We are all 13.8 billion years old. In our consciousness, at least. Not in these disposable meat sack bodies. When they first announced that, I’d just gotten off the tube and it was raining and I was hungry and I could fully believe it. I felt 13.8 billion years old. But then I had a bath and a snack and I kind of forgot about it. So what if we’ve had past lives? I don’t remember any of them. Very few people do. And honestly? Out of all of the people who claim they do I reckon 98% of them are absolute horseshit. How many people claim to have been Napoleon in a past life? Cleopatra? Can’t be all of them.
Maybe it was my skepticism that made me a good fit for Patient Zero. Maybe it was the fact that I honestly did not give a shit if their little drug trial killed me. Maybe they just put all of our names in a hat and mine was the one that came out. Whatever it was, I didn’t tell anyone I was going in. Some people were desperate to know which country they’d been a Queen of, which historical hero they’d been. I didn’t need that kind of heat on me.
The pills tasted like crap, but to be honest I’m yet to find one that doesn’t. I blame those gummy vitamins you get as a kid. They trick you into thinking all medicines are going to taste like jelly beans.
They made me sleepy almost instantly. The beep, beep, beep of all of the monitors I was strung up to faded fast. We’d been asked to bring things along that smelt of something that evoked a strong feeling in us, even if we didn’t know why. I brought along a lavender plant because I’ve always hated that smell and I don’t know why, a medium-rare steak, which I felt bad about because I haven’t eaten meat in years, and… it’s why I stole the scented candle from your room. Sorry about that. It was the only thing I could think of that relaxes me.
Anyway, I don’t know what they did with them but I didn’t smell them at all when I was under. The first thing I smelt was grass and it was warm, and I could hear the ocean, which was crazy because I’ve never lived by the sea. It felt like I was waking up, but there was someone in the bed with me. I was definitely in love. I’d never felt it like that before. And then I rolled over and you were there. You looked a little different but it was definitely you.
I only spent a moment in that life but I know that image will be in my mind for the rest of this lifetime.
The life before that we’d burned our bras for women’s suffrage on the cobbled streets of central London as men in horse-drawn carriages hurled things at us.
Before that we were seamstresses and it was cramped and overcrowded. The ceiling leaked and the candles weren’t bright enough to stop the needles from pricking our thumbs. But we stole kisses behind the walls of the factory outhouse.
Next, I was on a ship and it was stormy and I was fairly sure I was going to be thrown to the waves. And you were there. And you held my hand.
You were married to a Lord. And I was your chambermaid. And he gave you jewels and furs. But it was me you gave your heart to.
We lived in stone. And we hunted. Together.
There were times we weren’t human. We weren’t on this planet. We still found our way.
When it was over and I came home and you were mad at me for taking your candle, I couldn’t speak. Sorry it came off weird. You’ve asked why I seem happier now than I did before, why I’m less bothered when your fiance comes round and leaves the toilet seat up. It’s because he no longer annoys me. You might marry him. That’s okay. Even if this is the first lifetime we aren’t together, I know I’ll hold you in the next.
This prompt came from Writingonrosepetals. (thank you!) Check out her blog, she’s a true talent and posts wonderful prompts to get you writing too.