This is the end. His wife is dead, the only person in his life who mattered to him. This was it. He was stuck in the back of a cop car, handcuffed, waiting for it all to end, and staring out the window looking back
Keith Rogers wanted to make her happy. She wanted excitement. Neither of them were good people. She had robbed banks and he was a hit man. Last time he checked theft and murder weren’t on the list of virtues that got you into Heaven. However, he did fall in love. Odd. Two criminals falling in love, isn’t that a funny thing. He remembered her star shaped birth mark on her neck, how she accepted his flaws, how she looked at him, and how he looked at her.
He had saved some money; he wanted to retire. He wanted her to retire. He talked to her and she agreed but on one condition: One more bank, the two of them. He decided he’d go with her on her last heist; however, he didn’t think it would end like this.
They had gone into the bank, everything a success. They had gotten in, held up the tellers and even had the money in hand. Then they showed up.
Three men. All better built and stronger than he. The men wanted that money, but he owed this to her- he wouldn’t back down. The three men asked for the money again and raised their guns this time. Now the sirens had shown up; the police were here. They were in a stand-off: The three new robbers, he and his wife, and the police. Keith and his wife were in the middle. And that’s when it happened.
A bullet tore through the shorter of the three men, causing his gun to go off. The other two, startled, started firing as well. Then the cops did the same. One of the stray bullets hit his wife in the shoulder. He shouted. All the while bullets kill the other robbers. He ran over to her and looked into her eyes. He begged her to stay alive, but she couldn’t. With her last breath she whispered “I love you”. He said it back, but it was too late; she was dead.
“Rogers, time to go” an armed guard said.
He walked to his end. Thinking all of his thoughts. All of his thoughts about her. Her laugh, her smile, the birthmark on her forehead and that look of determination every time she robbed a bank.
It has been said that the walk to your death is the longest walk you will ever take. His seemed too short. He still had a lot to think about, a lot to remember. As he sat down in the chair, he let his final thoughts race through; thoughts of her.
They had pulled the lever, but it wasn’t an instant death as he had thought. The second seemed to last forever. Just as he was about to be electrocuted, a tear ran down his face as he mouthed the word “Sarah”.
Lucy was an orphan. The only thing she desired was to be loved. People wouldn’t adopt her because she had cancer and they would have to cover the medical expenses. Luckily, Old Springs Orphanage could afford the chemotherapy. After her realization that she will probably never be adopted, she had decided to go after a different kind of love: the kind she read in books, the kind of romance.
It was not long after she found this to be just as futile. The boys she knew judged her harshly. How could they find a bald girl with a weird birthmark attractive? She decided she wasn’t worth loving, so she gave up on it. Then he showed up.
Michael was a nice, shy boy. His parents had done terrible things and got put in jail. He had no other family so he was sent here. He always kept to himself. While the other kids were having snowball fights, he sat on his usual bench and watched. Lucy was curious about this guy. She went up and talked to him, asked him why he sat by himself. He answered. She saw it all come out. She saw a boy that had been tortured more than even a man should be. A boy who was abused and neglected, a boy who didn’t feel like he should have friends. They deserved better than him. But countlessly, Lucy saw this boy give more of himself in one situation than most people gave their entire lives. Lucy and Michael became friends.
It was that summer Lucy had become aware of her feelings. She couldn’t imagine a day without him. He was the missing part of her life that she had always longed for. Even though she was only sixteen, she knew this was love. As they swam in the pool she noticed the birthmark on his shoulder and knew, in some way, that they were connected.
How could she tell him though? What if this ruins their friendship? Questions of the sort ran through her mind. Months came and went, but these questions never did. She kept on recalling her failures with the other boys. She didn’t want Michael to leave like all the other boys did, who never talked to her again, who forgot her….
She wanted the thoughts to end! Every time she saw Michael, her insecurities came to life. How could he not see her flaws?! Why would he like her?! Is he just being nice by being friends, does he really just pity her?! Does he pity cancer girl?! She knew it was time to end it; an eternity in hell would be better then another hundred years of this torture!
This was the last time she would ever see snow, she realized as she was tying the last knot. She stared at the frost on the window and wrote two words: GOODBYE MICHAEL. She got on the stool. She thought about Michael; she wanted her last thought to be of him. A good thought. Lucy placed the noose around her neck and plunged to her death.
As this happened, the door opened. Michael stared in shock and dropped the tulip had had picked for Lucy onto the wooden floor. Tonight was the night he would tell her he loved her, but it was too late. He cut her down and held her in his arms all night as he cried.
