The Time Machine


I think about what breaking up for me means. Breaking up for me is a time machine. He took us to a time we did not meet. He took us to a time where what we were or what we had is no longer a reality and never was a reality. It is not the past. It is just a different reality. Two paths crossed in one universe. They didn’t, in another.  We have not moved to a time before we met. We have simply shifted from one universe into another. In that other universe, they/we are still together. I imagine them happy and surprised to meet, surprised at the connection. And happy.

In this universe, he is as significant as a stranger on a sidewalk, walking to the bus stop, getting hit by a car, narrowly getting missed getting hit by a car, is fine, is dead, is wounded, is alive, is married, suffers, loves, disappoints, inspires – all of the things that I’m sure strangers around me are experiencing, doing, living or dying. He is a stranger I want to yell at. The ghost of a girl wants to scream at him, through me, she does not exist in this universe. This is a message from another space, another place, another woman. Soon she will cease her mindless rantings. “He’s dead to me” is too emotional. “He’s a stranger to me,” is more accurate. “These memories do not make sense” is more accurate. “These memories are not mine” is more accurate. “These memories are a small twist, a knot in the fabric of space-time, which sometimes occurs when people make the jump. These memories are an echo of a reality that could have been and never was. They are not even memories really. They are thoughts. They are a whispered imagining. They are a dead girl’s thoughts. No, they are the ideas of a girl that never existed. it’s not exactly easy to explain.” is more accurate.

Breaking up is a wormhole of epic proportions. We are in different universes now. Even if I run into him, it’s not him. And I’m not me. I am a different me. He is a different him. There is no “us” in this universe. I have the disjointed memories – dreamlike and random, of a girl from another universe. They do not make sense in this reality. They are not for this reality. She is dead here – no, she does not exist, has never existed.

Who exists?

I exist.

I will tell you one of these ghost like memory like thoughts from the dead girl that was never alive:

He – the other he – told me/her about a book, where people keep meeting each other across lifetimes. “How very non-Muslim of you,” I/she joked. “They just find each other – friends, lovers across millennia,” he continued. “Like soulmates,” I smiled and kissed him.

We are not soulmates in this universe.

Breaking up is a choice to make two people who know each other, unknown to each other. It is a one way coerced trip through time and space. He has made himself the unknowable, the gone, the never-there. A break-up is not an ending, for me and my swan heart. A break-up is the negation of the beginning.

I will wait for the ghost girl to stop. She will eventually, once the time travel is complete. Sometimes bits of bodies and memories get lost in the process – it’s not an exact science. There are always health risks – hazards to traveling like this.  I will wait for those memories to return to their rightful owner – the “me” in the other universe. They will pass between us through our dreams at night.

I wake up each morning, remembering less and less, and thankful for the empty space in my heart.

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