“Have you seen this man? He looks exactly like me!”
An elderly gentleman and a young boy, in his late teens, were stood conversing. The young boy was holding a picture—it looked to be a picture of himself. How odd—he must be looking for his twin. At least that’s what the elderly gentleman thought. Still something unusual was occurring. The young boy was rapidly aging. He’d gone from late teens to early twenties in a matter of seconds. The young boy sighed and ran off, waving at the elderly man.
“Man, time to move off.”
As he moved away from the elderly man his age regressed again. The elderly man shook his head and walked away with all the vigour an elderly man can muster. The young man had a name but that name had been long forgotten by the passage of time. So we shall simply name him B. B was running at an extensive pace for aging at such an erratic rate. He was barely keeping up with the process - at one point he was a fifty year old man whilst when he found a bicycle and rode it he became a younger mid thirties aged man. B was on a mission. One that he’d been on for 10 years straight. One that would soon end. Yes, B was playing a game of hide and seek with his twin brother A.
A was driving a car—it wasn’t anything special but it was a car. A car that drove at faster speeds than any human could walk. It was a car so this was to be expected. As he drove his hair greyed, his face aged and became wrinkled and his bones began to creak. A felt awful for doing this. Initially A was happy. He was content with eternity. Him and his twin brother were best friends. They did everything together. They knew the closer they were to each other the younger they became - it seemed like a non issue. However slowly A realised something. People shouldn’t live for an eternity.
It was when they were playing a simple game of ping pong. The ball jumped from side to side. They were far enough apart to be roughly aged 13. There was an odd silence between the two. It had been like this for a some time now. The two once close brothers had run out of subjects to talk about. They had run out of games to play. They were bored with each other but neither knew how to end it. Well, it would be more honest to say they both knew how to end it but neither would brooch the subject. A always felt like the older brother, even though they were twins, and shouldered most of the responsibilities so the two could live a carefree life. This included finding a source of income that would never fade or waver. It also included giving B a purpose to live. However he’d run out of excuses.
“Hey B? This game’s kinda boring. Wanna do sommat new?”
“Huh? Oh yeah! Definitely A! What you got in mind?”
“Let’s play a game of hide and seek. Now close your eyes and count to 100.”
“One, two, three, four…”
That was how this entire facade began. It had been going on for almost 10 years now. A wanted to die. B wouldn’t let him.
B had upgraded from a bicycle to a motorcycle. Of course the way in which he upgraded was by no means legal. Not that we need to look too much into that. B was zooming through the traffic. His face was becoming younger—his hair turning from strands of grey to beautiful tresses of black. He could actually see a car ahead. One that looked rather familiar. One he hadn’t seen for at least 10 years. B didn’t understand it. He didn’t understand why A ran from him. It was just a game. Was A really that competitive? Still, there was only one way to end it. To find him and talk. In B’s excitement and trepidation he forgot he was aging backwards rapidly. He was now a teenager. Thankfully he was able to still ride the motorcycle but as he got closer he took more risks - crossing red lights. Weaving in and out of traffic.
When B finished counting to 100 he saw that A had disappeared. So B searched the house. He searched the cupboards. He searched outside. A was nowhere to be seen and A was extremely sad. He was also a toddler. So what did A do? He simply used the resources B had left for him. Simple resources like money. But with money he could get a ride. He could track A down. It wasn’t cheating. A didn’t set any rules.
A forgot how determined B was. He’d never gotten so close. A was stuck in a line of traffick. Perhaps choosing the same model of car for over ten years wasn’t the best idea. A could feel B getting closer. A was now a toddler. They were too close. A heard a resounding crash. Many shouts followed this crash. Then cries. Someone had been injured. A siren went off. A opened his door and left his car. He should have regressed in age by at least a year by now. No. A had stopped aging. B. Where was he? A looked out. A motorcycle had collided head on with a nearby car. A body stuck out of the car at an extremely odd angle. It was broken and bloodied. It was familiar. It was his body. It was B.
A knew now he would never find peace. The death he was looking for would never come now. Not unless he ended it himself. Should he end it? What would B have said? Was this his fault? No. It clearly was his fault. How could he repent? Could he ever die now? Would he always be a toddler? A stood there. An elderly man approached. He was perplexed.
“Hey kiddo? I think yer brother was lookin’ for ya. I mean heck he was older but ya definitely are the spitting image of each other. I wonder where that kid is now. Eh’ never really got ta know ‘im. Seemed like he really loved ya though. Promise me ya’ll meet ‘im?”
A looks at the elderly man and nods solemnly.