Week 22: Carter & Ryder
(Carter & Ryder’s daughter likes time travel)
“What’s going on?” Ryder asked when she walked into the bedroom.
“Um… Well, your daughter did something very interesting in school today, and I got a call from the teacher informing me about it.”
“Why is she my daughter right now?” Ryder asked as she walked to the closet and kicked off her shoes.
“Because she had to give a presentation on an invention in her history class.”
“Okay…” Ryder unbuttoned and unzipped her jeans.
“Any chance you know where your journal from, oh, about twelve years ago is?”
“My journal? What journal? I haven’t kept one since-” Ryder got there, and her eyes went wide.
“Yeah, babe. Your daughter found it in a box of stuff that we left thinking our kids were too young to care or look through. But she’s your child: she’s naturally curious and way ahead of every other kid in her grade. So, guess what she talked about today to her entire class.”
“She told her teacher and all the students that her mom invented a time machine.”
“Oh, shit,” Ryder said.
Carter was sitting on the end of their bed, and Ryder joined her, deciding to deal with changing clothes later.
“Her teacher told her that there’s no such thing as a time machine and called me because she didn’t want her making stuff up but also because she failed the assignment by not giving the class a real invention that was important to history.”
“She found my journal?”
“That, she did.”
“No one believed her, right?”
“I don’t know. They’re kids, so even if they go home and tell their parents that some girl in their class talked to them about time travel, I doubt anyone is going to take her seriously.”
“I should’ve destroyed my journals.”
“The scientist in you won’t allow that.” Carter took her hand. “But when I talked to her, Ry, she hated that the teacher told her it wasn’t true. She believes you built a time machine, and I told her that time machines don’t exist. We’re in uncharted territory here, though. I don’t think I expected them to find out. Ever.”
“I wrote in a few journals back then. Which one did she find?”
“The red hardbacked one.”
Ryder did her best to think back to the timeframe when she would’ve used that journal and what might be in it that her daughter might have read.
“I think that one is mostly the science,” she said. “I’ll take a look, but I think it’s a lot of math and science that she can’t understand.”
“She’s a little you. Are you sure about that?”
“It would’ve been way over my head at that age, too.” Ryder rested her head on Carter’s shoulder. “It’s got some stuff in there that she can understand, but I don’t remember it mentioning you and me taking a little trip back in time, or my time alone, either.”
“Can you talk to her?” Carter asked. “I don’t really know what to say. She’s pouting in her room right now because she thinks she’s in trouble, but she’s not. We’ll go over another invention for her to talk to her class about.”
“Carter, one day, do we tell them? We’ve never really talked about this before because I honestly never thought we’d need to. But do we?”
“I don’t know,” Carter replied on a sigh. “We’ve had no issues with anyone thinking you still have the thing, but it could put them at risk.”
“Yeah, you’re right. I don’t want anyone asking them any questions when they’re older. So, we won’t tell them that I went back in time to make sure you and I ended up together, which would also mean so that we could have them?”
“I think not,” Carter replied. “But you can take those journals that I thought were already in storage with the machine to the storage with the machine.”
“I’ll do it tomorrow,” Ryder promised and leaned in for a kiss. “I’ll talk to her.”
“I love you.”
“I love you, too,” Carter said and kissed her again.
“I hate lying to her.”
“Can I at least talk to her about the principles of time travel?” Ryder asked with a smile.
Carter stood up and said, “If you can do that without at all alluding to the giant time machine we pay money every month to store, go for it.”
“Oh, this is going to be fun,” Ryder replied.