The Strangest Love of All - Part One of Two
You may be asking why I am putting this story back up so soon.
The reason is simple to answer.
I first wrote this in 1989, and then ten years ago, I did one revision,
but I always felt I could come up with a sequel,
but for ten years it alluded me.
About 8 days ago, I had an explosion in head and started
writing like crazy, per se. Yesterday (meaning Friday night),
I finally—finally finished the sequel!
I feel like a kid all alone in a candy store!
After this initial posting and over the course of the next 15 days,
I will post one chapter a day. They are small,
so they won’t take that long to read.
The entire combined two parts is 11,437 words.
Technically, it is a two-parter;
just the second half is in chapter form.
And … I want to take this space for a minute
to thank everyone who has read my work. Sometimes you comment,
sometimes you don’t, but I feel that I have entertained you
in some small way, and that tells me I am doing my job
as a writer, for without you, there would
be no one to read the words put forth.
For the record: Elyse is pronounced like: E-lease-e
And as I often say, “Thank ye kindly.”
Bobby was sitting on a large rock facing west out onto the blue water of Culver Point. Bobby’s fourteen. He’s also trying to sort out his young life.
Bobby is in love.
Well, he was.
Earlier, while at school, Bobby watched as he spotted Barbara Williams for the millionth time. She walked right past him during lunchtime in the school cafeteria, and never so much as cast him a second glance, yet alone a first one. Bobby had a crush on her all year and had been planning for the right time to tell her; he just didn’t know when, where, or how. The only ones who knew he was in love with her was himself and his mother. And for just because, his mother didn’t count.
But all that went out the window when he saw Barbara sit with Tommy Baxter, star quarterback, all-around hotshot, and good-looking too. Bobby knew it was over in two ways. They held hands. She kissed him on the lips, even!
Bobby wished it could have been him sharing the table with her instead of Tommy, holding her hand, kissing her back; but Bobby’s private love affair with Barbara was over.
Bobby crossed his arms over his knees, bent his head down and did what any fourteen-year-old would do when his heart’s been crushed for the very first time, and with no one around; he cried.
Elyse was walking through Balstar Grove, one of the many popular valley areas surrounding her city. Elyse is fourteen with a normal teenage problem; she’s coming of age.
So far, not one boy in her category had noticed her. Fourteen is the age of enlightenment and awareness. It is also the age to look for a mate, a partner; someone to love beyond life, other than children of course.
There had been her initial favorite, Bandar, but he had chosen Gengivia instead.
Elyse couldn’t understand what could possibly be wrong with her. She is bright, pretty, well-shaped, and is prepared for a life with another.
None of the boys in her age category wanted anything to do with her; at least that’s how it appeared to her.
Stopping next to a snow tree, Elyse sat near its edge on a soft tuft of summer grass and did what any fourteen-year-old girl in her predicament would do; she bent her head into her hands and cried.
On a day filled with tears and unanswered questions neither could hear; both Bobby and Elyse made a wish.
Bobby wished he would find a girl that would love him for who he is, just plain old Bobby. A bright and funny kid with a big heart.
Elyse wished to find a mate before it became too late in her life. She only wanted someone good that would love her throughout time.
That same afternoon, in two different places, at the same time, thunder and lightning roared their strength and power across the heaven’s, sending crackling bolts of energy streaking across the sky, hell-bent on striking something below, without mercy.
Before either noticed, a once blue sky became suddenly pitch black and ominous.
Mother Nature is coming, and she cares not what you think.
Or does she?
Bobby and Elyse both jumped up at the unexpected rumblings coming from a now darkened ceiling; the roar of lightning striking and thunder bellowing, had snapped both of them out of their sad state of affairs for the moment.
Sporadic light from the lightning did little to ease their panic as they became frightened of being caught in a downpour. Both started running for some form of shelter, their tears and frustrations readily forgotten.
One ran east, the other, west.
The clouds broke open and a heavy deluge came crashing to the ground, rain so thick you could almost cut it with a knife.
As both Bobby and Elyse ran, they could just make out an object that was large and almost the color gray, as strangely enough, the closer they ran toward it, blue skies spread open the dark clouds ahead of them. The object almost seemed to quake or quiver, take your pick.
As they came closer, they could see each other, and when both were in a foot of this strange object, the rain even with blue skies overhead, continued to pelt the ground around them, but the rain never attached itself to Bobby and Elyse.
At first, Bobby thought it must be some sort of tinted glass, but in the middle of nowhere? To Elyse, it took on more of a look of a thin paper shading, but like Bobby; out here?
What seemed forever was only seconds before Bobby spoke first.
“Hi. Where’d you come from?”
“I came from over there,” she pointed. “Balstar Grove. Everyone knows where Balstar Grove is.”
“I don’t. Never heard of the place before.”
“You must be kidding. Balstar Grove is the most well-known place in the world.”
“Okay, whatever you say, but around here, Culver Point is what’s really going on. That’s where I was when all this lightning and junk started. Speaking about that, how come neither of us got soaked?”
