Photo by Md Mahdi on Unsplash

The sound of footsteps from pacing could be audible through the doors of Steve's office. He paced back and forth in his office, flipping through numerous documents, frustration clearly visible on his face. He threw the papers on his desk, making them scatter. He looked at the pile of papers and let out a painful groan. He massaged his temples to reduce the pain of his headache from all the frustration. A knock at the door made him relax himself from his frustration, though not fully compress it. “Come in,” he said in a cold tone. The door opened to reveal one of the engineers working on the prototype of the iPod. “Sir, the iPod's prototype is ready, we just need your approval.” Steve nodded and urged him to show the prototype. The engineer revealed a small iPod from the pocket of his coat. Steve took the iPod from him and weighed it with his hand. He played with it trying to figure something out. “Make it smaller,” he answered finally, in his usual cold tone.

The engineer began. “Sir, we’ve tried our best, but it’s impossible to make it any smaller than this-'' Steve could no longer hold onto his frustration. He walked over to his aquarium and once in front of it he promptly dropped the iPod in the water. The iPod fell to the bottom of the aquarium and settled in its bed. A moment later, bubbles started floating out of the iPod. "Those are air bubbles," he snapped, his frustration boiling to the surface. "That means there's space in there. Make it smaller." The engineer could do nothing but nod and leave the room.

Steve sat down at his desk and started to flip through his documents once again. He stayed there till late at night, by which time all his employees and engineers had already left for home. He glanced over at his clock which showed 12 AM. He got up from his chair and sighed as he began packing up his desk and sorting out his documents. By the time he left the building, it was already past 12:30 AM, and by the time he reached home it was already past 1 AM. Steve took off his coat and fell onto his bed, even more, exasperated from his work. He soon fell asleep as the moonlight fell over him.

Steve woke up with the light of the sun falling directly on his face. He squinted as he opened his eyes. Once he got used to the light, he slowly got up. Once he was awake, he looked around in a daze. The room he was in wasn’t his, and it was clear. The room looked more as if it belonged to a child. Steve got out of bed and looked for his phone. He saw it placed safely on the bedside table and picked it up. He began to search for his colleague’s contacts through his phone. He searched for some time through the list of contacts but couldn’t find anyone’s number which he recognised. His eyes fell on a landline number further down his list. He dialed the number and waited for the other end to pick up. A lady picked up the call asking who the caller was. “This is Steve Jobs speaking,” he responded. “I’m Bill Fernandez’s boss,” he continued. The lady on the other end paused for some time. “I think you’ve got the wrong number.. My son, Bill, is only seven. He couldn’t possibly have a boss. I could let you speak to him if you'd like.” Steve looked around his room and realised that he was in his childhood bedroom.

“Hello?” A voice replied on the other end, trying to engage with the speaker and bringing him out of his thoughts. Steve couldn’t understand his situation. The person he was put on a call with was definitely a child, but then whatever happened to his employee? “Nobody’s answering,” the boy said before the call disconnected. Steve looked around his room trying to process what had happened. He wasn't in his own bedroom, he couldn't find any of his colleague's contacts and the only one he found was the landline of a seven-year-olds' house. He tried retracing his steps from before he fell asleep. ‘Could I have been abducted by an intruder?’ He thought to himself, but then dismissed the thought since he thought of it as unlikely. He had remembered to lock his front door after coming inside, so it couldn’t possibly be that he was abducted. Plus the mystery of not being able to find his colleague’s contacts in his phone couldn’t be explained by an abduction. 

Steve decided to explore outside his room and began to walk towards the door. He opened the door and he saw a young woman watering her plants. “Mom?” He called out to her, recognising the woman as his adoptive mother. The woman jumped as she saw him standing behind her. “Who are you?!” The woman said, terrified. “I’m your son, Steve-” Steve stopped as he saw a young boy approach the woman. “Mom, look what I did!” The boy cried out, trying to catch the woman’s attention.

Steve’s eyes widened as he recognised the boy to be his younger self. Realisation finally hit him and he ran back into his room. The woman followed him back into the room, terrified of what he was going to do. “Listen, I don’t know who you are, but if you don't leave right now-" "What year is it?" Steve interrupted the woman. "It's 1962 but-" Before the woman could say anything else, Steve grabbed his coat and dashed out the main door of the house. The lady followed pursuit and quickly shut the main door behind him. 

Steve began running to the bus stop which he remembered, only to see that there was no longer a bus stop there. “There was no bus stop here when I was seven..” He muttered to himself, making a sharp turn and running to the direction of his office. He would have to run to a bus stop near the area before he could get to his office. Steve ran for some time and exhausted he stopped in his tracks. He looked around himself and tried to pinpoint his exact location. He decided to walk the rest of his journey instead of running. Steve walked for some time before spotting a bus station. He ran towards it and began to search for his colleague’s contacts on his phone once again while he waited for the bus to arrive. After some time of waiting the bus arrived and Steve boarded it. He looked out the window nervously, watching the trees and cars zoom by.

