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Earth-2121: The Dead Come Again


Tweet of the Day: Internet, How I Missed Thee!

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Outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts, Present Day

Bright Spring sunshine illuminated the tiny kitchen.

Jennifer clutched a steaming cup of coffee on both hands, “You were dead.”

I rubbed my temple, “I was missing in action.”

She stepped up to me, “You,” she jabbed a index finger on my chest for emphasis, “Were. Dead!”

How could I explain to her that one moment I was screaming in terror as my flesh melted, the next I woke up in a hospital bed without a mark on me? How could I explain that fourteen years had past from that horrific day in Lower Manhattan to me standing on her cubicle of a kitchen? How does one explain that in a world full of scientific miracles someone had managed to pull the biggest of them all?

“Am sorry, Jen, I really am. But I’m here now. If you want to punch me, kick me in the nuts, whatever you want, go ahead I wont-”

“What? You show up here and you think I want a punching bag? Kicking your ass to next Tuesday won’t cure my headache, won’t help explain to Megan that her father is alive and…it won’t do a damn thing Thomas, not a damn thing.”

I decided to change track, “How’s Megan?”

Jennifer turned her back to me, “Our daughter, my daughter is fine. Well, a bit out of her mind with college applications and prepping for the SATs, plus AP classes, some drama with a girlfriend, teenager stuff.”

“A girlfriend?”

“It’s complicated. She has friend who would like to be more than a friend and well, Megan is just, she after this boy and doesn’t want to ruin her friendship. You know, teen drama. The kind of drama that doesn’t need dead parents coming back from the grave like some of those novels she loves so much.”

“Listen, this was a mistake. The psychiatrist said that it would get out eventually that I was, ‘back’ and that I better nip it in the bud before it was too late. But you and Megan have a life, a life without me so….”

Jennifer’s hand gripped the corner of the counter top, “Does this mean that we won’t get any more survivor benefits?”

“What?” I asked.

“It’s how I pay the bills, Thomas. How I keep Megan in school. After you…left, I had to leave New York, lost my job,” she pointed out the window, “You see that beat up van out there. I got that at a repo auction. This apartment? The same. I’ve survived on a crappy tech assistant job in the mall and by picking up the crumbs other people can’t afford to keep. So, are they going to suspend the benefits or not?”

“I don’t know, I’ll check. Maybe I can send you something extra, you know,” I said.

“Just make sure that the check gets here on time, that’s all we need.”

“Okay,” I turned to leave.

“Wait, there is,” she sighed, “there is one more thing. Megan is not the only one with girlfriend troubles.”

“Oh,” I said with s smirk on my face.

“Don’t look at me like that. You knew I was Bi when we met. Anyway, her name is Sheila and well, we been going out. We taking it one day at a time, for Megan’s sake.”

“Got it, I’ll keep my distance.”

“Thomas, this is going to take sometime to get used to. I have to talk to Megan, to Sheila, I gotta wrap my head around this, okay?”

“Okay.”

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