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Reading Task 1
“Hi David, I’m David.”
It was quite possibly the weirdest conversation ever. I had been minding my own business, watching T.V. in the den, when the lights went out suddenly. I was home alone. The T.V went out, too. A moment later one lamp came back on, but it was flickering weakly. In the middle of the room stood a man who looked like my uncle, Norman.
“Hi David, I’m David,” he said.
I didn’t say anything. I thought that if I could reach my cell phone, I could call 911. My parents had taught me plenty of times what to do in an emergency. I thought that maybe I could jump out the half-open window, although it opened onto the roof on the second story.
“I know your parents taught you to call 911 in an emergency,” said the guy. “And I know that you’re wondering where your phone is.”
This was getting scarier. Obviously this guy had been stalking me.
“I wouldn’t recommend jumping out the half-open window,” he said with a peculiar little smile. “It opens onto the roof on the second story.”
“H-how are you doing this?” I asked. “Are you reading my mind?”
“Not really. Well, sort of.”
“What does that mean?”
“I’m reading my own mind,” he said.
“I don’t understand you.” Maybe if I told him that someone was coming home soon, he would get scared and leave.
“There’s no point telling me that someone will come home soon,” he said.
“Relax,” he said. “That would be fatally ignorant. You’re the absolute last person in the world I would hurt.”
“Because if I hurt you, I hurt me,” he said. “I’ll explain, but you’ll have a hard time accepting it.”
“Time machine?” I asked weakly.
“Yes, a time machine. I’m you, David, I’ve just come back in time.”
“Did you really invent a time machine?” I asked, half starting to believe it.
“We did, I did. Or, rather, we will, since it will happen in December of the year 2040.”
“Where is this machine?”
“It doesn’t go back and forth in time, the person does.”
I could almost believe it. He seemed to know everything I was thinking.
“If you really came from the future,” I said, “tell me something about it, so I can test you. Tell me who will win all the baseball games in the major leagues tomorrow.”
“I can’t remember that far back, and we never liked baseball that much. But more importantly, I can’t tell you anything about the future. If I did, you would have knowledge you are not supposed to have, and that could mess with the time stream.”
“So why are you here?” I asked.
“Just to say ‘hello,’ and look at me,” he said. “Goodbye, David, take very good care of yourself.”
“But I – ” I began to say, and then the lights dimmed again. When they came back on, he was gone. The T.V. came back on. It was an old movie, called “Back to the Future.”
That made me laugh nervously, but when the laughter passed, I had an idea. I sat down with a pencil and a pad of paper and starting taking very close notes about the movie.
What does the younger David mean when he says, "You're trying to mess with me?"
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