I needed a change, so I decided to do something fun and write from a prompt I found online (Pinterest). I want to point out I’m writing this a little more off-the-cuff than I’m used to. I limited my editing so, it may seem a little less polished than usual but, I hope you enjoy.
As always, thanks for reading!
Abigail watched him from the driver seat of her four door Honda Civic. He was wearing overalls with the sleeves of the top half tied around his waist. Parked across the street she could see a dark swipe of grease or oil staining the front of his t-shirt.
She tried to draw forth a memory of him in overalls and couldn’t. Even after discovering where he was working, she could only picture him in a clean white shirt, knee length breeches and an unbuttoned waistcoat. In her mind that’s what he always wore. She had vague images of him wearing other more modern clothes. One had him in slacks with his suit jacket off, bent over inspecting the engine of a brand-new Ford Model-T but, all those images were far away and covered in a film like a smudged camera lens.
She also never associated him with a regular nine-to-five job. He never needed one. Years of saving and investment trial and error honed his skills to the point of providing him with a hefty bank account, several in fact. He had spent most of his time at home with her or pursuing and perfecting hobbies at his leisure. At least that had been him back when she knew him. Back when she had meant something to him.
He was a different man now. He was a man who broke his promises.
He had erased her from his life. She didn’t know why, and it plagued her. She wanted to ask him, How? How could he leave everything they had shared in the past? By her calculations it had only been about 240 years since her death. Most reincarnations would consider that an extraordinary amount of time. But he was immortal, time and memories were different for him. He’d told her so.
One of the earliest pieces of her past life to return was of an intimate conversation they had shortly after she had discovered his secret. They had finished eating dinner but neither of them had left the table. They instead inched closer to each other and as if reading her mind, he began to explain what he meant when he said, he was immortal.
“I have walked this earth for over 1000 years.”
“Over 1000 years?” she had asked him wide-eyed, “Do you not have a specific date?”
“I believe my first memories are near the year 618 A.D.” She simply looked at him in wonder, like an old artifact so he continued, “When you’re around this long time starts to lose its meaning. It is no longer about years and dates but, rather memories. The strength of a moment, one moment, can hold on forever if it is powerful enough and you, my dear, are proving the strongest by far. My time with you has been beyond anything I have ever experienced. When it comes time, I know not whether I will have the conviction to let you go.”
He looked down at his plate. She reached across the corner of the table wrapping both her hands around one of his. The magnitude of his words having not hit her yet.
“I have killed you. I have killed you by merely making your acquaintance.”
Her breath caught in her throat as realization struck. He couldn’t die. Her first thought had been one of relief. It would be the perfect scenario she may be lost for a time but, he could always find her again when the time was right. She would not have to live without him. How could she have been so selfish, thinking only of herself. She had forgot an especially important detail. A person was only reborn into this world when they no longer lived in memories.
He looked up to see the tear escape down her cheek. Misunderstanding, he wrenched his hand loose from her embrace, pushed away from the table and turned away from her with a groan of self-loathing.
She understood now, once she was gone, he would be without her. She would leave him alone again.
He ran his fingers through his hair, his back to her.
“I’m so sorry.” She said.
He spun around, pushed her chair from the table and knelt in front of her. “What are you apologizing for?” His voice raised, “You brought me to life. I’m the murderer. My immortality has killed any chance you have of living this life again. My selfishness will keep you from any other love. You should hate me.”
Searching her eyes, she knew he would not find what he was looking for. He was the only love she needed. She should try to hate him. It would be easier for him but, she couldn’t. In that moment she could only think how he must feel. She tried to imagine how it would feel to be without him. Each time her mind attempted, her heart refuse to let her venture any further down that path of thinking that led to never seeing him again. It was too painful to contemplate.
He dropped his head onto her lap. The layers of her dress catching him as he clung to her, murmuring, “I will forget. I promise. I will find a way.”
She looked down at him and lay her hand along the side of his face stroking his jawline. She understood now. The reason he tried to ignore her at the parties. The avoidance, despite the many times she had caught him staring at her from across the room. She knew he wanted her. She could feel the magnetism between them. All along it was their attraction that was torturing him until it was too late. Each time she cajoled him into another carriage ride or outing in the park, he was one step closer to being her demise and he couldn’t stop himself. How lonely he must have been all these years, never wanting to make a connection but always longing for it.
She bent down and kissed his temple. As she did, she whispered, “I would never have forgiven you, if you had passed me by.” She placed another kiss. “You must never forget me.”
He drew himself up, looking at her as if she had gone mad. “You know nothing of what you speak.”
“You must promise to never forget me.” She spoke calmly as if he had said nothing.
“But – “
“It is my choice.” She cut him off. “You may have thought yourself weak after hundreds of years of loneliness but, I knew what I wanted. What I still want. I want you and if I only have this life to do it then I shall make every moment count,” he made to interrupt her but, she held of a finger, “and I do not fancy having my efforts wasted. Hear me well when I say my love is for you and you alone. You will keep it with you always and remember as long as I am in here,” she lay a hand over his heart, “and in here,” she moved her hands to his head and tangled them through his hair, “you will never be alone again.”
He looked at her dumbfounded. She had taken the choice from him. She had attempted to unburden his soul. He simply had to accept her gift.
Locking eyes with her, his hands came up to caress her face, his next words came out in a reverent whisper, “Your eyes. Your face. These lips.” His thumb grazed over the outline of her lip, “Your body, mind and heart… I will spend the rest of your life discovering every inch of them and I promise… I will carry you with me always.”
Abigail physically shook her head to dislodge the hold the memory had taken on her. That particular memory had been a constant companion since she was 14. Even though others had come along, her mind always wondered back to that night. His face was something she had carried all her life. It started out in the distance, a tugging at the far edges of her mind until her teenage years when it cleared, and the dreams started.
She thought them dreams at first. The old difference with dreams is you tend to lose details upon waking, where her visions remained vivid for her to recollect at any time. After a bit of research, she found out a few people could sense aspects of their former lives when they came across a familiar object or story. Although, to her knowledge this people didn’t share her experience of full memories reappearing in dreams. They did however all advocate for journaling all dreams.
Despite holding on to the absurdity of immortals being a normal conversation topic in these dreams, she kept seeing his face so, she started a dream journal and tracked ever detail as it came to her. Eventually, she had put together a detailed timeline of a life. It would take another few years for her to admit it was a life she lived. At which point, there were just too many events that lined up with the concept of him being an immortal for it not to be accepted as reality.
Now here he was in front of her. Not a familiar reincarnation where you needed to search the eyes to find what you were looking for but, him. The face in her dreams exactly like she remembered.
If she were to acknowledge her instincts, she always accepted it as real and matter-of-fact but, part of her never wanted to believe. She didn’t want to believe a love could feel that real and ripple through her heart even after reincarnation, yet be forgotten by another? If an immortal forgets about you, is that to be expected or was the love not as real for him? She had only been part of this new life for 22 years but, she couldn’t live with the questions anymore. Consequences be damned. She had to know.
All these thoughts swirled through her head as she put the car in drive and headed toward the open garage doors to announce her arrival for an oil change appointment.
Part Two: “Meeting the Mechanic” will be posted on Monday, May 17th.