There was a box that appeared on my doorstep a long time ago. I was a Salesman at that time. It was late at night, and I had been drinking. I had work the next morning, and I couldn't sleep. I didn't want the next day to begin because I hated my job.
And then I heard the rhythmic taps on the apartment door.
"Who is there?!" I yelled, and the knocking stopped. I forced myself out of a comfortable reclining couch.
I looked outside the small hole in the door. There was no one there. I opened the door, and there it was-- a large package wrapped in brown paper with my name scrawled on it. I thought it was odd having a package delivered at night. I looked around the corner to see if someone was there. The corridor was dark, and I couldn't see anything.
I picked up the package, and it felt empty. I placed it on the table, and I went back to drinking, and I passed out.
I was late for work.
"Why are you never on time?" My boss yelled at me in front of everyone. He always wore a suit, slick back hair, and too much cologne.
"It won't happen again," I said.
"It better not…." He said cryptically, and he walked away.
I cursed him under my breath.
I slammed the door once I got back home. I took my anger out on a bottle of whiskey. Everything became numb, and I paced around the apartment. My eyes fell on the package again. I took another gulp and placed the bottle on the table. I tore the paper from the packaging and used my keys to split open the tape from the box, and I opened it. There was a flash of light, and everything evaporated.
Once the light went away, I noticed that the box was empty. I threw it away, shrugged my shoulders, and passed out on the couch.
I was late again.
"Good Morning, sir," A beautiful woman wearing a red pantsuit greeted me as I entered. I thought that it was odd until I saw my name etched on the door.
"You've got some messages waiting for you in your office." She said, her eyes glued to the computer as she kept clacking on the keyboard.
"This is a joke, right?" I replied.
"What?" She looked up; her eyes were green.
"I'm gonna go inside, and there will be people telling me this is all a joke. Right?"
"You're so funny, excuse me, I'm getting a call," She said, picking up the phone.
I decided to play along. I entered my office, and no one was there. It wasn't a prank; this was my office. I lunged towards the computer and entered my name on a search engine. I researched my life, and it was different. I had made different decisions in my life. I don't have any memories of this reality.
How was this possible? And then I remembered the box. The flash and how everything had changed, well, my decisions had. I searched for how this was possible, and I read anything I could to find an explanation: Quantum mechanics, time travel, many-worlds theory, and Schrödinger's cat. I understood that every decision branches off into different realities. The box found a reality where I was the boss of this place.
I decided to live in this possibility. The first thing I wanted to do was date the woman outside my office. Her name was Sylvia. I tried flirting with her; although, she was friendly. She didn't reciprocate.
Months went by in my new reality; I continued with my bad habits. Life was better in many ways, but Sylvia made it difficult. She was all that I wanted, but I couldn't have her. And then, one day, Sylvia was standing outside my office.
"We need to talk." She said as she massaged her hands.
"Sure… come to my office," I said.
"This won't take long. I found another job."
"Oh! Congratulations," I said, looking down at my shoes. "Well, at least we have you for two weeks."
"I guess, well, I thought you should know…." She said, finally making eye contact.
"No, thanks for letting me know. I wish you all the best." I smiled and continued towards the door as she stepped out of the way.
"Oh! There's a package waiting for you on your desk. It doesn't have a return address, just your name on it."
I smiled as I turned the door open.
Sylvia and I had been married for ten years now. She was the mother of our two children, and I hated her. She made me miserable. I thought about divorcing her, but since I was making more money, I didn't want to split my assets. At that point, I had started an affair with a Blond intern. I had promised her a job if she went out with me. She obliged, and we carried our affair for six months. Eventually, Sylvia found out, and she confronted me.
"What about the life we've built?" She was crying.
"Why are you overreacting?" I said. "Nothing is going on."
"I don't believe you, and I'm not going to live like this. I'm leaving with the kids." She said, turning away from me to retrieve them. In an intense fit of anger, I grabbed a fistful of hair, and then my hands were on her throat. I remember those green eyes. And then a smother of squeals.
I'm covered in blood in the living room. I can't stop crying, and then there is a knock on the door, and then I smiled again.
I noticed that every other possibility I visited eventually turned bad. It helped that none of my actions had consequences. My actions grew extreme, and I was doing horrible things knowing that the box would transport me to another possibility. I developed an addiction to murder.
I had lost count of the possibilities I had visited and the people I had murdered. In this one, I became the killer known as the 'Midnight Killer' because after I would annihilate random families, I would turn all the clocks to twelve. I was washing the bloody knives in the kitchen. And there was a knock on the door.
"My ride's here," I said aloud. I whistled as I opened the door, but this time someone was holding the box.
"Can I come in?" The dark figure smiled, bearing its pointed teeth.
I fell to the ground shivering with fear. I had forgotten what it was like to be afraid.
"I'll take that as a yes," The figure stepped into the light. It wore a dark hat, skin bleach-white, no eyebrows, black lips, and yellow eyes with slit-shaped pupils. I noticed it was floating.
"W-what are you?"
"It doesn't matter. I know that you've been a naughty boy." It started laughing.
"Look… I'm sorry for what I've done. This is not me."
"I know who you are… think of all the possibilities you have killed. All the different versions that were killed for you to exist. All the lives you have stolen. So delicious. Ha-ha." The laughter was making me even more anxious.
"What do you want from me?!" I yelled.
"I came to give you this," It held the package. "This is your final delivery...your final possibility."
"What if I don't open it?"
"You think you have a choice?"
It dropped the package on my feet. My hands were shaking, but I managed to tear the brown paper, and I opened the box.
It was at this point that I found myself in the darkness. I was in solitary confinement. The plumbing had broken, and I knelt in black water. It smelt terrible, but I had already lived a thousand lifetimes.