A Tale As Old As Time
It was the early 1600’s. Galileo Galilei-the Italian astronomer, physicist, and well renowned philosopher, had first discovered the moons of Jupiter through the lenses of his telescope. He whispered softly to himself, “Though my soul may be set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night,” a saying that faintly echoed into a crescendo chanted by poets and all lovers of words alike.
He knew there were other planets beyond ours. Though the ones he discovered were planets with no signs of life-they were their own worlds none the less. I wondered how he would feel if he knew that time travel was possible, the ability to keep on traveling through different eras, living through an infinity loop without ever aging past a 100 years, starting over after each century…
Because in the 1600’s, was when I first met her.
She was beautiful, but not in the traditional sense of looks. What made her beautiful was her kindness. She gave whatever and whenever she could. I could speak otherwise about her family, who were greedy and only thought about protecting their name and riches. They were after all Aristocrats, but she was different…
I was on my way to the local tavern when I noticed a flicker of gold in the corner of my eye. That night, the weather was unforgiving, the storm had bashed the city of England hard with rain and hail. But there she was, dressed in decadent gold threads crafted to fit her body perfectly. It was as if Leonardo Da Vinci hand painted it on her himself. She was running away from an arranged marriage and about to jump to her demise when I grabbed a hold of her hands just in time and pulled her close to me. “You were born with too much fire in your heart to let it burn out so easily.” We loved each other until the day she passed away in my arms.
As much as I wanted, I couldn’t turn back the hands of time. I only moved forward and with every century, I was 17 all over again. In the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald, “I was within and without. Simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” I don’t think he had any idea how much I can relate to this particular writing of his.
I can tell you my favorite era was the 20’s, just before the Great Depression hit. It was a time of great social and economic change for everyone. I can also tell you I’ve been in love plenty of times with attractive women from all social classes and cultures. And although I’ve loved many, they had never measured up to what I had with her. They say time heals all wounds, but when you’ve tasted real love and lost it, you can never become quiet whole again.
World War II had ended in 1945. Germany had finally surrendered itself, with Japan simultaneously doing so as well. The rest of the United States erupted in celebration. I was about to purchase a train ticket until I looked up. I must have had to rub my eyes several times before I realized that what I was seeing, was real. There she was, as clear as day, standing a few feet away from me inside Grand Central Station in Chicago. Could this be?
There were one too many emotions that racing through my mind. My entire body was numb with disbelief and awe. Her hair had changed and she looked different in much more modern clothing, but the aurora she exuded was the same. I took one deep breath to calm myself and walked to where she was standing. I asked her a question that made the most sense given the situation at hand.
“So do you always travel alone, Miss?” Our eyes met. For her, it was the first time looking into a complete stranger’s eyes. But it took me back to that night centuries ago where we first fell in love. I had no idea where I was headed too, I didn’t care honestly. All I knew was that as long as I was with her, anywhere would be fine, my life was complete again. We rode the train together and discussed about everything as if we’ve known each other from another lifetime ago…