She’s been waiting for this day for her whole life. A device that can slow the flow of time, stop and reverse its direction for a tiny weeny bit. It’s sort of like the superpower of heroes in videogames and movies, without all those flashy computer effects. Life is a movie without outstanding actors and momentous conflicts, only filled with unfinished plots and passable performances here and there.
She rubbed her eyes and took a deep breath. She put down her glasses carefully, aligning the rim with the edge of her workstation with high precision. She’s always annoyed by how people place their glasses – why not do things to the perfection if you have the chance so?! Her psychiatrist always tried to advise her to let things go more easily and not to hold any grudge. He always said that life is beautiful not for those perfect moments we achieve, but for those lessons we failed and learned. Wabi-sabi, he said, is a philosophy of recognizing and accepting those imperfections in life. Like a cracked teapot that is still used and appreciated for its earthly beauty.
Making tea? I’d put that under a compactor and drive across it. She sneered. I’m going to show him how these failures taught me to turn them into perfections.
Time for a final test. She’s tried a few earlier today, but nothing can be too sure. She put an egg yolk back to its shell without any crack, unwrote a few typos in her documents, stopped a bean from germinating and revived a rat whose head’s been severed. The device was able to reverse back the time by five to seven seconds, just enough window to eliminate the sources of errors. These irksome moments are soon to extinct in this world.
She took a scalpel and cut her left wrist. Twice. Blood started to ooze out, firstly bead by bead, slowly forming a tiny stream and then a small puddle under her left hand. One, two… she counted to five, and turned on the device.
She saw things reversing. Moments by moments like PowerPoint slides going back one by one with slowed animation.
Her blood flowing upwards against the gravity and back into her body;
The glass she smashed on her husband’s head, all the shards pieced back and flew back to her hand;
The first time he tried to kiss her, in which she walked too fast and he missed by an inch;
The typo she made during her high school exam, vanished and undone;
The bread her mum made for her, levitating from the ground back to her hand with the jam side up;
The gear was shifted back to N instead of R, while her father unknowingly stood at the back while her mum was too busy talking in the phone and starting the car.
These little regrets. These minor annoyances. These irksome moments. She decided that she had them enough before losing consciousness.
Her psychiatrist always said: “Babies couldn’t have learned how to walk without tripping on the floor, and planets couldn’t have formed without the matter from a dead star. Life is not a life if there were no pitfalls or mistakes.”