Two small words could never encompass everything you have to apologize for.
this is a lovely piece, strong and sad, about time travel, the difficulties of obtaining a stubborn mother’s acceptance, and the coming-of-age/coming-into-oneself of a View Spoiler »trans « Hide Spoiler character. View Spoiler »i’m going to use “her” as the object pronoun throughout this review to avoid spoiling it, even though there are hints of the situation pretty early on. « Hide Spoiler
this is a story where the sci-fi aspect of it—the time travel—is just a flourish. the story would be just as lovely without it, but it allows for certain scenes to exist, and it provides an additional layer of dislocation, of severance. i only mention it so that people who don’t ordinarily enjoy time-travel stories (like me) understand that it isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker.
it’s mostly a story about family love and the various ways a family can hurt. the unnamed (until the end) narrator is speaking from a far future as she remembers her childhood, specifically her relationship with her mother, and the closeness they once enjoyed. generations of her mother’s family have been in possession of a time machine, and when she was a little girl this secret was entrusted to her, and they travelled into the future together, bonded by this power.
however, as the narrator grew older and started facing some difficult realizations about herself, their relationship changed and they became parted by more than time.
it’s a little heartbreaker of a story, for something so short, and i think it does a really good job describing all the feels of family—the frustration and love all balled up with disappointment and wounded trust. it’s a sensitive treatment of what is a gutting reality for many.
definitely worth reading even if you can’t deal with time travel.
there’s some weird editing though—words crossed out and replaced with other words, but not in a way that seems intentional. just read around that and you’ll be fine.
read it for yourself here: