I haven’t had a chance to read Pete’s entry yet, but he said it was a sad one. So is mine.
Just One More Day.
It’s 1996 and George and his girlfriend Lily are on a road trip to the Grand Canyon. They are both in College but have been together since junior high. George had a ring in his pocket and is planning to propose when they get there. They make small talk and share loving glances. George gives a joyful smile as a tractor trailer truck comes out of nowhere and sideswipes them.
George wakes up in present day. He looks rough for his age. He is a high school gym teacher at the same high school he went to as a kid. He doesn’t interact with the other teachers and eats his lunch at his desk every day. He has a spark of emotion when he is coaching the wrestling team. He is acting aloof but it is clear that he is enjoying himself. One of the students named Tim gives him a hard time. Tim isn’t really making an effort during the drills, and when George takes him aside he gives him attitude, and under his breath calls him a loser. It really strikes a nerve.
It’s a wrestling meet and Tim loses his match badly. He is very disappointed. George approaches him and says he should be disappointed. There is no shame in losing a match, the only shame is that he hasn’t been making an effort to better himself. He isn’t living up to his potential.
The life advice really works. Tim is making much more of an effort at practice, even asking for advice which he never did in the past. He goes as far as getting a training regimen to do outside of school.
It’s another wrestling meet. Tim is having the match of his life. It is back and forth but he ends up getting pinned. Tim is really angry. George takes to calm him down and give him more life advice. Tim is having none of it. He asks why he should listen to anything he has to say. He says George doesn’t have a life, none of the other teachers like him and he just seems like he is sad all the time. Not under his breath this time he says he might have lost his match, but George is the real loser.
George is shattered. He is about to yell but then says, “You know what, I am a loser. I lost everything. I wasn’t much older than you were and I had my whole life ahead of me. I had my soul mate and I was going to propose when a drunk driver killed her. I would give anything and I mean anything for just one more day with Lily.” Tim doesn’t know what to do, but is so overcome by the story that all he can do is hug him.
George wakes up the next day and rolls over. His heart skips a beat. Lily is lying next to him. His mind races. Lily opens her eyes… and screams.
“Who are you!? What am I doing here!?” Lily screams. “Lily… This is amazing, my wish came true,” says George.
Lily: “How do you know my name?”
George: “looks at me, it’s George.”
Lily: “George… holy shit, it is you… you are so… old…”
George: “I’ve been waiting for this forever. I love you so much.”
Lily “You are so old… what year is it?”
Lily: “Why don’t I remember anything… we were driving to the Grand Canyon, then nothing…”
George: “Lily, I don’t know how to tell you this, but you died… A drunk driver.”
Lily: “Why am I here now.”
George: “I don’t know, this is all impossible. I said to a student that I would give anything for just one more day with you.”
Lily: “Wait, one day… why one day. That’s kinda fucked up. I mean I guess it’s better than no days. Really? I have one day?”
George: “I mean… I didn’t think it would actually work… but I love you so much, just seeing you again makes me happier than I’ve ever been in decades.”
Lily: “Really… that’s really sad. You said you had a student. Did you move to England and become a professor at Oxford like you always planned?”
George: “… High school gym teacher.”
Lily: “Oh… Well catch me up to world events. Who is president”
George: “Donald Trump”
Lily: “That guy from Home Alone 2. That’s too funny!”
George: “Yeah…. It’s really not… Where to start, I guess I’ll just check the internet so I don’t miss anything.”
George takes out his iPod and starts looking up a timeline of world events. He starts reading some events when Lily stops him and takes the iPad. It is blowing her mind. George is teaching her how to navigate around websites. She is a fast learner. An ad for Rogue One pops up.
Lily: “What did I do? Did I break something.”
George: “Oh no, that’s just an ad. So annoying. Usually you can skip them in four seconds.”
Lily: “What is this? It’s not a movie is it? Wait, did they make the prequels!? I know they were supposed to rerelease 4 5 and 6 in theaters, that must have been amazing.”
George: “Yeah, they made the prequels. They aren’t very good though.”
Lily: “But there are more Star Wars movies. That’s awesome. Remember all our talks about what the clone wars were. Tell me everything. Wait, better idea, don’t say anything, I want to watch them. I can’t believe you live in a world with six Star Wars movies.
George: “Well eight movies and counting now technically.”
Lily: “Shut the fuck up! They made seven and eight too, I’m definitely watching them.”
George: “Eight comes out this year, the other one is a side story, wait, what are we talking about, I’ve been waiting for this day for decades. There are so many things we can do.”
Lily: “Yeahhhhhh, this is kinda my day. I sort of only have one, and I want to watch five new Star Wars movies and eat pizza and McDonalds.”
George: “They are really not that great…”
Lily: “Dude Star Wars.”
George: “I guess.”
George reluctantly puts on the Prequel trilogy. Lily is captivated. The CG is blowing her mind. She continues to play around with the iPad and every once in a while, asks George some popculture or historical question. George keeps trying to have a meaningful conversation with her but she keeps shushing him or sending him out for more fast food. They are half way done Rogue One.
Lily: “Ok, I finally have it, Lord of the Rings is next. It’s my favorite book and it won a fucking Oscar. I’m so pumped.”
George: “Those movies are so long.”
Lily give George the stink eye. George complies. Lily gets really sucked into the movies and puts the iPad down. George falls asleep during the Battle of Helms Deep. He wakes up alone with the Blu Ray menu for Return of the King on the TV.