“So what is this ‘long story’ that you have to tell me?” she asks while sipping her coffee.
“I’m James. I was born in the 1700s and I fell in love with a girl called Emily, and she fell in love with me. We were destined for each other. One night the bar we were at got robbed. The robber threatened to kill me but Emily saved my life by sacrificing herself. From that day forward, I never aged . I don’t know why, but the only way I can be freed is by true love's kiss. I have only ever loved Emily. So I look for her in all of her lives. Everytime I find her, something stops us from being together. Emily is you.”
She puts down her coffee cup and is silent. Then she starts laughing and looking around.
“Where are the cameras? Is this some sort of TV show prank?”
He’s startled by her reply. “No cameras. I write it all down in my notebook,” he says.
“I’m Lisa, not Emily. Sorry I didn’t fall for your prank. I do kind of like you so here's my number. Text me.” She finishes off her coffee and leaves.
After a few texts they start dating. They go on many adventures together; hiking, beach walks, train trips.
During a picnic, James says to Lisa, “I love you.”
When Lisa hears these words something triggers memories. His face changes from soldier to sailor, to duke, to miner, to now. She is seeing him as she has seen him in her past lives.
“You weren’t kidding with that story were you?” Lisa asks.
Lisa looks at James and sees in his eyes the years that he’s lived, the loneliness of immortality. She kisses him. He is startled but then he kisses her back. She may have lived many lives but the touch of her lips hasn’t changed.
He opens his eyes and places his hand on her face, “Goodbye Emily.”
After he finishes those words, his body begins disappearing. Even though she has only known him for a month, Lisa knows she has just lost her soulmate.
by Esther W, Greytown School
This glorious time-travelling romance was Highly Commended in the Year 7&8 section of our "What Year is It?" competition for Write On Issue 55: Time Travel.
NB: Esther gave permission for some small edits.
Copyright: Esther W and Write On 2020