II. Confounding Past
“While I nodded, nearly napping, there came a tapping;
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door;
‘Tis some visitor’ I muttered ’tapping at my chamber door –
Only this and nothing more.’
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December.”
Cold was the first thing that the young man felt. Was he lying frozen like a corpse or the departed had come to welcome him. His thoughts were in the cold light of day, and in the bleakest time there came a knocking.
The young man had his eyes open. He was in his room but smaller without any windows. On his desk there was no economics, only sonnets, ballads, and plays scattering and heaping around. In the middle of his desk was’t any formal document either, it was the initial scratches of his glorious future plan.
“Brown, are you there?” The knocking came again along with a curious soft voice.
The young man stood. He recognised the sound and would faintly remember the voice in the future, but what the past brought onto him wouldn’t fail to remind him of it.
The door screeched and in front stood a tall, slender, young lady with long black hair and round shaped face. Her eyes were glistening with a bit of darkness inside. The visage was smiling showing her teeth and cheerfulness. “Hi !” She said.
The young man gazed at the smiling face. The next thing his heart remembered was sorrow and remorse. He would never expect nor wish for this event in the future.
“You okay?” Asked the young woman in a soothing voice.
The young man blinked realising that it wasn’t a dream. “Ah…yeah, I’m okay…have a seat.”
The young lady entered the room putting her bags and taking out some papers. The young man kept gazing at her before he turned around to see things outside the door. “What date is it?”
The young man saw the young lady glanced at the calendar, it was December 2017… “16th” she replied.
The young man stood still, appalled by what he experienced.
“You know…Prof Crosthwaite’s class was boring as usual, I wish he would dig more into the writers’ experience writing their poetry, but he just mumbled around talking about the rhythm and the words’ connection in the poem.” Uttered the young lady breaking the room’s silence.
The young man stepped out of the door, approaching the young lady still with a puzzled face and questioned “You had his class today?”
Astonished, the young lady replied “Aren’t you his assistant? Heyy, snap out of it. I know there isn’t a bunch of people who got a job before graduation, but comee onn, you’d been his assistant for the whole semester and a schedule is the last thing you remember?”
The young man was taken aback by her reply. He didn’t know what to do, yet he said “Erm…how can I help you?”
The young lady leaned at her seat, with her eyes wide open staring at the young man. “Strange…” she said “You wouldn’t happen to forget our theatre tomorrow, would you?”
“Theatre.” He spoke to himself. The word reminded him of everything. The things happening in the past which would become her future.
He didn’t know what to answer, his mind was filled with sorrow, bleakness, remorse, and the most important was confusion. He saw the man in black was behind the young lady, standing, waiting for his response.
“No, no, Anne Marie theatre, right?” The young man answered abruptly “How about a midnight movie?...” Then he halted, realising his invitation was similar to his past.
“Sounds good! Oh… how I miss Nolan’s movies. Interstellar was three years ago, and watching at midnight? It’s definitely a perfect way to end the day!”
Upon that, a phone rang, she picked her phone and hung it up. “My friends are waiting outside, see ya tomorrow!”
“See ya!” The young man replied as he saw the young lady turned and walked past the man in black. He knew he might not meet her again.
Nonetheless, a gentle wind breezed with the opening of the door, flipping the books, papers, and revealing The Raven at him, which verse saying:
“But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.
Then the bird said ‘Nevermore.’”