Attic, part 79

“The problem is,” continued Amelia, “that I am not exactly who you think I am.”

“I know you’re my grandmother,” Jenny said, “I’ve seen the pictures, and they look exactly like you.”

“Yes, I’m afraid that’s the problem. Those are very old pictures, and they look exactly like me. I am the same age I was when those pictures were taken, all those years ago.”

“Why does that make a difference?”

“Because it means the version of me that exists is the one that has existed outside of time for all these years. I am a young woman who stepped outside of time many years ago. And that’s where I’ve been until here.”

“Until here?” Jenny was confused.

“Sorry, I suppose I should have said until now.” Amelia smiled apologetically. “I think of it as `here’, but to you it makes more sense as `now’.”

“Right,” Jenny said, nodding slowly. “Amazingly enough, I actually understood that. But why couldn’t you come back into time?”

“Even if I wanted to, I’d need to come back into the place I left. That’s where the door is.”

“But you are here talking with me now!” Jenny said.

“We are not exactly `in time’ at the moment,” Amelia explained. “This is a sort of neutral place. It exists only so that you and I can meet and have this conversation.”

“You mean it’s not now, now?” Jenny asked.

Amelia thought for a moment. “Something like that. I’m not sure English has any way of expressing it.” She turned to Mr. Symarian. “What do you think?”

“Considering what you’ve thought of my opinion in the past, I am surprised you think my opinion matters.”

“In the past?” Josh spoke up for the first time. “Mr. Symarian, just how old are you?”

“Now now,” Amelia said, “that is never an appropriate question.”

“Yes Josh,” Jenny said with a smile, “Now now.”

Leave a Reply