We fought about it on the Titanic, our sixth date.
“You come here often?” I asked. My tone could have sunk the ship. “Bring every flunky here? Wowing him with your defiance of linear time?”
“You’re not a flunky,” she said. “I don’t think you are, anyway.”
She’d seen herself with the other man too. “It’s in my future. I don’t know anything about it.”
Time traveler excuses.
In fact, the order I’d known of our dates wasn’t the order she knew them in. She’d had so much fun on our second date, she’d jumped backward and had our first date. Thinking about our relationship was giving me a headache.
On our seventh date, I broke it off. In the midst of Charlemagne’s coronation, I told her it was over. “I can’t deal with this time travel thing anymore. I need structure, a time line I can comprehend.”
She shot a look at me and brought her finger to her lips.
“You’re a time sailor with a guy in every time-port…errr… period.”
“Wait till after the ceremony,” she whispered out of the side of her mouth.
“No, we’ll do this now,” I shouted. A few courtiers hurried over to hush me but I would have none of it. I slipped their grasp and stepped out in front of Charlemagne as he processed towards his throne. “What are you looking at?” I snarled.
Date eight was a prison break.
Why she came back for me I’ll never know. She took me from the dungeon back to my apartment.
“There is a reason I’m dating you,” she said. “When I come from, time travel is everywhere. There’s no privacy, no mystery about what might happen. People pop ahead to see how things turn out. So I was trying something different.”
“What?” I asked, “Do I become a katrillionaire or galactic president or something? You’re trying to get an in before I’m famous, aren’t you?”
“No,” she said with a somber look. “It’s the opposite.”
“There’s no record of you.”
“I don’t-I don’t understand. My novel didn’t sell?”
“There’s no record. No birth certificate. No death certificate. Nothing. It’s almost as if you didn’t exist. With you, I finally didn’t know what was coming next. I finally had a mystery.”
“So you’re not dating me because I’m a big shot. You’re dating me because in your timeline I’m literally nobody?”
She shook her head and bit her lip in that way I couldn’t resist. “I’m dating you because I like what I see and I get to discover the rest… in time.”
“But, I’m boring.”
“On the contrary,” she said as she leaned in to kiss me, “I have no idea what comes next.”