I was always scared of the premonition of death. It scared me to think that I would lose all that I have, all that I have gained throughout my life. My knowledge, I was one of the most renowned professors in the world. People would travel hours just to sit in on meetings that I took part in. I was scared to lose all my accomplishments, but more than that, I was afraid to die thinking all of the things that went wrong in my life went wrong for no reason. Just to die, for it to all be gone. All that I have gained. All that I have Lost. Gone, just like that, nothing left for me.
I'm still not sure if it was to my joy or my dismay that the accident occurred, but death wasn't "just" the end of it all. There was more in store for me, and by no means was it sunshine and rainbows. In the beginning, there were happy times, but it was just the calm before the storm. There was no heaven or hell, just more loss. More of what I thought I had experienced enough of in my past.
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Fifteen years before, in my old lecture hall
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I heard the aggravated footsteps through the door and could already figure that it was Thomas, my lab partner, and coworker, coming to complain about our experiment getting shot down by the board again. After all, they have done it multiple times before because it's "unethical" or "unscientific," but we call bull. They just don't want us to change the world of energy, and they don't want the general public to see what we made. They don't want to ruin their income, and god forbid anybody messes with their money.
As Thomas burst through my door, he fumed, "They shut us down again. It's the fourth fucking time. When will they realize that this is an important study!"
"Well, what did you expect? They have done this three times now, wait no, this is the fourth time we have tried to get this approved," I respond with practiced ease.
"We have made it as safe as possible. There is almost no danger to us, the faculty, or the students."
"Yes, the lab. Are you an idiot? That was the first thing they checked us for after last time."
"Well, after what happened last time, it's no wonder that they are concerned about their lab; we blew up like four different machines."
"Ok, and! They make enough to replace the whole lab in like two months."
"Really? Two months?"
"Ok, it was an over-exaggeration, but you know what I mean."
"Yes, I know, we should be able to use the lab. You know that I agree with that, but they still need more convincing. Just give it some more time." After all, that was said, Thomas just kinda stood there. Obviously thinking of something, before muttering something under his breath and finally sitting down to eat lunch.
While we were eating, I took the time to look at what Thomas was having and noticed it was different from his usual. He didn't have his sandwich and rice. "Hey Thomas, where's the rest," I asked with a mouth still full of food.
"First of all, don't talk with food in your mouth. You're supposed to be the most prised professor at this institution and still have absolutely zero manners. It's annoying how little you care about things like that," He responded, annoyed before returning back to his normal impassiveness, "and what do you mean where's the rest of it?"
"The rest of your meal. Isn't there normally more to it."
"Sara had an early meeting this morning, so she wasn't able to make me and the kid's lunch today," he spat while mindlessly moving his food around with his fork.
"Oh no, your wife wasn't able to make you your perfect meal this morning," I spouted so sarcastically you could almost feel it. "God forbid you make your own lunch."
"What still mad that I found somebody before you."
"Yes, yes, I kind of am."
"Well hey, you and that one Laura girl were having what looked like a pretty nice conversation earlier. Correct?"
"I mean, yeah, we were talking and whatnot, but I just don't feel like it would work."
"Well, that's why you can never make it with somebody because you always "feel" that it won't work out before you even give it a shot."
"Hey! I did have somebody that I made it with. We were together for years."
"Yeah, yeah, you had her, but we all know who that ended and how it's going. Keeping her as part of our lab group, that's bound to go remarkably," Thomas declared mockingly.
"Shaahdup and eat your food before I take it from you. I need this conversation to be over. I don't think I can keep talking about this."
"Yeah, sorry, I kinda forgot," Thomas said apathetically.
After lunch had finished, both Thomas and I had our respective classes. During my class, we went over the basic parts of the fundamental forces that make up the universe, the strong force, the weak force, gravity, and the electromagnetic force. With each law playing an essential part in physics, it is relatively necessary to understand their basics and how they affect the universe.
There were the usual crowds of studious, rowdy, and sleepers during the lecture. Still, one person that I did not expect to see was to see Maddy, my ex-girlfriend, sitting in the back of the lecture hall watching and listening like any other student in my class.
