“You have to come back to Norma.” The beach was empty, except for us and we walked side by side just out of reach of the dull, lapping waves. If you looked closely, you could see miniature fluorescent fish and seahorses swimming through the air. “You see that Dr.?” she asked, her brown eyes alive with excitement. “That’s the beginning of time.” I followed her gaze, only to find a couple of swaying palm trees.
“There's nothing there.” I said curiously.
“Exactly. There’s no end or beginning, no boundaries, no lines. Just time, so much time for me to explore.” The landscape morphed then so that we were now floating in space, stars twinkling like city lights all around us. We both watched in awe as a supernova exploded, releasing a rainbow of light and as galaxies shined with the promise of new life. “This is why I can’t leave,” she said, gesturing to the space around us. “There is too much here to ever return. I’ve seen things that no one will ever see. I have learned the secrets of the universe! There’s too much knowledge to be had.” I nod slowly.
“There isn’t anything I can do to change your mind, is there?”
She shook her head smiling. “It’s just the way it has to be. You can stay you know.”
I looked around me and sighed, “No. I’ll leave the exploring to you, for I must get back.”
She nodded and walked away, her black curls shining as they caught the light of the nearby sun.
I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and awoke to the faded tan walls of Norma’s bedroom. I was still sitting on the rickety wooden chair by her bed. She seemed more fragile in this state, more soft lines than jagged edges. She was dressed in a white nightgown and wrapped in layers of soft downy sheets. I slowly reached over and shut her open eyes for the last time.
“Your secret’s safe with me,” I whispered and with that I walked out her small bedroom, to address the audience waiting outside.
“She’s gone,” I said.