Note: This short story is copyright protected. Reproducing it in any way is strictly prohibited. Having said the obvious, I hope you’ll enjoy the story. While I didn’t intend it to become lengthy, I decided to write multiple parts for the story, so I can ensure quality (to a certain degree). This first part covers love, which is not what I intended to become the main topic. However, it seemed that this is what this part of the story demanded of me (creativity has a mind of its own, after all). In part 2, the main topic will not be love anymore. However, it will still be about Jane, but it will cover a different incarnation of hers.
JaneWho could’ve ever known? The very guy that had been bullying her for years, now opened up to her and confessed his love. “I know it might be hard to believe, but… I love you, Jane!” “I don’t understand”, she said, “why would you do this to me?” “You wouldn’t notice me… I tried to get your attention any way I could, but you would never talk with me. You talked with other guys, but never with me. I tried being the best in class with everything. I even tried making the best drawings, because I know you love to draw… but since I can’t draw at all, I just couldn’t make anything that was good enough. I tried for 2 years… and finally got desperate. I started teasing you at first, which seemed to work, but still didn’t do the job. So I ended up bullying you.” “That doesn’t make any sense! Leave me alone!” “Jane, please, listen to me!” “I’m not listening to you! For all I know, you could be trying to hurt me right now. I’m not falling for it.” “I need you, Jane…” “Just stay away from me!” “Jane…”, Robbert tried again. “No! I’m not talking to you. Before you bullied me, I was too shy to admit my feelings for you and now after all these years of bullying, you tell me this?! I can’t be with you, Robbert. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but Stan actually is nice to me and I don’t want you to ruin my chances with him. Stay out of my way or I will never speak a word to you ever again, do you understand?” “Jane, you’ve got to…” “I haven’t got to do anything, Robbert”, she interrupted him, “Do you not hear the words coming from my mouth? Leave me alone!” “Jane…” “Leave me alone!”, she shouted so loud that you could’ve heard her shouting from 2 blocks away. Granted, nobody cared much, except for Robbert. After all these years, the bullying had now finally backfired on him and the pain that he had brought upon this girl was now brought upon himself. While you’d expect from a bully to be rather insensitive about others’ feelings, Robbert sucked up the pain that was reflected through Jane’s shout like a sponge. But unlike with a sponge, the acidic fluid could not be wrung out. As Robbert aged, the pain did not lessen. Neither did Jane forget. While both had shown in their previous lives, that they were more or less compatible, they simply weren’t meant in the long run. Neither of them understood why their pain lingered on for most of their lives, but nevertheless, the reason was there. They had once been together and their souls had made a strong connection that could not be undone just like that. While Robbert suffered Korsakoff’s syndrome for the last 20-something years of his life, trapping him in the painful memories he had created. Perhaps it was Karma. Perhaps it was not. God only knows, but even Jane, the sweet soul that she is, would have never wished this upon Robbert. Yet, it had been his own doing and the experience did teach him well not to bully a single soul. While this lesson did not stay with him in the next life as a memory, there would always be this feeling deep inside of him that told him not to bully others. But fate would not allow him a second chance with Jane. He had squandered his chances with her… it seems third time wasn’t quite the charm. He had made too many mistakes with her. And since this time Jane had not forgiven Robbert’s awful mistake, the angel protecting her accepted this as her graduation from a lesson now finally learned. Sometimes you simply shouldn’t forgive one’s actions… at least not to their knowledge. Just a few years before she passed away, Jane had forgiven Robbert. If Robbert had known, he’d have been a bully in the next life, keeping him from learning the lesson he needed to learn. Jane’s angel saw to it that she didn’t meet Robbert in her next life, but she had still be put to the test…
RobbertIn this life Jane would meet a new partner: her soulmate, who would stay with her forever. The only problem was that she was a boy called Robbert now and her soulmate was a girl called Jane. Being a boy in this life, Jane, or rather Robbert, was now faced with a very difficult test: the names made Robbert’s old feelings resurface and he identified Jane, his soulmate, as the bully from his previous life. Nevertheless, Jane never bullied Robbert, but she was shy and didn’t seem to notice Robbert throughout primary school. Since they were soulmates, there was already a connection between them before they even saw each other. And the feeling this connection created within them, could not be suppressed. In reality, Jane had indeed noticed Robbert, but having been bullied by boys in his previous life, was not sure if he could trust a single guy. Naturally, he didn’t recall the bullying through memory, but rather through a feeling that told her not to trust guys. However difficult, Robbert and Jane both managed to fight off their demons and they finally got together in high school. Jane had left a note in Robbert’s locker saying, “I love you, Robbert, but I don’t know if you feel the same. If you do, you’ll know in your heart who I am. If you need time, I understand. I’ll be waiting for you. My heart calls out to you and only you. I hope yours does the same.” Jane’s heart glowed up every time she