Amanda and I got back just as the door busted open. In stepped Esinica, one hand holding the ponytail belonging to the little girl, the other a harpoon gun.
Amanda wasted no time. She started to throw different potion bottles on the floor in a pattern and then pulled me over to the ‘safety spot’, a non-destroyable box, and shut the door. Esinica seemed to know what’s going on as she quickly let go of the girl and jumped onto the platform. Then I suddenly realized what was going to happen. I tried to grab the girl but she already ran out of the room and the door slammed with a ‘bang’. Then another ‘bang’ was heard. The chemicals have exploded.
The light was blinding and the sound deafening. The heat was tremendous. Then silence felt over us. I straightened and nervously stepped out of the ‘safety spot’. The whole lab was destroyed. The time machine was nothing more than a giant blob of glass and metal. Then Amanda appeared out from the only undestroyed object in the room.
‘Look like she’d traveled back in time. She won’t be able to come back .The time machine is destroyed. Good.’
I stared at the spot when only a moment ago Esinica stood. At least she’s not dead.
Then, suddenly remembered someone else, I opened the door. Outside sat a quivered and frightened form. I sat down next to it.
‘My name’s Calista. What’s yours?’
‘Theresa’, the girl replied through tears.
‘What’d I done?’ she wailed.
‘You’ve done nothing.’ I told her, trying to sound soothing. I haven’t done this for a long time. ‘Esinica just traveled back in time, that’s all.’
Obviously my efforts were for nothing as Theresa broke into hysterics, banging her head against the wall.
‘Why didn’t I do anything?’ she cried, ‘It was all my fault!!! I could have tried and stop Mother from disappearing!!’
‘Mother? Was she your mother?’
‘Yes! But now I don’t have one anymore! Where will I go?’
I tried again to calm her down and succeeded. The wailing and hysterics turned into silent sobs. I was amazed at what I’ve learnt.
Esinica once fell in love with a handsome man. But he abandoned her when she was pregnant. When Theresa was born, she had no father. Esinica had already lost her nurse and lover, but four years later her father died. The emotional trauma was too much. Everyday she took out her frustration and anger on her daughter, Theresa. There were many nights when Theresa was sent to bed without supper, many evenings when she was whipped. But even when her mother was in the worst mood, Theresa had always loved her.
When the girl fell asleep, Amanda and I carried her to a bed and tip-toe out. I pulled Amanda through the closest open door. There was a lot of catch up to do.
‘Tell me Amanda, what do you think of this photo?’
As I said that I pulled out the small silver frame that I took from that extraordinary bedroom. Amanda let out a small gasp. I looked up at her enquiringly. Amanda wouldn’t meet my eyes but she spoke eventually, very softly.
‘We were sisters. Esinica and Amethyst were twins and they were gifted in everything they try. I was two years younger and was much plainer, in another word just an ordinary girl. I looked up to them and admired them. But we were almost never close. In fact we were hardly being each other’s sibling in the end of our childhood. They almost never look at me as a sister, especially Esinica. Amethyst cared for me in the inside, but she was too afraid to let that love opened as Esinica was the dominant child.
"So one day I committed an unforgivable crime. I started a fire and burned down Esinica’s apartment. I thought arson was serious enough, but I didn’t know I also destroyed someone’s life. Esinica’s old nurse was sick that day and she hadn’t left the place to go shopping.
" I was so ashamed of myself I’d ran away. I was so ashamed I wouldn’t dare to carry with me my family name. We never saw each other again until that meeting by the river. It was fate I tell you, fate. I know Esinica was interested in my invention but even more than that was her love for the old deceased nurse. I know she’d decided to take revenge on me.
"So the night I dreaded came. I was writing my last entry in my diary when a door appeared in the middle of the room. I was so afraid and frightened I knock the ink over, making that big spill you saw. Then you came out and I couldn’t believe my luck. I was so glad I happily come along with you without considering whether you want to punish me or not. And the rest of the story you knew already,’ Amanda finished.
It was my turn to gasp. I must admit Amanda and Esinica look nothing like sisters. They were the complete opposite of each other. But Amanda looked so happy in the photograph.
Like it or not, this was a tragic story. At the word tragic I thought of someone else. Then I spoke.
‘But what about that girl Theresa? And I also need you to make the reversed version of the Metzger radioactive ray. And I don’t have anywhere to live.’
‘Theresa will stay with me and you here. After all I am her aunt. As for the reversed version of the Metzger radioactive ray, let’s start now.’