Margaret first experienced the gift as a small child sensing a companion beside her as she played. Her parents noticed her play and said she had an imaginary friend. Being a child, she had no idea that others didn’t hear the music she heard or that they never visited Gran who still lived in Scotland. She didn't know they never heard the voice of her companion.
As she became an adult she tried explaining, “It’s a quantum physics thing. Time and space are human constructs to help us organize our lives. Sometimes I look through the construct to see another time and space.”
Some days, Margaret tried to explain that having The Gift was somewhat like reading a book. Most days she only read the page she was living on. Other days, she would unconsciously peek ahead a few pages or maybe a whole chapter. Always, she felt the pull of her childhood companion, but she never mentioned that.
As Margaret’s own children began to be old enough to understand adult things, she tried to protect them by not mentioning when she saw a bridge collapse or a terrorist with a bomb in his truck. This is when she began to grow pale and thin over the images of brutal men beating their wives. She watched but could not help those women.
Now, she tried to shut out the images because she couldn’t change the future, she could only observe the tragedies of the world. She grew sick of living through horrors in her mind then living through them again a day or so later when the event happened. Slowly, she shut down the images learning to live only one page at a time.
Shutting down led to prolonged, deep depression. She missed a vital connection to something she could not name. She didn’t like refusing to be the person she was created to be. That nameless something called to her, so she began to open her mind just a little. This is when she met Adam.
Adam appeared before her as she reclined with her eyes closed in her sunny garden. He kissed her forehead, “There you are. I’ve been looking for you. What is this place?”
Margaret sat up abruptly, “What? Who? How did you get in here?” She looked around her, wildly.
“I came through. I’ve been looking for you. You know me. We’ve been together, but you shut down.”
Margaret eyed Adam and thought she understood. Yes, she’d met him when her mind wandered. Her parents called him her imaginary friend.
He looked around her garden. “This is pleasant enough. Why do you see such horrors?”
“The horrors are real enough, outside of here. I don’t want to see them, but they intrude.”
“That is why you shut down.” He made the statement as he understood. He sat beside her on her chaise. “I’ve missed you. I came to take you with me to where there are no horrors.”
Margaret nodded. Within a thought came a new image. Adam led Margaret down the street of a beautiful city. The streets were clean. On each corner, sat a small park filled with slides and swings for children. Trees, and flowers spilled out of the parks and lined the streets. Tall glass skyscrapers reflected the light and clouds. Margaret asked, “What is this place?”
Adam laughed at her for asking his question. “It is through. This is where I live and where I first saw you.”
Margaret understood that he meant their minds had touched. She recognized the connection that she’d lost when she shut down. “Perhaps, it is meeting you and learning how to see and how to move through that I was meant to do. Certainly seeing bombs ripping through buildings that house daycares is no life. Although, I do not think my world is ready for the reality of slipping through.”
“Yet, here is the way it is meant to be. We do not have such horrors as you see.” Adam remarked as they stopped to listen to a band in one of the parks. After a few minutes of reflection he added, “Perhaps you are allowed to see the horrors so that those who see here can understand why we must not stray from the path of agape.”
Margaret nodded, then knew why she must return. “I have responsibilities there. My children are almost grown, but still need their mother. Can I come back here?”
“Of course, we were meant to be together.”
“I’m not certain what my husband would think of that idea, but I know what you mean.” She looked away. “He tries to pretend that I don’t see things before they happen. It would help if he would at least hug me.”
Adam pulled Margaret into his arms and held her. “We will be together in the future as we have been in the past.”
Margaret nodded, understanding what he meant about future and past. They would always be together outside of time and space.
Margaret woke up on her chaise and stretched. She smiled and went inside glancing at the clock to see how long she’d been away. It seemed that hours had passed. She shook her head and snorted when the kitchen clock told her that she’d gone outside two minutes earlier.
As the years passed, Margaret traveled through as often as she had a free moment to slip away and be back before the passage of time. Finding an opportunity to slip away wasn’t as easy as it sounded, for with a husband and three children, she never found herself alone.
The day came when her husband passed away. Adam came to the service and comforted her while her children whispered, “Mom is more spacey than ever. What will we do with her?”
Time here passed as Margaret and Adam had more opportunities for her to slip away. Adam stayed with her here often when she stayed to care for her grandchildren and her house. Her children finally insisted on selling her house, telling her she should live in a condo near the shops.
Margaret didn’t care where she lived as long as she had privacy to come and go as she pleased. It pleased her more to go than to come these days. In slipping away she shed her aged body that was tied to time and space here and lived in her young body there.
When Margaret saw her new condo, she snorted to herself. “The children are locking me up in the old folks home. I know assisted living when I see it. I’m not senile.” She waved her children off and assured them she liked her new apartment, then went inside and whispered, “Adam, it is time. I have become a burden.”
At dinnertime, Margaret did not appear in the facility dining room, so the evening administrator sent an aide off to, “fetch the patient in two-ten. She just came in today. Her children warned us that she never knows what time it is.”
The home had a no-fail system for locating patients who wandered, but they never found Margaret.
Note: Margaret still loved her children and grandchildren. She checked in on them occasionally from the other side. They would often recognize her thoughts resting on them and comment, “Remember how Mom…?”
“Yeah, I was just thinking about her too.”
She’d sigh and slip back through to run on the beach or sit and sip tea in the sun with Adam.