The evening I proposed to my girlfriend – the most gorgeous, most intelligent, most perfect, most patient, most exciting, most humorous, most lovable person I’ve ever known – turned into a night of revelation.
When I’d spoken, she took my hands and looked into my eyes.
“Before I’ll answer your question, there is something I have to tell you.”
“I’m not from this planet.”
“Yes, I’ve always known: you’re out of this world.”
“I am not kidding.”
“Where are you from, then?”
“Wait – that’s 25 trillion miles away, if I remember correctly.”
“Yes, about that.”
“It must have taken you light years to come here and be with me. And you must be a lot older than me. Like thousands or millions of years.”
“You think I’m joking, don’t you?”
“I don’t know what to say. This comes as a complete surprise.”
“You needed to know that I’m not like you.”
“But you are. Not exactly like me – you’re a woman, and beautiful and great and –”
She shook her lovely head.
“How could I convince you? Wait – I’ll travel to Alpha Cee and come right back.”
Before I could blink an eye, she had disappeared and returned. I wasn’t hallucinating. Her hands had left mine for a fraction of a second, and then their touch was back.
I was getting uneasy, and she could tell.
“How could you possibly be from so far away? At the speed of light, you’d be traveling eons. And there is nothing speedier than light. That’s a fact.”
She smiled enigmatically.
“Not true. There is something we call lyth. It has no speed component because it is immaterial. It’s what we use to travel.”
“Are you trying to tell me you’re immaterial yourself? I know that’s not true, and you know it as well. We’ve touched each other, slept with each other, bumped into each other –”
All of a sudden I sat there by myself. My hands were still hollowed where they’d held hers.
“Sir, are you all right?”
Our waitress had come to the table. I stared at her for a second.
“I’ll have another glass of that Bordeaux. – Say, did you see my companion leave just now?”
“The woman I was with.”
Cora chose that moment to return.
“But isn’t that her?” the waitress said weakly.
Cora said, “I’d like another glass as well.”
“Did that convince you?” she asked when the waitress had left.
“Who and what are you?”
“I am who I am, but I can be anything I want to be.”
“You can? – Then show me. How about … can you be the rose in this vase?”
Again she was gone, but the red of the rose brightened, and its petals moved. They sort of waved at me. And then Cora sat across from me again.
“This is too weird!”
“I knew it would seem strange to you; that’s why I had to tell you.”
The waitress brought our wine.
“Would you marry me anyway?”
“Would you still want me?”
– James Steerforth ( © 2008 )
‘Out of this world’ is Sunday Scribblings‘ inspiration for March 29, and this is what I wrote.