I’m not sure what to do as I’m reading my messages. One of my best friends wants to set me up on a blind date but it isn’t so blind for me. I’m living my life a second time. I was a bored housewife, not really even feeling alive anymore when an odd creature came to me and offered to let me start my life over. I didn’t take him seriously, I laughed as I struck the deal, thinking it all some huge joke but nobody ever laughed. The next thing I knew I was a child again. He had sent me back to being seven. I’m not sure why or even if there are real terms to this do over. Maybe he’s just watching me, maybe he lets people restart their lives for kicks and giggles or maybe one day I’ll have to give him my soul or some other weird fairy tail shit for this happening.
In any case this man she wants to introduce me to ends up being my husband but I’m not sure I want that again. I’ve done a lot of things differently this time and I am so much happier for it. Even before marriage I hadn’t been a very happy person. I had just made too many mistakes the first time around so my state back then may of had nothing at all to do with him but I don’t find myself jumping at the chance to meet him again this time and that in itself has me wondering if this is one of my old choices I should make again.
I send back a message telling her I’ll think about it. I need to go out and do some grocery shopping anyway and I really do need to mull things over. I grab my purse, slipping my phone inside, make sure I have my keys and then head out. My husband wasn’t a bad man, in fact he had always been sweet and honest, never losing his temper, even during arguments he just seemed sad rather than angry. There had been times I had wished he would snap at me. I let out a sigh as I climb behind the wheel of my car, start the ignition and pull away from my home. The trip to the store is uneventful as usual, my head too full of my husband, of what I should do, if I should meet him, if I could fall in love with him again knowing what our future held. I find an empty parking space once I’m there, climb out and head inside, grabbing one of the little baskets and start making my way down the isles.
I grab a few snacks, bagels, and then make my way to the meat section. I grab a couple of packages of ground beef then a package of chicken, but when I drop it in the basket, one end of the handle pops loose, making me jump as half of the items I had put in there were dumped on the floor. “Shit.” I mumble under my breath as I set the basket down and start to pick everything up.
“Hey, you alright?” I freeze midway to grabbing the package of bagels. I swallow. That voice. I grab the bagels and stand up straight, my heart giving a little stutter. “Miss?” He’s holding the little can of peanuts I had planned to buy. Thomas, my husband.
“Uh…” I say and he smiles at me.
“I think you dropped these and everything else.”
I snap out of my shock. “Oh, yes, thank you.” I take the peanuts and he bends down to help collect the rest of my things.
“That’s pretty surprising, you didn’t even have anything heavy in there.”
“Y…yeah.” Why was he here? I didn’t understand. I wasn’t supposed to meet him until our date.
“Here, I haven’t put anything in mine yet, you can use it” he offered his basket and my heart stuttered, he really had been a nice guy I remember now more than ever. That time in my life had been so long ago. I had to relieve everything since the time I was seven. Maybe the world wanted me to get back with him or maybe the strange man who had given me this second chance at my life really had liked us as a couple. The theory I honestly hold strongest to is he does this as some sort of tv show for himself. All this time I’ve never seen that man again, he hasn’t asked me for a thing so his only gain from doing this would be just to watch me redo everything and see what choices I change.
Immortals have to entertain themselves somehow I suppose “Miss?” I blush, wondering how long I was off in space thinking “th thank you” I take his basket though I feel bad. I took far more than I gave when we were married. I wasn’t trying to be selfish back then, I just didn’t have much in me to give when he came around. I was just so depressed, absolutely miserable. Sometimes I don’t know how anybody could have loved the person I grew into in my last life. “don’t you have shopping to do too though?”
His smile is warm, gentle even “Not really”
“then why” I started to ask why he was here but a friend of mine saw me “Milena!”
“Heather, hey.” I say as she walks up and gives me a hug.
“Milena?” Thomas says.
“Oh, who is this?” Heather asks.
“Uh…” I stop myself before saying his name. I’m not supposed to know that yet.
“I’m Thomas.” He replied then turned his attention back to me. “So, Milena, you wouldn’t happen to be Angelica’s Milena would you?”
I blushed. “Yeah.”
His laugh causes butterflies to brush my insides. “What are the odds?”
“Odds?” Heather looked confused.
“Oh, uh, well Angelica kind of wanted to set me up on a date…with a Thomas.” I say.
“That’s too weird, I guess you two meeting was meant to be” I blush and I glance over at him, seeing that he is actually blushing too. I find it cute and decide that maybe he is one of the few choices from my last life that I should make again. Agreeing to a date wasn’t agreeing to marry him so it wasn’t like this was a major one. “Yeah” I laugh nervously and say ask him “so, how do you feel about that date now that it isn’t so blind any more?”
“I’m looking forward to it unless meeting me has changed your mind. In fact, I’d rather go someplace I know you’d like so if you still want to…where would you like to go?”