He arrived at his destination and got off the bus to go to his office building, only to see it replaced by barren land. Dejected, he began to walk back to the bus stop to head back to his old home. Steve waited at the bus stop, still coming to terms with what happened. It was hard to accept that when he could’ve brought something new for the world to use, he was brought back to the start when he was only a child of seven years. The bus arrived and Steve boarded it, downcasted. He reached back home and knocked on the front door. The lady from earlier opened the door and looked at Steve, who seemed despondent. 

“I’m not sure how much you would believe, but telling you the honest truth, I’m Steve Jobs. I’m your son, but I’ve been brought back to this timeline, where I was only seven. My office where I worked at is not in this timeline,” Steve began his explanation. The woman pitied Steve and allowed him in. Though she still couldn’t understand the full story, she understood enough to know that Steve didn’t have a place to go to. The two of them made their way to the living room and sat down. Steve’s mother brought him a glass of water as he began explaining what had happened. Steve took out his phone and showed it to his mother as proof of him telling the truth. The younger Steve comes and sits next to his mother while the two of them have a conversation discussing the events.

“I’m not sure what has happened, or why you have been pulled back into this timeline, but I’d be happy to help you with anything you’d like. You can stay here till you figure out what’s happened.” Steve’s mother concluded, leading Steve to his old room. “That’s my room, sir,” the younger Steve called out, before Steve could enter his room. “Love, you’ll be staying in my room for sometime, and he’ll be in your room,” the lady explained to her child. Steve gave a grateful look to his mother and entered the room, closing the door behind him. He walked around his room, as his childhood memories flooded in. He saw a newspaper lying on his bedside table. He picked it up and began reading it. Time flew by as Steve read the newspaper, and scoffed as he read the recent advancements in technology, knowing that he would’ve brought something even better in his timeline. He sighed thinking about his timeline, wondering how to get back. A knock on his door brought him out of his thoughts. “Come in,” he said, in an unusually welcoming tone. Steve’s mother entered the room with a tray in her hand. “Have something to eat,” she said, placing the tray in front of him. Steve ate his food, all the while still thinking of ways to get back.

Hours flew by and Steve still couldn’t figure out how he would go back to his timeline. He was worried about how much work he would need to catch up on, and how far behind he would fall. He kept thinking about how his engineers were and whether they had been able to complete the prototype of the ipod. Steve’s mother noticed the worried expression on his face and worried about his health. That night, after her son, the younger Steve, had fallen asleep, Steve’s mother took up the opportunity to ask him about his thoughts. “I have not been able to make any achievements so far, and knowing my competitors they’ll be sure to take advantage and speed ahead of my company,” Steve confessed. 

He explained to his mother how far he’d come, and how he’d been so close to finally getting ahead of his competitors once and for all. His mother listened to his story patiently and waited for him to finish before giving her feedback. “Steve, you seem to have forgotten something very important,” she began. Steve looked at her with a confused look. “I’m sure I mentioned everything..” Steve’s mother sighed, looking at him again. “You seem to have forgotten that you had once been a child of seven years old. A seven-year-old, who had only his curiosity and eagerness to learn more,” she began again, reminding Steve of his roots and where he once came from. “It could’ve been any seven-year-old who could've grown up to be so dedicated, probably working under someone as well,” she continued.

“But it was you who ended up having a company of your own, with its own competitors. According to what you’ve told me, you seem to have grown to also have an eye for perfection, but you’ve forgotten that compared to where you stood years ago, you’ve grown into a successful man!” Steve’s mother looked at Steve, who seemed to have been taken aback. “It’s no surprise you forgot, you’ve been so focused on running ahead, you didn’t care to think about how much you’ve already done. Having a company of your own, with full-time employees is a huge thing in this timeline, you should know, you’ve lived past this,” she finished. Steve finally realised his success and how far he’d come.

“I never thought about it that way,” he said, finally coming back to his senses. His mother smiled, knowing that he finally understood. “It’s not a bad thing to want to strive to improve and keep running ahead of all competitors, but you shouldn’t forget your roots,” she said, getting up to go to sleep. Steve also got up, and turned to his bedroom. He went to sleep that night thinking about what his mother had said. ‘It’s true that I’ve come further ahead than when I was seven’, he thought. The night went by peacefully, as Steve, at last, was able to see the difference between his seven year old self and his current self. Both were Steve, with the same curiosity and enthusiasm, but one has accomplished so much. It would be a waste if these achievements would go unnoticed. 