“Well, I never heard of Culver Point, so that makes us even I guess. And I don’t know why we aren’t getting wet either, but I, for one, am glad I’m not. Maybe it has something to do with this thing.”
Elyse reached out and touched it, and felt a small tingling warmth run through her fingers. She also felt the object give a little, but not very much when she pressed on it.
“So, what’s your name? I’m Bobby.”
Elyse smiled. He asks a lot of questions which is good. She liked the way he looked, too.
“My name is Elyse. I like the sound of your name. Bobby, have you a mate?”
“Do I have a what! A mate?” Cute girl, but she asks some dopey questions.
“Yes, silly. You know; a friend, a partner, a lover.”
Bobby backed away from the gray object a few feet. Elyse had taken him by surprise with that statement. He had never been approached by a girl this abrupt before (but then again, he was only in love once and never talked to a girl about stuff before).
“I’m sorry, Bobby. Did I say something to offend you? If I did, I’m sorry.”
“Uh, not exactly. It’s just that I never had a girl ask me that before.”
Elyse started walking forward when she again met resistance with the gray object. That was then she remembered what she had learned in class. Could this be true? Would Bobby believe her?
“Hey, you okay?” Bobby asked. He thought she was sort of stupid for trying to walk through this gray whatever it’s called thingy; but what the heck, she’s pretty.
“Hold on a minute and let me see if I can find a way to get around to the other side.”
Bobby started to run to his left when Elyse called out loudly to him.
“Bobby! Don’t! You won’t be able to come over here.”
“Huh? Why not? This thing has to end someplace, doesn’t it?”
“Please try to understand what I’m about to tell you, Bobby. There is a story, practically legend about this; it is called the Shading Stream. Every thousand years, a storm would pass between two worlds, and were two people close by, they would meet and fall in love.”
“What do you mean, pass through worlds? I don’t know about you, but it looks to me like we are on earth, and that’s the only world I know about.”
“I understand. That’s one reason why neither of us recognize where we are both from, and don’t have any recollection of your Culver Point or you, my Balstar Grove.
“I am from Alpha-Earth One. It is a parallel world to yours. Our world has long ago discontinued acts of war, sickness, and disease. No one goes hungry. There are homes for everyone. We have no need for currency as our government provides all our supplies through a ‘Work for Mankind Program’. This way everyone is well taken care of and no one goes hungry. The only thing the government can’t provide, is pairing two people together to unite in preparation for a family. That is still the one thing a male and female have to do on their own. That, and make babies of course.”
When she finally stopped talking, Bobby’s eyes were big around as saucers.
“This is some sort of science-fiction story, right? This is a put on, has to be. I should be dreaming all this but I’m not. This is real. I see you. I hear you, and that makes this even weirder. So this, this stream thing makes people fall in love?”
“Yes. It has been told in our classes when it appears in front of a male and female like us. A new love is born.”
“Now that’s weird, too. Gosh, Elyse, I wonder what it would be like if our government did what yours does. We have a lot of crime, people out of work, and not nearly enough homes to go around for everyone. My dad says too many people have no choice but to live on the streets. Dad says until we get a strong government that’s really ready to take on the hard issues here instead of the rest of the world’s problems; then life can get better. But also said that until then, we are just gonna see harder and harder times.
“But, I’m not allowed, I mean we aren’t allowed to, to … well at least kids my age, to just up and get a girlfriend just to make babies. First off, I’m too young! Second, it’s just not right, and third; my dad would skin me alive! Mom and Dad were like in their twenties when I was born. The twenties is the best time to get married and do that, that … stuff!”
Elyse was a bit surprised and exasperated with what Bobby said. She knew she had to convince him strongly of the power of the Shading Stream.
“Bobby, on my world, if a person is twenty or beyond, and has not yet found a suitable mate, or at least have two children by them; then that persons entire life will have been wasted. It is at my age to age nineteen that mating, and children are to be experienced.
“I like you, Bobby, but the Shading Stream prevents us from touching and doing any of the adult stuff as you put it. I would really love to touch you, kiss you, and have your child, but we cannot touch. If it were only possible.” Her voice trailed off into sadness.
Bobby rolled his eyes around in his sockets.
“You’re darn right we can’t! I told you before, we’re too young for that kind of stuff!”
Bobby watched Elyse as his high-pitched voice caught her off guard, and now it was her turn to back away a few steps.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to get so excited. I mean, you are pretty and all that, but it isn’t right. It just isn’t.”
“Bobby, please listen to me. We haven’t much time left before the Shading Stream will disappear. When it does, we will never see each other again, but we will never forget each other.
“Listen, I know this may sound silly to you, even strange, but walk up to the Stream, and press your lips against it. I will do the same. Even if we cannot touch, at least when our worlds separate, I can say I’ve been kissed by someone I like.”
“Yeah, that was weird, but, ah … oh, okay. I think you’re really pretty too, and it’s a darn shame we can’t be together. I’d like to take you to a movie.”
Elyse cocked her head to the right in a confused manner. “A movie?”
“Yeah, you know, like a date.”
“That I understand. You would make me feel special were you to take me somewhere. But Bobby, we must hurry. There are only moments left before it, and I, are gone!’
