I know this might sound weird, especially on a first date, but hear me out:
I’m from a parallel universe.
Crazy, right? You can see why I waited until dessert to tell you.
No, wait. Sit down. Here comes the waiter with our coffee.
I’m not sure how I got here. I simply woke up one morning and things were different. Subtle things. Things most people wouldn’t even notice.
Take the Berenstein Bears, for instance. Remember those books? They were a children’s series about a family of bears that lived in a tree: Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Brother Bear, Sister Bear. They were written and illustrated by Stan and Jan Berenstein.
Except they’re no longer the Berenstein Bears. Not in this timeline. Nope — now they’re the Bernetstain Bears. “Stain” with an “A.” Go ahead and Google it, if you don’t believe me. Go on Amazon. Dig through your childhood book collection. All references to the “Berenstein” spelling have been erased. As Doc Brown from Back to the Future might say: “Erased from existence.”
(Yeah, Back to the Future existed in my universe. Except there were four movies instead of three, and Gary Busey played Marty McFly. Oh, and the time machine was a Ford Taurus instead of a DeLorean. But other than that, the movies were mostly the same.)
Do you remember the “Berenstein” spelling? If you do, you might be from the same timestream as me. I knew you looked familiar. I must have had my eye on you then. Just like I do now.
Wait, don’t go yet. You haven’t even tasted your coffee.
I’ve noticed other things, too. Bigger things. For example, in this universe, two of the Beatles are apparently dead. Which sucks, because where I came from, they were teaming up with the Rolling Stones for their 50th anniversary world tour. (Yes, the Rolling Stones still existed in my world. I think Keith Richards is alive in every parallel universe. It must be a natural law, like gravity.)
So now that I’m stuck here, I guess I’ll never see the Beatles perform. I even had tickets to their sold-out show in the Soviet Union. I would have liked to have taken you.
Oh, the Soviet Union? Yeah, it still existed in my universe. Except we were no longer engaged in the Cold War, because all war had been banned. The League of Nations finally did something useful.
Apparently, though, war still exists in this universe. That’s a shame, because would peace was amazing. A tad boring, perhaps, but you got to give a little if you want to take. There was nothing exciting to watch on the news, but at least we had the Beatles to keep us entertained.
Are you OK? You look a little worried. Try drinking some coffee. Maybe you’ll feel better.
I think I know what’s upsetting you. You’re afraid I’m going to disappear someday, aren’t you? Like I’ll somehow slip back into my own timesteam, vanishing as quickly as when I arrived.
Don’t worry, babe. I’m not going anywhere. I mean, I know it’s our first date and all, but I feel something with you – something deep. Not even the forces of time could pull me away from you. (I’m glad this universe has Craigslist. Otherwise, we never would have met.)
Tell you what: How about we go to my place? I’ll light some candles, pour some wine. And then maybe we can make love to the new Beatles album.
Hon? Hon? Where you going? You didn’t even finish your coffee.