About Elsewhen by Gary Buloock
Little Laura Elizabeth Austin (Laura Bess grows up in a small farming town in the midwest. Already a genius at age 8, she and equally bright Elijah Grant (Lije) are very different from other kids their age, but Laura Bess and Lije have each other.
They are fascinated with Science and endlessly talk about the big cosmological questions – the nature of time, black holes, the origin and the destiny of the universe, and the two little geniuses become soul-mates, at the tender age of 8.
They even have their first kiss while debating the nature of Time. (Laura says it doesn’t exist).
But they are also troubled by strange visions. Laura sees people who aren’t “there”. A mysterious Indian woman suddenly appears when she is playing alone one day, then just as suddenly disappears. Laura begins to think she is seeing ghosts, then realizes the people she sees think that she is a ghost. Very puzzling to an 8-year old, and she learns not to talk about it.
Lije sees flashes of things that haven’t happened – yet. A scene of devastation. The face of a young woman reflected in a window. An older man raising his glass in a toast. Meaningless to an 8-year old boy.
By age 17, the two of them are inseparable. Laura wins a full scholarship to Stanford, Lije to MIT. They pledge their love the night before they are to leave for college. But as Laura Bess flies off to San Francisco, the plane goes down. There are no survivors.
Lije is devastated; he can’t believe he has lost the love of his life. His passion for the sciences, and life in general, fade away.
Years later, Lije works at a radio astronomy site, in a deadly dull job, tracking space junk all day. But during a routine track of a deep space satellite, it suddenly veers out of orbit, then disappears into the depths of space.
He investigates, and discovers that it is the work of a small black hole, which is gobbling up everything in its path, and it is coming closer. The Earth has a only a few days before it’s swallowed.
And that’s when Laura Bess walks up to Lije in a coffee shop and says “Hello, Stranger.”
The future just isn’t what it used to be, and neither is the past.