The morning came by and the sunlight once again hit Steve’s face, waking him up. “Still not back home,” he murmured to himself, seeing that he was still in his childhood room. Steve kept thinking of how to go back to his timeline. He soon started to notice his surroundings and noticed how his younger self and his mother lived in such simple ways. He would sometimes see himself enjoying nothing but a bowl of noodles, and his mother enjoying listening to songs on the radio channels. He started thinking of his own timeline, and about his company’s project ‘iPod’. He started to think of scrapping the project, thinking the world in his timeline might just not be ready to transfer from such simple ways of living to advanced technology such as an iPod. 

The timeline of his seven-year-old self seems to enjoy all that’s within their environment, including the kind of technology that is present in this time. Steve thinks about this for hours on end. His thoughts keep colliding and debating with themselves trying to decide which was the better option, to scrap the project and wait for when the world was ready, or to introduce them to new technology as fast as possible. Steve thought about this till the end of the day, until finally, after seeing his younger self, as well as his young mother, enjoy the technology present in their timeline, that Steve made his final decision.

He promised himself, that if ever he was to return to his timeline, he would work on something that could be a stepping stone for the world to use to climb to greater heights and prepare themselves for the new technological advancements from his company. The night he promised himself of this, he thanked his mother for letting him stay till he returned to his timeline. “I’m not sure how long I'll be here, but I want to thank you for allowing me to stay here for this long,” he began. “There’s no need to thank me, you are but my son from the future. It is my duty as a mother to take care of you, no matter which timeline you come from,” his mother responded, before he could say anything else. 

Steve only nodded his head before finishing up his dinner and heading back to his room. He looked through his contacts once again, in an attempt to find his colleague’s contacts, but failed miserably. Steve rested his head on his pillow, with the only thought of getting back and working to his promise. That night something unexpected happened. A bright light came through the doors of Steve’s bedroom, which made his mother rush inside, only to see an empty room made up and cleaned. “Steve, stop playing hide and seek! Where are you?” Steve’s mother started looking in the nearby rooms. “Don’t play around with torches at this time. It’s time for bed, come on,” she continued, looking for her seven-year-old son, Steve.

The sunlight once again fell over Steve’s face, waking him up. Steve opened his eyes to a modern room, and at once jumped out of his bed. He searched for his phone, which he found placed safely on his bedside table. He began searching for his colleague’s numbers, each of which he found. His eyes landed on the landline number which he called in a hurry. “Oh, hello, boss! Have you been ill? You haven’t come in for a week, and you didn’t even respond to your doorbell when we came to check on you-” Steve could hear the speaker, and could clearly tell it was his employee. “What year is it?!” Steve asked the speaker, interrupting him. “What year? It’s 1977 sir,” the other end responded. Relieved Steve ended the call, leaving the speaker confused. Steve was back in his timeline, and he knew just what to do. He grabbed his coat leaving the house and quickly drove to his office. Once he entered the building he was greeted with numerous “Good morning sir! Feeling better?”

Steve made his way to his office in a rush and called in his engineers working on the prototype of the iPod. “Scrap the project of the iPod”, he declared once all the engineers came. “We’ll start with another project instead,” he continued, explaining the new project to his engineers. Though reluctant at first, they all agreed to the plan, and in the coming years, the Macintosh project began, and it was released in 1984. Subsequently, in the next years, Steve kept coming up with more technologies that would soon become a stepping stone for the world to step on till it prepares for more advancements in the technological field. It is now 23rd October 2001 and Steve Jobs is stepping onto the stage to introduce the world to the iPod, the portable music player. The world is now ready for the technological advancement that Steve helped it prepare for. New technologies such as the iPhone also made their entry in the next couple years. Steve Jobs is now known worldwide for all that he’s done in the technological field, and how much more technologically advanced he’s made the current generation. Even more competitors, such as Samsung, Microsoft and more have risen to the top of the charts competing closely with Apple.

Almost everyone in this day and time wants to be like Steve Jobs, be as successful as him, and as famous as him. However, when one faces a challenge, they feel as if they will never be able to overcome it, or those who’ve achieved great heights have forgotten how much they’ve achieved and how many hurdles they’ve overcome. All these kinds of people have one thing in common and that is the fact that they’ve forgotten where they originally came from, their roots. They’ve forgotten that like Steve Jobs, they too were once seven-year-olds in this world, clueless of what they were going to do, and had only their curiosity and eagerness to learn. With a little perseverance, people can achieve many great things, just as Steve Jobs has done, and those that have overcome these hurdles mustn’t forget their roots when met with challenges and doubts. As they rightly say “when in doubt, go back to basics.”

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