it would seem by my memory that I killed him. But it looks like I got away with it as the police report said it was an accidental death from an allergic reaction to the cake I smashed down his throat. But only you and I know that.
It looks like I’m going to have to go back to the bar. I still have soo many questions about how this is possible, but for now, I need a long shower and good nights sleep.
Maybe I can figure this out with a bit of rest, then I can go back and sort this out.