Bobby could see she was right. The Shading Stream was beginning to quiver and was shaking harder than before.
He walked up to his side of the Stream as Elyse did on her side. Both pressed their lips against it as if actually kissing. The kiss lasted but mere seconds before Bobby felt a jolting sensation coarse through him. Like a warm chill; and that quickly it was gone.
Elyse had the same reaction. When they stepped back, Elyse knew the legend of the Shading Stream was true.
It held a magical moment for both of them, especially Elyse.
She raised her right hand to wave goodbye. Bobby raised his left. Briefly both hands pressed tightly against the Shading Stream. Tears came to both of them once more, but this time because they truly found love. A very special love.
“I love you, Bobby!”
The Shading Stream began to shake and rumble, wavering left and right, fading with each passing second.
“I love you, Elyse! One day I will find you again, I promise!”
Bobby watched as the Shading Stream quivered even stronger, rattled, and groaned as Elyse’s form began to fade away, then vanish completely.
Where she once stood, where the Shading Stream stood tall, they were no longer there, almost like waking from a dream.
Bobby stood in the middle of the outer fields of Culver Point. He knew he had just experienced the strangest yet most incredible moment of his young life. He also experienced what a unique love between two people feels like for the very first time. It would be a love he would never relinquish.
As far as he was concerned, Tommy Baxter could keep Barbara Wilson. She couldn’t hold a candle to Elyse.
Heading for home at a faster pace than normal, Bobby noticed the rain had stopped and the skies were clear blue again. His clothes were dirty, but he was bone dry.
Bobby had a secret as he whistled all the way home with a smile.
After Bobby came home, his mother could sense he was acting differently from before. She knew he was heartbroken because some girl he liked was dating another boy. She tried to explain he was too young to get serious with girls right now. She also explained that when he became older, things would become much clearer, and that he would understand the older he became.
“Bobby,” she called out while fixing dinner, “you’re acting like you’re in a better mood.”
“Yeah, mom, a lot better. I met this girl today and I like her a whole bunch.”
Here we go again, she thought. So much for the mom-son conversation. At least he’s over what’s-her-name.
“Oh? Pray tell, what girl is this?”
“Elyse. She’s about the prettiest girl on two worlds.”
“Excuse me. Two worlds?”
Bobby told her what happened.
She shook her head listening to him while fixing dinner at the same time. What an imagination. She knew she should say something, but she thought to wait until after his father came home and talk to him first. For now, it was probably best just to let Bobby think he has a girlfriend for the moment.
After Bobby finished his story, his mother said, “Wonderful, honey. Now go upstairs and take a bath and make sure those clothes you have on go in the laundry basket. You have some sort of gray dirt or something on them from God knows where.”
While Bobby was in the bathroom, he looked in the mirror over the sink. All he could see was Elyse’s face.
Just before he took his bath, he giggled.
There was one part of the story he didn’t tell his mom.
Elyse was back at Balstar Grove, sitting on a small knoll in the direction where she had the greatest moment of her life; meeting Bobby.
She clutched at her stomach and cradled the warmth she already felt there. She would raise their child as was fitting. At least she wouldn’t be an old maid. She laughed aloud at the thought.
The legend of the Shading Stream is true, and she is the proof.
When two people meet, accept one another, are both pure and clean, then a new life is created by pressing virgin lips upon the Shade.
She felt it happen, and she knew Bobby did as well. Wow, a thousand years she reflected, and Bobby and I were the chosen ones.
She remembered his last words to her, but she knew she would never see him again. The odds of them coming together were against them. Neither would be alive a thousand years from now. What happened between them was a blessing. To be remembered, yes, but to see each again, sadly, no. Warping from planet to planet cannot be done.
Elyse decided if their child is a boy, she would name him Bobby, after his father. He would grow into the man Bobby would be proud of; she would see to that.
Elyse stood and faced north, heading for home. Once there, she would tell her parents what happened. They would be amazed but extremely happy. They would believe her story. Lies aren’t allowed, and before the year ended, the truth would be alive.
Just as she would keep her love for Bobby alive.
“Perhaps I may see him again. Father says all things are possible. Who is to know what the future brings us.”
Behind her stood a snow tree. As she walked away, she could see the twin suns of Alpha and Eartha One cross over into each other as they always did, as if kissing as she and Bobby had kissed.
Clutching her belly, she hummed a happy tune, smiling all the way home.
That same night, before sleep overtook Bobby, he too smiled.
He had heard his parents discussing things earlier about his tale of meeting Elyse. Mom didn’t win this one. Hi-five’s for dad!
“Just let him act it out for a few days. He’ll be fine. He’s young and still growing. Besides, all boys get a broken heart now and then just like girls do. One day, he’ll be gone from our nest and then it’ll be too quiet around here. Just let him take his time growing up,” his father said.
Whispering in his darkened bedroom, “It’ll be more than a few days, dad, but don’t worry, I’m cool about it.”
Visions of Elyse danced before him.
“One day, I swear to you, Elyse, I will find you again.”
