Jonas could see the woman was nervous. She held out the question with her hands like she was trying to feed a wild bird. A long time ago he’d have taken that, hell he would have loved it. Rolling around that particular straw pole of excellence had kept his ego stoked for years. But it just felt heavy now, it all felt heavy. Too many of the same faces, too many of the same questions, too many of the same years, trading themselves on the open market. He turned to face his audience, arching his fingers in that familiar style they had all come to see,’Memories are nothing but images stolen from photo albums, things that never have been mine,’ he spoke softly, knowing it wasn’t the soundbite answer the woman or the room full of people wanted from him.
They wrote it down anyway, in their sea of expectant notebooks.
‘Those bits,’ the woman leaned forward then, clutching the microphone close to her chest, ‘the ones that feel like they belong to someone else, were they the checkpoints in your other lives?’
‘Right, checkpoints….’ he spoke as automatically as they listened, but inside his head everything had gone crazy. One last time, he had promised himself, just this one last perfect time and he was done with it.
‘You said earlier that this is not the first time you have played with time… does that mean we could have done all this before?’
And a silence, deep and dark, filled up the space where the words had been spoken. Jonas sighed, ‘Damn it,’ he said, ‘now I have to start all over again.’