The cross-timeline break up of Time Traveller Persona

Time Traveller gutted after his 2022-self ruins relationship with Clair, and regrets travelling to the future while talking like a Smiths song

Time Traveller Persona, welcome back to The Sewers! We congratulate you here and now!


So how have you been? How’s your girlfriend Clair?

I don’t want to talk about it.

Oh no.

I hate this life. Sometimes I just want to go back to the 80’s and watch all The Smiths concerts with poor Roger and to hell with 2032. If anything, I just wish it would happen sooner.

Hey, hey, don’t say that. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s not all bad.

Oh you’re sure are you? You’re positive, are you? What do you think this is, school counsellor session?

Aww you’ve had quite a bit of those back then, didn’t you?

Oh that’s very funny, hilarious, really.

So what happened with Clair?

What happened is that I came back. 2022-me came back to Uppingham. Clair and I, at that point in time, we’ve been together for almost three months. Her and present-time me, that is. I mean me.

Just to make it clear: you, as in 2018-you, are dating Clair in 2022, and she’s unaware that you’re from a different timeline.

 Right. Then one day she sees 2022-me on the street, says hello, and he – I mean 2022-me – just walks past her. That prick. When I saw her later that day, all dizzy from time travelling to her, to 2022, she was crossed with me, she said she doesn’t understand me. I understood immediately what had happened. So I told her I started doing drugs, that’s why I’ve been acting so weird. But she didn’t buy it. And she said I – I mean him, I mean 2022-me – seemed different to her, as in – older. And she figured it out.

She’s a smart girl, isn’t she?

Yes, and I’m an idiot. That’s what she said. She was so upset. I told her I’d do anything, just anything, to make it right. And she said she wanted to go to 2018 and tell 2018-Clair that I’m an idiot.

And what about 2018-Clair?

What about her?!

Can’t you just go out with her? She’s right here and now.

I told you, I can’t, these timelines can’t be tempered with. Clair and I save the world in 2022. Everything now must lead exactly to that moment in 2022 when we save the world and prevent the 2032 catastrophe. It’s just – it’s just done. It’s over.

What is?

Clair and I. I can’t go back to 2022 now. I can’t tell her anything in 2018, now. I really, seriously, ruined everything. I mean 2022-me. He ruined everything.

Did you find out how come you’re not in Uppingham in 2022?


And everything must lead to you not being there in 2022, so that past-present you, 2018-you, could be there to meet Clair again.


And telling her now, and trying to save the world with her, again, now, is that an option?

No. I told you. Because events affected by Roger’s hospitalization are still occurring throughout 2018-2022. Nothing can be disrupted.

Well I told you it was a bad idea, to date 2022-Clair.

Oh, oh, that’s very helpful.

Oh, what about travelling to that day she saw 2022-you in the street and preventing it from happening? You can undo the whole thing.

I’ve thought about it, of course. But then if I did that, it would just be a matter of time until I’d have to do it again. It’s made me think, I admit. About this cross-timeline relationship. Perhaps it was set to fail. Perhaps I’m such an utter failure in relationships altogether that I had created a relationship that’s meant to fail. And it did. So there we have it, in case we ever needed proof: I’m an utter failure.

Hey, how can you say that? You saved the world!

So I could walk all miserable in it.  I see her every day, when I walk past the bookshop. When she comes in the café in the morning, sometimes. I see her and she sees me but it’s like we don’t see each other, we don’t see who we are, who we should be, who we aren’t just yet, and never will be.

Oh dear. It’s like a Smiths song.

I see her and I miss her. It’s such a ridiculous feeling.

What if you go to 2022 and try to talk to her again?

She’s so crossed with me. She’s furious. I don’t know if she could ever forgive me. She said I mislead her, and she’s right. She tried to take my pocket watch! To warn herself, that is. From me. And she’s got every right to be angry. She’s right.

What if she finds 2022-you again and he gives her the pocket watch?


That can happen, right?

I can’t believe it. I didn’t even think about that. No. no, he wouldn’t let her. Would he?

I don’t know, we don’t even know who 2022-you is. Are. Is?

No, he wouldn’t do this. Maybe I should meet him, to make sure. But then again, all events must lead to me leaving Uppingham at some point in the next three years. Talking to 2022-me might disrupt the course of events leading to it. But then again, now I’m always worried about leaving Uppingham for a wrong reason, for a reason that might make me come back too soon. Haven’t I always said time travelling to the future is too complex? That was my first mistake.

But again, you saved the world –

But only because I knew what’s going to happen. Maybe the world ends again in 2033? Or in 2037? Or 2039? For as long as we don’t know that, we’ve got nothing to save.


I’m done with it. It’s time to just let time run its course. there’s nothing to travel for anymore for me. The only thing left now is to wait to 2022 so I could apologize to Clair when we’re on the same timeline, at last.

You can still travel to the past though, right?

What for? What’s the point? What’s done is done, isn’t it?

Well, no.

It is for me. It is for now.

Another time-travelling break?

I guess so.

What will you do at the meantime?

The one thing you’d think a Time-Traveller never needs to do – wait.

Have you considered listening to more cheerful music? Like, I don’t know, The Cure?

What’s cheerful about The Cure?

Some songs are cheerful, like Lovecats, or Friday I’m in Love… you know what, nevermind.


Well we wish you better days, Time Traveller.


We thank you and congratulate you here and now.

Thank you. Be safe and cherish your present time.


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