Catching Up To The Past



Scene Title Catching Up To The Past
Synopsis A moment in the past is repeated in the present.
Date January 27, 2010 and June 13, 2018

It was 2010 all over again.

“Your kidding me. I’m not even physically in my 50s yet and you are telling me….”

“I’m not kidding you, Ben, I looked at the scans, same place from what I understand. The good news, if we can call it that; it’s not as bad, yet.”

Yet, he said.

“Last time I was 57…” And then there were those dreams of the future.

“And when did you start to get the episodes?” The questioning voice is thoughtful, feminine, sitting across from him. Dr. Granger had recommended this young lady when he complained about the dizziness. Sitting across from her, Ben didn’t seem as certain. She looked as young as his girls — was she old enough to be making a diagnosis like this? He also wasn’t a fan of the chairs in her office. They made him uncomfortable, made his back ache.

Getting old sucked.

Benjamin’s brows furrowed creasing his brow and deepening the lines at the edges of his eyes. When had it been? “I don’t know… a few months ago? Wasn’t but once in a full blue moon… ”

He had been working in his garden, when he tried to pick up the rake and it simply fell from his hand. Then he suddenly found himself on the ground. Luckily, the girls hadn’t been home and he had recovered… mostly… but still his hand tingles… even now like something was truly wrong. That was the first time it happened like that. Normally, he lost his grip on something.

“You’ve also been through a hell of a lot more, since that last time. Remember—”

“I don’t need to be reminded about the Civil War.”

“Irregardless. Who knows what the Mitchell administration lobbed at all of you. I’ve seen some of the reports. It’s not good, Ben, and you are not the only one.”

“I really wish you had seen someone when it first started to happen,” her face was almost unreadable. He really wasn’t sure if he liked that. He felt like she was holding something back. Something important.

“Whatt do you mean?” Ben growls out, shifting again to lean forward in that damned chair. “I can tell you are holding something back, why not just come right out with it.” The more he sat there talking to her, the more he just wanted to get up and walk out of the office. “I’m too old for these kinda games.”

“I’m not sure how to tell you this,” Despite years of delivering news like this, she starts looking a little unnerved. His daughters always said he was too… intimidating to the normal folk. Something in the way he looked at people, acted.

“So you think something in all that sped it up?”

“While that accident reverted your body to an earlier state, it didn’t cure anything. It turned back time, but all the markers were still there; to be triggered by who knows what.”

“So what you are saying is I was given a stay of execution.”

“Rather crass way of saying it, but — yes, Mr. Ryans.”

He was in complete and utter shock, though all she saw was a nearly 60 year old man staring at her blankly. It was an empty look, devoid of emotions. One that people, at the other end of his Sig, would see. Again she shifts uncomfortably under that intense look… like an prey before a predator. Her eyes drop away and down at her papers, breaking contact, which pulls him out of that numbness. “Are you sure?” he asks after a moment, voice softer then it had been.

Her head nods slowly, eyes flicking up briefly, “Very sure, Mr. Ryans. Quite advanced, too.”

There was nothing he could say to that. In fact, he couldn’t think at all. Except one thought…

My girls still need me.

“I suggest you take the time and put your affairs in order.” She starts again, a little more firmly, gathering up some courage when his expression finally betrays his thoughts. He looks at her with an odd expression, still she persists. A packet of paperwork is pushed his way, with a pamphlet at the top. “You could have maybe a few month, if you're lucky a few years. There is a lot we don’t know about Brain cancer.” It all sounded rehearsed. How many people had sat in that very chair he was and said the very same things to her.

“No way of treating it?” Fingers with knuckles thickened from arthritis, moved to gingerly pick up the papers. Finally, blue eyes look back up at this young girl, who has just handed him down a death sentence and didn’t seem to bat an eye about it.

Sitting back in her chair, the young doctor sighs and shakes her head. Her expression is matter of fact and a bit bored. Clearly, wishing he’d leave already. “Look. We can maybe, slow it down, but there is no real fix for this, since it is so deep in the brain and — well — showing signs of rapid growth.”

”I need more time,” Benjamin points out. He need to be with his girls, needed to make sure they would be okay.

“Mr. Ryans?”


“I said, because of the uniqueness of your situation, there is no telling how fast it will happen. Could be months… or it could be years. The odds of surviving this form of cancer are slim, though there are experimen — ”

No. I — I don’t want any crack pot experimental treatments. What’s the point?”

“But, Mr. Ryans there has been — “

“I said, No.”

Stepping out of the dimly lit doctor’s office, Ryans squints against the bright midday sun; the packet of papers lifting to shade his eyes. A look around him shows that the world is still turning, despite what he had been just told. He had felt like the whole world had stopped in that moment, but out here he knew the truth.

Even if he died tomorrow, the world would continue to turn. He could die and rot away and the world would barely blink.

The cell phone in his coat pocket starts to ring the default tone, meaning someone who didn’t call regularly. Fishing it out, Ben flips it open and presses it to his ear, “Ben Ryans.” Brows lift almost immediately at the voice at the other ends. “Sabra?” Someone from his Company past. One of the good ones that he had tried to keep in touch with. “Good to hear from you.” It was a nice distraction from a few moments ago, something to keep him think about the inevitable. “Dinner?” He listens to the woman on the other end, brows lifting a little. “Absolutely. Honestly, it will be good seeing you again. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

The phone is snapped shut and tucked back into its place again, while he looks over the packet of papers again. A prescription had been added to it, something to help him prepare for the long road ahead.

Hearing from one of his old co-workers had him yearning for the old days. He missed them and that sense of danger, that the day could be your last. It seemed cruel that after all he had done to protect this world, he would leave it in such an excruciating and undignified manner.

Worse yet, what the heck was he going to tell the girls?

Ryan’s Home


Keys jingle in the lock alerting Ruma to the return of her human. Sitting as patiently as she can, tail tip flickering back and forth, her nose works to see if it is who she things. Of course, as soon as the door opens and she see’s Ryans’ the fluffy feline lets out a series of chirps. Then it is on her feet to wind around his legs, giving one leg a bit of a claw, when he doesn’t immediately acknowledge her.

Benjamin is too distracted by his own thoughts, the doors shut behind him, his focus is on getting a drink.

Of course, Ruma follows, giving out more chirping purrs, trotting past him and jumping on the counter. She knows the routine.

The new packet is dropped on the counter so that he can retrieve all the components he needs for that drink. His hand is shaky as he pours the Whiskey, all his concentration is on not dropping it. After Huruma had kissed him, Benjamin had found himself worried. The past came back to him as a stark reminded of what could have been and he made the appointment.

He had to be sure.

Unfortunately, his fears were well founded.

The measure of amber liquor is downed and another poured soon after. Many others will follow, until he realizes there is no more to have. With a heavy sigh, the bottle is set down on the counter with a heavy thump, his hand moving to run over his face, suddenly very tired.

Maybe it was selfish, but refusing the treatment had felt a little liberating. They had only been experiment anyhow. His family will insist, but he didn’t want to drag out the end. The doctor had said it was just at incurable and treatments would only stall it. This time around, however, his girls had moved on and didn’t need him to stick around in excruciating pain.

Though, to be honest, he didn’t know how to tell anyone.

Not even Huruma.

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