Michael never married, never fell in love again. He kept the memory of her alive and visited her grave three times a year: Her birthday, Valentine’s Day, and that night he found out that she had loved him as much as he loved her. He had loved her until his untimely death. His broken heart had ultimately killed him when he visited her grave on what would be her twenty-third birthday.
Strauss was a German man who had sided with the Allies during the second world war. At just twenty-six, Strauss had helped many platoons free captured forces at six different internment camps. However, after Normandy, Strauss decided to see if he could have a less dangerous post. His request was granted. Now stationed at a small warehouse as a guard. Once he was done his post each night, he would hit the nearby town.
Strauss went to the bars, went dancing, and walked around the town. Although he was shallow at times, Strauss was a romantic. If he met any women downtown he would show them the time of their lives. One got a romantic dinner by the river, another a dozen roses and an evening under the stars. Evelyn was different.
Evelyn had flowing black hair, teal blue eyes, a beauty mark above her lips, and a cute birthmark on her neck. She was a teacher at the nearby school. The daring and adventurous type who knew all the cool places in the country. She did have one flaw at first; She didn’t like Strauss.
Strauss felt drawn toward her when they first met. He was on his way home from his post, when he saw this woman fall. He tried to help her up, he offered his hand. She just looked at him and got up by herself. He had never seen this look before; one of distrust, absolute loneliness, and despair. He wanted to make sure she never had that look ever again.
He started pursuing her: flowers on her door step, love letters, and romantic invitations. She never accepted, replied, or went. He finally just went to her house and tried to talk to her in person. He knocked and she came to the door. Before he could say a word, she started yelling at him. She knows his types, the ones who pretend to be romantics just to lie with a woman. She told him to leave, to never come around her again, as she slammed the door. Strauss was heartbroken.
A year passed and Strauss had forgotten about Evelyn, he had given up on women after that incident. He had befriended a little American boy, Sam, one of the sons of the other soldiers. Sam’s mother died at birth, so he had to move with his dad to the various military bases. Strauss tried to help Sam’s father out by looking after him while his dad was out. Eventually Sam’s father never came back. He got killed while moving a cargo truck through Poland. Strauss tried his best to be a guardian for Sam. He put the boy into the school, helped him with homework, and even left the military to be there for Sam.
Sam was now entering the seventh grade and to Strauss’s surprise had several new teachers, including one Evelyn Page. Strauss realized he had a second chance. He had a plan.
Sam had to turn in an essay for her writing class. Strauss asked Sam to turn in an extra letter with his essay, Evelyn would surely read it. As she graded papers she noticed something different, one of the essays was written in cursive. She read it:
The night I first saw you fall, I saw an incomprehensible pain in your eyes. I want to be the person who ends that pain, to make sure it never happens again. I have been shallow in my life, I’ve loved for the wrong reasons, this is neither. I have an inherent need to end your suffering, and I feel the only way I can do so is to be the romantic that you undoubtedly distrust. I’m asking for one chance to prove my self. Let me take you out to see the fireworks this weekend. If you like it we can do it again. If not, I will leave you alone. Think about it.
She looked the letter over and two days later, got Sam to tell Strauss that she had agreed.
The night had come. Strauss had treated her to dinner and she seemed to be enjoying herself. Then they went by the river to watch the fireworks. They were truly beautiful. Evelyn looked happy, she looked like she had faith. They entered the river.
Evelyn noticed the birthmark on his chest.
Strauss jokingly said “ I was hurt in a past life”
“Oh Really?” Evelyn said playfully
“ Ha, I don’t know. It’s said that birthmarks are connections to past lives; lives that we’ve lived but don’t remember. Because my birthmark is over my heart, it would be said that my ‘past-self’ had been hurt really badly, lost a loved one maybe. It would explain my insatiable hunger for romanticism. Trying to make up for my past self’s pain.”
“That’s interesting” Evelyn stated.
Strauss continued, “ Your birthmark goes partly around your neck like a crescent moon. Your ‘past self’ may have been strangled, murdered, or executed. Maybe even an accident working on machinery”
“ I think your forgetting that women don’t deal much with machinery, especially forty years ago” Evelyn challenged
“Actually, gender doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I could be a man now, but I could have been a woman in the past two lives I’ve lived. You may be a girl now, a girl in your next life and a man after that. It continuously changes.”
Evelyn started “ that’s an amazingly intriguing idea.” she paused “Strauss, do you believe in soul m-”
Bombs interrupted. The fireworks had turned into Nazi fighters armed with bombs. They got dressed and fled to a nearby shed. The sounds of crashing bombs, launching shells, and aircraft engines filled the air. They knew this was it.