fantasized of being together with Robbert, but still it had been next to impossible to admit her feelings to a boy. Finally, she could approach him anonymously. It took all the courage she could’ve only built up in all these years and it paid off. Jane had been keeping a close eye on Robbert to see if he would open his locker that day and see her note. Robbert didn’t notice her checking on him, but when he read her note, he knew it was her who was in love with him. He froze for a full minute and thought of how to approach her. He couldn’t simply tell her that he felt the same, could he? After all, what if it was the wrong girl? Even though this feeling made it crystal clear that it was her and that it was true love, which wasn’t so much the case with the Robbert 2 lives ago (that felt more like a friendship of sorts), his brain couldn’t help but create doubt. Just like Jane, he would have to build the courage to approach her and seeing that she had taken the first step, he felt obliged to talk with her about his feelings face to face. Robbert sat on a bench at school for two and a half hours after his final class. Sitting outside, the rain made his clothes soaking wet, but he didn’t care. He’d have to face his feeling and fight his doubt right now or otherwise the rain would continue to wash away all happiness and hope for all eternity. This is what he felt and not a soul would have ever been able to convince him otherwise. Jane was still waiting for Robbert inside, on the other side of the wall. He just had to come; she knew he would. And she was right. Robbert came back inside and entered the auditorium. Was she gone? He wondered… Something in him told him to keep searching for her. He sat down at a table opposite of Jane and thought of places where she might be. If he’d go look for her, she might leave without him knowing. He had to stay close to the exit. Jane stared at him intently. He was there, right there! Why didn’t he come? Hadn’t he seen her? And right when she thought that, he looked up and saw her. She panicked and quickly turned her head to the floor. What if he didn’t feel the same? But Robbert’s heart skipped a beat as well when he noticed that she had been staring at him and he too turned his head away. “Oh geez, what do I do now?”, he thought, “Do I walk up to her and start a conversation? Do I wait? No, I have to do this… I have to.” He kept telling him that over and over, each time with more intensity, until eventually he shouted it out accidentally. “Ugh! Now what? She’s going to think I’m nuts!”, he imagined. But this wasn’t the case. In fact, Jane had heard him and unable to control her excitement, she looked up, straight into his eyes, and smiled. Robbert closed his eyes. “Okay, it’s alright… take a deep breath and just walk to her and start a conversation. Just say ‘hello’. You can do it!” Sure enough, Robbert approached her and sat next to her, but his throat tensed up and he couldn’t utter a sound. “Shit! Not now! Say something! I have to say something!” But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t make a single word come out. It seemed like eternity what were only a few seconds, but finally Jane saved him from what felt like the world falling apart. “Hello”, she said. A simple ‘hello’; surely he could do that! “Hu… uh.. he… hello?”, he spoke carefully. He figured he had truly messed up now, but the girl replied, “Hey, Robbert.” Really? Another ‘hi’? She said that already! This wasn’t going to be easy… “Hi. You’re Jane, right?” “Yes”, she replied. “What keeps you here?” “I’m waiting for someone”, she said and turned her head away. For Robbert this was a sign that it was him she was talking about, but he had to know for sure before he’d confess his feelings. “Would you mind if I sit here with you for a bit?”, Robbert tried. “Yes, of course!” Her face lit up and she wanted to kiss him right then, which she almost did, but she realized that she got caught up in her dreamworld just a tad too fast. “Were you… ?” Robbert stopped his sentence. “Oh my god, he isn’t going to ask about the kiss, is he? He didn’t notice, right?”, Jane thought. He did notice and he was indeed going to ask, but just like her, he was afraid. “Was I… ?”, she asked, trembling. “It looked like you were leaning over for a bit…” Jane shut down entirely. Robbert realized she wouldn’t admit it, so he took Jane’s note out of his pocket and showed it to her. “Can you read this for me?”, he asked and added, “Out loud?” Jane took it and folded it open. “I love you”, was all she could utter; another sign that it was her. “The girl who wrote it, it’s you, isn’t it?” Jane turned her head towards him and didn’t know what to say. She feared rejection, but at the same time she jumped for joy. She rested her eyes on the paper and thought of what to say. “It says that you should know”, she replied cleverly. “What if I do?”, he asked. “Well, I’m sure the girl would like a kiss, right? It seems like she really loves you, so yeah. I guess you should kiss this girl if you know who she is.” “Could you close your eyes?” Robbert hoped for the best. Luckily, she did. He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her closer. “Please don’t be afraid”, he pleaded and kissed her on the cheek. She gasped. “Did you really want to kiss me?” “Yes, I think so”, Robbert replied with a distinct doubt in his voice. “Don’t you think this girl would want a kiss on the lips?”, she asked full of hope. “Well, yes, of course…” “Now you close your eyes.” Next followed a long, passionate kiss. Few can relate to the intense feeling of love they experienced at that exact moment, but boy, was it good! Naturally, this pair would get together in all their next lives as well. But whereas this one would prove to be fairly free of worries, most of their next ones would not be as easy.
©2013 Didier Strijdonk