I remember when we were born together. We were only minutes apart. Brother and sister destined to rule side by side. We married when we were still children as was the tradition for rulers in Egypt. At fourteen I was killed and my sister sold as a slave.
The second time I was born alone, part of me missing and always searching for completion. I found my love at twenty three when she was seventeen. We were bound together as common people were at the time. A year later she died in childbirth. It became a common way for her to die over the next two thousand years. Pushing out a babe that took her lifeblood even as it drew its first breath. As often I was killed in battle. They were violent centuries after all. Disease often took our lives but always within a few years of one another. Few people lived long in those days. When one of us survived the other until old age the younger would find them eventually.
This was our pattern for so long. We did not often recall our lives before except in the moments of our deaths. Sometimes our lives would grow out of balance. I was once born to a noble house in the eleventh century while my love lingered in her old age, a commoner in a dingy woodland hut. I was forty before she died and was born again and into my fifties before she found me. My wife, a political merger, had died two years prior and there was no strangeness to an older man and a young bride. Not when that man was a noble and his wife came from property.
Things became more difficult in the nineteen century. Social convention kept us apart. I was a commoner this time around, a farmer's son who had moved to London to enter service with the emerging middle class. My love was older, wealthy, and married to a member of Parliament. We met on Battersea Bridge in the winter of 1860. She was in a carriage heading north to Hyde Park and I was carrying a sack of potatoes back to my master's home for the cook.
I just caught her eye as she passed. Her face was thin and sad. Her forehead resting the frame and her gaze unfocused on the distance. A little grey had escaped her bonnet and she moved her hand up to push it back when our eyes met. Her's were so grey, pale like polished steel, and I knew that my own were the colour of dirt. Honest earth she would call them in out more intimate moments.
She said nothing of course, not with her husband beside her in his silk hat and dress coat, but I was stunned. It wasn't her beauty, though she took my breath away, but something deeper, a touching of souls that I could not understand until I died.
I had to find out who she was. It defied all reason. Our positions were too far apart but I could not bear the thought of never seeing her again. The roads were so busy that the carriage moved scarcely faster than a walk anyway so I slipped into a steady pace behind it. The chase was easy even with the amount of traffic and I saw them alight at the park and walk to a bandstand.
That gave me time to speak to find their driver and share a cigarette and a few minutes conversation Before we had finished I knew her address and her name, Elisabeth. That was enough for now and I hurried away, her grey eyes locked in my heart.
Deciphering tools: Opinion, Confusion/inconsistency, Possibly incorrect, Incorrect/Remove.
"Everything you can imagine is real." - Pablo Picasso