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Endless Love

Jay Arr Henderson


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loved her with a love that was more than love. Why she deigned to recognize the existence of one so far beneath her, I shall never know. But she not only noticed me, she returned my love. No greater honor will ever be bestowed on any mere human. I was truly blessed. She touched me, sullied her perfection. Knowing how unworthy I was, knowing it to be wrong, I did not draw back, I did not run to save her from my filthy baseness. She kissed me. Forgive me, I kissed her back. She held me. She...

I thought the sun exploded in my belly.

When she told me about the time machine, I barely heard her words for I was lost in her bright, excited eyes.

Seven years I had basked in the radiance of her majesty. Seven years that were forever. Seven years of swimming tirelessly in the great ocean of ecstasy I found in her. Seven years of drowning, thrashing helplessly in a sea of fear. Seven years that might end at any second.

She capered, giggled, beamed and danced about the time machine like a child too precious to exist. I felt my body begin to melt, too fragile to withstand her infinite beauty. I hid my awe, my ecstasy, my pain, my fear the fear that never left me for a second. The fear that she would one day open her eyes and recognize me for a base and unworthy creature that had no right to exist in the same reality.

When she finally got her message across, I was not shocked. She was beyond mere ordinary things. She deserved so much better than mere reality. Time machines should be commonplace to one who held eternity in her hand.

I hid my fear as I had hidden it for seven years. I smiled, just like someone who belongs. "That's wonderful, darling," I said.

She took my hand in hers and led me into the machine.

"To seven years ago," she said gently. "To the day we met. The most wonderful day of my life."

We stepped out of the machine onto a hillside above the meadow in the park where it had all begun.

I felt her hand tighten on mine. I saw her, in the meadow, spreading the tablecloth, opening the picnic basket. I saw her struggle with the wine.

I felt her hand melt.

Far below, I came jogging along, as I had that day. I saw myself suddenly stop, awestruck. I watched as I made that same stupid Yogi Bear-picnic basket joke I had made so many years ago.

I looked beside me. She was no longer there.

I felt the wine bottle in my hand. I looked down, watched my hands massage the cork from the bottle.

Foam sputtered out onto her dress and she laughed and I laughed and I was there again, I was there on that day seven years ago and feeling the incredible ecstasy of that insane moment when I stormed the gates of heaven and dared to speak with a Goddess for the first time.

My hands moved without my conscious volition. Wine went into the glasses, we drank, laughed, I got lost in her eyes as I had that day so long ago. Except it wasn't long ago, it was now, and I was there, reliving the glorious wonder of those first moments in rapture. As I handed her the wineglass, my eyes swept the hillside where we had arrived. It was empty. No one there at all.

I relived it all. Once again, we ran from rain, hid beneath a tree from the splattering drops, once again kissed as the branches above us whipped about in the wind. We dated, made love, married, all as incredibly wonderful as it had been the first time. We lived in total rapturous harmony. There was never a disagreement for she was far too magnificent to ever be wrong. Her word was law, though she never seemed to know it. I never considered challenging any statement she made for an ameba does not disagree with God. She could not be wrong for the mere fact of her belief made all things true. I lived in a state of unimaginable rapture.

There was only one difference. The fear was gone. For I had lived it all before, and I knew it would all be just as it had been. I would have her for seven years.

I still followed her about like a lost puppy, but only to bask in her radiance. I no longer had to reassure myself second by second that she still deigned to inhabit the same dwelling as my lowly self.

No event in the physical world changed in the slightest. If I had grimaced at a particular second of a particular moment on a particular day seven years ago, I grimaced now. My body made the same movements, my facial muscles contracted exactly as they had before, the same groan escaped my lips that had done so seven years earlier.

But those things were no longer a clue to my emotions. The movements of my body were predetermined to be the same as they had been the first time I lived these moments. But my mind and my heart and my soul were now free. Free of fear.

Without the constant distraction of the fear of losing her, I experienced the essence of her perfection in a way I never had before. If I had lived in ecstasy the first time, I lived in a state of rapture times infinity squared the second time we lived those seven years. I basked in a warmth that was more than warmth, that reached down to my very soul and caressed it with sunshine. I lived seven years in that state of unimaginable ecstasy.

I lived in such incredible joy that I barely noticed when seven years had passed.

Then one day she was pirouetting and dancing and giggling and telling me about the time machine.

Fear clutched my heart. What would happen now? I hid my fear as I had not had to do in such an awfully long time. "That's wonderful, darling," I said.

She took my hand in hers. She led me to the time machine. "To seven years ago," she said gently. "To the day we met. The most wonderful day of my life."

The machine hummed. I felt sick, then giddy, then nothing. The machine ceased to vibrate. She led me out and we were on a little hillside in the park where we had met so many years ago.

I watched myself jog by as she struggled with the wine, felt her hand dissolve, heard myself make some stupid joke about Yogi Bear and a picnic basket, felt my own hands close around the neck of the wine bottle. Later we ran from the rain and kissed. Later yet we married. The third time through was the best yet. Seven years flew by in rapture, and one day she told me about the time machine.

I knew now that we were bound together inextricably through all eternity. Forever and forever, we would have those seven years, we would enter the time machine, we would run from rain, kiss, marry.

"To seven years ago," she said gently. "To the day we met. The most wonderful day of my life."

Her hand dissolved, I helped her blot champagne from her dress. We ran, kissed, married, entered the time machine.

"To seven years ago," she said gently. "To the day we met. The most wonderful day of my life."

Ran, kissed, married.

Who kept count? Was it the eighth time or the ninth, or the twentieth time we walked toward the time machine?


It was different. This had never happened before. I felt sick and scared.

She fell onto a bench, breathing heavily. I wanted to die. I barely heard her.

"We couldn't exist twice in the same time and space. Not for long. So we somehow became ourselves. I thought it would go on forever."

She beamed up at me. "I struggled and struggled. Time wanted to go on as it had before. I knew if we could break the loop, everything would go back to normal. I struggled and struggled with all my heart and will and I broke the loop."

I said nothing.

"Are you proud of me, darling? I saved us."

"Very proud," I said.

She walked to the time machine and regarded it thoughtfully. "We'll have to destroy the machine, of course," she said. "We can't ever use it again. We'd always risk getting trapped into another horrible time loop."

"I'll break it," I said. I picked up an old oak chair, very heavy, and lifted it for a powerful, smashing blow.

She clasped her hands and gave me the most incredibly beautiful smile I had ever seen.

"So strong," she cried. "My hero."

I turned away from the machine and stepped toward her. A look of confusion, sudden fear.

I brought the chair down on her head. Bone crunched, blood flew. She crumpled. I raised the chair again. She looked up at me, confused, and even then I saw the love in her eyes. To love even then. Truly, she was better than mere humanity could ever be. She was a god.

I brought the chair down again. God died.

I cried, the tears gushing forth and falling on her still body. I cried for a long time. Then I took her wrist and dragged her into the machine.

"To seven years ago," I said gently. "To the day we met. The most wonderful day of my life."

I stepped out onto the hillside, dragging her. Far below, I came jogging along as she struggled with the wine.

"Look, darling," I said. "There we are."

She could not exist in the same time and place as herself. She became herself. I felt her hand dissolve. I felt the bottle in my hand. I spilled the wine. We ran, kissed, married. I lived in unimaginable ecstasy.

And one day she told me about the time machine.

"That's wonderful, darling," I said.




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