Friday, 19 April 2013

'When the World Comes Around' by James Winslow


"What was it like in ancient Rome?” She asked squinting through the sunlight at him.

“I can’t remember that far back,” he was still looking up at the clouds with his hands behind his head.

She turned to the side and propped herself up on her elbow, “Okay, then what’s the farthest back you can remember?”

“Well,” he started slowly “In the middle ages I was a knight and you were a peasant,” she smiled and made a purring sound when he said this. “And we couldn’t be together so instead we left the kingdom and lived off the land. That was my favorite life.”

“Mine too,” she chimed in and then rested back down on the grass. It was colder than she wanted it to be on their bike ride today and the clouds were more like wisps than puffs, but she was happy listening to his stories of reincarnation and living other lives.

“Then we slept for a while and came back as the two people who inspired the Romeo and Juliet story,” he said matter of factly.

“I don’t remember meeting William Shakespeare,” she teased

“No, the original version of the story from Italy. That was us—Mariotto and Gianozza. Those were sad times.”

They sat in silence for a moment staring at the wispy clouds. Neither of them could see any shapes to talk about. He rubbed his eyes and then continued.

“After that we had a few lives where we didn’t even know each other, can you imagine that? A whole lifetime. But then on a boat to Ellis Island we met again. Your son was sick and I gave him some medicine. When we got to New York we started a restaurant together—one of the first pizza parlors. We had our own families and we were just friends but everything was great.”

“What about now. Who are we now?”

“Now we’re just two people who met online. You had the same interests as me in your profile so we started chatting, not that romantic really.” She looked disappointed. “But in the next life me and you get to be shepherds. It’s awesome, we live in Wales and spend the whole day together out in the fields watching our sheep.” Her ears perked up and she seemed to like that idea.

“So how will it all end?” she whispered.

The two of them lay there motionless a few feet from their bikes. It had gotten colder since they started talking. They were still looking up at the clouds in silence because somehow they both knew how it would end.

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