A light blue colored the horizon. Not even one small white spot could be found across the sky that day, hundreds of years ago. A soft and gentle breeze blew the summer heat away from the skin. The waves were shallow and barely made any sound when they touched the shores of Bayville, Long Island. It felt just like another day in paradise. But for Levi, that day on the beach wouldn’t be like any other.
“How are you feeling, brother? Are you nervous?” Marcel asked.
“Nervous? Of course not,” Levi said struggling to get the knot of his tie right.
“Can’t you see I am freaking out?”
“Well, if you decide to go ahead with this, you might never be able to get out of it. Are you sure you want to do this?” asked Marcel with a straight face.
“You’re joking, right?” Levi replied.
Marcel broke down laughing, unable to keep his act up. “Come here. Let me help you with that. You can’t even tie your own tie.”
“Hey!” Jacob said opening the door abruptly.
“Haaa!” Levi jumped back at the scare Jacob had just given him. “Don’t scare me like that, Grandpa!”
“Are you guys ready yet? It’s time,” Jacob said. He turned and left, completely ignoring Levi’s overreaction.
“Okay!” Levi took a deep breath and said, “Let’s do this.”
They had decided to make it a small occasion for family and friends only. They were all gathered in this beautiful house by the beach, where you could hear the waves and smell the ocean. White chairs were placed on the green grass, facing the water, under the refreshing shade of palm trees. The view was astonishing with the sunset. The skies were changing color, from a yellow-brown palette to a vibrant orange-red, when Levi went out and walked through the aisle between the chairs. He greeted everyone present with a smile, moving slowly towards a friendly face waiting for him under the flowering pergola.
“Hi, Grandpa. Thanks for doing this.”
“Hi, son. My pleasure,” Jacob replied.
Suddenly, musicians came out of the house—four violinists, dressed up as if for an opera performance. Coming down through the corridor, they played whilst walking in Levi’s direction. They arrived in front of the gathered guests, placing themselves at the pergola’s sides. They stopped playing for one second. All those present stood up and turned around, fixing their eyes on the entrance of the house. The violins began their music again while the most breathtaking woman walked through the door, provoking sighs and whispers from the audience.
“There she is,” Levi said.
Anne Castle was the most beautiful girl Levi had ever seen. No doubt, the most pretty one in the whole University of Chicago where they first met. She was almost as tall as him. Her hair shone lights of gold each time the sun looked at it. Her lips were intoxicating, and her blue-green eyes were nothing less than hypnotic. Falling in love was inevitable. Two years after moving to Maryland, Levi and Anne decided that they would like to spend the rest of their lives in love with each other.
“Hi, there,” Levi said when Anne finally met him under the pergola.
Anne came closer, and with a kiss on his ear, she whispered, “I love you.”
* * *
“That was the best day of my life,” Levi said with a smile given to him by his memories of that day. He kept turning the pages of their wedding album. “Remember the rusty old Ford Escort we had? The car was falling apart, even had a hole in the floor, remember that? But somehow, I loved it.”
“I do,” Anne confirmed from the white sofa vertically placed beside Levi’s armchair. “We squeezed all our friends into that thing and headed to City Hall for our civil wedding. You drove like a lunatic, almost killed us all, and we still almost didn’t make it on time.”
“Oh yeah. We were never very good at being on time, were we?”
“Running late even for our wedding,” Anne said. Both kept laughing at those memories until tears ran down their faces.
“Those first couple years were a lot of fun,” Levi said. “Remember how we used to make people jealous of how happy we were together?”
“Yes. I felt bad for our friends sometimes. We just couldn’t help it.”
“We had a great time. It just ended too soon,” Levi said, changing the tone in his voice. “The dream became a nightmare very fast.” Levi paused and put the album down on the white coffee table. “After you got sick and left me, life made very little sense without you. Not a single day passed by that I didn’t think of you.”
Anne looked at Levi. They locked eyes for a moment. Then, she picked the album from the table. Anne kept turning the pages in silence for a while until she stopped and took one of the pictures out. “I love this one of you and Jacob. Is he here?”
“Yes. Jacob is outside, with Rachel waiting for you. You are going to stay with them for a while,” Levi said. He moved towards Anne, and sat by her side on the sofa.
“I’m not coming home with you?” Anne asked holding Levi’s hand tightly.
“Would you like that?”
“You are my husband, aren’t you?” Anne said, touching Levi’s face, still amazed by how young he looked.
“Actually…” Levi paused, confronted with the new reality. “No. I’m not.”
“Oh, I see. ‘In sickness and in health, until death do us part,’ right?” Anne asked, retracting her hands of Levi’s face and moving an inch away from him. “Are you married to someone else now?”
“No,” Levi replied while touching the tips of Anne’s long hair. She looked so different from the last time he saw her. Then, all her hair was gone after chemotherapy. But now, her hair was as beautiful as the day he met her for the first time.
Anne smiled, pleased with Levi’s answer. Moving closer to him, she held his hands, looked deep into his eyes, and in her typical sweet way, she asked, “Would you marry me? Again?”
“Do you really want that?” Levi replied, carefully teasing her.
“I don’t know,” Anne said with a haughty yet jocular tone. “Maybe I should consider my options, right? From what you told me it seems that things are a lot more interesting and very much improved here in the future. And, I mean, look at my new me. Who knows what a girl like me might find out there, huh?”
Levi was beyond happy. Being able to laugh with Anne once again was a dream come true for him. “I missed this. You have no idea how much I missed you.”
“And I would love to hear all about it,” Anne said with a grin.
“Come on. Let’s go,” Levi said, standing up and offering his hand to Anne. “Let me introduce you to the future.”
“The future,” Anne gasped. “I was brought back to life in the future! How crazy is that? I want to know all about the technology that made it possible. How does it work? Did my parents pay for this? You couldn’t; I know that much. You were a broke astrophysicist. How could you, right? Right?”
Who are you looking forward to seeing again? Read the rest of the story in the paperback version. Enjoy!