"Oh god, my head..."
I wake up. There is this foul smell that takes over my nose. I realize I'm in something that looks like some sort of mud hut or something. As I get up I just feel like I stepped into yet another dimension...one where technology didn't exist at all. One where everyone lived in squalor.
"He's up..." I hear someone with a dirty doctor's robe say.
A few minutes later, Ronin walks in. He walks in and immediately hugs me. I have to admit that it is good to see him. It's good to feel him as he presses up against me.
"You're up..." he whispers, "I was so scared baby. I thought you were going to die when you fainted the way you did. I thought we were too late."
"One more spell like that it and it will be too late," the doctor states at that moment, "We don't have much time Ronin."
"How much longer?"
"Can you leave me alone with him?"
"You have an hour...at the most before we must begin."
I'm so confused. I'm beyond confused. I don't understand anything that is going on. The doctor with the dirty coat leaves at that moment but I'm not at ease. Ronin stays with me sitting on the cot with me and runs his fingers through my hands at that moment. He's trying to comfort me. Maybe he thinks I'm going to have a panic attack but the weird thing is I don't feel one coming on. It's almost as though Ronin helped cure me of my panic attacks completely.
"I'm OK," I assure him.
"You're not OK," he explains, "You're dying, Rio."
I think of the words and just let them enter me. I can't say that I'm surprised. I can feel it on my body. I can feel it in my bones. I was being rejected by this dimension. I had run my time out completely. I could no longer stay here.
"Where are we?" I ask.
"Taured. The Headquarters of the Blind is here. It's my hometown."
"It's not much to see. Everyone lives in poverty. No one knows how they will find food here to eat the next day. The other governments of the world starve Taured out on purpose to signify what it's like to live in a private world. They want people to know that there is no real way to live decently and privately. You proved that was all a lie though?"
"What do you mean?"
"Oh yeah. You don't know..."
Ontario leaves at that moment. When he comes back he had a tablet in his hand. He hands me the tablet and presses play. Just at that moment, I see the video of my interview with the Eyelids. It's the interview where I told them about my journey between worlds. I'm shocked that this is playing at this moment.
I just stare at it. I see how many views it's gotten. Millions. Millions of people had watched the video.
"I found it in your things," he explains, "I uploaded it to the cloud. You know what they say about the Cloud. Once it's out there, it's out there. There's no deleting it."
I look at the video in shock.
"Why so many views?"
"It's controversial. It's exactly what the Blind wanted."
"So people believe my story?" I ask.
He shrugs, "Most don't. Some say the video is a hoax. Other people say you're crazy. That's not the point. It gets people thinking. It puts that doubt in their heads. Sure you didn't have any proof...but that doubt is what lights the match. The rebellion is just beginning and you are the first chapter. You're going to go down in history in this dimension Ontario. Don't you get that?"
I look at the video. Millions of views on a video. I couldn't have been out that long. Was it really that serious?
"So is this enough for the Blind to help me?"
"Yes. They are going to videotape you passing to another dimension as well. Once they release that video it'll probably cause mass chaos."
"You don't seem excited."
He is saying words that seem like he should be excited but Ronin's tone is off. This is what he wanted. This is what so many other people were hoping for. All of those rebels who died for the cause had wanted this moment to put doubt in the All-Seeing-Eye and they finally had someone giving them that sort of doubt.
"I guess I'm a little bit selfish. I gain a rebellion but I'm losing the love of my life."
There is silence. The feeling of being torn apart from him is enough to make me sick.
"Can we just...exist for a little bit?"
"What do you mean?"
"Just lay here. Just exist around each other, if that makes sense?"
"I'd like nothing more."
He knows just the thing to do. He cuddles up next to me. We don't say a word to one another as we hold one another. It doesn't matter if we are in a dark dusty hut. It feels like when we are together we can travel dimensions. We can be kings on a throne. We can be farmers looking up at the stars in an empty field. No matter where we were...we'd be able to find one another and it was amazing. It was everything that ever mattered to any of us.
We exist together until there is a knock on the door. Ezra walks in at that moment. He gives us a half smile. He looks a little sad for us.
"It's time..." he tells us.
The words hit my ears like poison when I hear them.
"Already?" I ask.
"We gave you guys as much times as we could," he explains, "We don't
think we can risk it any further. It's time now."
I put my finger to my nose. Another nosebleed was starting up. Ezra was right. I didn't have any more time. It was now or never.
"One more second," Ronin states.
"One more," he begs, "Please."
Ezra nods, "One more second."
He closes the door leaving us to ourselves. That's when Ronin gives me a hug. He hugs me so tight and his cheeks press up against my cheek. That's when I feel the wetness start forming on his cheek. It's all I can take knowing that Ronin is crying before I start crying as well. We hold each other and we cry there. I feel so fucking sorry for myself. All my life I had been looking for a love like this and when I finally found that love it was impossible to be with him.