Seeing her kinda made my heart skip a beat, but it also kinda hurt because we had just recently broken up, and I definitely still had feelings for her. Although I knew that she wasn't the same, I still held out some hope that maybe, just maybe, we could go back. I knew that it wouldn't, but I still wished for it.
While thinking all of this, I realized I hadn't been speaking. "Oh my, sorry, I kinda lost my train of thought. there… Where were we? Right gravity. I'm guessing all 0f you have heard of the theory of relativity, but seeing as it's still early in the year, I will skip all the complicated stuff and ask a question instead."
While I waited for the students to finish complaining that they had to answer a question, I thought more about why Maddy was in my hall, What could she want with me. Noticing that the bickering had stopped and everyone had their pencil and paper ready, I posed the question, "so does anybody know how the theory of relativity solves for gravity? In other words, how do they describe the way it works."
There was a round of confused murmuring between the class before one student had enough courage to admit that at least they didn't know. After releasing that most either weren't paying attention or honestly didn't know, I said, "well, because you all either don't know or are too scared to answer, why don't we ask somebody that knows. So my fellow professor, who is so conveniently hiding in the back, how did Einstine describe gravity."
As Maddy stood to answer the question, I again realized just how small she was, "well, doctor Willtek" it could have just been me, but she seemed to put a little too much stress on my title "to my knowledge Einstine used the gravitational well theory to describe how gravity affected space."
"That is correct. The way that he described it was…."
After going into probably too much depth on how gravity works for the third week of the class, I announced that class was over, and I think I heard a collective sigh of relief. Seeing all the student file out of class made me remember how messed up my college experience was, always having them watching, having to spend years in the marines to pay for my tuition.
During my thoughts, which seemed to be slipping away from me more and more these days, all of the students left, leaving only me and Maddy in the hall. When I realized this, I asked, "so you gonna come down here and have a conversation, or are you just gonna sit up there and stare."
"I could as the same to you, constantly looking up at me during your lecture. You're supposed to be paying attention to your students." She said as she got up from her seat and started making her way down to the main stage.
"Bite me, I was wondering what you were doing in here, which I still have no idea. Would you graciousness be willing to enlighten me," I remarked with so much sarcasm that it was almost palpable.
"yes, but this conversation should take place in your office. It's about the dark matter research," Maddy said, huffing slightly from rushing down all the steps.
After hearing that I immediately made my way to the office and fumbled with the lock, listening for the lock to disengage, "You really should get a new one of those if it takes a hundred tries to open your door," Maddy complained, now slightly less out of breath.
"Why it still does its job, why get rid of something that still works."
"I don't know, maybe because it is broken. You have to get it just right to get it to unlock; I would call that broken."
"Whatever, In my eyes, it still works just fine," After that little debate, we finally made it into my office and started talking about what I really wanted to know, What was up with the study.
"So, you gonna spill it, or am I just supposed to read your mind."
"If you keep being snippy like that I won't tell you," she snied.
"Yes, yes, I apologize for being "disrespectful," but will you please just tell me."
"I managed to get it approved."
It took me a moment to finally realize what she meant when it finally hit me; even I was surprised at how I reacted. "YES, finally!" I exclaimed while I jumped up and threw my fist into the air.
After my little charade, Maddy responded incredulously, "You done acting like a little girl now,"
"Well, excuse me for being happy. I've spent a little over a year trying to get this approved," I sputtered, "crud, we need to tell Thomas."
"Well, do you wanna go tell him?"
"Yeah, let's go."
After opening the door and struggling to relock it from the outside, I finally relented and thought to myself, 'hmm, maybe I should get a new lock. This is kind of a pain.' During the walk to Thomas' room, I realized that he might still have class. After all, his class starts after mine. When I realized that it was only three thirty-seven, I felt kinda disappointed because he still had class till four.
"Shoot, I just realized he still is supposed to have class going on till four."
"So, let's just do what I did for your class and sit in while he lectures."
"Alright, sounds good to me," I said with a little too much excitement. After all, I get to sit in on one of my best friend's lectures.
A.N: When I view on my phone the lambdas (λ) are off-center. I apologize for this inconvenience, but unfortunately, I don't know how to solve this issue.
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