“Honey! I am home,” shouted Marcel looking for his usual welcome party.
“Someone left the door open,” said Levi sounding worried while walking into Marcel’s place, quite impressed with the interior of the house, featuring an open layout; A spacious kitchen, integrated into an inviting dining area, and a green terrace connected to the vast yet cozy living room.
“Usually, we don’t close it. We always keep it open, actually.”
“Don’t you worry about someone breaking in? Don’t you have one of those security systems that scan your eyeball, recognize your voice, and read your face, like in futuristic movies?”
“No!” answered Marcel, as if that was a ridiculous question to ask. “We don’t need that kind of thing.”
“What do you mean, you don’t need ‘that kind of thing?'”
“Why do you think we would need security?”
“What kind of question is that? For the obvious reasons. To protect you from criminals; thieves, robbers, you know. The bad guys.”
“I see. The bad guys you mention, they don’t exist here. No criminality. No badness. As I said, no need for security systems.”
“Impossible. Even if we are now one thousand years into the future, humans will always be humans. You can’t change their natural inclinations, can you? What kind of technology would cure humans of evil?”
“All good questions, my friend. You will have your answers soon enough. I promise. Please make yourself at home. Where is everybody?”
“Daddy! Daddy!” Two beautiful little girls came running down the stairs.
Both had astonishing macchiato skin color and long curly hair, framing an oval face, pointed chin, and almond green eyes. Their dark skin was a heritage from their father, seasoned with an Asian look, just like moms.
“Hello, my princesses,” said Marcel hugging and kissing the two little dolls.
“Where is mommy?”
“She is upstairs.” The girls answered in unison as they usually did.
“Sarah, Naomi, I would like you to meet uncle, Levi. He is a good friend of daddy.”
“Hello, uncle Levi,” they said again in unison.
“Hello, Sarah and Naomi. You both are two beautiful girls, did you know that?”
“Thank you, uncle Levi.”
“OK, girls. Go upstairs and tell mommy daddy is home.”
“They are so cute. How old are they?” Levi asked.
“Sarah is eight and Naomi six.”
“They look so much alike. I thought you said you have twins.”
“I do have twins, but they don’t live with us.”
“They grew up. The twins have their own families now. I will show you some family pictures after dinner. You must be starving.”
“Wait! Do you have grownup children? How old are you anyway?”
Sarah and Naomi were back with their mommy. “Hi honey, you are already home? I was just getting the rooms ready for our guests tonight.”
“Hey, babe. We just got here. So, this is Levi. Levi, this is my wife June.”
“Hello, June. It is so nice to meet you. Thank you for marrying my friend. I thought he was a lost cause.”
“Very witty, confirming all stories. The pleasure is all mine, Levi. I feel like I’ve already known you for years. Marcel has always talked about you. And your grandparents have good stories too. They are good friends of ours.”
“Do you mean you were good friends with them?”
“No. We still are very close friends. They will be here in a minute to have dinner with us. They are very excited to see you again. Marcel, did you not tell him?”
“Marcel, my grandparents are still alive?” Levi asked. “They were quite old last time I saw them. Are they in the same program that brought me back from the past?”
“Ding, dong.” The doorbell rang.
Little Sarah and Naomi ran to the door, overexcited with the arrival of their favorite people.
“Uncle Jay! Aunty Rachel!” yelled the girls, all jumpy, at the young couple standing in the doorway looking just as excited as the children.
“Hello, girls. Wow! You get bigger and prettier every day, don’t you?” said uncle Jacob while getting a long and warm hug from the young ladies.
“Hey! What about me?” said Aunt Rachel fishing for some love too. “Come here, you two.” A big wave of hugs and kisses was coming now in Rachel’s way. “These are for you,” she said handing over two fancy wrapped packages to the girls.
“Gifts!” they cried out, even more, agitated and happy than before. Another round of hugs and kisses took place before the girls ran inside, eager to rip open the packages and find out what they got this time.
“Hi Marcel, how are you doing, my brother,” asked Jacob with tenderness in his voice.
“I’m doing great, Jacob. Thanks. Today has been a very special day. Look who I have here with me.” Levi started moving closer, looking at the visitors not quite sure yet who they were or why their expressions suddenly changed from smiling faces to complete awe and amazement before they started to cry.