He rolled over on his side, his face facing an open window, and he could see a billion-trillion-gazillion stars, and somewhere, before he drifted off to sleep, to find Elyse in his dreams, he too, knew the legend of the Shading Stream was true.
The one part he didn’t tell when he came home was that he was going to be a father.
The Strangest Love of All – The Sequel - Part One
He studied physics, science, the elements of weather patterns, black holes, different forms of anomalies. He studied dark matter, solar flares. He amassed every book he could find on inter-dimensional space travel. He so wanted this to work.
Countless hours zipped by over the next fifteen years of his life since he met and fell in love with the only girl, now a woman that ever mattered to him. And that woman bore his child. Boy or girl? He had no way of knowing and would never know if his planned idea didn’t work.
He spent the last eight years devising a method to cross over in to a parallel world, but would it actually work? He had done testing, sending various objects through the portal but when he tried to reverse the mechanism, the items such as an apple, a plastic bottle, a cardboard box—never came back. But that proved one thing—it went somewhere, but where?
He was running out of time though. His research project was given one last funding grant for ten-million from private investors in hopes he would … could, devise a way to transport a human being like they did on the show Star Trek. Logic says it can never happen. Science says it is probable. If this actually worked, his investors would be angry at him, but he didn’t care. He was defrauding them, but if this worked, he would never be arrested. His primary goal was to unite with the only woman he ever loved. Elyse.
When he first graduated from college, he went to work for the Allied Institute. They did various projects of a scientific nature for the space program. In his second year with them, he found a way where astronauts would no longer float in their ships simply by wearing what he called a “shift belt” designed to balance the weightlessness with a normal person’s weight. That not only gave him recognition but a huge raise, a title, and some prestige.
His colleagues called him Robert (no one has called him Bobby since he entered college, with the exception of his parents). It was shortly after that when a few investors offered him money to come up with a way to transport humans from one planet to another to repopulate, providing the planet could sustain human life, such as earth.
But after many long hours studying the density of many of the known and not quite so known planets, he found there wasn’t a planet in our universe that could do that, nor would human life survive without protective gear, and actual breathing air. Most planets hadn’t the compounds, or for that matter any of earth’s properties to reconstruct homes, businesses, cities and so on.
Well there is one. A rocky planet in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to Earth (not counting the Sun). Another possible candidate is Alpha Centauri, Earth’s nearest Sun-like star system 4.37 light-years away. The problem with that; it would take a hundred and thirty-seven-thousand years to get there.
As far as he knew, there was only one place and it wasn’t seen through any powerful telescope on earth.
Elyse’s home world.
Preparing the next test, he grabbed a white mouse and placed it in the teleporter-transporter. Bending down, carefully placing him on the flooring, he said, “Zach, I hope you come back. If you do, you’ll make history come alive.”
Closing the door, he went to the instrument panel and pressed a few buttons and then hit enter.
A few lights brightened in the machine, the white mouse scurried about not knowing where to go, and a whirring sound emanated from within. Thirty seconds later, Zach was gone.
The Strangest Love of All - The Sequel - Part Two
Sitting in front of his bay window, sipping ice water, he looked out onto the San Francisco Bay and admired its beauty. His thoughts would roam, imagining something as beautiful as this ten times greater where Elyse was. Twin suns, twin moons, no wars, no illness, a new world of pure tranquility. He would give anything to be there.
Looking at the timer, he saw it was time to hopefully bring Zach back from wherever he went—hopefully.
Going to his station, he again pressed and flipped a few buttons and switches and pressed enter. That quickly, lights lit up and a whirring sound went into motion. Thirty seconds later it stopped.
Hesitating for a moment, he licked his lips, wiped his hands on his lab coat, and slowly made his way over to the door.
He stopped short by about a foot. His heart started pounding, and any louder and it might have ripped out of his chest.
Zach was there and he was alive!
Opening the door, he reached down to pick him up and to run some tests on him when he spied a folded piece of paper. That was strange. He didn’t put that there.
He then picked up the paper, walked over to another station where Zach’s cage sat and placed him gently inside.
“Zach, old buddy, welcome home. You are going to get a treat for being so brave. I’m going to double the fruit and vegetables I would normally give you for a good month. I just wish you could tell me what you saw.”
Turning away to sit by the bay window again, he open up the folded paper and was astonished by what he saw. Words. And in English!
This is strange. This rat appeared from nowhere. How did it get here. Who sent it. And why? Odd. Just odd. Never seen anything like this before. Is someone out there beyond our time. Maybe I need to report this to the authorities. They are very good at determining things here on Alpha-Earth One. So if you are a bad person, they will find you and fix you, so you won’t be bad anymore. Goodbye.
“Alpha-Earth One? Oh my God … this—this is just too good to be true! That’s where Elyse is!”
The note seemed to have been written from someone young, but he could be wrong about that. But now, he had to make a determination why Zach could come back when all the other objects hadn’t. After Zach had his fill, he would check his heart rate for any noticeable changes, as well as take a blood and saliva sample and run more tests.
But this … this was the break Robert had been hoping for, searching for. He found the portal!
