Wanderer By Anana Mouse
I am aimlessly walking the world over and over again as it was something I was unfortunately born with. I already outlived my whole family and lived through many different eras and I continue to watch it change and leave me in the dust. I am thinking silently to myself and I suddenly see someone start appearing in front of me. They look as surprised as I am, and then once again, they vanished into the unknown. It was an odd experience that in my many many years of living I have not seen. Once again I see the mysterious person pop up in front of me. This was not something I usually see in the ever-changing world. So, at this point, I was not exactly sure what to do, so I just took a seat on a nearby rock and waited it out. I soon see a person with brown hair and yellow highlights wearing a light green shirt and long flowy white pants finally solid and not vanishing anymore so I decide to speak first “So what was that about?”
The odd person with a loud and energetic voice simply says back “Who knows?” and just laughs it off. He tells me his name is Toni and I introduced myself by saying my name, Aldric. Toni came over to me and took a seat on the rock I was sitting on. He then proceeded to ask me “So what are you doing in the middle of nowhere? There doesn’t seem to be a town around here, are you lost?” And then he starts mumbling things I couldn’t fully hear like “Was he taking a walk and got lost?” Or “Is he running away if I should help?” and so on. To say the least he seems like an interesting person.
I truthfully answer saying “I am just aimlessly walking around with no exact destination.” Toni shoots me back a confused expression as if questioning me why? And soon he voices his question to me. There is an easy way of explaining this, but I don’t feel like going through all that hassle so I just decided to change the subject which was quite easy. I guess Toni gets distracted easily or chooses to respect my decision. But instead I ask him “Why were you disappearing and appearing like that? It has gotten me curious.”
Toni sighs and gives me a forced laugh saying “I’m a time traveler.” To be fair, I am a bit surprised but I guess it explains why he appeared out of nowhere.
I ask him “How did you become a time traveler?”
After looking like he gave it a bit of thought he answers; “I am not sure, one day I just suddenly appeared in another place when I was at home and figured out it was a few hundred years in the past from my normal time frame.” After he answers we both sit comfortably in silence surrounded by the field of wild grass and flowers with a clear blue sky and sun swinging in our faces.
I break the silence and answer Toni’s question from before of why I was aimlessly walking around. All I could say was “The reason I am aimlessly walking around is because I am immortal.” He blankly stares at me and laughs like there is no tomorrow.
Out of breath, he finally replied, “So I just ended up appearing in front of a complete stranger who is apparently immortal? Heck! it would be weird enough to say I am a time traveler, but the odds of us both being unlucky are golden!” I look at him and just nod, he takes a deep breath and speaks again. “So if I time travel into a few hundred years I will still be able to find you somewhere in the world, that’s so cool! But what do you do for a few hundred years then?”
I answer back “I will do what I always did, which was simply walking around and waiting for you to appear before me again.” I smile at the thought of finally having to wait and be excited for something again.
Sadly Toni says “Well it's been amazing meeting you but I have to leave. There are certain time frames I can’t stay very long like this one. However! I will make sure to look for you the next time I can time travel.”
Before he leaves I ask “When will you be able to stay longer?”
He says back in a sad tone “The next time I can stay for at least a whole year or 2 is in around 200 years which won’t seem like much to me but I am worried about you.” I shake my head as there is nothing for him to worry about since I have been here forever. I am used to this recurring boring routine I do. So we say our final goodbyes and the time traveler leaves me to sulk in deathly silence once again.
As the years fly by it is getting closer and closer to the date we are supposed to meet at so as a precaution I slowly start heading to the area we last met in the forest. I still have a few years left so I am not in a rush. I never was anyways, but I can’t say I am not excited to see someone I can call a friend.
In a couple weeks or months, I can't tell, but I finally made it to the place we met. I still have around 5 years left to wait so I decided to build a little house for us out of the trees around us. After around 2 or maybe 4 years I finish it. It’s a nice cozy cottage with a front porch and made out of dark wood. The inside has some stone walls with green furniture inside from the stores a few miles away from me. Toni should be appearing in the next year or 2 so there isn’t much to do but wait
I have a fun thought of adopting a pet. I usually don’t since the one time I did I had to watch it pass away which I wasn’t prepared for since. But I decided to get an orange and white cat to join my newly built home as now we both wait. The date is now even closer than before. He should be appearing in the next few days, I can barely hold in my excitement.
The next day as I am sitting on my front porch with my cat which I named Nav I start to see an image flicker in the air. I quickly run up to the image and wait for it to be fully solid once. Toni lunges at me he looks a bit older but I don’t mention it, not worrying about it, and he shows me a gift he bought for me from his travels. It’s a teapot and a green tea called ‘Mango lychee green tea.’ “Wow thank you I have never received a gift. Do you want to go make some now?”
