If you haven’t read part 1 and part 2, I recommend doing so now. Reading them out of sequence will pretty much spoil the story. In addition to which, I think this is my 2nd best short story ever. Gracias por leerlo.
I forgot the honeymoon memories during the second jump, which ensued seconds after I turned to follow Gia to the canals. As my mind was reeling from meeting my wife, finding I could take time-traveling leaps, and trying to make sense of it all, I jumped again, this time sixteen years earlier, to our second date. One second I was reaching for the comfortable softness of Gia’s hand, and the next second found me in a darkened bedroom pounding away at my lovely companion from behind.
It was also explosive, vocal, strange, and exciting. Imagine meeting a woman, finding out you are married, deciding you like her, and two seconds later you are both rutting like screaming animals. As I said, awkward, in the way that having your wildest sexual fantasy come true in front of your great aunt would be awkward – meaning afterward. The actual sex was amazing, ending in a feminine explosion of F-words and Ohmigods in rapid, alternating succession that only added fuel to my fire.
When peace finally returned to the bedroom, Gia was lying on her back, placidly staring up at the ceiling. “That was nice,” she said. This was how I discovered my wife was a master of understatement.
I didn’t answer right away as I couldn’t catch my breath. I nodded instead and lay back on the bed. She arched her back, stretched, and lay her long legs across me. “You don’t seem very uncomfortable being naked around me,” I said.
She raised up just enough to look me in the eye. “Why would I be uncomfortable?”
“Well, we sorta just met.”
“I’m pretty sure that hasn’t happened yet.
She shrugged. “Did happen, will happen, is happening. Don’t get lost in the linguistics. Time bends. Bend with it.”
That didn’t seem completely logical to me, but I didn’t have a better answer, so I let it go. The strangeness of the conversation was exacerbated by a) the fact that all I could see of her in the dark bedroom were the dirty soles of her feet and b) the fact that whereas I was a confused wreck she was acting as if jumping through time happened to everyone. And yes, if you’re wondering, I do feel more comfortable when I’m making lists.
“Do you want kids?” she asked. “I think we should talk about kids.”
“Don’t you think we should date first?”
“Pretty sure fucking counts as a date. Anyway, we were already married when we met.”
“Not sure that’s a reason to jump straight into having kids. I mean, shouldn’t you at least tell me your last name or something?”
She sat up, flipped around, and lay back down in my arms. “You already know my name.” Gia leaned in close as if seeing my face for the first time. “Did you know you’re black?”
Five seconds of silence followed. “Yeah, I knew that,” I finally said. “Didn’t you?” I resisted the urge to check my arm to make sure I actually was.
A cheeky smile took her face. “Yeah, I was just wondering if you remembered. You seem pretty confused.”
“So not funny.”
Her thirty seconds of laughter disagreed. Just when I began to get mad, she kissed me on the cheek. “Relax. We met two years ago. You even know my mom.”
As if her words triggered some switch in my brain, two years’ worth of memories came flooding in, all at once. I remembered meeting her at work. I was a 27-year-old software engineer working in the dreadfully exciting world of cloud computing, and Giovanna Alicia Moreno was a 19-year-old intern working for the summer in the marketing department. Our first (in linear time) meeting was memorable. Gia walked up to me, dressed like a miniature banker, shook my hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Gia. You’re gonna marry me some day.” Then she walked away. I spent the rest of the summer avoiding her, partly because a) I thought she was crazy and b) I was very attracted to her, and c) getting fired for being romantically entangled with a college intern was not part of my career goals. In addition to which d) I’d already been through a succession of meaningless romances and had begun to settle down and focus on my career.