Slowing himself down to steady his heartbeat, he stopped for a moment and thought aloud, “But what if I send myself and I get caught up in a different set of molecule fiber-based anomalies that alter me, or some form of time shift, maybe caught up in another portal—that could kill me?”
He knew to be wary even if the excitement in knowing he found a way to get to Elyse after all these years. He also knew he wouldn’t be any good to her or his son or daughter if he ended up dead trying to get to her.
Walking back over to Zach, he looked down, smiling, and said, “You did it, Zach. Boy, I wish you could talk. But after you finish eating, it’s test time.”
The Strangest Love of All - The Sequel - Part Three
His cell phone rang. He had just finished the last set of tests when he walked over to another table and picked it up. It was his mother.
“Hi, mom. What’s up?”
“Oh, not to terribly much. Your dad and I are going on vacation starting this Saturday, but before we do, we were hoping you could tear yourself away from your work and have dinner with us Friday.”
“Let me check my schedule, mom.”
“You and you schedules. Can’t you for once forget schedules and just come home where we can all be together?”
Friday. Three days away.
“Mom, I’m doing very important work and—,” then it hit him. If he were able to get to Elyse, he would never see his parents again.
“Not to worry. My calendar is free. What time?”
“Seven-thirty. After which, your father and I will be going to Cancun the next day.”
“Okay. I will see you guys Friday night then.”
In all the fervor, the excitement, he forgot about his parents. And just how the hell was he going to explain this to them.
“Hey, mom and dad, remember when I was fourteen and I told you about a girl I met from another world?”
Oh yeah, I can see that not going so well already.
The hard part, besides having them believe him was that he wouldn’t ever see them again.
Walking back to where the lab results sat, he peered over his findings and saw nothing to indicate any differences from the before to the after with Zach’s condition. Pondering over this, he came up with the conclusion that non-human substances may have been picked up and discarded to another location on Alpha-Earth One, hence, not being in the original location for return, couldn’t be brought back. It was the only thing that made sense.
“Child, slow down. Repeat everything again.”
“I told you, a white rat just appeared right in front of me. It was like magic. I wrote a note and put it next to the rat and left. That way I could remember where I saw it. Then I came straight here.”
“Perhaps you may have mistook this rat appearing out of nowhere, instead of its coming from behind someplace hidden.”
“No! I saw what I saw!”
“Calm yourself. I will get one of our police agents to inspect the area and ask that you show him exactly where this happened.”
Turning to a field agent he whispered so the girl wouldn’t hear him, “Go with her, appear to be very serious about the matter. Pretend to take notes and take pictures. That should calm the child down.”
“Yes, Inspector, but we both know she isn’t telling a story or lying.”
“True. But sometimes, children have such a vivid imagination, and imagination has never been outlawed here. It was probably a mouse, since we eradicated rats years ago due to the infection of Koda.”
“True. Koda was terrible. Caused people to go blind, and others to commit suicide. The worst of it was the young ones. They would become paralyzed.”
“Yes, but fortunately, we have the best health care system on Alpha-Earth and were able to fix that.”
“Except for the blindness.”
“Yes, except for the blindness.”
When the girl and the field agent arrived to where the girl left the note, she was confused.
“I know I left it right around here. Honest I did.”
“Child, perhaps a wind blew it in another direction.”
Another direction indeed.
The Strangest Love of All - The Sequel - Part Four
“Dinner was great, mom. I haven’t had a meal like this since…”
“Since you left for college and took that job. Seven years, Bobby. Really, seven years? You should come home more often without me prodding you.”
“Oh, Helen, leave the boy be. He’s a grown man and has a life of his own. Besides, he knows where we live and knows he is always welcome here.”
She stood, clearing away the plates and shook her head. “Men! You always have to be so—so macho about everything.”
Bobby and his father laughed.
“I don’t think it’s that funny at all, Clifford. Mark my words, one day, there will come a time when you will want to see him and then it may be too late.” With that, plates in hand, she turned and went to the kitchen to put the plates in the dishwasher.
“Tell me, Bobby, this project you’re working on, are you making any headway? Getting results?”
“Actually, I am, dad. There is something I have to explain to you and mom. And it isn’t going to be easy, either.”
“What isn’t going to be easy,” said his mom returning. “You sound as if the end of the world is coming to a halt or something.” She sat down at the table, picked up her coffee and took a sip. “So what is this dire secret you are going to share with us?”
And that was where Bobby brought back the meeting with Elyse fourteen years ago.
About that day and how his clothes looked so dirty. How he fell in love. How he was going to be with her. And how they would never see him again.
“This is something I have longed for all this time, and now the chance is finally here. If I don’t do this, I will never be at peace with myself. I hope you two can understand this.”
There was a minute of silence after he finished before his father spoke up.
“Well, hell’s bells and puppy dog tails. If you weren’t my son, I would say you are crazy as hell or on drugs. But you are my son and I have watched you grow up to be smart and honest. Truth be told, and this may sound weird to you Helen, but I believe him.”