“Hello, I’m Levi,” he said, not understanding what was going on and not knowing how to react to their surprise at seeing him.
“Yes, of course, you are,” said Rachel and not able to contain herself any longer, she hugged Levi like a mother hugs her child.
“Sorry, do we know each other?” said Levi beginning to feel a little uncomfortable and awkward.
“It is us, son. Your grandparents”, said Jacob, unable to hold back the tears of joy at finally seeing his grandson once again a long time after his fatal accident.
“Levi stared for a moment at Jacob and Rachel, carefully analyzing their faces and couldn’t deny the fact that Rachel looked just like his mother in her youth. And Jacob reminded him of old pictures of his grandfather as a young man. Levi was stunned by different emotions and mixed feelings of confusion, disbelief, love, and joy. After some hesitation, Levi was moved to wrap his arms around Rachel and hug her back. Jacob joined them in an extended family embrace.
They had never had such a wonderful time before, the Adams and the Williams. The food was delicious as usual, and the company couldn’t be better. Sarah and Naomi were always a great show to watch. Naomi, very bright and eloquent, liked to tell stories. The way she talked and acted like a grownup was adorable and amusing. Sarah played a variety of instruments better than many adults. Her amazing performance with the violin followed dinner. The smile and sparkle in the eyes of Jacob and Rachel would not leave their faces. Levi couldn’t fully comprehend how happy his grandparents were at that moment. He was more curious and puzzled than anything else. He was dying to ask how come they were looking so young. How weak, tired, decaying bodies turn to strong, healthy, and rejuvenated ones. He wasn’t sure if it would be appropriate to flood them with questions during dinner, so he decided to wait for the right time.
“Levi, come with me for a moment, please. I would like to give you something,” said Jacob walking outside by the front door.
“Yes, of course,” promptly responded Levi, jumping like a cat, standing up in one precise and rapid movement, anxious to finally have some questions answered.
“I believe this belongs to you,” said Jacob handing Levi a book. Levi opened it, and immediately his eyes filled up. It was the photo album of his wedding day. “I know that this is one of the few things you have ever owned that you really cared about. So, I thought you would like to have it back. Anne would like that.”
“I haven’t seen this in a long time. I remember when I asked my granddad- I mean when I asked you – to keep it safe for me. Thanks.”
“I can understand that it is weird for you to see your grandpa with a thirty-something appearance. I’m guessing this day went all the way up to the first place on the chart of ‘the craziest and most exciting days’ of your life, right?”
“I still believe that I am dreaming and that I can wake up at any moment. But I’m not sure if I want to.”
“It might be hard to wrap your head around it, but I can assure you, this is no dream.”
“If I am not dreaming, how do you explain all this?”
“Do you remember when you were about eight years old when I gave you your first telescope?”
“How could I ever forget? Definitely, one of the top five most exciting days of my life,” said Levi making Jacob laugh.
“You were always fascinated with the stars. I remember when we were camping together, and you were absorbed with all the things you could see in the skies with your little telescope when then you asked me if there were someone out there looking back at us. Do you remember that?”
“Did I say that?” asked Levi, smiling at the mental picture of himself that small asking such a profound question.
“Yes, you did. You always believed that there was someone out there. Someone intelligent. Much more intelligent than we are, looking at us. Well, you will be pleased to know that you were ‘right.'”
“Aliens?” asked Levi perplexed.
“If you mean intelligent beings, not humans, yes.”
Levi expelled his breath sharply, “I knew it!” he shouted like he had made a scientific breakthrough right there. “Don’t tell me that we have discovered life in other planets. Are you kidding me? Oh my God, this is amazing. Do you know if our telescope helped with the discovery?”
“We didn’t discover them. They reached out to us.” Jacob answered.
“Are you serious now? I can’t believe it. How did it happen? Tell me everything.”
“You are going to know everything about it at school. We have a special program for people that came from the past, just like you. It will help you to understand everything and get you up to speed.”
“I would love that. When do I begin?”
“About the aliens. Tell me more about them.”
“For now, I can tell you this. They are the ones responsible for you being here, back from the dead. And they were also responsible for making your grandpa look amazing again,” said Jacob with a big laugh.
“You do look amazing, Jacob, I mean, grandpa. Sorry. I will have to get used to it.”
“Don’t you worry, son. You will.”
A world without crime or bad people. What do you think about that? Leave a comment below.