“Yeah…um, do you like seafood? I promise to pay my own way.” Its not my favorite but its his and if I am going to try with him I want to be a little more giving this time. Honestly, some of my pause probably was feeling guilty of putting him through me again even though I’m a far cry from the woman I was. People had always said depression changes people but I never really understood that saying until reliving my life, seeing how different of a person I truly was without my depression. I feel like I almost see confusion in his face but he says “I love sea food and I’d like to pay for both of us if that’s something you’d be comfortable with. I’m kind of old school when it comes to dating”
“alright…um…maybe we should exchange numbers”
“Sure, sounds good.” He pulls out his phone and I rattle off my number. He quickly texted me so I would have his and I immediately save it. “So, um…text me the details?”
“Cool, I’ll see you later then.” He looked so nervous and like he wasn’t sure he wanted to leave, but he did anyway, and I stood there blushing, my heart fluttering in my chest.
“Awe, how cute.” Heather said as she nudge me with her elbow. “When’s the wedding?” She teased.
I felt my face heat even more. “Heather.”
“Come on, he’s pretty hot and that personality.” She winked.
“You better have fun girl.”
Heather walked around with me and we finished up our shopping together, her teasing me the whole time about my hot date. Thomas and I’s first date hadn’t been like that at all, he had been really sweet, a perfect gentlemen and now that I thought about it, he had been nervous and done everything he could to get me to smile.
As soon as I arrive home I message Angelica and tell her everything. She sent back that Thomas had already told and thanked her already. “thanked you?” I send back and she sends “Lol, for setting you two up. Fate seemed to do it anyway but he was still grateful that I had tried. I pried a little and he thinks you’re cute” I swallow, my heart racing. I’m actually excited about all this now and I want to text him but I decide to invest my time on what I’m going to wear for our date. He’s going to take a selfie with me if this plays out similarly. He will say its for his phone contact but in our marriage he told me that he had just wanted to ask for a picture without seeming like a creep since it was the first date.
I grin at that memory, he’s far from a creeper. Just an adorable sweetheart that for whatever reason could have even loved me back when I was incredibly unlovable. I decide on the one Elwyn bought me for my last birthday, mostly for sentimental reasons. Elwyn was part of my depression during the first time I lived my life. We met as little kids in Elementary school and became close friends fast, never any romantic interest, he was like a brother. He had always been a sickly boy and none of us knew until it was too late that his mother not only beat him, he was so sick because she was making him sick. She’d put cleaners, bugs and all other kinds of disgusting things in his food and make him consume it. One day she took it too far and only his death brought the truth to light.
This time I met him sooner and I pushed to get invited over so I could discover what she was doing to him. I know the first time it wasn’t my fault but I had always remembered him and now, one thing I’m grateful I got to right was giving him a life. I have this gift because I got to spare him. His wife has an amazing husband and his kids have a loving father. I’d like to feel like I changed a lot of things for the better by saving him. It helps me be a happier person this time. I’d wear this shirt as part of Thomas meeting the new me
Once I had settled on the pants and shoes I would be wearing and had them all set out, I decided to text him where I wanted to go. His favorite place when we had been dating was a seafood shack that had been built across the street from this really nice park. We could go for a walk there before or after if he wanted. I took a deep breath, not knowing why I was suddenly so nervous, and pressed the little send icon. My heart was thumping loudly in my chest as I waited for him to text me back. He did almost immediately and I could practically hear how happy he is through his text.
We officially set the date for tomorrow evening so I spent what remained of my day thinking about him. I felt bad I hadn’t thought of him much in this life but up until now I hadn’t been sure I’d choose him again. All it took was seeing him again to make me completely realize he was probably the only good choice I had made back then. Now it was a little worrisome to think about the fact there may be a price for this redo I didn’t know about yet. I fell asleep watching tv and thankfully the next day passed quickly so before I knew it I was in my car, driving toward the restaurant.
I was going to blow this date out of the park, at least I hoped so. I saw him standing by his car when I pulled into the parking lot. I was early and I wondered how early he must have gotten here. He wore a huge smile as I pulled into the space beside him and opened my car door for me “Hey Milena”
“Hey Thomas” I say as I get out of my car. He shuts the door and I lock it. My hearts thudding again and I know him well enough to see the signs of how nervous he actually is about this date. “You look beautiful” I smile and he blushes “thank you, lets go inside” I had thought about telling him how handsome he was too but I was a little worried about flirting too much more than I had on our actual first date.
The Chart House was nice and had a beautiful view of the park as well as the river behind it. We’re quickly greeted and given a seat in booth which gives us more privacy. I smile at him and he gives me one back, a mix of happiness and nervousness. “So, how was your day?” He asks.
“Good, same as always.”
“So, is this place okay?”
“Yeah, I actually really like their food. I was surprised you picked it.”
