A man and a woman wake up separately, seemingly alone on a deserted island with no memory of how they came to be there, no memory of their pasts, but drawn to each other… even though they can’t remember why. And things aren’t quite what they seem…
They were both quiet for a while before Rachel spoke again, “Where do you think we are? When do you think we are? I mean, those first memories, of our house. Of your mom being a pest… that definitely wasn’t the same time as the more recent memories.”
“I don’t know,” Charles sounded almost as cynical as he felt, “It’s pretty impossible to argue when we’re both having the exact same kind of dreams… or memories. But still. This is all pretty unbelievable… but I don’t know what else to think. It FEELS real.”
“It feels real to me, too.” She met his eyes, “I mean, there are weirder things that people believe in. Surely we don’t know all there is to know about the world.” She looked out at the still water, lapping against the white sand beach. “I can’t believe we’re still here. I still feel that drive to keep moving. Like there is something else we’re supposed to find or maybe realize?”
“Me, too.” He stood up, offering his hand. “That being said, I suppose we should get with the program. Surely we will have circled the entire island in another day or two. We can’t possibly have that much more area to cover.”
“Then what?” Rachel asked.
“Then…” He squeezed her hand, “Then, I guess that we just find a way to make our home here. I don’t know what else we could do.”
They started walking then, heading for the big rock at the end of the island. Rachel had a feeling that once they got themselves on the other side of it, then things would change. They just had to get there first. She looked down at their feet as they started walking and smiled. There was no hurry right then. As long as they were together, it was all going to be okay.
Charles smiled at her and they headed for the rock. Based on the distance they usually covered, he figured they’d be close to the rock, if not headed around it by the end of the day.
They walked in silence for quite a while. It seemed like the more they walked, the rock just got further away. Still, they enjoyed the time together, as usual. Even in silence, there was a level of comfort, security and just love wrapped around them that made everything okay.
“So, what do you think is happening to us?” Rachel finally broke the silence.
Charles shrugged, “I don’t know, really. I guess maybe we’re just remembering things, but that seems crazy.”
Rachel smiled, “Yeah, you have always been so pragmatic, but I don’t know, doesn’t it seem almost like that is how it should be? We just keep coming back? I mean, surely we can’t figure out everything we’re supposed to know in just one lifetime.”
“I suppose…” he said, but Rachel could tell that he was still doubting the whole idea.
“I mean, how else do you explain this thing…” She pulled him to a stop and took both of his hands in hers. She stood on tiptoe and kissed him. “This thing between us? This isn’t normal. I mean, surely not everyone has this connection, right?”
“Well, we’re different. We were meant to be. You are my other half and I’ve told you that from the moment we met.”
Rachel was thoughtful and quiet for a moment before saying, “Yeah, I believe you have, but the question is, when was that? When did we meet? Was it just in this lifetime? In our home state of Missouri? Where we both went to college and you majored in computers? Was it this life? Living in the good old midwest, USA?”
Charles didn’t respond for a while and they just walked, both of them thinking over the memories or the dreams or whatever it was… the thoughts they’d both had about Charles going off to war. About the soda shop and the wedding that most definitely wasn’t from modern days.
He finally shrugged, “I don’t know and I guess I’m smart enough to know that I don’t have all the answers. I suppose past lives are possible, but why would we suddenly remember that whole thing NOW?”
Rachel answered, “Well, isn’t it obvious? We’re totally and completely away from all distractions. There is nothing to keep our minds from going back to the other time we met.”
Charles pulled her to the edge of the trees, “Let’s sit for a while. I’m feeling really exhausted and I’d really like to just curl up with you for a while and enjoy the feel of you against me.” Rachel smiled and followed him until they found a nice shady spot. She was surprised to see another pool hidden back in the trees, much like the one she’d found on her first day here.
“Oh Charles! You’re a genius! Thank you for stopping when you did. I’ve been dying to sit in some nice cool water out of the sun.” She stripped off the few clothes that she had left. Her practically shredded red dress and panties that were about ready to turn into dust. Jumping in the water with a splash and a squeal, she let herself completely sink under water and ran her fingers through her hair to clean it a bit. She laughed as she came up out of the water and quickly went under again. Charles watched her with a smile on his face. He loved this about her. The way she just had such pure joy over so many things in life. The simplest things were like magic with her.
