Day 2

Day 2

Since Maria had been hospitalized for lung cancer, Liam had barely changed anything of the routine that they had created for themselves or their children. The argument could have been given that Liam did the same things to keep normalcy for the children. He knew that it was because of The Plan he had been building in his basement since day one of cancer.

Every evening after studies he would give their twin daughters, Emily and Adna, a chance to wind down before bathing them and putting them to bed. During bed time, like Maria had always done, he would call up both sets of grandparents and allow them to talk for fifteen minutes each. Once that was finished, he would read them two books; one that was silly and one that was educational. That night, he had picked the Berenstien Bears and The Twin Towers: How They Almost Fell. The second was dire and scary to even Liam, but the twins ate it up. He then poured them two glasses of water, sat it on their nightstands and turned off the light.

The only thing that changed was that normally, he would go into the living room, pick out a book from their personal library, sit down on the couch and read until she had finished writing up reports. They would go to bed, make love, and sleep until six the next morning. Instead, he poured himself a bowl of cereal in a t-shirt, boxers with white sox, and eat standing in the living room with the television on. That night, the bowl had Frosted Flakes and watching Shazzam with a comedian that he thought was called Sinbad, but he couldn’t really remember. Television wasn’t ever something he spent a lot of time on.

Both he and Maria, before cancer, were in the science department at Harvard with research jobs that paid the bills and then some. What they were working on would have changed the way the world would have looked at physics, but the day she received the diagnoses, Liam had started working on the machine in his basement for The Plan, which he had never hoped to enact. But his wife, he was certain, had four days left before she was dead and there wasn’t enough time for him to find the cure to fix her. He believed there was a cure, but he wasn’t sure how he was going to get it.

Bored he turned the station to the science channel to see another reminder of Maria. This time it was a reporter talking about the firing of the large hydrogen collider for the first time ever.

“The machine will be fired up in the early hours of tomorrow, September nineth,” she said smiling through the flatscreen television.

She would have been excited he thought as he turned down the volume watching as they toured the massive device while awkward scientists like himself tried to explain what the machine was made to do. He knew that he and Maria would have followed this for the rest of their lives because something that massive would change the very essence of how anyone say particles, physics or maybe even time itself. Even through the numbness in his chest, he could almost feel excitement starting to spark once again.

He sat down on the couch, leaned his head back and closed his eyes. The machine was finished below, and The Plan would start tomorrow once the girls were sent to school. He would have eight hours to run all the tests he needed before they came home and then after they went to bed, he would have a few more. Already it was giving read out of six individual lines and the wireless earphone in his head remained silent. When it started working, he was supposed to hear a deep bass note repeated in a pattern. And then, if he was correct, the phones in his ears should vibrate slightly.

A talk show came out with an announcer that smiled too much and picked the wrong things to joke about. Too tired to deal with anything else, Liam turned off the television, cleaned his bowl and hung it upside down on the drying rack, and went to sleep.

The alarm went off like it did every morning, but this time there was a buzz as well that made him want to desperately turn off the clock. He threw out his hand toward the (empty) full nightstand knocking more than a few things off. A few more tries and there was movement beside him and the alarm, from the (wrong) other side of the bed was turned off.

“I’ve got it,” a voice said.

The buzzing continued in his ear until he dug his (apparatus) sleep-aid out of his ear. He let it fall between the pillows and rolled over to kiss his (not) wife.

“You haven’t had an alarm on your side in years,” Maria smiled.

“Force (my) of (alarm) habit (is) I (missing) guess,” Liam (frowned) smiled.

“Go get our boys up,” she yawned grabbing her phone. “I want to lay here a little longer.”

Liam got up, pulled on his pajamas (that he wasn’t wearing the night before), drank a glass of water (that he didn’t pour), and walked down the narrow hall leading (north) south to the (girls) boys’ room. The room was set on the (west) east side so the sun came through the (white) blue curtains and illuminated a (two double) bunk bed with two shapes buried underneath the covers.

“Get (this) up (is) Avery (Emily) and (and) Ashton (Adna),” he said (whispered). “School (School).”

There was morning and grunts of protests. He smiled (frowned) and stepped into the room (though he wanted to run) and cleared (shouted) his throat (until he was hoarse).

“We’ve (this) got (is) to (wrong) get up,” he said (trembled).

As the boys stretched under their covers, he could feel the duality of anticipation and fear. There was a part of him that didn’t want to see what his twins looked like because they were not his twins but at the same time, they were his twins and that meant he had seen them every day since they were born. That they were not girls, but boys and he was just still sleepy from the horrible dream he had the night before. It was a peaceful (horrible) moment to see them lift their heads out of the covers and smile at their father.

“They fired up the collider last night,” Maria shouted from the bed. “I got the news on my phone.”

“That’s true,” he said. “That was last night.”

“Yes,” she replied confused. “It was.”

The boys launched themselves out of the bed at once and ran past their (not) father. He took a moment to touch their heads as they raced to see which would make it to the bathroom first. Two books fell out of their beds, and he picked them up to put them back on the shelves where they belonged. Maria had (not) read to them the night before so he looked at the spines. One silly one Berenstain Bears and one serious one The Collapse of the Twin Towers. He finds the appropriate places for them on their shelves and puts them where they (don’t) belong.

Since he (didn’t) worked from home for private (himself) contractors, Liam had taken upon himself to use his basic knowledge of chemistry to become a cook. So, he spent the next hour making the (not his) twins their favorite breakfast: eggs (pancakes) and bacon (bacon). When they had washed and sat down at the table, he had the plates waiting with two tall glasses of milk (orange juice). They ate it quickly and then went with their mother, (not his) Maria to the car (van) for them to go to public (private) school.

Sitting alone in his (not) house, Liam cleaned up from the night before. He picked up all the clothes on the floor, put them in the right hampers, cleaned the dishes, and then made himself a cup of coffee. He walked back into the bedroom, took a few sips, and started to feel something solidify in him slowly.

After finishing his coffee, he made the bed and the sleep-aid (apparatus) fell out of the sheets onto the floor. There was a noise coming from it and he knew that he must had left his sleep aide (the device) on in the basement below. He took it, went downstairs into the basement where there was a set of tablets and another set of ear buds. The readings showed his sleep (lines) status during the night. The printout had six (six) lines (lines) at the start but then, for some reason the six lines went to five. He frowned and grabbed the sheet trying to understand what this meant.

He looked to his book (post it note) on the desk beside him that read sleep study (put both buds in). There was a moment where Liam could feel his eyes seem to want to split in two and he couldn’t help but bite his lip so hard the skin broke. There was something amiss and he couldn’t figure out exactly what it was.

Maybe (put) if (the) he (apparatus) took (in) the (your) tablet (fucking) upstairs (ears) and took a nap with the sleep-aids in his ears, he could figure (follow) out (The) what (Plan) went wrong with the whole thing.

So he did just that.

When he put the second sleep-aide (apparatus) in his ears and hit start (shift) on the tablet, the deep sound started but he couldn’t close his eyes. Instead, he laid there in his (not) bed and watched as the entire world around him started to vibrate. The deep bass sound grew louder and there was a moment where things begin to crack and crumple without cracking and crumbling. He wanted to scream but couldn’t. For he knew, as things begin to duplicate and vibrate and different speeds, that the sixth line that merged into the fifth was no more and could be no more. That he, no matter what, couldn’t go back again. The Plan, had to change.

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