The old man lay in his deathbed, adrift in a whirlwind of fading memories. Random moments came to him, like echoes rippling across the stillness of his mind. Enveloped by the distant sound of a ticking clock, he remembered an old lecture about the nature of time.
“There is no such thing as the present, the past and the future,” he had told his students. “Time is just a number, like height or weight. We are its prisoners, constantly pushed forward by the relentless invisible wall. But our understanding of time is as incomplete as that of drawings perceiving the sheet of paper they live in.
“To accept that time is simply another dimension is to accept that everything has already happened. That everything is always happening. It is always our first day of school, the moment of our death, the instant of our birth.”
The professor paused, noticing a fly moving along the white ceiling of the auditorium. Lowering his gaze, he turned around to see himself lying in bed, surrounded by his wife; most of his close family and friends; some of his former students. They held hands in a circle, the faint sound of his favourite jazz songs echoing in the room.
The old man’s lips moved as he released the last breath from his lungs.
“Tomorrow,” he said before parting.