It’s three hours in the morning, five hours after school, then college, the university, then graduate school, right to the thesis, and my doctorate.  How did I keep it up?  I got a secret.  It’s why I can skate like an Olympian, but no-one here knows of me.

And that’s the clue, “here.”

There is here and there, and here I’m Doctor Phyllis Stein, yes, I’ve heard it, and all variations of it, thank my dad for your amusement; there I’m Candy Patrice, and you can thank her mother for that.

Dr Patrice, most decidedly not her mother, has her mother in the grip of a delusion, that I’m Candy, and I skate.  Except that it’s not an illusion, I do skate, rather well, and over there I’m her.

Her father kidnapped me when I was young, but not the way you think.  He came across, well, a bridge between that world and this.  We call it an Einstein-Rosen Bridge and it’s supposed to short-cut the universe, but the rules of our universe are well understood, we can’t go faster than light, we can’t short cut space.  The Alcubierre drive might still work.

Our universe is based on about twenty constants, depending on who you talk to, some have it as few as six.  If it’s really those six, then that’s how many reality dimensions there are, I can say that.  What I can’t say is how many realities there are, or how many meaningful realities we can access.  If it’s twenty, then that “to the fourteenth” exponent is how many more there are.  The numbers explode, it’s not linear.

Let’s say is six, bottom line, there are at least thirty-six dimensions of reality, that’s the lower bound, and at most six to the sixth to the sixth, well you get the idea, six times.  That’s a big number, don’t bother trying to visualise it, ( about 10^(10^(10^(10^36305))), so bigger than a googel, smaller than a googolplex.  Big.

Doesn’t matter, what it boils down to is that if in our universe anything can happen, infinitely many times, that goes exponentially for many universes even if there’s only a tiny fraction which humans can inhabit; and in one of those Professor Patrice worked out to cross over, and found me.  To replace his dead daughter.  So that he wouldn’t have to tell his young wife she died, in a stupid car accident.

This man, my dad, my pseudo-dad, was working on time travel and this.  You can’t time travel, not backwards.  Not like that, so this worked and the time travel didn’t.

There doesn’t have be a relationship between their time and our time, there is no physical law which says so, but I live a day there and live a day here.  So far for twenty-four years.

Patrice is an old man now, and mum is in her fifties, just about.  Still pretty, always, my mum.  Always stuck by me, the competition, the injury, the return, but I was never as good, I made sure of that.

That injury, I came back with it, and Paul, my partner here, he stopped quizzing me about it after a while, even though just woke up in bed one day with a badly broken leg, bleeding.

I’m not ashamed to say that I screamed that morning.

The police suspected him for the longest time, I was interviewed so many times, he was held, but they couldn’t prove anything.  I got pretty annoyed in the end, threatened to sue, they let it go.  I think not so much because of the threat, I even got lawyer, but because they decided that if I was so determined, well on my own head be it.

Paul was good about it for a while, and then we parted.  I found out he was having therapy for it, and I was ok with that, but he wasn’t.  He bought his own suit, and I couldn’t cope with that, he couldn’t cope without it.  I testified, he deserved the support, but we weren’t together after that, after having our relationship pulled apart in court, who could?

He was compensated, and I got a little something too, a consideration from the judge, from the FBI no less.  They’d had us under surveillance, because they suspected him of other things.  His lawyer found out, it came up.

This surveillance.  That was what broke the news.  The FBI kept the right parts from the footage in court, but I knew what was missing, and they came to me with it, eventually, when I was healed.

They wanted in, but they didn’t know to what.

I didn’t know how it worked until I saw the footage from Bill and Bob.  They were the agents assigned to approach me.

I denied everything until they showed me.

I disappear and appear.  Usually within a tenth of a second, sometimes as long as a quarter.  It’s usually at night, but sometimes my toothbrush drops into the sink, sometimes when I’m driving.  I don’t like that.  It takes me some time to realise that I’ve been crossed over, there’s something that he does to make me be contiguous here, so I don’t lose track, or crash.

And that’s how it goes, I live two lives, sleep when I go, and sleep when I come back.  There I’m an Olympian, or was, I’m a trainer now, and here I’m a cosmologist, looking into the far reaches of the universe, looking for signs.

Now I work for the FBI as well, looking for chinks in reality, because they figure that the weirds shit they come across sometimes is probably this, what I’m doing.

So if you find this, either I’m over there, and haven’t come back, or the FBI has me working on some secret project.

Whichever it is, come get me.