You died fifteen years ago in the blaze of a strange illness when it fell unceremoniously into our living room where you sat napping. There was a funeral, it was quite packed up, the death of a great woman, and they gave me your potrait. And I didn’t know what to do with it.
I just left it on top of the bookshelf, and wished your image goodmorning and wished your potrait goodnight, kidding myself that if I didn’t put it away nothing of this would have happened.
I gave out most of your clothes and slept next to the rest. Your smell has faded from them already. And I think soon enough I wont remember how you smelt like at all.
I performed the standard rituals, I fed the cows, I dreamt liberally, I watched the meteors fallout from the horizon at night. The war goes on. I’ve surrendered already.
It is strange, and good, and strange to get your message, though on this side it was you who died fifteen years ago in the fire of that strange illness as it came streaking into not the living room, but the kitchen where you stood cooking. At my request you weren’t buried but cremated.
You can imagine what a thing it is today not to visit your grave and come home and find your message waiting for me. But, I’m glad you wrote. I told a friend about your message and she called it a seons. A seons is for the dead, and you are not dead.
It’s horrible to think of that fateful day. The war is distant on this side. I haven’t seen the falling meteors in weeks. And I am not in a potrait. Thank you for your message.
I am trying not to cry at my keyboard. I wasn’t even sure you’d reply. Your love friends told me that the bridge between us should stay open for a few more years but they can’t guarantee anything.
When I got permission to use these skills, they warned me not to get my hopes up, that even if I found you, you probably won’t be from a world line I recognize. You won’t be a mom I recognize. But I do recognize you. Your words sound like mine Mom. I hope that’s were you are.
Whatever the strange messages you left, it’s your legacy now. On this side they talk about you like you were a great martyr but now I know you were the best kind of mom. You are missed. The dog doesn’t sleep in our living room anymore but waits for you at the door.
You still get letters sometimes too. I’ll scan and attach them with this message. It’s just very, very good to hear from you.
I think maybe you are not clear how this works. You told me the war is still going on strong from your side. It’s over for us here. I don’t want to make you sad but that means our worlds are getting distant already.
I don’t mean to be cold, but please understand this gift for what it is. It’s not the beginning of the correspondence, it’s a chance to say goodbye. Your dad isn’t in that graveyard, your siblings are not in those potraits. Neither in those graves. Please don’t sent me your sister’s posts again, I am not near her.
Well in this world line you did like scrambled eggs, so how’s that for more evidence you are who I think you were? As things are different from this side. I am sitting in our garden writing this staring at our roses and our worldline where maybe you are sitting here too right next to me this very moment.
When you built this thing, whatever hell the technique is, what did you want to use it for? What better application would it be? A second chance. We are just a universe distant. Don’t throw this away please. It was til death do us apart and you are alive and I am alive, and don’t throw this away.
There aren’t any roses in our garden, not here. You are still not getting it, are you? Even if the only difference between our worldline is the wind that gushed above our house fifteen years ago. That difference has changed to everything.
We have many bridges to many worldliness on this side. We’ve heard from some and never heard from many more. I’ve spoken with them, with some of the survivors, I’ve offered my condolences and then I have turned off the magnetic field so that our ties collapse and that I can never talk to them again. Because I have nothing to say that will help them, because they are not us. I am not from that worldline where the skies burst open where the ties fallout. I am not from the worldline where you lost me.
I found Marie’s body, we’ve never lost her to cancer. She’s eleven now. I found her now, she has your stupid sentimental streak, she has my pragmatism. I spoke to her for an evening, just like you and I are doing now. I told her that I missed her, and what did she say? She said ok, because what can’t she say. In her worldline she still has her parents she still has her life. I let her go and you need to let me go now.
I believe one day when this technology will bear to fruition that human beings will develop a new sense and an evolutionary adaptation for seeing ourselves as one among billions of branches of our possible selves. Intuiting that we are not individuals but simultaneous traveller’s across the atlas of if.
You and I don’t have that adaptation and we are seeing oursleves as periscopes into parallel worlds. But they are not, they are mirrors, cracked distorted fare ground mirrors. You are the first of a million of you to contact me and you are the first one I will inform that I miss him because I am severing the bridge now. I can’t stop you from contacting the other widowed moms near me.
Maybe there’s a softer kinder me out there who would keep up this game with you. Who would sent letters to a ghost. I wish you luck finding her.
I wish you luck with the war. I wish you luck moving on. Take comfort knowing that beyond our greying half lives, a worldline away, you and I are still swimming together.
That’s very metaphorical, but I think you are just hurting like I am. Grieving is horrible but don’t do anything rush with the connection. I will be sitting right by my inbox through out the day. Just write back as soon as you can.
It’s been a week of nothing from you now. I know you are upset. Things are getting horrible here. I wish you’d write. You always did!
They’ve started everything now and I don’t think it’s long before it reaches us now. Please tell me how you are. Please tell me you are ok. Tell me something! For the sake of an iota of decency please write back! Hell, you built all of this, you can’t just take a year, a month!
A MONTH of nothing! You were right maybe there are differences in the worldlines! My mom was never this stubborn or myopic! Who’d never have toiled so hard for those around her in, her heart.
In any case please write back. I have made a request in meeting you in person.