The Center of Gravity

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Episode 5: New York City

“Seth,” I breathed, eyes snapping open.

He was on his knees, head in his hands, visibly trembling all over. I ran over and crouched beside him, trying to look at his face.

“Seth, what’s wrong? What happened?” I asked frantically, shaking his shoulder.

“I...”

He shook his head in his hands, gasping for air. Quickly, I glanced at the clock. 1:38. My eyes darted to the window. Snow had begun to fall rapidly. My heart sped up faster, terrified by what I had done.

“You have to tell me,” I pleaded desperately.

“I remember something,” he whispered shakily, looking at me with glassy eyes.

I felt my jaw drop slightly, resisting the urge to reach for the compass and throw it out the window. What had I done? Stopped time?

“What is it?” I asked, sitting back on my heels as he slowly did the same.

“A place,” he answered, a faraway look in his eyes as he trained them on the window. “I think I called it home.”

“Where?” I prodded him.

“And a person, I think,” he muttered, scrunching his eyebrows together.

“Who? Where?” I asked urgently.

“But it wasn’t really home, I don’t think... I remember my parents traveling a lot and we never settled anywhere-- New York City sound familiar to you?”

“Yes,” I answered, not sure of what to think of this. “It’s hours away though.”

“How did I get here then?”

For a moment, we stared at each other.

“And the person?” I broke the silence.

“Wasn’t really a person. A being maybe?” His gaze traveled to his lap in concentration. “Something like God?”

I opened my mouth to reply, but said nothing. By now, his eyes had met mine, waiting for my explanation.

“Do you know about that?” he asked quietly.

“Um, well... I-I mean, I’ve heard of God,” I stuttered, taken aback by his statement. I never really believed in God, especially not recently. Even if there was one, how could He have just left me here to die?

“But you didn’t die, and you have Seth.”

“I feel like it wasn’t just God though,” he elaborated, leaning back on his hands. “Almost like in remembering Him, I’m remembering a part of me.”

His eyes said it all, he was shocked and excited about this.

He stood, a little grin on his face. I took a moment when he wasn’t looking and dropped the compass beneath my shirt, unsure if I should tell him what I did when I didn’t even understand it myself.

“I know some of who I am now,” he mumbled, gazing at me.

I nodded a little, hands shaking in my lap.

“Rowin, am I dreaming?”

I searched his hopeful face, how excited he was to know about a piece of him. He was finding out who he was, but for some reason that alarmed me. I didn’t know if I wanted that. Especially if it involved something I didn’t particularly agree with.

“I don’t think so,” I replied.

He pulled me up off the ground and laughed genuinely. Both of his hands covered mine easily, and he began to spin around like a little kid, laughing and smiling.

“I am someone!” he exclaimed, the air moving through his hair.

“You always were!” I said, having trouble keeping my own smile off my face.

And yet, the thought flew into my mind.

What if all of this was just my imagination?


» Day 57 «

“I wish I could remember more,” Seth stated as he set down his water bottle.

I nodded as I swallowed some peas from a can. We were eating our one meal of the day together while watching a movie I hoped he would like.

“Is it weird remembering only one thing about yourself?” I asked, feeling the urge to sit with him.

“A little. I keep waiting to suddenly know something like I did yesterday, but I don’t.”

Shrugging, he stretched his legs out on the couch. I passed the can of corn over to him, from where I sat and he took it graciously. It was one of the last edible items I had in my house.

He sighed, running a hand through his hair before taking a spoon and digging to the bottom. I noticed that already he was getting skinnier from the lack of food. The bags under his eyes were prominent against his pale face and I felt a rush of sympathy.

He didn’t know who he was. I had the power to give that to him and he didn’t know. I didn’t really know if I wanted to use it. What if I never let him find out who he was? He respected me enough to do what I said and shared all of his thoughts with me.

In that moment, I wanted to do something for him.

“Seth, you trust me, right?” I asked, fingering the compass in my pocket.

“Of course,” he replied, looking at me. “You saved my life.”

“And I’m about to give it back to you,” I thought to myself.

“Why?” he questioned in a soft tone. A smile crept on his face as he gazed at me.

“I just... Think about you,” I admitted, turning my eyes to my shaking hands.

“Really?”

“I mean-- Well, you know, uh?” I mumbled, unnerved by the fact my heart was speeding up. I looked up to see him staring at me from the recliner with a content expression.

“I know?” he teased.

“You know,” I replied, smiling in embarrassment.

We went back to the movie, not saying anything more. When he wasn’t watching, I carefully pulled the compass out of my pocket, and without looking, twisted it.

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