Beyond these skies, there are places where we meet again. We take a journey deep into the distances of these night skies, beyond the stars to a time when we were in each other’s arms. Time and place, here and now, there and then, twist around each other and turn into these locations where we can go, far beyond the sky and far beyond the night.
It was Terry who taught me that the past is not a memory, not a history book, not a flickering image on a screen of something captured long ago. I, like everyone else, believed the past was too far out of reach.
‘It might as well be beyond the sky, beyond the stars,’ I said to her when we met again, years after we’d said that tearful goodbye on the station platform.
She nodded, looking sad. We never expected to meet again, although both of us dreamed about it, mused about it. We had gone different ways that day as I rode off into the distance on the train and she stayed behind.
‘I didn’t think this would happen again,’ she said, turning to me. It was warm out on that balcony. Behind the closed doors behind us, the party hummed on. A middle-aged party now, nothing like the frantic loud confusion of the teenage party where we’d met. We were both older now and had other lives.
She looked at me and I looked at her.
Terry turned away, looking out at the sky. ‘It is beyond the sky.’ She smiled that smile again. The smile I thought I’d never see again.
I nodded. ‘Far out of reach.’
‘No,’ she said. ‘The past is there, out there.’ She was silent for a moment. ‘We found it.’
‘You used to read science fiction.’ That smile again. ‘You know about multiple dimensions and all that?’
‘That was a long time ago.’ I remembered her, the physics student, smiling indulgently as I outlined my latest story plot, before she told me why it wouldn’t work.
‘We were wrong.’ She looked down at her glass, half-full of red wine, on the balcony rail.
‘There are many dimensions, we accept that now. There are places out there, beyond the stars, beyond the sky, where you never caught that train.’ When she looked up, I could see a tear in her eye.
I touched her cheek. ‘Maybe, I said. But this is the reality we ended up with. We are stuck with this one.’
She shifted her head and kissed the palm of my hand. She looked up, smiling that smile again. ‘Not necessarily,’ she said. ‘I know how to go beyond the sky, how to get to the life we should’ve had… together. I want to take you there.’
I reached out again and she took my hand in hers. ‘Come on, she said. ‘Let’s go.’
So we did.