It was only my luck. It was only my fucking luck.
"I'll always be with you," I tell him, "Because we knew each other. Existence is memories. As long as we remember the moments we had together then we'll always be together."
He leans back. Finally, I can see his tear-stained face. He can see mine.
"My soul will find you...someday. Maybe not in this lifetime. Maybe not in the next. But we'll find each other again. I promise you that."
I believed him when he said it and for some reason it makes me smile. It makes me smile knowing that the man I loved would keep his promise to me and we'd be reconnected with each other at some point. I lean in at that moment.
And I give Ronin...one...final kiss.
We walk out to the lab. There are people standing there. The rebellion. They all look at me at that moment. I look at all of them. I look at Ezra and Alice. It's Alice that I notice it as well. I notice she's tearing up. I watch how Ezra grabs her and holds her. They place Ronin on the other side of the room.
"Parallel Hearts usually don't activate but we're putting in all the power we have to make this work," the doctor explains to me, "Are you ready for this?"
I look at Ronin. I look at all the other people who are looking at me. Then I notice the camera. The camera is rolling and it's Ezra who is filming it. It's important that they get this video out there as well.
"Step into the pod," the doctor states.
I step into the pod. I'm shaking. It's not nerves. It's just sadness. It's sadness that I'd never be able to see Ronin again. I know he is still standing on the other side of the room. He's looking at the ground. He's trying to avoid this. It's tearing me apart to see him like this. It's tearing me apart to know that Im bringing Ronin any sort of pain at all.
"He'll be OK," Ezra promises me walking up to the glass, "I'll make sure Ronin is OK. He has a great future. He'll be a leader of the Blind. We'll make sure everyone knows what he has sacrificed today."
I'm assuming the sacrifice Ezra was referring to was love. Ronin had sacrificed love.
"When the other Ontario comes here can you make sure that he gets back to Adrian?" I ask, "I owe him that much."
"I'll make sure of it," Ezra nods.
I smile at Ezra, "Good luck with your rebellion."
"Thank you for helping start our rebellion. We all want to thank you Ontario."
That's when it happens. There is an applause. Everyone in the room is applauding me. They are applauding me. I watch as the doctor takes out the parallel heart. He places it on the device.
"Ready?" the doctor asks.
He begins pressing buttons on the large device. I can feel the pod I'm in light up at that moment. It's already begun. I was already leaving.
That's when I see him. Ronin.
Tears streaming down his face, he can't take it anymore.
"NO!" he's screaming, "NO!"
They try to hold him back as he's running towards me. A part of me wants to rip this pod open my damn self but there was no way out. There was no way to stop the process. Ronin knows it and I know it. Together we smash up against the glass.
For that one moment, we are separated by only glass. Our hands touching the glass, but in a flash, that glass disappears.
And I'm separated from the man I love by dimensions.
I wake up. I'm in my house. My real house. It's nighttime and I'm in bed. I hear the sound of the television going on downstairs. I get out of the bed and start walking downstairs. My knees feel weak. Seeing Ronin, in the way he was, breaks me in a way that I couldn't even describe.
I get down the stairs. That's where I see him. Ezra. He's sitting there in front of the television. He's watching some tv show. He seems surprised to see me.
"You still up?" he asks, "I thought you went to sleep some time ago."
"I'm still up," I tell him.
He must be talking about the tears. My eyes are red. I find myself grabbing a paper towel and running it across my face. My nose wasn't bleeding at least. I was definitely back in my own dimension. I was back where I belonged. It felt...familiar...
"I'll be OK," I respond, "Especially since there are no cameras..."
"Why would there be cameras?" he asks with a smile.
"No reason. Why are you here?" I ask.
Ezra looks over at me.
"This is our house baby."
"You cheated on me..."
Ezra looks confused. Sure it was a while ago but I remembered it like it was yesterday. He cheated on me. That wasn't something you just forget. Sure he cheated with Ronin and sure that was what brought us together in the first place, but it still happened.
"We talked about this a million times already," he states, "I admitted it after you had that short-term memory issue."
"Is that what his excuse was?" I laugh.
"Baby are you OK? You're acting weird again..." he states, "Like last time."
I shake off the thought.
"I'll be fine...somehow I'll make it through."
Thoughts are appearing about what was going on in the parallel dimension. I hadn't destroyed the society. There was no way I could have. I had done what I could though. I had sparked a match like they said. Hopefully, they would be OK. Hopefully, they would find a way to overthrow the All-Seeing-Eye. I had to have faith that everything I had endured happened for a reason.
"Good, you should get some sleep. We got an early flight tomorrow."
"We are going to redo our honeymoon," Ezra states licking his lips, "The right way."