Evelyn said “ Thank you Strauss, for making me believe in romance again. I know its terribly sudden, but if this is it I want you to know something: I love you”
He hugged her as tight as he could and she, him. A bomb crashed into the shed, where the two died in each others arms.
The blacks had gotten rights, the women had just gotten rights, everyone was equal now, right? Wrong. Julia was a normal girl except for the fact that she likes girls. She got treated like absolute crap because of this. Besides the name calling and bullying, she couldn’t stand the fact that nobody could look at her relationships without thinking only about the idea of two girls having sex.
She loved Kristen with all of her heart. Aside from her physical beauty, Kristen complemented Julia well. Both loved the arts, were true romantics, and even had birthmarks that matched up when you put their arms together. Kristen helped bring out traits Julia never knew she had. They loved each other.
However, nobody else seemed to grasp this concept. Their love was an “atrocity”. This is why Julia was glad she met Kristen. Kristen was an poster girl for the gay movement. Julia wanted to help her cause, their cause. She wanted this not only for them but for also Eric and Robert, who were getting treated worse than the lesbians. All four of them had finally worked hard for and gotten their big break. They were scheduled to do speeches in California that will be aired state wide.
When the four of them finally crossed state lines, that’s when the trouble started to happen. They stopped in a hotel but were rejected because they didn’t fit the hotel‘s values. So the four of them decided to camp out in the van. Somehow a person noticed Kristen as the spokes person and started screaming vulgarity. A few others began to join in, throwing rocks and whatever they could find at the van. Robert started the van and started to drive off.
Some of the vandals decided to pursue the van and continue harassing it. The car chase dragged on and eventually six cars were chasing the van. Somebody managed to hit the tire of the van. It crashed.
Everyone inside was thrown around. Eric was badly injured and Robert was holding him reassuring him that everything will be ok. You could tell he was trying to reassure himself more than Eric, he had tears streaming down his face.
Julia and Kristen tried to get the doors open so they all four could escape before the people in the cars try to kill them; however, the doors were broken and wouldn’t open.
One of the vandals started pouring gasoline on the van. The crowd circling the van cheered him on and yelled obscenities at the four unfortunates.
Julia and Kristen, realizing this was their end, tried to focus on each other. As someone lit the gasoline. As the gasoline ignited. They remembered their first kiss together, their first date, everything that mattered to them. They stared into one another’s eyes, hoping to find safety; hoping that the outside world would disappear. And it did
As the van exploded, Julia and Kristen were too lost in each other to notice.
It was 2055 and Avon had seen everything. He saw the end of fuel dependency, the first space colonization, and even the first robots. A lot of it amazed the 79 year old man, but he saw the bad too. The loss of family values, the division of fellow countrymen, and he saw the idea of romance wither away like dust. He had hoped that he would bring that idea back to life; that someone could look at his life and be envious of the love he and his wife had shared. However this could not be the case. Avon had never loved, nor been loved. The terrible romantic, that he was, often scared off the women of his time. They enjoyed the idea of romanticism, but felt safer with their shallower lives that they lead. Avon noticed this and just gave up.
He lived by himself in a gated neighborhood. He never had gotten to know any neighbors until a nice lady moved in next door. She was older, like him, but somehow had the spirit of a 30 year old. She said hi to him as he was getting his mail. He shyly responded back briefly, then returned to his house. A few days later she had knocked on his door. He answered. He let her in and they began to talk. The shy old man soon became open and felt familiar with this woman. As they got to know each other, the man felt like he had already met this woman. They met a few other times and became close.
Eventually, Avon asked why Avila seemed so familiar. She said that they had been in love once before the accident he had. Although he remembered the accident and many events before it, he had forgotten about her. When she first found this out, she got scared and ran away to never see him again until now. She had tried her hardest to forget him, but never could. The thing that struck her when she first saw him at the mailbox, he was still wearing his wedding ring that she gave him. Then she went inside of his house to find that he had some of her old paintings she made for him while she was in art school. It was like his subconscious was trying to tell him that he loved her. After stating this, she emotionally kissed him, tears rolling down her face.
He remembered. He remembered everything. That time where he took her to see the grand canyon and painted together, The time they figured out they had exact same birthmarks over their hearts, The times they took care of each other in pain. He remembered.
Avila had brought him happiness he thought he would never see. They became close and eventually renewed their wedding vows from over 50 years ago. They traveled around the world together, even to the colony on the moon.
Time did slow down for the two. Ten years back together on their way home from Tasmania, they rented a hotel. Just before bed, the two lie in bed staring as newlyweds do, telling I love you to one another. Laying in their arms they go to sleep in happiness as they had done since they had gotten back together. They never woke up, but this was just the beginning.