“I wanted to try something different. I usually go for burgers and fries, but this place sounded good.”
“Cool.” We look through our menus and he throws me a couple of suggestions that are more along the lines of what I like. I had forgotten how kind and considerate he is and I once again feel that tinge of regret seeping it. I really had taken him for granted.
The food tasted amazing and we talked all through dinner. It certainly helped that this go around I knew everything he liked so could easily bring up stuff he was interested in. Once we requested the bill I brought up the park “would you like to go over to the park and walk with me? I’m having a really good time so…I’m not really ready for our time together to end” He smiled again “Yeah, I’m enjoying tonight too.” It was so touching to see him this happy. He paid and then we headed over. I took his hand, almost out of habit. I felt like we were already married again though I knew we weren’t. If he followed the same time line as last time I was looking at three years of dating before we were married.
He holds my hand firmly and we happily walk, talking just as we had over dinner. We stayed out until the early hours of the morning, not even realizing it was so late until it was two in the morning “woah, I’m so sorry” he says and I comfort him “I can call out of work tomorrow. It’s okay, it’s more than okay really. This is the best evening out I’ve ever had…I mean it” I suddenly feel like crying and I hope I dont. I’ll just look like a weirdo if I cry and possibly make it so we don’t end up together.
He smiles. “I feel the same.” He rubs the back of his neck, looking nervous and unsure. “I…it’s like I don’t know, I’ve known you for years. It’s weird right? It’s…”
A loud clicking sound captures both of our attention and we turn around, my eyes widening at the gun pointed at us. The man holding it looks crazed, desperate and he demands out money. We’re both so frozen that he points the gun at me. “Give me everything or I shoot her.”
I open my mouth to tell him okay, but Thomas moves, grabbing the man’s arm. I don’t know what to do and I don’t have time to do anything because the gun goes off and Thomas stumbles back, his hand clamped to his throat. The mugger runs and Thomas falls. I scream then as I drop down next to him. This can’t be happening. This isn’t fair. “Thomas, no, please, please.” I press my hand to his throat, his blood warm as it seeps between my fingers.
He smiles up at me, his hand comes up, his fingers brushing my cheek and then it drops away and everything stops. “He really is brave isn’t he?” She looks up, her eyes meeting those of the creature’s.
“You…please you can’t just let him die.”
He cocks his head. “Why not? You didn’t even want him.”
I shake my head. “That’s not true, I’m sorry, but please don’t take him from me. I’ll give you anything. My body, my soul, but please don’t take him. I was selfish with him before, I know that now.”
He looks pleased and if I wasn’t cradling Thomas’s head, I would attack him. “It’s so rare for someone to understand, to realize how important some people are. I have made many deals and few have proved to be as selfless as you. Saving your best friend and now Thomas.” He taps his chin as if contemplating. “Alright, one more chance, but only one. You save him, you keep him.” I nod my head then suddenly find myself standing next to Thomas again.
“…I’ve known you for years, I…”
I only have minutes so I reach for my wallet right there, ready to give it to the mugger. He barely has time to demand our money before I’m shoving it in the mans hand “please just take it” The bastard that murdered Thomas just moments ago runs off and I turn to Thomas “are you okay”
“Lets just get out of here. We need to go to the police and give them a description” We run back to our cars and I cry as we drive to the police station. Seeing him dead destroyed my heart and I realize now more than ever how much I need and love Thomas. I wonder where the creature is right now. It seems he might stay near me since he came upon the scene so fast. I hope next time I see him he allows me to ask questions.
When we arrive at the station Thomas and I describe the man as best we can then they help me cancel all the cards I had in my wallet. I didn’t think police did that sort of thing but maybe we had a particularly caring police force in our town. By the time we walk out it’s almost five am so I ask Thomas “would you come back to my place and sit with me…I don’t want to be alone” I can’t have hhim out of my sight, not after seeing him die.
“Of course, whatever you want.”
I give him directions to my home once we’re back in his car, barely stopping myself from crying again. I’m relieved when we finally pull into the driveway and we get out, him following me, obviously worried about me. I’m exhausted and upset, my heart still twisted at what I had witnessed. It was my fault because I had dared to go back and start over. “Milena?” Thomas’s voice makes my heart quicken and I turn to look at him. He must have seen something in my eyes because he pulled me into him and I feel the tears fill my eyes again. “It’s okay Milena, it’s okay.”
“It’s not, I could have lost you.” Again. I think.
“I’m not going anywhere, I promise.” He pulled back, giving me a a reassuring smile and I kiss him without thinking. He pulls back in surprise and I press my face into his chest.
“I…I’m sorry. I’m just so relieved, sorry.”