It's the next day. We arrive at the airport. Immediately I'm just thinking about the fact that things are weird between Ezra and I. Ezra still has that Ezra thing about him but it's clear he's attempting to at least try to make it up. It's clear that the other Ontario must have definitely had a good impact on him somehow.
The drive to the airport is awkward, to say the least. At least on my part. Ezra just keeps talking about this and that, but I'm just looking out of the window.
I couldn't get him out of my head.
I couldn't get him out of my fucking brain.
"We should definitely do the skydiving..." he tells me, "Don't you think?"
"Yeah. Yeah sure."
We've arrived at the airport. He's helping me with my bags. Halfway towards the terminal he just stops and stares at me like I have two heads or something. I can tell something is bothering Ezra. I don't blame him. I'm acting weird as hell.
"You haven't listened to a single word I've said, have you?" he asks me.
"Do you believe in soulmates Ezra?" I ask.
He looks at me weird.
"Is that a trick question?" he asks.
"Why would that be a trick question?"
He shrugs, "I don't know. I never thought about it. Maybe we can work on you being my soulmate in Tahiti."
He's dead serious when he says that. He isn't joking. He smiles but he isn't joking. I knew Ezra. I knew he was giving me one of those bullshit lines that he wanted me to hear. Not too long ago I would have eaten it all up, but back then I didn't know what love was. Back then I had no fucking clue.
"You don't have to work on a soulmate," I explain to Ezra, "It's something that either is...or it isn't. And Ezra I'm pretty sure what we have is not that."
He raises an eyebrow. We stop walking completely. Ezra is just looking at me at that moment with the most perplexed look on his face.
"You're having second thoughts..."
"No," I explain to him, "I don't know what I told you yesterday or the day before, but you need to forget that. I'm telling you right now. I'm very certain. I've never been so certain in my life. The thing I'm certain is about is that you and I are not meant to be together. You and I will never be together. I've been on a journey...in myself. I've seen my soul. I watched like a camera. I eavesdropped into my existence. And when I saw my existence I realized...you don't belong there."
Silence. There's utter silence at that moment. He takes a deep breath trying to compose himself. I know he feels embarrassed. Not as embarrassed as I was when he slept with another man and broke our wedding vows though.
"Maybe in Tahiti...maybe during the second honeymoon."
"Won't be no second honeymoon. I'm going to have our marriage annulled," I explain to him, "It was never real. Not to you. And not to me."
"I'm sorry Ezra. Enjoy your trip."
I start walking away but I'm grabbed. Ezra holds me for a minute. I turn around wondering almost immediately how I am going to make this any more clear to him that I'm not interested in pursuing a damn thing with him moving forward.
He isn't trying to plead with me though. Instead, he hands me my boarding pass.
"You should go alone. You deserve it..." he states before silently leaning over, "I've said it before and I've said it again. I don't deserve you and a part of me always knew you could do so much better. Now I guess you see that as well."
Hearing those words validates everything I felt. It closes a chapter in my life that I should have never opened in the first place.
I had let Adrian go and now I was letting Ezra go.
I'm sitting on the plane. God knows what I was planning on doing in Tahiti alone. I didn't know and I didn't care. It would give Ezra enough time to move out of his place and maybe some time to find his own place. It'd give us time apart that we desperately needed.
"Hey I noticed this seat was open," I hear a voice say, "Do you mind? There was just no privacy on the back of the plane."
I laugh at the idea of the question, "Privacy is more important than you could ever know."
"Well, I wouldn't mind sharing just a...little...bit of the company. Maybe you can help me with that."
Was the person flirting? I was so zoned out that I hadn't even looked to see who was talking to me. I finally look up. I stare at the man who asks me.
I just stare. I keep staring.
"Is that a no?" he asks me.
"Yes. Yes god!" I state.
Just at that moment, he sits. His defined face. His beautiful demeanor. It was him. There was no hesitating. It was most definitely Ronin. Our eyes lock on one another. He sits down and offers me a smile.
"I'm Ronin," he says smiling.
He smiles at me, "Nice name. I normally don't introduce myself to people. I'm a bit nervous. Believe it or not, this is my first time flying..."
"And you choose a trip all the way to Tahiti?" I ask him.
He looks at me weird. His smile gets a little bit brighter. It's odd how he looks at me and I enjoy every single second of it. I had never thought that there was a Ronin who really existed in my reality. What were the chances that he was here now sitting next to me on a plane?
"I woke up one day and I just had this urge," he explains, "It's almost as though the Universe was telling me that I needed to be on this plane. On this certain day. I tried to fight it but I couldn't get it out of my head. I know it probably sounds weird as hell, but I don't know. I feel like this is exactly where I need to be. Does that sound weird?"
I shake my head.
"No. It sounds like destiny..."
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