“We meet again.” Zyanya said, “I almost didn’t recognize you.”
“We’ve met before?” Zaman asked.
“About fifty years ago, but you were older then.” She smiled a sly smile. “We’ve been friends for a long time, well I guess we will be friends for a long time.”
“I see…” He looked puzzled. “So I do this again?”
“Many times.” She held up a book. “This is all the places you’ll go and everything you’ll see in all of your travels, you gave it to me the first time we met.”
“Can I see it?”
“No, you told me you cant see it, because you are the one who needs to write it.You’re first trip was a complete success it would seem.” She tossed long dark hair over her shoulder.
“What time did I land in?”
“Yes!” He yelled into the wilderness then disappeared.
She opened the journal and read the next entry, she would have to wait another one hundred and seventy years to see him again. She sighed, it was going to be a long wait, but walking to where he would arrive next would busy some of her time.
She spotted him. “It’s 1896.”
“Hello again.” He smiled brightly he was much older now, nearly the man who had held her in their first meeting.
She had tears in her eyes when she hugged him.
“Where were you in 1676?” He asked excitedly.
She thought back remembering the book he had given her, the love in his eyes, though he was a stranger to her. “I was in the frozen tundra of what is now Canada, on South Twin Island.”
She smiled knowing he was going to give her the book she held close to her chest in her jacket pocket. She touched his white beard.
“I’ve gotten so old, and you are so beautiful.” He muttered.
“Your life is beautiful Zaman.” She kissed his wrinkled cheek. “The stories of where we go in this world are why I love you.”
“How many times have you met me now?”
“This is only the third time. I must say the first time was quite shocking. An old man telling me he’s a time traveler.” She held his hands. Everyone she had ever known was already dead and gone, even people she made friends with thirty years ago were dead. Human life was so fleeting while she endured. They had only met a three times but he was her longest friend. “You told me everything…”
He smiled a sad smile. “I’ll see you again soon.”
He disappeared, he could never stay long. She sighed and flipped through the book to the next entry. The time in between was torture, she didn’t know what age he was going to be only the date and location. She made her way slowly to the next location, she had plenty of time to get there.
“1903” She smiled when she saw him.
“I thought you might need a little company.” Middle aged and charming. “And beautiful as always.”
She hugged him and touched his scruffy salt and pepper beard, hiding her face in his chest. “How long have you loved me?”
“Since the first time I saw you.” He whispered stroking her hair. “You were a guiding angel.”
“What will happen when our times match?” She asked, a question she had not considered until recently.
“We’ve still got another thousand years before that happens.” He said softly. “You’ll have to find me.”
He kissed her deeply then started to disappear.
She waited and met him every time in every place until 2903 when she started looking for him.
It took her fifteen years to find him, he was too young to talk to yet. She saw him grow into a man seething with jealously until he was about to complete his project on time travel. He reappeared and she approached him.
“Hi…” She said awkwardly.
“You… you were just…” He stuttered.
“I know its complicated.” She laughed. “You tried to explain how this all worked, and I really didn’t understand.”
“Are you a time traveler too?”
“No, something else… I don’t even know what I am.”
“Lets get some coffee and talk about all this stuff. I have to write something down really quick.” He ran over to his desk and wrote in an exact duplicate of the notebook she had in her jacket pocket. He grabbed some other paperwork and they left.
Zyanya tried to explain everything she could, a lot of it didn’t make sense. He made trips to both the past and the future over the next few months. She remembered the trips to the past. She told him what she remembered from the visits he had done.
“Do you want to know about the future?” He asked her one night over dinner.
“I know some of it already.” She said, remembering his final trip when he gave her the notebook. “We become friends and lovers?”
“I’ve known you for over a thousand years. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t love you.” She said. “Our first kiss was in 1903”
He laughed. “Well I’ve only known you for about a year, and I would be lying if I told you I didn’t love you. There’s something magical about you?”
“I mean, like you as a person…”
They lived together shortly after that. They got married, and she watched him grow old, while she stayed young. She watched him go on trip after trip to the past and future carefully documenting when and where he was going like he had for all these years.
He was old and gray but she still loved him. She watched him leave on every trip and was terrified it would be his last. Finally the day came. She checked her book for the next date. She would have to wait fifty years before she saw the love of her life again.
The time they had spent together was so sort, sorrow consumed her as she walked to the place he would be.
“Hey…” She said looking at at her young husband.
“Hey…” He smiled. “Its good to know you’ll be waiting for me.”
She ran over and hugged him, kissing him all over.
“I’ll be going far into the future,” He said, “So you will know I’ll be with you as long as I can.”
She smiled, it was the best she could do, there would be a day where even he wasn’t in he life anymore.
“Until next time.” He smiled and winked at her as he disappeared.
The years passed slowly every visit brought her one more closer to when she wouldn’t see him again. She savored every moment she had with him, always going to where he would be.
It was the last entry, after this no more. Her middle aged husband appeared before her. She was crying even before he appeared.
“What’s wrong?” He asked holding her.
“This is the last one…” She sobbed.
He held her close. “Four thousand years is a pretty good run.”
She laughed despite herself. “Lets make this visit one to remember.”
When he started to disappear she couldn’t stop crying. It didn’t matter how long they had been together, losing him hurt worse than anything she had ever felt. She still had an eternity ahead of her. She went to the all the places they had met throughout time remembering every visit. She visited the lab where he had completed his experiments with time travel. She absently rifled though his papers. She found a note addressed to her.
It has been many years since my last visit I am sure. We traveled far and wide. I would like to make sure you know, that you are the most extraordinary woman I have ever met. I love you with all my heart and I hope that you will be able to find happiness.
Your love forever.
She cried as she read the note, she tucked it into the notebook. She would try to find happiness again.