By Brian Peter Fagan
The Restoration Room was on the 20th floor of the Mason Building in midtown Manhattan.
There was a long waiting list to get into the Restoration Room and the service was very expensive, so it took me a long time to put the fee together and then another six months of waiting before I was given an appointment, but at last the day arrived.
The office itself was nothing special and resembled countless medical waiting rooms I had been in over the years with a number of comfortable chairs, a fish tank with a half dozen colorful tropical fish and a few end tables with out of date magazines on them.
After a short wait an attractive young woman came out and escorted me down a hallway and into a room that looked like a dentists’ office with a leather reclining chair and a metal machine next to it that had an appendage on top with a helmet-like object on the end.
The woman gestured for me to take a seat in the chair.
“So, you know how this works, yes? I place the apparatus on your head and your guest will appear to you and you will have twenty minutes with them. Do you have any questions?”
I said that I did not.
The Restoration machine gave us the chance to spend time with anyone of our choosing, from any time in history and any walk of life. Whether current or past did not matter. And if you choose someone from a different time and culture, there was a translation factor that allowed you to converse in modern day English.
I must admit that I really struggled with who to choose. Should I pick one of my childhood or adult heroes- some great artist from literature, or perhaps a religious icon and glean some knowledge from them, maybe learn the secret of life?
But I thought the best way to use the time would be in trying to resolve something that was left unfinished in my life. I decided that I would most like to spend the time would be with my Mother. The attendant settled the visor on my head and immediately there was a flash of white light and I found myself in a field covered in daisies with a white gazebo and two chairs
And there approaching me was my Mother- and not how she looked in her later years or when she passed, ravaged by disease, but as she looked in middle age, and her youthfulness and easy gait made me smile.
“Hello, dear”, she said to me.
“Hello, Mum,” I said. “Gee it’s great to see you,” and we embraced, and I could feel tears of joy and contentment flowing down my face.
And it felt like I had come home again and like I would never have to leave.
We sat down in the chairs.
“There is so much I want to say.”
My Mother patted my hand.
“Let’s just sit for a while” she said.
“I’d like that” I said.
When not writing, Brian Peter Fagan teaches swimming, primarily to adult who were traumatized as children, through his organization, Flash Aquatics.
He lives in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, with his wife, Renee, and is a member of the Montclair Write Group. He is currently at work on his debut novel, Twist of Fate. His influences are Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Arthur Conan Doyle, John D. MacDonald and Stephen King.
He can be reached at FlashAquatics.com