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Dear Time Travel Narratives,

When we first met, I couldn’t have been happier. You fascinated me for years. You seemed so quirky and unique. In my pursuit of you, I learned a lot about you, the universe, and myself, and for that I will forever be grateful. But then something changed. You changed.

I thought I knew who you were, but then I hear stories about you from our friends and it’s like everyone has a different view of you. I told myself that they hadn’t spent as much time with you as I had, they didn’t understand you like I did. Then I realized that…maybe I don’t understand.

I am so sorry to do it like this, but I think we need a break.

Things are just getting too complicated lately. Sometimes it feels like our relationship is a game and there are so many rules, but then you don’t even play by your own rules. It’s like you’re a loose cannon cop. Just when I think I have you figured out, you flip a table and change everything.

It’s like you are just making things up as you go along just to—what—tell a better story? Complicated doesn’t necessarily equate to good.

If you’re willing to sacrifice some degree of logic and rule, then all of your logic is shaky at best and your story suffers for it. What else are you willing to sacrifice? You’re always toying with the idea of change, of alternate realities, different futures. In all that, is there a timeline when you see us together without me constantly questioning whether you manipulated my history to keep us together?

Oh! And speaking of manipulation, your relationships with other people are atrocious. You need to stop reuniting people with dead relatives just to rip them away and toy with their emotions. What you did to the Allen and Wayne boys is just horrible. Also, do any of the changes you have a hand in ever turn out for the better? If so, I haven’t seen any. These people try to work with you in order to make things better, but you’re just a big ol’ fan of monkey wrenches, aren’t you? Why is nothing ever simple with you?

I guess that’s what bothers me most about you. You tell people not to mess with you, but then you constantly mess with them. Then there are the people who mess with you all the time and are super sloppy about it, and you don’t do anything about it. If anything, you encourage them. But here’s the thing, no one ever stops messing with you because you don’t want them to stop. You love the attention. Was I ever enough for you?

Maybe we both have self-esteem issues. You need to stop comparing what we have to your cousin Spacetime and that doctor who she is always running around with. You two may be similar, but you are still entirely different conceptual entities.

You’re always so self-conscious about continuity but you’re afraid of commitment! Where do I fit into your story? Am I just a subplot to you?

Look. I think you need to take some time to figure yourself out and really think about whether we have a future. I’m not saying never, just not now.

Yours always,


Ryan Fay

Ryan is an editor and semi-pro author with life goal of having enough money to buy the cool things people make in DIY videos.

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