David doesn’t believe in accidents anymore.
After spending months consoling his brother Elui after their mom Kinley’s death, David is pretty sure that Kinley’s little “pool ladder accident” was a setup.
He’s also pretty sure that his “purple dreams” are no accident. They always start with him being alone, but then a purple toddler appears and turns into Elui. They happen often enough… what could they mean? Elui is his brother, right?
But if Elui isn’t his brother… what does that mean about all of their little daily interactions? All the times their hands brush, all the times their eyes meet– there’s no explaining that if they aren’t brothers. That’s just how brothers are… or at least that’s how they are. They are normal. Definitely.
It all comes to a head, of course.
Elui starts it. “Time is short,” he says.
“So I have to do this now.”
Suddenly, it all makes sense. They’re not brothers. They never have been.
“Show me,” David says.
And there he is. The purple toddler, all grown up. E lui. More than just a name.
It doesn’t matter.
“But it does,” he says, Elui Kahn, lui. “Because I have to leave.”
Why, says David without saying it. Why can’t you stay? You’ve always been here.
“But I haven’t.” The images are coming so fast. A crash, stars, burning. Time and space. “I haven’t happened yet. I have to go make sure that I do.” Such strange words. E bizoo in’i E. I am the clone of myself.
“But what does it mean?”
“It means that I must exist in order to have existed. I come from the future and the past, from all times and no time. I stayed for you, but if I don’t leave soon bad things will happen. There will never have been a me.”
And so he leaves, lui Elui Kahn, to cause himself to be, to donate the genetic sample that he will be cloned from.
And David will