“Computer,” he asked, “how long do I have?” It paused. He hated when it paused.
“Judging by your current rate of decline and the current life expectancy for wealthy, American, Caucasian males, you have two remaining jumps.”
“Two jumps,” Jeremy mumbled to himself. He had hard choices to make. His wife got off work an hour ago. He could spend the night with her. Or maybe he could try something he never had before.
“Computer, I would like to use both of my jumps.”
“Yes, both,” he replied sure of his decision.
The computer began loading and Jeremy closed his eyes to the clicking sound. It was relaxing after all the years spent in his office.
Atoms rearranged themselves. The walls and floor disintegrated. Jeremy felt an uncomfortable force pulling him forward. It was forward, he hoped. His skin felt looser, his hair thinner as a bed materialized below him.
“You can come in now,” a caring voice said. “He doesn’t have much longer.”
An older woman, he recognized as his wife was stroking his hair. He felt the sensation. Somehow, the weight of death seemed lifted, staring at her. Jeremy recalled things he hadn’t lived through, but had happened just the same; vacations, picnics and nights spent underneath the stars.
The two people the nurse motioned came in after a brief chat Jeremy lost track of. They looked like him, he thought. They must have been… he choked back tears. They were his son and daughter. His son held a child.
“Hello, dad,” the daughter said before embracing him.
“Guess who came to see you?” his son asked. The child smiled down at him. It was surreal as he took his granddaughter in his arms. The weight was heavier than he expected and he knew that he grew weaker. But, somehow, he had greater strength seeing the new life in front of him. It was worth the sacrifice of time.
Image Source: Lauren Miller Gallery