“don’t be sorry…you just surprised me”
“I’m just so emotional over what could have happened”
“thankfully you were fast. It was almost like you knew what was going to happen” A small part of me wants to tell him that I did but that was our first date and I want us to be together again. The last thing I need is for Thomas to think I’m crazy so I wont tell him for now but one day I want to. It’ll mean having to tell him that I agreed to reset my life and I hope that doesn’t hurt him too badly but if anybody deserves honesty it’s this wonderful man that’s standing here holding a woman he barely knows.
When he lets me go I’m still embarrassed to look at him but I try to tell myself that he isn’t upset about the kiss. Knowing him it wasn’t only shock. He was probably worried about me doing something I’d regret since I was so upset. He had always been a gentleman and apparently one that was willing to die for me.
“You should call your boss, tell them what happened and get some sleep.”
“I don’t think I can sleep, I’m too scared.”
“Um…well, why don’t we cuddle on the couch or something. You could sleep like that right?”
His nervousness brings a small smile to my lips and I nod. “Yeah, thank you.”
“You never have to thank me.”
I pull back. “I mean it, Thomas, thank you, you’re so sweet and amazing.”
“Well, it’s easy when it’s you.” He looks embarrassed.
I hug myself to him one more time, thankful he’s alive, still unable to get that image out of my head. I know it’ll haunt me the rest of my life, nearly losing him like that. The fact the creature gave me another chance still astounds me and I won’t waste it. I finally pull away from him, grabbing the phone off the cradle and heading to my room to change into something more comfortable.
I text my boss then grab a pair of pajama pants I actually feel cute in and the matching spaghetti strap top. I wish I kept any mens pajama pants but alas I have none and I hate he’ll have to sleep in his date clothes. When I’m back in the living room with him I say “I wont be uncomfortable if you take your shirt off. Are you sure you don’t want to run grab something to sleep in?”
“I’ll be fine, these jeans will be alright, especially if you really don’t mind my shirt being off” I had slept with him shirtless countless times, hell, we had had sex countless times already, he just didn’t know that. He took off his shirt and settled on the couch so i joined him, relaxing into his warmth as he holds me. “Thank you so much Thomas”
“If that mugger hadn’t come it would have been the best date of my life…you don’t have to keep thanking me…I’m happy to be here holding you Milena”
“Even so, thank you for everything.” I snuggle into him, my head resting on his chest. “You’re the best thing that’s happened to me.” I’m so tired I’m rambling, but I don’t care. It’s the truth and I allow myself to drift off, hoping he realizes how much he means to me. I wake with a start around lunch time still in his arms and find myself blushing. I don’t want to move, I just want to savor his closeness, his warmth, to feel him alive there with me. He shifts a little bit, his arms tightening around me for a moment, a little sigh of breath pushing past his lips and then he wakes.
“Milena? You awake?” He asks softly.
“Yeah.” I reply, my heart fluttering in my chest.
“Did you sleep alright?”
“Yeah, thanks to you.”
He chuckles, giving me a squeeze. “I didn’t do much.”
“You did more than you know.”
“You hungry? Is there anything here I can cook?”
“we can order take out. I just want to stay like this” He sleepily smiles “Okay, isn’t there a good chinese place near here?”
“I’ll pay again, I can even get you groceries or something while you’re waiting for new cards”
“Paying for take out would be wonderful but I have cash in my dresser. It’s how I save money. Putitng it in savings through the bank is too tempting because I see it all the time so I take out cash every now and then and put it in a piggy bank. I should have at least six hundred by now. I haven’t touched it in quite awhile.”
“alright…but, I’d be happy to help with anything should you need it” I knew that all too well. Thomas was possibly the most giving man in the universe. Once we knew what we wanted I called the chinese place and ordered our food.
They said it should be about fifteen minutes.” I say as I go and take my spot next to him.
“Want me to hold you some more?” He asks and I smile as I scoot closer, letting him pull me into his arms. “This okay?” I nod as I lean forward and grab the TV controller, switching it on and clicking on Hulu. I don’t really care what we watch, I just want to spend time with him. He runs his fingers through my hair as we watch TV and only stops when I let him know I need to go pick up our food.
“I’ll go get it.” He says, stretching. “Besides your car is still at the restaurant.”
“Well, why don’t we both go, then you can take me to get my car and we can come back here and eat.”
“Sounds good.” He reaches out and tucks my hair behind my ear, causing me to blush. He looks a little embarrassed, but smiles anyway. There’s some much sincerity in his touch, so much genuine affection that it makes my heart dance happily in my chest.
We end up kissing again and the urge to just tear my clothes off rises once more. I want to make love like we used to, better than we used to. I know I can even do that better now, especially for him. I wasn’t very interested in sex in my last life but being with him now I’ve never wanted it more. I still stop, reminding myself it’s too soon. We both soon leave for our cars and grab our food, the first afternoon of hopefully countless we will spend together. I love Thomas, he’s my soulmate and there is nothing in this world that will ever make me leave him again.
~ The End