MADI LEIGH - TIME WILL TELL
Time Will Tell
She looked innocent.
But even her thick glasses, old-fashioned clothes, and her unidentifiable accent all gave off the impression she was from another place—another time. Maybe she was.
She sat in the chair, staring through her still reflection in the one-way mirror. Knowing she was being watched… studied. One bead of sweat could work against her.
She took a calming breath. Keep it together, her inner voice demanded.
Mr. Bowan walked into the room wearing a suit and an egotistical grin.
A smile creased her lips, her attention consumed by him.
“Miss Adley is it?” he asked. Self-confidence and conceit seeped through his tone.
“Please, call me Rose,” she said.
He shook his head. “So, Miss Adley,” he said, obviously ignoring her kind offer. “Do you know why you’re here today?”
Yes, she thought. “I haven’t the slightest idea.”
“You,” he said, “are here because of these.” He tossed files onto the table and nodded for her to open them—his eyes dancing as he looked from her to the file repeatedly.
Her eyes drifted from Mr. Bowan to the file on the table. She caressed her finger over it, hesitant to open it. She maintained a small grin as she gently opened it to reveal three pictures.
All three depicting different settings—and from the date at the bottom, different times—and all three with a clear shot of a woman’s face. Her face.
The first picture was of a woman and a man, at what looked like a reception. A clear picture of her face in the background looked wistfully at the married couple. The second was the kind of picture one would see in a newspaper. Rose picked at her brain, searching for answers. The man in the picture had a handsome face structure and strong build. His eyes gleamed, with a sort of sparkle, with joy; visible enough to show through a photo.
“Now, I would like to know why, Miss Adley, you are clearly in these photos?” he asked.
“Not only why you’re in these two pictures. But how?” he asked, his finger pointing to the date at the bottom of the older photos.
One taken in 1980, one in 2000, and one, was a picture of Rose in the current year of 2050.
“So, enlighten me, Miss Adley. When were you born?” he asked.
“2000,” she said quietly, her eyes locked onto the photos in front of her.
“Right, so why—”
“This isn’t me. It can’t be me,” she said, interrupting him.
But it was her.
“Miss Adley, we have plausible evidence that leads straight to you for the murders of Candice and William Jackson.”
Those names. They pinched her heart, like a knife in the chest.
“Candice Jackson, 21 years old, killed 1980—three days after her wedding.” He opened the second file, showing pictures of the woman, before and after. “And William Jackson, 43 years old, killed 2000—three days after his engagement…” he said, now revealing William's before and after pictures.
“His engagement, to you,” he tapped his finger on the second picture.
William Jackson, she thought. “William Jackson was my fiancé?” she asked.
The door opened abruptly, causing her to jump in her chair.
“What is it? Can’t you see I’m in the middle of an interrogation?” Mr. Bowan said, throwing his hands up in frustration.
Rose watched as another man whispered into Mr. Bowan’s ear. Whatever was said, caused his face to turn pale. She started to bite her nails, as the two men exchanged worried glances as well as yet another file.
There’s no way, she thought. There is no possible way they could find out.
Mr. Bowan nodded for the other man to leave. He sat down, rubbing his chin. “One hell of a case,” he said. He shook his head and straightened up in his chair. “Miss Adley, are you familiar with the show Twilight Zone?”
She knitted her eyebrows. “No? What does this have to do with me? What is it?”
He let out a small giggle, running his hands through his hair. “What about the term, doppelgänger?” he asked.
The inner voice in her head let out a giggle. They don’t know.
He smiled as he opened up the new file. “Rose Adley, born 1960, died 1981. And again, Rose Adley, born 1980, died 2001.” He closed the file.
“What does that mean?” she asked.
“It means—somehow—you had two doppelgängers, Miss Adley.” He shook his head. “It means… you’re free to go. These birth certificates for different Rose Adley’s act as your get-out-of-jail-free card.”
Rose Adley walked out of the police station, free of cuffs and rumors to her name. The smile on her mouth couldn’t be bigger, and the worry she had was non-existent.
I’m free, she thought.
Her secret was safe.
But she wondered… if she had not been abandoned as a child, and grew up with the determination of finding her family, what would have been different?
Would she have not left the year 2029 and went to the year 1990 to find her grandmother? Would she have not fallen in love with William Jackson and went further back in time to kill his wife? Before returning to 1990, and later killing her beloved of ten years, William, for his treachery?
She finds herself wondering.
For it was she who shot Candice Jackson in the back of the head, to free William Jackson for marriage. And it was she, who—days after getting engaged to him—poisoned his coffee the day she found out about his affair. And she who created fake certificates to cover her tracks.
Never get caught. Always lie. And never use time travel as a way of revenge, ever again.
B. Craig Grafton
8/13/2021 07:01:53 am
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