Of Past Lives And Deja Vu
There is this phenomenon called déjà vu, which by definition is "the illusion of having previously experienced something despite actually being encountered for the first time." The time span could be day, months, even years. And it happens to everyone of us at least once in our lives. But then again, if it happens so often, to so many people, how do we know it's an illusion?
There is another phenomenon similar to déjà vu, but instead of dealing with the future, it deals with the past. It's called having a past life, remembering moments of yourself in another time, day dreaming of events that happened long ago, memories that aren't yours and yet-
Two people may be perfect strangers in one life, but destined to be best friends in the next. For life and fate are funny things as time is intertwined: your past is your present as well as your future.
The date is July 10th, 2011. The place is none other than the original concrete jungle of New York City, full of different and crazy people.
A young African American man in his twenties, despite the heat, seems calm and collected as he walks down the street. As he walks by the window something—someone—catches his eyes. It's a woman, sitting near this window, frapicuno sitting on the table as she's deeply engrossed in her book. The young man decides to enter the coffee shop, curious as to why this 20-something woman seems so familiar.
The date is uncertain, but the place is all too familiar to the young African boy. He lives in a stone city close to a jungle full of wild and exotic animals. As he enters the market, a girl catches his attention. She's different, someone his age that he doesn't recognize.
Unlike him, who's suited up, she's wearing next to nothing and showing a lot of skin.
Unlike him, who's wearing very little, her body's covered in beautiful cloth in colors he's never seen before.
The first thing he notices is her dark black hair. The second is her fair, dark caramel skin tone. The third, he catches as he approaches her: blue eyes that seem to mimic the ocean's wave.
He's distracted, this young boy. Her hair is darker than his own skin, her skin (from what he can see) the same colors as the dusty ground he walks on, just prettier, her eyes the same blue as the endless sky above.
She seems confused as to why he approaches her, and the man understands that. "Who are you?" The brunette asks warily. He just smiles and says—
"My name is Alanna. And you are?" The girl asks him sweetly. The boy was at first confused as to how she noticed him in the crowd, but now he's just utterly lost that she's speaking his tongue so fluently. He's a little defensive now, but the boy's mother had taught him to never ignore an introduction. He opens his mouth to say—
"Connors, Drake Connors. And you?" The man asks her genuinely. Connors can read the suspicion in her eyes, the mistrust.
"I'm Anna. Rachel Anna." She finally replies.
"Mind if I buy you another drink?" She laughs at his proposal but nods. It's not every day a stranger asks to buy you another drink. And he seemed to look rather trustworthy, despite the suit.
"Usiku! Come on and hurry up!" Night, that's what usiku meant. Alanna had been told that once an outsider was given a new name, they were then officially a part of the community. And after her family living with them for months now, it was only custom.
Though in turn, she had given him an English name: Donatello, or Donnie for short. She rolled her eyes at him as he expertly climbed a giant tree in the middle of the jungle. It wasn't every night your best friend asked you to climb a tree in dress. Despite him constantly wearing rags, he was the most trustworthy person she knows.
A waitress stopped by the table, delivering the younger woman's drink and smiling at the tip she received from Connors. "So what," He started to ask, before he brought his mug to his lips. Once down he continued, "Are you reading?" Rachel looked down at the book at her hand. The title read—
"The Last Lion Song? What's that about?" Alanna questioned her friend, her back against the tree as they both looked out at the starlight horizon from the highest point in the tree. Donnie grinned at this, as it was his favorite story to tell as a child. It was an ancient tale, one he had heard from his grandmother ages ago and still it was one of his favorites!
"I've read this story countless times since I bought it several months ago. It's the characters and how they interact to be honest. It just seems all too nostalgic." Connors nodded, hiding a secret smile behind his mug. Rachel titled her head as she seemed to be inspecting him. Thumbing through her book, she absentmindedly went to the author's picture.
Connors just takes another sip of his coffee as her eyes suddenly went wide. Looking up, Rachel wore a giddy smile.
"I thought you looked familiar! And that name! You're the one who wrote this book! That's why I recognized you."
Rachel is confused as to why Connors suddenly shakes his head, a sad grin on his face. "
That's not why you remember my face. The reason lies within the book, a promise a young boy made to a young girl."
The date of the day it was time for her to say goodbye? He didn't care enough to remember. All he knew is that his closest friend had left to return home. "Donatello" as she had named him, was sitting on his bed, looking out his window. Clutched in his hand was a silver locket, the phrase "Forever my friend," etched into the metal."One day," He whispered, "We'll meet again I'm sure." And so the young boy dreamt of when he would meet his dear Night again.
It was on July 10th, 2011 that Rachel Anna cried a single tear at a memory she hadn't even known she had. It was déjà vu. Before her, on a man who she'd believed to be a perfect stranger, was an ancient locket that had she had only heard stories about. How her ancestor had given it away as a parting gift to a friend sometime around 1442.
She had never fully accepted the idea of past lives, but how else could she explain why she didn't feel threatened by his presence? That she cried every time she read his book? That she wanted to visit Africa, if only once, and had always wanted to name her future son—"Donnie, how are you?" She spoke, her words suddenly not her own and yet….