‘Kimberly?’ Her eyes flickered at the sound of her name, but didn’t open properly. ‘Kimberly are you awake?’
‘George?’ I mumbled, feeling drowsy, almost like I was drunk.
‘How are you feeling? Jorge is desperate to get readings on how you are doing, and I want to know what you saw.’
‘What I saw where?’
‘You’re clearly still dazed from the time leap,’ George said, looking at some readings on a chart. ‘I still can’t believe we managed it, can you?’
‘Managed what? I haven’t gone anywhere. And what is it you’re saying about a time leap, it’s not making sense.’ The more she struggled to remember what had happened, the more frustrated Kimberly became as the truth slipped away from her. ‘It’s like I understand what you’re saying but every time I try and grab hold of it it slips away.’
‘How much do you remember Kimberly,’ George asked, leaning in intently.
‘I was at the party and it was late. I left. All I remember is fear and pain.’ She rubbed her forehead, trying to massage the answers out of her head. ‘Why can’t I remember?’ She shouted, frustrated and sitting up violently. She was so used to understanding complex scientific ideas that the fact she couldn’t remember what had happened to her was a terrifying concept.
‘It’s alright Kim,’ George said, taking hold of her hands and moving them away from her face. ‘It’s probably just a side effect. Travelling through time can probably leave the brain scrambled and confused. It’s a lot to deal with, that’s why we chose you to be the first to test it. You’re a strong woman.’
‘Kim,’ Jorge said enthusiastically as he entered the room, a clipboard under his arm. ‘You’re awake at last. Are you ready for me to take my readings?’
Kimberly’s head began to spin as Jorge babbled at in her in technical speak, looking at monitors and sticking a needle into her arm to take some of her blood. George was still sitting next to her, talking to her about something but the words didn’t make any sense. It was like she knew what words were coming out of his mouth but couldn’t work out what they meant.
‘Stop!’ Fear gripped Kimberly, the madness in her eyes startling her two colleagues. ‘Can you just stop for one moment and tell me what is going on.’
‘She doesn’t know?’ Jorge turned to George, a confused look on his face.
‘I think it’s a side effect of the time travel. She doesn’t seem to remember what happened in the future or what work we are doing here.’
‘That’s interesting,’ Jorge said, making a note on his clipboard. ‘Memory loss could be a problem but I’m sure with some minor modification that can be sorted out.’
‘Just shut up! Please shut up and tell me what is going on.’ Kimberly’s eyes were fixed on Jorge, making him feel slightly uncomfortable.
‘We can’t do both of those things Kim. If I shut up I won’t be able to talk-‘
‘Stop being so pedantic and just tell me what’s going on. Do I belong here?’
‘Of course you do,’ George said emphatically. ‘We work together.’
‘What work do we do?’
‘We’re currently developing a machine that can send you forward and backward in time,’ Jorge said, switching into his scientist mode. ‘You are the first ever person to time travel into the future and back again and still be alive. You’re a miracle Kimberly.’
‘I’ve travelled in time,’ she said to herself. ‘How is that possible?’
‘Because of the machine you’ve helped us create,’ George said.
‘Do you really not remember this?’ Jorge had his pen poised over his clipboard, eager to take notes.
‘I don’t remember anything.’