Back to the Past: Chapter 3
When the car stopped, I was relieved to find myself in front of the mansion and in the dark. I ran up to the door and started pounding on it and calling Eric’s name. He flung the door open and grabbed me, holding me tightly to him, kissing my hair, my neck, and then pulling back and kissing my face. I grabbed him and kissed him hard on the mouth and soon we were in a passionate and wild embrace. He finally stopped the kissing and pulled back to look at me. “My god, it’s really you.”
I nodded, grinning like a fool, so happy to see him.
“But how is this possible? What happened?”
“I’ll explain everything.” He led me into the living room and I sat on the sofa and looked over the mantel: I was standing on the bluff over the ocean again, and there on the floor was the giant bear skin rug.
I turned to Eric to begin my explanation when suddenly Pam came running into the room. “Sookie!” I jumped up and we hugged like sisters. I didn’t remember Pam ever being physically affectionate before, but I guess she thought I was dead, and I certainly had mourned her death, so we were especially happy to see each other. “How is this possible? Is this some sort of fairy magic? Your feet must be cold. I’ll get you some shoes.”
“No!” She and Eric both looked at me puzzled. “No, thank you, I mean. I’m fine. I really just need to wash my hands.”
They both followed me into the kitchen and just as I turned on the faucet, Eric grabbed me and yanked me away from the sink. “Don’t touch that!”
“What do you mean?” I need to wash my hands.”
“No, no, lover, the water is contaminated. Pollution has made it unusable for humans–dangerous for anyone other than a vampire to even touch it. They’ve invented a chemical process that will fix it, but it hasn’t been installed into the system yet.”
He opened a cabinet and handed me a wet-nap for my hands. As I tossed it into the trash, I turned back to him. “They just invented it? Some new chemical? And they’re going to put it in the water supply?”
He nodded. I realized that must have been what went wrong when Pam and I wound up way back in time. I was so careful to make sure that her travel bag was made of already-invented materials, but the wet paper towel in my pocket (that neither Eric nor Pam knew I had) contained a newly-invented chemical in the water and I’d had no idea. Because of that one simple mistake, Pam had been killed and it was all my fault. Everything had gotten so screwed up and apparently, this would all end with Eric getting himself killed rescuing me in Morocco and then, of course, I’d kill myself out of grief.
Suddenly, I knew what I had to do to make things right again. I took Eric’s hand in mine and looked into his eyes. “Eric, I need you to promise me something.”
“This is going to sound nuts, but I need you to promise me that you won’t invent a time-travel machine.”
Eric’s eyes grew wide and he shot a glance at Pam. “But, Sookie…”
“I know you’ve been sad since I died, and I know you’ve been tinkering with the idea of time travel so you could see me again. But you have to stop.”
“That’s how you got here. My invention will work and bring you to me.” His eyes glowed with excitement.
“It’s not fairy magic.” Pam’s eyes were as wide as Eric’s as she spoke.
“No, it’s not.” I looked from one stunned face to the next. “But it will lead to very bad things. We’re changing history, tearing holes in the fabric of time, making mistakes. It’s messy and more complicated than you can imagine. Pam came back to get me to convince me to be turned, and it’s been screwed up ever since—a tragedy, Eric. Please promise me you won’t finish it.”
I stepped closer to Eric and wrapped my arms around his neck. “I love you, and my love will never die, even though my body will.” I felt a tear roll down my cheek. “Please keep me in your heart, and go on with your life. It’s how nature intended, and shouldn’t be altered, even though your heart is in the right place.” Eric’s eyes glistened red with emotion. I reached up and gave him a gentle kiss on the lips. “Promise me.”
“I don’t know that I can.” His voice was choked with pain.
I turned to Pam. “Help him.”
She nodded, her face somber.
I kissed Eric one final time and then told him through my tears, “Wait here.”
I left Eric and Pam standing in the kitchen and walked out of the room. I closed the front door as quietly as possible, but knew that their vampire ears would hear me. I wondered how long they would obey my command to wait, so I ran as fast as I could out to the car, fishing my baggie from my jeans. I emptied the contents of one of the condoms into the console and turned around in my seat to grab the back to hang onto. As I reached around to start the ignition, I saw Eric and Pam running from the house calling my name. Even vampire speed couldn’t match time-travel speed though. I closed my eyes and sobbed into the seat back as I began to bounce through time once again.