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Copyright © All Rights Reserved - Wolf Sherman

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronically, electrostatic magnetic tape or mechanically; including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the author. Although this is a fictional work, some locations, organisations and events are factual. The characters and times in the story line are fictional - therefore, all resemblances to actual people present or past are purely coincidental.

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.

- by Wolf Sherman

Synopsis



There is an abode, a venue... or for now, let's refer to it as a dwelling... not far from where you live and love. Actually, who knows, it may be exactly where you live... If not, it'll be your neighbours - It's never too far. A dwelling then, if you want... where "was" and "is" and "will be", are the same place... No, "I" probably won't guess where you live... But then, we're not taking about me...

Prologue



What time is it? Probably never the same time as what it was - when you had asked. Logic would have it, that by the time you get the answer, it'll be later. It's basically impossible to accurately tell someone what time it is now, compared to when it was 'that' time back then - when they had first asked. Think about it next time you're asked for the time. And be honest with them. Tell then you just don't know. They'll thank you for it...



Look at this for instance... It was Thursday the 3rd of June 1999... but, then later the same day, it was also Sunday the 3rd of September 2006. And a just a little after that - not too long actually, as luck would have it - that's if one 'dare' insinuate it would be luck, it will also be Wednesday the 6th of March 2019... It will take some arithmetic gymnastics to calculate what today will be, or was, but for ease of reference, we'll stay with the 3rd of June 1999. It would've made no sense for Gunter to question this anomaly. So, like all of us, in-between eyeing our watches, and a few minutes later repeating the glimpse, since we already for the second time somehow forgot, and mark my words, in less than thirty minutes we'll be at it again - and, at some stage we'll be blanketed into oblivion when suffering the same oddity, but aided by paging a calendar, back and forth. Like all, or maybe most of us, Gunter didn't exactly torment himself with this... initially... he just kept enjoying life and did what he enjoyed. It just made sense. Otherwise one will go as mad as a box of frogs. Right?



Chapter? (Whichever you prefer. Time has been reluctant to be divided up in chapters, days or minutes. We're diving ourselves up, not time. At most, it would've had a beginning and it may have and end. It's inconvenient for us as it is inconceivable, that something can exist with no beginning and no end. Yet, that's exactly how it works...



To claim a little sanity, as far Gunter was concerned, he had the day off. It had been a long boring routine, driving between home and his destination - over and over repeatedly. The desolate office parking too early on business mornings, the drab computer department, his solitary work station... It had all been taking its toll... For as many mornings as far back as Gunter could recall, it was the same uneventful trip to work. The same truck at the same place, routinely slowing everyone down, the same policeman diverting traffic with the exact same white-gloved hurried 'Get the hell over here and turn left, the whole of the neighbourhood is waiting just for you. Ah, we found 1st gear did we?" Even the same 'For Sale' sign outside the office park where he slaved from pay-day to pay-day, season in season out. Somehow none of it bothered him after a while... Having washed his hands - again, he dried them with the closest - and since again it had been within reach - a just laundered, still warm dish cloth, and turned around from the basin. The house had always been peaceful and quiet as Eve, who worked night-shift, would usually only have arrived home at a few minutes after 7am. Not a second too soon... He had faced the bright morning which came to greet and console him from outside the kitchen window. The brand new early morning sun rays warmed up his cheeks and reminded him of his Eve's very first kiss. They were young, and Gunter was besotted with her, and her kiss at that very moment was (the) most welcome thing in his entire life.



"An unexpected piece of heaven" He called her first kiss... He reminded himself that the banana bread wasn't going to rise without the batter - which wasn't going to mix itself... Then there would be, as usual, the thirty-five-minute outstretched wait while the newly purchased, 180°C pre-heated oven, would fulfil its purpose magically...



"Better switch it on." Turning over to the oven, he noticed he had done so already.



"Strange? Don't recall that I did? But, there it is, heating up". Gunter frowned at his lapse of memory which happened with unceasing frequency of late.



"She'll be home soon and tired after her nursing night shift." He told himself. One of her rewards, was a treat she genuinely loved... to be presented with his ready and waiting, two thick and steamy slices of banana bread with just enough butter melting into the slices before she could finish them off. She'd washed these down afterwards, with never more than half a glass of warmed-up milk. He played watching her enjoying it over in his mind.



"That should make her sleep well". He was talking to himself, while he gently sifted two cups of wheat flour, together with one tea spoon each measured of salt and bicarb into the thick glass mixing bowl. Loving the bright morning sun heating his unshaven face, he looked down at the unopened baking powder tin, dug the tea spoon into it and screwed the lid back again. After he added a teaspoon of the ingredient he nearly missed, he scooped the fine dry and sifted contents into another bowl where the mix of eggs, butter, and exactly one teaspoon of sugar more than the cup of sugar that had been waiting next to the three mashed bananas.