“It all sounds like fantasy to me. What with you working on so many secret things you can never tell us about. And now this? So, you would have me believe this Elyse comes from another world and you kissed each other through a piece of glass and bingo-bango, you had a child together? Unless I am missing something here, to have a baby, that requires sex, not a piece of glass.”
“Mom, it’s called a Glass Shading, and according to Elyse, it holds some sort of mystical power even I can’t explain. By Elyse’s words it only appears when two people are destined to be together, and I’m going to follow my destiny.”
Helen started to cry.
“I know, Bobby. Sorry,” she sniffled and wiped away the tears. “It’s—just that if this is true and you go away, I will never see you again or ever see this Elyse or our grandbaby. This is frightening to me. I hope you can understand that.”
“I’m sure he does, Helen. But he’s a man that has to do what’s right in his heart.” Turning to Bobby, he said, “What if it doesn’t work out for you? I don’t mean her, but the getting there? What happens then? Do you try again or give up on the idea?”
“Dad, ah— there is the possibility the atoms in my body would dissolve if caught in a loop continuum.”
“What’s that?” asked his mom.
“It’s like a portal within a portal within a portal. My atoms would be caught up in something sort of like a fan. They would spin out of control, separate and without oxygen, they would simply dissolve. It would be quick, too. I would maybe feel a sudden sharpness of acute pain but in less than a second it would be over.”
“And you are willing to risk your life for a girl you haven’t seen since you were fourteen? That isn’t risky, that’s foolish.”
“Then I’m foolish, mom. I love her, I always have. I never dated going through school because I love her.”
His mother stood away from the table and went to Bobby’s side and gave him a deep hug and a kiss on the cheek. “You know, I often wondered about that. Your father and I had thought that maybe you might have been gay or something.”
Bobby shot a surprised glance at both his parents.
“But, whatever you do, when you get there, you call us to make sure you are okay.”
“I don’t think I’ll be able to do that, mom.”
“Like your dad said, you are a smart man. You’ll figure out something. And if they have Facebook, we can definitely stay in touch.”
This caused all three to break into laughter.
When the night ended and Bobby headed to his car to drive back to his place, Helen had her arm around Clifford’s waist.
“We won’t see him again, will we Cliff?”
She turned her head into his chest and sobbed.
Clifford couldn’t offer any words to ease back her tears.
The Strangest Love Of All - The Sequel - Part Five
Saturday morning saw an overcast day which wasn’t anything new for the Bay area.
Bobby, started making preparations for his soon to be travels. Taking a backpack, he filled it with one change of clothing, pens, notebooks, a digital camera, some historical information in case people on Alpha-Earth One were curious, and—only because of his mom, he put his cell phone inside as well.
Then he walked over to Zach.
“Old buddy, this is where we part company.”
Taking Zach out of his cage, he went outside and walked about thirty feet where a small clump of bushes backgrounded by trees sat.
Kneeling down he said, “I wish I could do more for you Zach, but the best I can do is give you your freedom.”
Releasing his hands, Zach scampered to the ground and stood still for a moment and looked up at Bobby, then turned and ran into the dark caverns of the bushes. Standing, Bobby returned to his lab, grabbed his backpack, put it on, and then set the timer for forty-five seconds before it would activate, giving him plenty of time to get inside the Portal.
With a tingling sensation coursing through him, he entered the Portal and closed the door behind him. Standing there waiting in what he felt was like forever moment, and sweat began to roll down the sides of his face.
The lights overhead started flashing, he could hear the whirring sound in his ears growing louder and louder and then the noise stopped.
He was gone.
The Strangest Love Of All - The Sequel - Part Six
Elyse and Bobby Junior, were at a free concert on the Sanguinelle River Basin. Every weekend, free entertainment was provided. Even the food from the vendors was free. The government pays for such niceties.
Elyse always marveled over how much her son looked like the boy she fell in love with so many years ago. There hadn’t been a day gone by that she didn’t think of and wonder where Bobby’s life took him. She knew she would never see him again, but deep down, in her heart of hearts, she always had that wish of one day….
But it would never happen. She has her son—his son, and for now until her last breath, would be enough to keep her soul filled with more love than imaginable.
“Mother, after the concert is over, can we go to the science museum?”
“Of course we can. But that will be like the fifth time this month. I sometimes think you have such an energetic fantasy over the scientific history harbored there.”
“Well, mother, I have had a thought. What if there were a way we could travel to other places on Alpha-Earth One without the use of our Lunar vehicles? Kind of like, instantly go from one place to another.”
“Bobby, that seems like a good idea, but it is really impossible.”
“Nothing is impossible if you really believe, mother.”
This made Elyse stop and think. Years ago she remembered Bobby’s last words to her.
One day I will find you again.
Looking at her son, she smiled saying, “You just may be right.”
After the concert and a trip to the Science Museum, Elyse started looking at her son, while thinking of her Bobby on Earth. Would Bobby become an important man there? Would he be a leader? A scientist? A builder?
Elyse did this often, trying to picture what would Bobby look like now, and what responsibilities he carries. She thinks for in her eyes, her son has those characteristics.
The father is the son and the son is the father.