He wasn’t really paying much attention to anything, just enjoying the sounds of her laughter and splashing, thinking that he’d get in with her here in a minute when she suddenly yelled like she was in trouble. Her free hand was flailing about above the water like she was being pulled under. He jumped up and leaned over, grabbing her hand to help her out of the water.
There was a buzz, a vibration or something like a sensation that was somewhat familiar. He felt his hand close over hers and tried to pull her up. She was still shrieking, and it didn’t sound playful at all. He reached out further, his boots slick on the bank of the pond.
Rachel was trying not to panic. Her clothes were pulling her down and she’d never felt so heavy in all her life. She could swim like a fish, but not when she was tangled and tied up in what felt like a dozen layers of clothing. She screamed again and felt a strong hand grasp hers. She quieted instantly. The warm hum racing through her hand and down her arm feeling completely foreign to her. She felt herself being lifted bodily out of the water, stunned into compliance by the feel of the man’s hand on hers. Suddenly she looked up and squeaked aloud. This was not just a man, but a very VERY handsome man. Her face turned bright red and she felt mortified to her toes that he was going to see her in such a state of disrepair. She yanked her hand back without considering the consequences.
The unexpected jolt caused him to lose his balance and Charles felt himself falling before he splashed into the pond with her. “What in God’s name are you doing?” He yelled, not thinking of anything other than the fact that now his boots were surely ruined and he was going to miss his appointment because of this flighty woman he had just been trying to help.
Rachel was still feeling the panic of being pulled down by her heavy skirts and now she had an angry gentleman in the water with her. This wouldn’t do at all. She screamed out in frustration and started feeling around her clothing, looking for a way to drop some of this fabric so she could get herself out of the murky water before any other madness befell her.
Eventually Charles managed to get himself out of the water. His clothes were thoroughly destroyed. He could feel the seams that had ripped as he pulled himself up on the bank. His hands and clothes were covered in the mud and muck that covered the banks. He took a deep breath and turned to help the little hoyden that was still flailing about in the water and saying things that no lady should be saying.
When they were finally up on the bank, they both sat there in awkward silence. Rachel was panting from the exertion and wondering what she was supposed to do with her sopping wet clothes. ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have been so eager to escape my chaperone’ she thought to herself. She looked at the man beside her and her entire body tingled. It was like nothing she’d ever felt before and she didn’t even have a clue who the man was.
Charles finally took a good look at the woman beside him. She was soaked through and her gown was so muddy, he wasn’t even sure what color it was supposed to be in the first place. Her bonnet was a soggy mess and her hair had come completely undone, straggling about her shoulders looking like seaweed. He smirked as he tried not to laugh.
That was the wrong thing to do, as he watched, Rachel’s face crumpled. “Oh no. Please don’t cry. I didn’t mean to laugh!” He hated it when women cried. He felt absolutely helpless to do anything at even a hint of tears.
“I’m not crying you… you blasted imbecile!” Rachel tried to stand at that point. She had to get away from this gloating, ridiculous gentleman. She managed to get half way up before she fell flat on her backside again. Tears threatened, but she held them back. Barely. She looked over at the gentleman to find that he was having an even harder time controlling his mirth.
“I’m sorry!” He held out his muddy hands as if to calm her. Then he ran a hand through his still somewhat clean blond hair.
Rachel burst out laughing as he pulled his slimy hand away with some sort of straggling pond plant hanging from his hand. The absurdity of the entire situation was too much for both of them and they sat on the banks of the pond laughing so hysterically that it was probably a good thing that no one came along at that point. They would have been carted off for sure!
Their laughter finally died off and Charles looked at the woman next to him, with a look of chagrin, “I think we can skip the formalities at this point.” He wiped his hand as best he could on the grass and held it out to her, “My name is Charles Wentworth,” he said.
She blushed as she realized that she was all alone with this man she didn’t even know, but it seemed bad manners not to introduce herself, “It’s nice to meet you, my name is Rachel Thompson. I…” she looked around, “I’m really not supposed to be out without my chaperone, but I was just so enjoying the weather and she’s so stuffy and boring.”
“I see,” Charles said, finally meeting her eyes. Something flared between them. Something that neither of them knew what to do with. They sat in silence, their eyes locked on each other, the energy around them pulsing with a spark, a vibration that they didn’t recognize, but couldn’t pull away from.