"Can't believe we're past the middle of the week..." He thought to himself and looked out the kitchen window, and shaded his eyes from the bright rising sun with a flowered hand, while thoroughly whisking the batter with his other. He was glad to see his digging and planting outside had paid off. The lemon tree outside the kitchen window seemed to have taken since the garden would have been incomplete without a lemon tree... he thought as he poured out the aromatic runny mixture into the buttered baking tin. As usual, at thirty minutes already the warm comforting and sweet smell would start escaping the oven, and he'd remove a plate from the cupboard, and take a tall clean glass from the dishwasher. The waiting for the last few minutes of baking time had almost lapsed and a look out the window again agreed that his timing was perfect. But since the love of his life was running a few minutes late, he figured he'd just have enough time to shower after cleaning up the kitchen... Leaving the kitchen he felt strangely tired and thought he heard children laughing, over the distant familiar tune of UB 40's Red Red Wine.



"Someone's got good taste..." A stroll down the passage did little to nothing to pin-down the location of the happy children or of the music, for that matter.



A few minutes later he returned from the bedroom, and walked into the kitchen and switched on the light. Surprised that it seemed that dawn was later than usual, a walk over to the basin had dragged an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu over him that he fought-off in vain. He dried his hands and put the dish cloth to one side staring at the odd angle that the sun had ruled from. A quick panning out the window made him wonder if Eve was as proud of the lemon tree as he was. It really was growing fast and shaded the kitchen well. He really loved Eve and recalled their first dance. He boasted a wide smile as he mashed three bananas on a plate and buttered the bread tin before switching on the oven and tuning the dial up to 180°.



"Eve would be home soon, stopping in the kitchen first, then detailing me on the many happenings in the casualty ward, while in between snacking the two slices of delicious warm banana bread into a tiny pile of sweet moist crumbs." She would give him a kiss and take her half a glass of milk down the passage to the bedroom and sing. He loved her singing. Again he heard children laughing, a car door closing and hooting... lots of it. Actually, overbearing this time. But he couldn't pinpoint exactly which direction it originated from. He put his hand up to shield the greeting rays, then oddly, noticed that the sun was already peering over the hill before he thought of checking on the oven. After the thirty-five-minute baking, and the kitchen and passage being properly filled with this delicious essence, he removed the hot baking tin from the oven and placed it on a cooling grid on the kitchen counter, allowing the excess heat to gradually vanish.



Since Eve didn't return home from night shift yet, he thought he'd quickly make the bed and put fresh towels out for her morning shower, before her sleep; then back in the kitchen, hopefully just in time to surprise her. Gunter strode down the passage and imagined a man's voice in the lounge but too faint he couldn't be sure. After brief inspection, he had no choice but had to satisfy himself that his imagination had been playing up.



What seemed like a mere few seconds and still standing in the middle of the bedroom - he argued with himself for being unable to recall why he had walked down the passage in the first place. Whatever there was to do - or to get, obviously wasn't all that pressing, and he smiled at the thought of having bad luck jogging his memory. Eve had mocked him about his memory on numerous occasions. After the walk down the passage towards the kitchen, he noticed when he looked out the kitchen window, that the trees had mostly replaced the leaves that were lost in autumn, and he needn't anymore shield his eyes from the beautiful bright sunrise. Those were his other loves, secondary to Eve of course; enjoying the sunrise from the kitchen window, and baking. Especially baking banana bread, and especially for her.

Startled, he realised what time it was and in seconds he was mashing bananas and sifting flour in between checking up on the oven temperature. Finally, his hasty whisking, was followed up by a quick pour of the mixture from the mixing bowl into the waiting buttered bread tin. The tin was popped into the oven, and he closed his eyes. He almost got used to the playful sounds of children since early this morning, ever faint, and wondered whether the neighbours had visitors.



As Gunter unloaded the hot bread tin onto the cooling rack, he thought he heard Eve outside but couldn't see her from where he was busy in the kitchen. Just then, Gunter saw them. Gunter couldn't make sense of the early; and not to be insincere..., but inconvenient hour that Eve decided to have a visitor over. She was walking with her one arm hooked-in with someone amongst the roses and both Eve and the visitor suddenly paused... Gunter stood closer to the window to hear better... but nothing...



A visitor next door whom he had never met - as he knew the neighbours well - and it hadn't been them, was looking over the wall and greeted the two ladies in the garden, who smiled wide and waved in return, "Morning neighbour, how are you holding up after the operation!?" Walking slowly along the garden path and admiring the massive lemon tree, they suddenly stopped in their tracks...



"Sorry to interrupt... and yes we love the area, and the schools are wonderful... sorry to interrupt Eve... but, do you smell that... it's..."



"Banana bread... yes" Eve replied and smiled before she could stop a second lonely tear chasing the one that had left he corner of her eye before - and the two met halfway down her cheek.



"You all right...?"



"I'm fine thank you, Audrey..." Eve replied and continued.



"So Audry, tell me about the problem you have with your oven since you and your children moved in... You say that the electrician had tested all the circuit-brakers, and followed every wire, yet he cannot figure out a solution to the oven's incessant heating, as if by itself..?"



"Nope. Sorry, but what is the time?"



"Actually, I'm not sure..."



The End




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