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Fantasy Mystery

My Alternate Self and His Advice

           This is the third time now that I have seen this fellow. He looks a lot like me, and he smiles at me when I look at him. I didn’t have the nerve to go up to talk to him before, but this time I feel that I must. I simply have to do it.

           When I walk up to him, he says to me, “Say, you are certainly a handsome fellow.”

My obvious reply is: “yourself as well.”

           Not so obvious is what he says next.

           “I have wanted us to get together for a while now, as I have a few things I need to tell you, things that will benefit you in the long run.”

           While I was a little suspicious of what he had just said, my curiosity got the better of me.

           “Okay, there is a coffee shop just around the corner. We can go there, swill down some coffee and stuff down a doughnut or two.”

           “Let’s do it.”

           When we get there, I almost forget what I always order there. Fortunately, the server knew.  I really need to hear what he has to say. My life is pretty boring these days, 25 years old, with no wife or girlfriend in sight (although there are two sisters at work that I wouldn’t mind seeing outside of work), and no hobbies but writing stories for contests (never won one yet or even came close) to fill my off work hours.

           “You are probably not going to believe what I am going to say to you at first. You have an imagination, just like I have, and I feel that like me, you like to write stories. So I hope that you can receive my words with your imaginative mind, not the one you use at work.”

           “Well, you are right there on both counts. I love to write as it is the way my mind can take wing, but my mind at work involves balancing figures. Imaginative accountants are not really appreciated in a company like the one that I work for. Say what you have to say.”

           “Well, here it goes. Hold onto your imagination. You are going to need it. I am you in an alternate reality that you have never heard of. Our lives are very, very similar. That’s why I can give you some advice. What do you think?”

           “As I would say at work, ‘that doesn’t add up, or compute’, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to hear what you have to say. Go ahead. I need to ask you how you get here from your alternate reality?”

           “There is a special wind that blows on occasion between our two realities. It is easily identified if you know what to look for. It blows soft at first, and yet there is a kind of howl to it that starts low and then high, then low again. You walk straight into where it is coming from right after the second low howl. Few know about it in your reality and mine.”

           “I knew that you would be skeptical.  But I also know that you would be willing to listen. I will tell you what happened to me. Like you, I am not married, but unlike you, a wedding is in the offing, next week in fact. That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t made a mistake first and learned from it.”

           “There are two young women, sisters, that work where I do as an accountant (just like you do). One Friday afternoon as work was ending, I decided to make my move. One of them I was more interested in than the other one was– not by much, but enough.  Knowing that the two sisters are hardly ever more than a step or two away from each other, I couldn’t ask one of them for a date while shutting the other one down, I needed to have a plan. Fortunately, I had done some thinking on the subject and obtained an object that could solve the problem. It was a two-headed coin. But I didn’t know which one I would show both sides to. I was more attracted to the flashy, bold-speaking one who had what looked looks like she was designed by a Hollywood director, so I thought that she would be the one to see the coin for what it was.”

           “Fortunately, earlier that day, I talked to my buddy Frank at lunch. When I said who my choice would be he shook his head, and told me stories of men he knew who had been briefly been involved with her and couldn’t get away from her fast enough. That convinced me that I should not show both sides of the coin to her. Neither should you.”

           “The sister you have to go for is not the flashy, bold speaking Hollywood-styled one, but the one who is quieter, shyer in her self-presentation. That is the one that I will be marrying soon. The other one was no fit partner for me, and doubtless for you as well. 

           Face each one and mention that you have a coin to flip for the date choice. Do not let the bold one see both sides of it. The quieter one you face and show that it is a two-headed coin, so she will know what to call. Give her first call.”

           He puts his hand into his pocket and pulls out the two-headed coin and hands it to me. Shortly thereafter I hear the wind that he spoke of earlier, he turns away and soon disappears.

           The coming Friday I am ready. Early in the morning I tell the two sisters (separately) that I want to meet them briefly at closing time for a special reason. At lunch, one of my budgeting buddies rushes up to me, and says to me. “I hear you are meeting with the two lovely sisters Marge and Mabel, later. I have a word of warning for you. One of them is not very nice.”

           I reply to him saying “I have already been warned, don’t worry”. He pats me on the back and walks away.

           When we meet up with the sisters after work, I say to them, “I have a proposal [a dangerous word I know]. But first, I have a question. Are either of you married, engaged or in a significant relationship.?

           They both shook their heads as my alternate told me they would. The flashier one put a little more enthusiasm into the gesture than did her sister.

           I turned to the flashy one, and showed her one side of the coin. The other, the quieter one, I showed both sides of the coin and winked at her and she winked back.  Then I asked the two sisters to discuss what their choices would be. I walked out of the room so I wouldn’t overhear what they were saying. I returned when the bold one called out ‘Ready. Come back into the room.”

           I walk briskly back into the room and make a big show of flipping the coin very high. Then, as I catch it and turn it over, I call out in an over-loud voice, “It’s heads”. Then I ask the quiet one first what her call was. Much to my surprise, she says, “tails. I wanted tails” The flashy one smiled at me and said, “Good, I wanted heads right from the beginning.”

I go through the dramatic motions of flipping the coin and of course callout it’s heads.’ The flashy one reaches out and gives me a big hug. The quiet one just smiles and walks away.

           We had a great time that night, Marge and I, and I got the distinct feeling that she is the one for me. I will have to tell my alternate when I see him next, and I feel sure that will be soon, that ‘alternate reality’ does not necessarily mean the same reality. As long as there is choice, there is difference. 

May 01, 2023 17:06

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2 comments

Lily Finch
03:49 May 02, 2023

Cute story John. LF6

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John Steckley
20:08 May 02, 2023

Thanks Lily. It was a hard prompt for me to write a story about.

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