The Strangest Love Of All - The Sequel - Part Seven
It was quiet. Perhaps too quiet.
Groggy and with a slight headache, Bobby’s eyes slowly opened, almost afraid, yet excited as to what he would see.
His eyes shifted left to right. To the left were some of the tallest mountain ranges his eyes have ever visited . To his right in the distance he could see a city, perhaps five or six miles away. Because of the distance, he wasn't sure, but the buildings seemed to have a much different look than cities on earth. What lay between him and that city is a river of rushing water. Trees unlike any he has seen before, decorate the landscape around him with their wide limbs and larger than life leaves, though not green but more like a velvety burgundy color.
His next big thing was when he suddenly realized he wasn’t dead and breathing normally. And he knew without a shred of doubt he found Alpha-Earth One, for in the sky, just as blue as it would be on Earth, were the twin suns. This would mean by nightfall; twin moons would arise.
“It’s all here, just the way she described it! I made it! I really, really made it!”
Standing, he walked in no particular direction for a few minutes before he found an asphalt road. Looking in the direction of the city, he took the road and began walking toward its direction. The further he walked, the more the landscape to his left and right changed. Np trees wrere found, only what looked like acres and acres of bluish-yellow grasslands. He saw a metallic flashing sign ahead: NO TREPASSING.
After walking another mile and the city becoming closer, he had a terrible thought cross his mind.
How do I find her? I don’t even know her last name. Where do I start looking? I can’t just walk up to people and ask them if they know her at least not without knowing her last name. What if she isn’t even in this city? She could be in any city on Alpha-Earth One. I mean, it can’t be the only city on the planet.
He suddenly stopped walking and sat down on the side of the road.
“Oh, Elyse … I want to find you so much.”
Laying back, his eyes closed, and fell asleep.
It couldn’t have been more than twenty minutes when he felt his feet being kicked.
“Come alive there, mister.”
Somewhat groggily, Bobby opened his eyes to stare up at a man dressed in what appeared to be a uniform.
“Ah—who are you?”
“I am Officer Bryant, and as for you, who are you and what are you doing on private land.”
“Sorry. I didn’t know this was private.”
“Nonsense. Everyone knows this stretch of land for a hundred miles is private.”
Getting to his feet, finding himself a good six-inches shorter than the officer, looked up slightly saying, “Well, I’m not everyone. I am new here.”
“New are you? Where do you come from? Curtston? Magmaddon? Dustriville? Come on, man, speak up.”
“I’m not from any of those places and if I told you where I was from, you wouldn’t believe me.”
“And why wouldn’t I? No one tells lies here. Do you have your identification?”
Bobby reached for his wallet and pulled out his driver’s license and handed it to Officer Bryant.
Looking it over front and back he said, “Where is this San Francisco CA at? I don’t recall that being from around here or anywhere close by.”
“It’s a city and a state. The CA is for California.”
“Never heard of it before. I think what we need to do is take a ride to headquarters and do a thorough workup on you. Now please, get in the transport.”
That was when Bobby saw it for the first time. This transport was more like a helio-vehicle from the future. It hovered a good foot above the road.
“But I haven’t done anything wrong. I haven’t broken any laws, have I?”
“Of that I cannot say, but once you are back at headquarters we will find out more about you. Now get in and don’t make this worse for yourself. I don’t want to have to restrain you.”
Shrugging his shoulders, he hopped up into the vehicle, and the door on his side lowered from the top silently. Officer Bryant sat in the front, but Bobby couldn’t see a steering wheel.
“This is Officer Bryant, number 61152” he said into thin air, “ I am transporting an unknown back to HQ. Arrival time in 17.34 minutes.”
“Acknowledged 61152.” Another unknown voice. Bobby tried to peer closer to where Bryant sat, but couldn’t make out too much as the meshed screen between him and the front restricted a great deal of his view. But he didn’t think there was any indication of a car radio to be seen.
Within the time he thought that, there was a sensation that pulled Bobby back up against his seat and the vehicle took off at a blinding speed.
The Strangest Love Of All - The Sequel - Part Eight
Bobby sat in a comfortable chair and was afforded what he was told a luxury; a cold glass of water and a sandwich. He took one bite and found the taste fascinating. It was unlike any meat product he tasted before.
A good twenty minutes passed before someone came into the room.
“Hello Robert Addams. My name is Inspector Carlston, and I will be handling this case.”
“Case? It sounds like I am being charged with something.”
“Oh, you aren’t being charged with anything—yet. But I do need to get some information from you as we looked at our records and found nothing on you. Then we did an International Level One, Two and Three tier search, and there is still nothing showing about Robert Addams. So, why don’t you tell me who you are and why you are here so we can clear this matter.”
“I don’t suppose you would believe me if I told you I came from a different earth, would you?”
“No, you’re right. I wouldn’t. Inter-dimensional travel is impossible and has been for millenniums. Please, don’t give me a fantasy, simply tell me the truth.”
“Well, that is the truth. I am a scientist and have been studying the probabilities of crossing from my world into yours. I was able to create a portal, an open doorway to cross over to here. Where is my backpack? I have brought historical records from there to prove what I say is true.”
