You get to choose one superpower. Pick one of these, and explain your choice:
•the ability to speak and understand any language
•the ability to travel through time
•the ability to make any two people agree with each other
I’ve always been fascinated with time travel. I always wondered how far I would go back if I could. And whether, if you could travel back, would it have to be within your own lifetime, or could you go back to any time, and any place. And how things would be when you got back; would things have changed.
I used to wish for time travel. I used to daydream about all the things I could say or do differently to make my life better. Of all the things I could fix with hindsight – all the ways I could be cooler, if I knew what I was doing earlier. How I could wear the coolest clothes before anyone else, be into the coolest bands. Appreciate the way I looked. Save more money. Study harder. Buy cheap shares in Apple. All in a kind of ‘Being Erica’ style. But after I gave birth to my son I couldn’t daydream about it so well anymore, because realistically, any change in the past could affect having him, or him being the exact person he is, and I couldn’t bear that idea.
Now, I would definitely say ‘Yes’ to the time travel. I wouldn’t need to be able go back so far. I’d just need to go back a few years. To when I started to get the strange pains. Before the tiredness. Before the blood. I’d go back and make sure I was heard. Fuck it, I’d even make up symptoms to make them do the MRI sooner. Catch the tumour in the early days when it could have been a minor operation preserving my fertility. Instead of being the incurable mess it is today.
If I went back two, maybe three years, it would only change my life expectancy. I’d still have my husband, I’d still have my son. The same job, the same friends. I’d even have had the same insurance payout – though actually, with hindsight I’d probably have changed that – raised the amounts, had more policies so we’d be better off. I’d be healthy now. I’d have hit my two years in remission. I might even have had another child by now or at the very least still have the ability to have children. I might not even have had to go back to work. I could have started this whole hoop palaver years earlier and be a whizz at Etsy.
If I had the ability to go back in time, I could give my four year old boy a future with a mother in it.
With all the radiation I’ve had the past twelve months, if comic books are to be believed, I should already have some super-powers. So who knows – maybe one day I might be able to.