Author : Elijah Goering

My body was worn out. My organs were failing because they were simply too old, older than any human had ever been before. I would never speak again, and I had hours, maybe minutes to live. I asked the doctor to leave, and grabbed a pen and paper. Then I reached for the little red button hanging from a silver chain around my neck. I held It a moment, then pressed it down.

Today I woke in pain. It was nearly half an hour before I was up and dressed. Before I could leave my bedroom I found myself face to face with myself. I was familiar with the experience, and I waited for him to speak or act, but he did nothing. He looked into my eyes for a long moment, then reached into his pocket and handed me a slip of paper. It read simply, “It’s time.” I watched him press the button and disappear.

I recalled the day that I had met my guardian angel. I had just woken to another morning of my youth, and finding myself wide awake, I rose and dressed immediately. As I turned to leave my room a man appeared before me.

He was very old. His skin was wrinkled and his hair was thin and white. But he stood very straight, and his shining blue eyes spoke of intelligence. His jaw was set in a solemn expression and a single tear slid,almost unnoticed, down his wrinkled cheek. He stared right into my eyes for a long moment before I could look away.

“Who are you?” I asked.

Suddenly the man smiled. “I’m your guardian angel,” He said cheerfully. He took two long steps towards me so he was looking down at me, and reached for an unseen necklace beneath his formal attire. It was the button I had since come to know so well.

“This button,” he explained “Will destroy me when it’s pressed. After that, whenever you press it, It will take you back in time to the moment you desire. In that moment there will be two of you, one who has traveled back and one who has not. You can then act quickly but you must not linger. Soon, you must press the button again, and the version of you who has traveled through time will be destroyed. Have I made myself clear?” I nodded and he put the necklace around my neck.

“Never take it off.” Tears were streaming down his face now, but he was still smiling. “Now go ahead, press it.”

I tried to say something but I didn’t know what to say. I looked up at him and he nodded encouragingly. I pressed the button and just like that he was gone.

Later that day I met him again, in the youthful body that I recognized as my own. He was covered by sweat and soot. He walked purposefully over to me and stamped out an ember at my foot that had jumped from the fireplace unnoticed. Wordlessly, he had pressed the button and disappeared.

At last, I thought. In all my years he had visited me many times, but I had never pushed the button. Slowly, I had come to understand. Now at last, It was my turn. I closed my eyes and a tear rolled down my cheek. I opened my eyes and stood up as straight as I could, and pushed the button.

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