“One of our teams is looking over all the things you had inside it as we speak. But I do find your tale difficult to believe. Alpha-Earth One is the only known planet in the Quadrant Galaxy to sustain life.”
“Where I come from, we call that the universe.”
“What makes that different from our galaxy?”
“Galaxies come in many sizes. The Milky Way is big, but some galaxies, like our Andromeda Galaxy neighbor, are much larger. The universe is all of the galaxies–billions of them! Our Milky Way Galaxy is one among the billions of galaxies in our universe.
“You see, a galaxy is a huge collection of gas, dust, and billions of stars and their solar systems. A galaxy is held together by gravity. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, also has a supermassive black hole in the middle. There are some scientists who think there could be as many as one hundred billion galaxies in the universe.
“The universe is way bigger than any galaxy. There are more than 2×10^11 galaxies in the observable universe alone. Just like billions of atoms form a matter; just like billions of people are there on my earth, the same way, billions of galaxies there are in a universe.”
“Well, that certainly is a lot to take in. I have never heard of this milky way or andromeda galaxy, but I dare say it is fascinating and …”
The door opened just then. “Inspector, if you have a moment?” It was another what Bobby figured to be, police officer.
“Excuse me Mr. Addams.” Walking out of the room, Bobby could hear voices on the other side of the door. Five minutes passed before Inspector Carlston returned with a folder Bobby recognized.
“This was found in your backpack. After a quick review of the material and with an overview from staff, we found no evidence in these writings to coincide with our history, known or unknown.
“What is this constitution? Who is Washington or Ruseavelt? And what kind of name is Trump? Your writings claim them all to be presidents? Presidents of what? So much to go over and I would really like for you to give me some direct answers without a lot of scientific jargon.”
“Ah, that’s Roosevelt, and they were all United State Presidents elected by the people of said same. The Constitution is a document containing our freedoms and rights as citizens and separated us from a tyrant.”
“Interesting.” It was the only word he said. Three other men came into the room and Inspector Carlson left.
Bobby knew right then and there it would prove to be a long night.
“Authorities today apprehended a male subject wondering around the Domain Lands earlier this afternoon. He is being questioned. His name is currently being withheld, but one of our staffers was able catch a quick likeness on camera. If anyone knows this person, you are to contact your nearest Sub-Precinct Center.”
For a brief moment, Elyse glanced at her Tele-Prompter to take at look at this stranger police detained. It wasn’t a clear image and the face rang no bells for her. Turning away she said, “Bobby, it’s time for bed. Tomorrow, we start on your studies again.”
Bobby came over to her and gave her a big hug. “Good night, mother. I love you.”
“Sleep easy, son. I love you, too.”
It never failed her to have a tear fall away whenever this time of night happened. It was as if watching the boy she fell in love with, who faded from her sight, leave her and she had no choice in the matter. One day, the same would hold true for her son.
The Strangest Love Of All - The Sequel - Part Nine
Bobby had no idea how much time had passed, but the cross-examination was to this point getting monotonous. The same questions over and over.
“Look, I have answered your questions a thousand times, and my answers aren’t going to change.”
“Tell me about this, then.” He slid my cell phone across the table.
“What’s to tell? It’s a phone. You do have phones here, right? You call someone, they answer, you say hello and go from there.”
“Then this isn’t a device that could activate a timer and destroy parts of our city?”
“Oh, heavens, no! It’s not a bomb, for god’s sake. It’s just a phone.”
“We have communicators shaped something like this but without numbers attached. Ours simply fold open and we speak a name to contact who we wish to speak with and are connected.”
“I have another question for you,” said a man named Inspector Brayward. “If you are from this other earth you claim, why did you leave and come here?”
“That requires any even longer explanation.”
“Then explain. No one here is in a rush to go anywhere, least of all you.”
… and that’s when Bobby recounted how he met Elyse.
“Then you do at least know something of our childhood stories told us. The Glass Shading story is told to all young children as a form of a bedtime story. As far back as even my own memory goes, I was six or seven when I first heard of it and that was fifty-two seasons ago.
“So you are telling me this, Elyse, somehow crossed time barriers where you two met, kissed the Glass Shading, and now you are here to find her?”
“That’s exactly what I am saying. I am no criminal. I didn’t come here to blow something up. I came here because I love her. Because she has my child!”
“Settle down, Mr. Addams. To be quite honest with you, I don’t believe you are one who would be involved in any criminal activity, and if you were, we could eliminate that from your brain pattern.
“Let me do this. My colleagues and I will run a search-scan. And although I cannot guarantee any results since you do not have a last name, we can narrow this down by searching the name Elyse. Not an uncommon first name but at least we can narrow our search.
“Meanwhile, you will be detained in one of our housing units for the evening and we shall continue this sometime tomorrow.”
Bobby was then led out of the room, down a hall and then put into another room that didn’t look like a jail cell on earth. It looked more like a studio apartment. As he entered, one of the other officers handed him, his clothes from his backpack.
“The shower is just beyond that curtain. You may want to change afterward. You smell terrible.”