I could never figure out why I was the only one who could remember her last life. They started out as vivid dreams, which is what I assumed they were.
But then the dreams became too real for me to continue to believe the delusion that they were fake. Even though it hurt to relive them every night, I didn’t want to lose them.
I realized that those memories were all I had had left of him, and so with the fear of losing them just as I lost him, I wrote them down.
I wrote them so I would always remember him, but all I could find myself wanting to do now that everyone knew about it, was forget.
The private manuscripts that I had written were never supposed to see the light of day. They were definitely never supposed to become so popular.
The publishing of the stories had made them immortal. They had become intertwined with my life, both public and private, and now I could never escape them.
I glared out over the immense Puget Sound in the frigid November air while purposely hiding out on the top floor of the ferry as it chugged on toward Seattle.
The book signing hadn’t been my idea at all and I felt a little betrayed that someone I considered to be a friend had tricked me into doing it.
I don’t know why I was surprised, though, considering she was the one who had sent the manuscripts to the publishers in the first place.
Each person in the line at the bookstore asked me the same questions over and over again. The most popular questions were about the plot;
“Why didn’t you write a happy ending?”
“When are you going to write another book?”
Then there were the sick people:
“It’s amazing that you can write such morbid endings.”
“It’s such a refreshing change in modern literature.”
They loved that instead of killing the love interest, I had killed off the main character instead.
They loved that I had written an abrupt and crude ending because it was “artistic and creative.”
And I hated each and every one of them.
I hated that they felt the need to remind me of every single part of my story that I didn’t want to remember, but especially the promise that was made at the end of the book.
The promise that he would find me in the next lifetime, no matter what it took. No one else knew the truth behind the story and they never would.
It was love, and now the other half of the equation had disappeared.
Finally, there were only a handful of people left in line. Each one handed me the book and I signed the first page absentmindedly while they offered praises.
One asked to sign it to her best friend, another asked for her significant other.
When the last man in line handed me his book, I opened it without a glance at his face. He didn’t say anything, and neither did I.
I looked down at what should have been a blank page, but instead a sentence stared up at me:
“I’m sorry I took so long.”