My best friend Jimmy and I were like Harry and Ron in Harry Potter series. We never kept any secrets from each other. Jimmy would always pull my leg, make me angry and then apologize with a smile on his face. I would instantly forgive him and forget everything he said. I could not imagine a day in my life without Jimmy. Jimmy was never a nerd like me. Cars interested him a lot, the way electrons and protons interested me. But of-late I was not able to devote time to talk to him, forget about meeting. I was busy trying to achieve what had been my dream since childhood.
We often had arguments about this new ‘device’ that I had been busy working on from past few years. Jimmy says it will never work, but Albert Einstein himself laid the foundation for the theoretical possibility of time travel. Time is a fourth-dimension of our Universe. Wormholes have been in discussion for a long time now which says clearly that if you travel at the speed of light, you can travel into the future and possibly past too.
Finally, after a series of sleepless nights, I came up with my own version of a time machine. But it was not like those huge machines that we have seen in sci-fi movies. Instead it is just wrist watch sized, where in you can punch in the year and the time to which you want to travel. I called Jimmy home to give him a demo of the machine. No other soul in this entire Universe knew about my invention. Jimmy thought I was cracking an April fool joke on him. But he came home, nevertheless at 11:00 AM today.
“So you designed it all by yourself? It does look amazing. But does it even work? Haha”. Jimmy burst into laughter. I gave him one look, a look which could have killed him, if I were to be a basilisk of-course. How could he make fun of my machine, the machine which was my dream come true?!
“Tell me a time in future or past, where you would like to travel with me!” I challenged Jimmy.
“Sure, why don’t we go to say 2500 AD? Hahaha. Sorry, but I really think it will not work”
“Jimmy will you stop laughing?! Wear this strap onto your hand. I will take you there.”
“What?! Are you serious? I am not coming with you anywhere. I don’t trust your device”, Jimmy retorted.
“You have to come. You are my best friend” I said. I knew he would agree. He was my best friend, after all. Let me confide something. I was not completely confident that this would work. I had just tested this with my lab rats. Though the rats disappeared when I set 1970 as the year, I have no idea whether they actually reached in 1970. I imagined my mom looking aghast at so many rats in her room, which suddenly seemed to appear from nowhere. I was not even born then. Surely mom had a nice time chasing the rats in the past.
I tied the other side of the strap onto my hand and punched in Sep 5, 2500, time 10:00 AM. I could not control the shivering of my hands as I pressed “Go!”. There was a blinding light and I felt as if my body was being compressed into a hole. Yes it was a wormhole, no doubt. And finally it stopped. I opened my eyes and found Jimmy standing next to me with his mouth wide open.
“Where THE hell are we? Where did you bring me?” Jimmy started panicking. I tried to calm him down but even I had no idea where we were. “You brought me to a dead planet? I thought you said this was a time machine. Looks like we are on some different planet”
“Relax. I definitely did not develop a space travelling machine. It shows that we jumped 250,000 years but the latitudes and longitudes are same. I think it multiplied the number I entered by 100.” Some bug in my program, no doubt. I tried convincing Jimmy that it was Earth but then I myself could not believe that Earth looked deserted, lifeless with no plants or a single living being in view. The sky looked grey with thick dark clouds and the air was really suffocating. Even Sun was hardly visible. The atmosphere was so thick that sunlight could hardly penetrate it and it was biting cold.
Suddenly there was a huge storm of dust and mud and I tried to hold my breathe for a few seconds. I shouted “Let’s go back Jimmy” since it was quite hard to hear myself speak in that thick sand filled air. Just then, Jimmy collapsed holding his lungs, clearly unable to breathe. The storm carried him with it. I had to stop this from happening. I had to go back to the past and stop this from happening. I had to change the past somehow, immediately. I entered the time and date in 2.014 hastily on the tiny metal attached to my wrist and pressed “Go!” Another blinding light and I was so relieved to be back as I checked my wrist. Thankfully it multiplied it with 100 and I landed in 2014.
The machine displayed 10:50 AM. I arrived about 10 minutes early and I saw my past sitting there glaring at the time machine with pride. And then Jimmy came. Oh! the Jimmy of the past. I shouted at Jimmy, “Hey Jimmy don’t agree to go on that time machine, no matter how much I force you”. Jimmy turned his head but he did not seem to even notice me. Can’t he see me?!! That’s even more pathetic. Jimmy entered my room and was approaching me, me in the past. I, from the future tried a lot to pull him but could not touch him. And then I saw us tying my machine to the wrist and vanishing into the future. I collapsed onto my chair and started crying. I could not stop us from going to the future. Will we get stuck there forever? Half an hour passed when I realized that I was still in the past. Why was I still in the past? Then I saw the “Parallel Universe” book lying there. Why did I not think about this before? The past me who traveled to the future from that Universe is different from the me who came from the future. I lost Jimmy forever as he died in the future.
P.S: Parallel Universe is a theory where multiple Universes like ours exist and people can travel between them (e.g one Universe in 2010 AD and one other Universe in 250,000 AD). Wormholes are based on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and using them, Time Travel might be possible. Also whether a person from future can touch someone from past is something that people are debating. I have taken liberty to assume whatever I felt would be appropriate.