He excitedly replies “Of course, let’s gooooo!” When he turned around he finally noticed the small house and cat sitting on the chair. And asked me “Wowwww! Did you build this?! IT’S SO COOL!” His excitement is way too much for me to handle, so half covering my ears I answer with a silent yes.
I told him to come inside and introduced him to my cat. While he looks around and plays with the cat I make some of the tea he brought for us to drink. Once it's done I hand his to him and we drink. It's really good. I liked it and I asked, “If you ever find this in a store again do you mind buying me some of it.” He softly laughs at my question and quickly agrees then asks about what the world is like 200 years ahead. He saw a bunch of new things he didn’t recognize like those big clucks of metal standing on a black surface. So I try to fill him in to the best of my ability about the new inventions like cars (This is when the first few cars came out, not the cars we have now). He seems a bit surprised since it was a lot of new information to process and then laughs off his confusion as he did last time. He doesn’t think too deep into things he can't change and I slowly laughed with him.
We decided to head outside and go pick some things to eat like berries and herbs, we got some blueberries and mint to try and make tea out of. On the way to pick the blueberries we saw a bird and Toni made me go follow it to see it closer up. We weren’t the quietest with all our laughter after not seeing each other for so long and ended up scaring the bird away which made us laugh even more. So, with our berries and herbs we hurry back to the house before it's dark and boiled some water for the mint and washed the blueberries to eat and we ate them on the couch.
The next couple of days we both enjoyed each other’s presence and we did a bunch of activities. It's much funnier to do something with someone rather than alone. It's nice to have a friend. We did a bunch of things like hiking, kayaking and swimming in the nearby lake. Toni ended up falling into the lake when we went kayaking and was soaking wet when we came back home.
However all good things must come to an end and the dreaded time for Toni to have to leave once again was near. When it comes time to leave he tells me “At least this time you won't have to wait as long as last time. This time it will only be a 100 year wait and I can stay for a few months!” Which made me happy to hear, although it will be harder to leave now that we were able to hang out more but, oh well. We painfully say our goodbyes and he vanishes.
I walk back inside to be greeted by my cat at home and I collapse on the couch and fall asleep, sadly having to wake up the very next morning to feed my cat. I put a leash on it once he finished eating and we went for a walk around the nearby lake. Once we did a full circle, we returned to the house ready to lay down on the couch once again. As I lay there, I stay awake in my thoughts as I think about some random things, like how my days have been so bland after Toni had to leave. But, deciding to not think about that, I try to think of some things I could do that would keep me distracted for a long time. I can try traveling the world again but I am worried someone might find the house and destroy it. I contemplated also trying to build something again. I didn’t quite know what yet but it seemed like a good time-consuming project. I also contemplated trying something like painting or a new hobby. Ugh I have never been so bored in my life. It's like once I finally experienced some fun I want to do nothing but it.
Well since I have a bit of time left, why don’t we see what has come of society. Usually I don’t care about it since people scare me but I don't have anything else in mind. So I packed some things and took my cat and tried to hide my house with some big leaves in it and hoped that no one would find it until I returned. I went on my journey to the nearby town or city. I had been walking for a couple of miles and it was now night so I set up the small tent I brought with me.
I woke up early in the morning because of my cat’s meowing, and once we ate, we continued walking. Nav got tired and I carried her the rest of the way. In the distance we can now see some tall buildings. It has changed a lot since I last visited. So I walked around and got some more food since it's been a while since we had eaten. We continued walking and I saw a nice bookstore with a cafe inside. so we stepped inside. Thankfully they were pet-friendly so my cat can come. We ordered some things and I picked up a book to read with Nav sitting on my lap. I found an interesting book about a conspiracy theory about there being a time traveler since the same person has been appearing over and over again in different periods of time. Knowing the answer, I laughed and picked up another book, putting Nav down. We have been at the cafe for a few hours reading books and drinking some tea.
I decided it was finally time to leave. We started looking for some hotels to stay at and since I didn’t have a lot of money, we settled for a nice cheap hotel. We went to our room and we both instantly knocked out on the beds after walking for so long. We woke later in the night and couldn’t fall asleep so I ventured head outside to the balcony, and thought to myself about where Toni could be right now. Although I am immortal, it's very anticlimactic. There isn’t much I can do since I can still die if I do something extreme, and I don’t have a lot of motivation to do anything to be honest. I don’t even need to eat or drink but I do just for the fun of it and so I can seem at least a little bit connected to the other normal people.
