In another universe

Yuko was at the door. At this hour, I knew it could only be her.

“Hi Yuko,” I cracked the door open a little.

“Hi there. I thought I stopped by, cause you know…well, today wasn’t so bad.” Yuko’s cheeks blushed in the cold wind. She was shivering, shaking like a leaf.

“Come in.” I opened the door for her.

She hung her scarf by the door. I hugged Yuko from behind. She smelled like whiskey and salty air. She leaned her body on me, not saying a word.

“Where have you been?” I sniffed her hair and slowly kissed down her neck.

“Just a stroll along the beach,” she tilted her neck towards me, enjoying my advances.

“Did you drink a lot today?” I slowly lead Yuko to the bedroom.

“No, I told you. Today wasn’t a bad day…Uhm…” I bit her ear gently.

I took off her clothes. Her skin, which was already cold as ice, startled with the sudden exposure. Yuko unbuttoned my shirt clumsily. Her hands shook under the influence of alcohol. She kissed me. Her lips were salty and her breath was full of whiskey. I pushed her down the bed. She moaned. We had sex.

I was cold. So cold that I woke up. The other side of the bed was empty. I saw Yuko smoking on the sofa next to the open window.

“What are you doing? Why are you up Yuko?” I asked with a tired voice.

“Shit. Sorry. Did I wake you up? I was trying to be quiet.” Yuko apologized.

“No, it wasn’t you. It was the wind.” All of a sudden, I wasn’t sleepy anymore. I got off the bed to come over to the sofa. I cracked the window open a little wider.

I grabbed the cigarette Yuko was offering me. The fire from the lighter kept flickering. It took me a few tries to light up the cigarette.

“You wouldn’t drink with me, but smoking with me is ok.” Yuko smirked.

“Cause you are a depressed drunk.” I threw the lighter back on the table.

I took a long draw. Outside the window, from a far, was the pitch black ocean. I couldn’t hear the sound of waves from here, those little groans. But I knew they were there. The whole ocean was just there, massive, pitch black and ready to swallow anyone who happened to fall into it. It looked like a silent merciless monster lurking in the night. How could people look at that darkness and not afraid that it would get them one day?

“Have you ever heard of parallel universes?” Yuko asked. Her eyes were still staring out the window.

“Tell me about them Yuko.” I stubbed out the cigarette and lighted myself a new one.

“In another universe, just like the one we are living in, but not actually the one we are living in, there are other versions of us. They are essentially us. They look like us and probably have the same personalities too. Me, you, John. We all have a copy in a parallel universe.”

“Oh yeah?”

“But they don’t live their lives the same way we do. They make different decisions and that lead to them having different lives from ours.” Yuko stubbed out her cigarette and lighted a new one.

“So me in the parallel universe is probably happily married,” I smirked. I felt a familiar stabbing pain in my chest.

“Probably,” Yuko curled herself up, getting her knees closer to her chest, “that parallel universe John, two months ago, probably didn’t take a shit tons of sleeping pills then laid down next to his wife in bed. He perhaps just drank a cup of peppermint tea before bed. He would toss and turn a little, and then the dreams came. Simple dreams. He would just lay there being a mundane beautiful dreamer.”

I didn’t say anything. I knew it was today two months ago. Last month, Yuko didn’t sleep on that night either. She was afraid of her bed. She came over and cried.

“After all of his dreams were gone, he would wake up. And life went on.” Yuko’s voice got hoarser with every draw she took.

She paused and sighed. She didn’t cry tonight.

His life went on,” Yuko lighted another cigarette.

“So our parallel universe versions were less dumb than us,” I concluded.

“Ha” Yuko bursted out a wry laugh. “Yeah, you are right. Look how we treated ourselves like the dumb fucks we are.” She took a long draw. Her chest flatted out as if she used all of her air for that one smoke.

“My John is dead. But there are other Johns out there carrying his existence in another universe somewhere. Isn’t that neat?”

Neither of us said anything after that. The cigarette smoke filled the air. Once in a while, a wind lured the smoke out, leaving behind a lingering cold.

It was almost morning. I stood up and grabbed the Jonny Walker from the cupboard. I poured one for her and one for me.

“To being beautiful dreamers and not dead,” I raised my glass with my left hand and held out two sleeping pills on my right.

Yuko hesitated. Then she raised her glass.

“To not being dead,” she grabbed one of the pill from my hand and chucked it down with whiskey.

I also chucked mine. The whiskey flowed down my throat, burning.

This was a reply to a Tuesday prompt on Go Dog Go Cafe. The prompt asked for the use of “beautiful dreamers” in the prose.

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