February 16, 2023

Timonthy’s World Starts to Unravel

By aarondkey

In the end Stolid and Rael finished their conversation and walked back in their direction. Stolid looked serious as he diverted to the food table. His expression made Timonthy nervous. Had they been talking about the mysterious person with power who wanted to attack him? In a way he wished he was back in his normal life, with Gerard of course, with no more worries than the average man perhaps even unaware of this alien land and his own friends’ alien lives. He thought back with nostalgia to when he thought he was in Scotland: how he thought he could drive back into his own life with no problems.

Even more ominously they didn’t share their discussions. Rael sat down beside Elena and they talked quietly as if they were flirting with each other but Elena didn’t look like she was enjoying it.

Stolid sat down next to Paris with his modest breakfast and smiled nervously at her. He started a conversation which Gerard joined. Timonthy felt an unjustified anger rising in him which he tried to reason away by turning away and looking meaningfully at Lizzie.

She looked at Paris too, as if trying to make sure that she wasn’t listening.

“It’s all a bit complicated,” she said hurriedly, “but I’ve decided to stay here.”

Timonthy looked at her without speaking. He wanted to say something but the words didn’t come.

“It’s no worse than France is it?” she said. “Well not if you’ve got a friend who promises to bring you back home if you want to go.”

“At least in France if your friend disappears you can still get home,” he managed.

“Actually I don’t really have a home,” she smiled, “but I was hoping that this would become one.”

“But all the things you like: the theatres, the shops, culture and friends, they don’t exist here.”

“I know that, and perhaps you are right, perhaps I would begin to hate it here after a while. But I wonder if the things I seem to like are just there to fill in a hole in my life. If there was nothing missing perhaps I wouldn’t need them.”

“So what is missing?” Timonthy asked perplexed.

“Someone who appreciates me,” Lizzie answered.

Timonthy thought about this. Had he ever appreciated Lizzie? He had accepted the fact that she was always there. He had appreciated her mastery of the finer points of parenting and the way she had always been there when he needed her: at Christmas time, that time he’d had a few years ago when life seemed pointless, and at Johnathon’s funeral. She had been there and he had appreciated that fact but perhaps not shown it enough.

And Paris, he supposed that in her secret dark heart there must be a streak of appreciation for her mother but it hid itself behind a tolerant annoyance. In spite of the fact that they had spent the last two evenings together presumably sharing conversation and perhaps even confidences, he supposed that this had not changed.

When Paris was growing up it was always with him that she had discussed her fears, her hopes, her passions and trials. Anyway he supposed that even if he had been the best friend it was possible for him to be, and Paris the best daughter it would never have been enough for a woman who wanted to be loved more than anything in the world, by someone.

“Have you found the ‘someone’ here?” he asked.

“I think I might have done, although it is too early to be sure. There is a man. His name is Will….”

“No,” Timonthy said surprised into outrage.

“Not the married Will,” Lizzie hastily interrupted him. “This one is a widower, an older man.”

“Perhaps we will meet him today?” Timonthy suggested.

“Unlikely. He doesn’t live here,” Lizzie said. “So why would you stay here?” Timonthy asked completely baffled and slightly annoyed.

“He does live here,” Lizzie said crossly as if the complication of explaining was too much for her, “just not now. I suppose you would say it was about thirty years in the future that he lives here and that is where I would live too. Elena and Rael live there too. They are older of course. Their son Yan is a grown man with a family of his own too. I haven’t been there yet. I met Will in a market which I’m reasonably confident was in England – in the past of course. Elena said she’d take me to the future if I wanted, just to visit today this time.”

Timonthy was silent and thought about it.

A lonely scene with a Setting Sun.