Well, not me this time but next time for sure. In this competition, however, I was shortlisted and I happen to think that my story really rocked. So I thought I’d share it here with a link to the competition:
There is a man sitting on a park bench reading a newspaper. I get the feeling that I know him. The slump of his back, the elegance of his long fingers, the full lips that seem to move ever so slightly as he reads. I cannot see his eyes but I already know that they are blue. Dark blue—just like the color of the ocean beneath the liner on which we met.
He flips a page and a headline catches my eye. Animal rights protest draws thousands. Yes. It’s all coming back to me now. A slender, fresh-faced, young lady of barely eighteen crossing the ocean. An older, English gentleman with a dog by his side and a walking cane. He must have been forty-‐five or even fifty then. And I was just a child.
That was the first life that was cut short. I knew it, of course, before I started it— before my soul, hungry for experimentation, chose that fate. Until then, I had only inhabited bodies destined to live longer. Human experience fascinated me and I just could not get enough. But then the Teacher gently hinted that it was time to choose a host that would die young. I did and the first exploration of an early passing left me wanting more. From that life I went on to the one where at ten I died in a bunker from a poison injected into me by a doctor; and then to another one in which I drowned in a pool at five. And while all of them offered me exactly what I needed at the time, none stayed with me as long as the first one.
The evening we met that time on the ship was beautiful. Stars were just beginning to appear, the moon was pale gray, and the ship’s orchestra was playing my favorite. Mozart. I’ve liked his music ever since I was his lover…oh, so long ago.
“Nice night,”” he said, stopping by my side as I watched the water move underneath the ship.
“Yes,” I said. “Beautiful.”
“You don’t get dizzy looking down like this?” he asked.
“No.” I turned to him. His eyes matched the water.
The iceberg hit the ship that night. I died. He did too. And with us died what we started and the possibility of what could have been. Yet today we are both here, sitting across from each other in a Boston park. I guess we made it over the Atlantic at last.
A dog runs by chasing a tennis ball. The man folds the newspaper, stuffs it into the pocket of his coat, gets up, and before turning to walk away, looks over at me and waves. A soul will always recognize another familiar soul even if it’s in another body and another life—especially if their paths are meant to cross again.
The original appeared here.