We all love the Theory Of Multiple Universes.
We loved it when William James coined it. We loved it when Gaby Dunn wrote her heartbreaking multiverse manifesto. We loved it when Kovie Biakolo claimed she’d choose this Universe, above all possible others.
We love the theory of multiple universes because it allows us to believe that all the people we didn’t become, all the roads we didn’t take, all the times we turned left when we should have turned right, didn’t wither and die a senseless death. We like to believe that somewhere out there, there’s a Universe where we get to have made the other choice. The one that might have changed us. Grown us. Made us into bigger, braver people than the ones who we became instead.
These other, hypothetical universes allow us so many leniencies. They are where we can go to unload our hearts and our failures and regrets. In some Universe, these choices are not mine. In some lifetime, I did it all better.
I used to believe that there were so many Universes for you and I.
There was the one where we held it together. The one where we stuck around, worked it out, ironed out our heartbreaks and forgave one another for it all.
There was the one where there was nothing to forgive – where we grew up as slowly as we needed to, never had to turn against each other, didn’t have greater ambitions or wandering eyes or weary, mismatched hopes clasped too tightly to our chests. One where everything happened the way it was supposed to.
There was the one where it was simpler, easier, pure. The one where we wanted the same things, laughed at the same jokes, loved each other’s families as if they were our own. Where my ambitions didn’t push you out of the picture and where your insipid lack of confidence didn’t tear us apart at the seams. In that Universe, we have cats. I seem like more of a cat person in that Universe.
I have driven myself mad over the years, mapping out all of these Universes for you and I. If-only this. What-if-I’d that. Tracing and trailing through our history, there are so many moments where our galaxies split in half. Where our stars realigned and our planets shifted swiftly and we found ourselves on wildly different courses than the ones we should have taken.
But we don’t live in any of those Universes.
We live in this one, the one where we lost each other.
And this has been the hardest Universe to swallow.
Out of all of all possible Universes, we landed in the one that broke us. The one where two halves did not make a whole and every molehill turned into a mountain. This is the Universe where in ten hundred thousand tiny ways, we were wrong for each other. It’s the one where we’re always going to be.
I think that so many lovers get those alternate Universes, where they are happier and freer and more fulfilled by each other’s side. But I like to think we don’t get one. I like to think that no matter which roads we’d taken, which decisions we’d made, which errors of judgment we’d reversed, there isn’t a Universe out there that could possibly have saved us.
I want us to be that single glitch in the matrix. I want it to all be far out of our control.
Because the thing about loving you is that I’d have waded through an infinite number of Universes trying to find the one that’s right for us. The one that would have suited us, strengthened us, let us be the partners we needed to be for each other.
But there are too many galaxies out there. There are too many fractures, too many splinters, too many moments where the roads diverged and the manifestations of our choices split into ten thousand alternate lives. There are enough what-ifs out there for me to get lost in forever, and I don’t want to spend my time chasing our cosmos anymore.
I’m ready to come back to this Universe.
I’m ready to accept that there may not be another Universe out there for us. And maybe that’s okay.
There’s still Universe enough here for me.
And maybe this is the Universe where I learn to not need you anymore.