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There is a Dimension, I'm Certain of It

April Coan is an Afro-Latina writer who lives with her wife and way too many dogs. They all chase cats and happily reside under a palm tree in South Florida. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Aphelion, 101 Word Story, and Every Day Fiction. Through gaps in space and time, she occasionally blogs at ajcoan.wordpress.com.

In the dimension where we never met, I have no regrets. I'm strapped into a transport carrier filled with the world's finest soldiers, and it rattles nervously like a tin can full of nails as we prepare for drop. In this dimension, I feel like a man that has nothing left to lose.
Except my lunch. The change in g-force sends flurries of nausea through my brain making my guts feel like spaghetti, and my legs like orange marmalade. This feeling sends a strong signal to my nervous system that I might throw up. I cradle my stomach and distract my brain by running the plan of our final desperate mission in my head over and over again. There's a thousand and one ways this plan can go wrong, but somehow repeating it in my mind makes me feel calm and in control, and less nauseous.
In this dimension, my purpose seems clear. I will probably die tonight. I, Sgt. Chavez, will be another casualty in Earth's desperate attempt to free itself of its invaders. The importance of this mission hangs in the air like a giant blimp. If we win, we will be heroes. If we lose, our planet will be hit with the force of a thousand atomic bombs. I know my chances of surviving tonight are slim. In an odd way, I'm at peace with dying.
Without you, I feel like a dead man already.
In the dimension where the Earth won its final battle, our planet still exists and so do you. Each day I love you more. I love you more than I love anyone, even our own children. Every night we send our kids to sleep with a kiss. Then you kiss my cheek and tell me you love me.
"I love you too, Hema," I say back.
In this dimension we have each other, and every day I feel more like the man I used to be. I know my time in this dimension is short. Radiation poisoning from the war damaged by body in ways that are irreparable. It's an affliction that affects most soldiers.
The doctor gave me about twelve more months. It's a short time, but I've come to terms with it, and I cherish each moment that I have left with you.
In truth, I'm glad I'm the one to go first. I can't imagine my life without you.
Or a universe without you.
In the dimension where I am never born, I am one with the stars. My soul hovers over the many universes of space in its infinite possibilities. In this dimension I have exponential second chances. In this dimension our souls are reunited and entwined.
Can you hear me, Hema? Sometimes, I swear, I can hear you.
In the dimension of my reality I swear I can feel your ghost. I try communicating with you from time to time, but you never respond. I read a book once that said ghosts are just fissures in space and time, and that people can connect to the ones they love through portals into alternate dimensions.
Maybe that's all just bullshit.
Maybe I just want to believe you're still alive somewhere.
Or maybe I'm just going crazy.
There is a dimension, I'm certain of it, where our planet is never attacked. Earth is never destroyed, and you are still alive. In this dimension the human race is still innocent and oblivious to all the threats of space, and the Fermi Paradox is still debated. Wars are fought within the borders of our own innocent planet in this dimension, and human beings still kill themselves for power, resources, and religion. But behind these failures is something I cherish most.
Hema, I wish we could live in this dimension.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, June 12th, 2017
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