After exploring the whole city I decided it's time to go back home, so we packed everything from our hotel room and gave the key to the hotel. After buying some more supplies we headed out for our journey back home. After some time we finally arrived, exhausted. I am glad that no one found our house. I walked inside and made some tea for myself and food for my cat. While over-thinking some things like I usually do, I started to think about how my friend looked different and started worrying about things like how he can’t live forever. Time travelers aren't immortal; they still age depending on different things. For example, he was forced to stay in certain periods for a certain time whether he likes it or not or he had the option to just skip past 100 years to see me because if he could he should've looked exactly the same as when we first met. However, he was wearing some weird clothes from the 1700’s. I really hope I am wrong and he can travel freely without ever being constricted, but in the back of my mind I fear this is true.
It’s been around ten more years that have passed. At this point, I have been waiting around 14 years in total. I still had a long time to wait and my patience was running out, but I couldn't do anything about it. Anyways it's hopeless and all I can do is wait and wait. Now the day I had been anticipating and dreading came when Nav passed away. She has been with me for so long and kept me company. I could not bear saying goodbye, but life had other plans in store. I have to go through losing a friend once again, but I don't at all regret taking her under my wing. I loved having her around. I gave her a funeral alone next to the lake where we used to sit and relax. But now I have to wait as the years pass in a deafening silence waiting to eventually see an old friend.
As more years passed by, I had started to lose track of time once again, like I had before on my endless travels. Who knows what year it is now. I felt it's hopeless thinking about it -- there's no point. But of course I am still excited to be able to meet Toni again after such a long time. However, now after Nav died it has been difficult to get through the days alone. I thought he should be coming in the next week or so. At this point I was not sure because my perception of time has been getting worse and worse. But I decided that I would happily wait until he came somewhere during this week.
Eventually while waiting for him on the porch, I finally see his image flicker. Once it solidified, I lunged at him and I noticed some white streaks but I didn't don’t pay much attention since I finally was able to see my friend. I tell him “Welcome home, I already got some tea brewing,”
And he asks, “mango lychee?”
I answered back “Of course.”
We both felt content, finally able to come home. Although he notices Nav’s disappearance, I can see the guilt on his face for not being able to say goodbye to her, so I went to take him where I buried her near the lake. We brought some things for her, such as flowers and we put them next to the sign with her name carved into it.
Then, we slowly headed back home, not in any particular rush. When we got home I made a bed on the floor for Toni and I collapsed on the couch. I put something on the old TV I found. He was starstruck although he is a time traveler. Surprisingly enough he had not encountered a TV in his time travels. I explained what it was and we watched some stuff. Occasionally I explained words that Toni didn’t understand. Well, he never went to school and I went to the first school ever made, so I had not been able to learn much there. But we try our best. We did do a bunch of new fun activities like last time, and in the blink of an eye the few months pass by and it was time for him to leave me again. He gave me a sad smile and we said our goodbyes hoping for the wait to be even shorter than the last time. As he started vanishing he told me “I might be back in around 50 years. I hope to come home at least one more time.” I immediately answer back “Of course you will, this house isn’t going anywhere we will be waiting.” And before he fully vanished, I thought I heard him mumble something but I didn’t understand what it was.
So I waited slowly, losing track of time once again. But at least I only had to wait half the time of the last visit. So, I guess that was a plus. Through the days I did my best to keep myself distracted and to keep track of the weeks, months, years passing by. But I fought through and after what I perceived as 50 years I finally took a glance at the calendar. I hid away to try and get through the years but I looked at it and I thought Toni would be coming on - tomorrow. Wait? He’s coming tomorrow? I am on cloud nine. I only have to wait one more day for Toni’s arrival. “It's only a day until he comes!” I thought to myself.
So I quickly set up the house awaiting his arrival and I tried to fall asleep as quickly as possible. When I woke up early in the morning, I was on the front porch with a book in my hands. It had been a few hours and it started getting late. I thought to myself, “Is it possible he got delayed and is busy in another era.” While I waited I accidentally fell asleep.
At this point, it had been a couple of days and I still didn’t see my friend. It was getting me a bit anxious but I couldn’t do anything to help it. I felt useless, just an old wandering soul waiting for someone who might never show up again to say they are back home. Was he gone for good? Is he gone? Was he really, really gone? I hoped maybe, just maybe it was all a joke. Do I no longer have a reason to be excited in my life? I questioned whether I no longer had a reason to be excited in this life of immortality. I finally left the front porch feeling helpless and the small bit of hope left in my heart vanished as I walked with my eyes closed, anxiously hoping for Toni to lunge at me and say he’s back home again. I felt like I was falling and water was slowly consuming me, making me drown more and more into my own thoughts and longing feelings of having a companion. But maybe I won’t have to wait long until we can see each other again. Will I?