I first loved her when she was a sovereign. A descendant of a glorified royal line whose main obligation was the fate of the kingdom and its people. A duty that was never to be broken even by the sacrifice of flesh and blood.
I was a mere court jester. And my duty was infinitesimal if paralleled with hers. I was merely there to entertain his and her majesties, to elicit a smile from those untainted, noble lips.
She never smiled.
In this life, I died with a broken heart that only knew pain and loneliness.
She died with a steel heart that never opened.
I loved her next in Kyoto. During the era of the noble samurais.
She was the most beautiful geisha. I was a dutiful, brave warrior – a samurai.
Her graceful movements captivated me. The pitter-patter of her dainty feet, the smooth sway of her gentle hands accompanied by the rhythmic rise and fall of her chest, and that classic beauty hiding behind the mask of white and colorburst.
I fell. Hard. If I had a choice, I would have lain my sword beneath her feet and surrendered not only my integrity but also my heart.
But I couldn’t. Not without grave consequences that involved something bigger than my personal desires.
In this life, I had the bigger duty. My honor as a samurai was far more important than the beat of my heart.
In this life, I died with a blade in my stomach.
She died dancing for strangers.
I realized how perversely forbidding fate was when in my next life, I was reborn as a pirate.
And she was a mermaid.
It was a retelling of the classic fairytale. Storm. Captain falling. Captain drowning. Creature of the sea saving a son of the land.
And another falling. Of a different kind. Of a different beat.
But fairytales didn’t happen even in an altered truth of an alternate world.
In this life, I died waiting for her.
She died watching me wait for her.
When I was reborn in my next life, I was a werewolf.
She was a vampire.
Another forbidden love between two dominant species of another world whose lives depended on blood and death. An ancient feud that was never settled even by time.
This world had been harsh. There was nothing but the spillage of crimson and slicing of flesh. While our love still bloomed, the call of the blood and the pull of the ancient bonds couldn’t be ignored.
We were enemies. I had to kill her. She needed to end me.
I died with poison in my blood and with the heart of the one I love in my grasp.
She died with a huge chunk off her chest where her dead heart used to beat for me.
By our next lives, I had already accepted that I was being tested by fate.
How long would I last? Will my love for her transcend even the boundaries of otherworlds?
She was born a demon. I was born a human.
We lived in a world where humans lorded it over the demons. Demons were slaves and were powerless. Humans were masters and were powerful.
I was her master. She was my slave. Her kind was treated like animals, tortured and shamed by even the weakest of us. But I never treated her as such. I only ever saw her as a human.
She ended up killing me in her quest for justice for her kind.
In this world, I died in her hands.
Different worlds. Different lives.
I remembered them all. I remembered every single version of her. I remembered every single version of me. Every time I was reborn, I gained a memory of her. Of me. Of us.
And how we never were, and while she simply lived and outlived a life where we started out as strangers and ended up falling in love whoever we were, wherever we were.
Time has never been right for me to love her, and for her to love me. Time moved against us, never with us.
And yet here I am again. About to test the same fate. Finding her in a world we can finally consider normal. In a place that is so ordinary it is almost boring–
In a park right in front of my office building.
I am scared.
If I touch her, will she recognize me? In our previous lives, in those worlds of fantasies, she was my only reality. But now that we are finally in a world which I could consider a reality, would she become a mere fantasy?
I walk towards her, my heart in my hands. I am ready to offer it to her.
My heart’s a mess, its sound akin to a ticking time bomb ready to detonate. My mind is in a cornucopia of scattered thoughts of worry and doubt, ready to push me to the brink of senselessness.
I utter her name in a breathless whisper. The name that sounds so familiar yet tastes so strange.
I witness her still for a moment, before she finally lifts her head from the book she is reading.
Her gaze meets mine. She stares at me with those familiar enchanting pools of glistening, brown-black orbs.
I drop my heart on the ground. Her eyes—they are, once again, the eyes of a stranger. I mutter a dejected apology, ready to accept that this is not the right moment. Again.
But then… but then she says it. My name. Accompanied by a smile that I have never received from her in our previous harsh mythical lives.
She knows. She knows. She recognizes me. She recognizes us.
I offer my trembling hand for her to take. She takes it without the slightest hint of hesitation.
And we just know. And we just both feel. How right it finally is.
It is the perfect time. Our perfect time.
We start out as two lone souls, searching for their own places in numerous different worlds.
But now we are here. We are one. Even when we fade, we fade together.
Two souls merge into one. Amalgamated souls which can be parted by naught. A union granted and blessed by the spirits of the universe and the ever magnificent deities of fate.