“JOHN!!” John froze when he heard his name. The soft, frighteningly familiar voice made the hair on his neck stand on end.
“Who’s that, dear?” John’s wife, Ella, asked. She turned to face the voice and John followed her eyes. A tall, blond woman walked up to them with a broad smile. John swallowed.
“Hi, how did you know my name? Have we met? This is my wife, Ella,” he held up their clasped hands as proof.
“Wife? You never told me you had a wife!” the woman said.
“WHAT?!” Ella let go of John’s hand but kept her focus on the strange woman. “What do you mean he never told you he had a wife?”
“Oh no, wait! I’m sorry,” the woman took a step back and held her palms up to show she meant no harm. “I forgot I was in a different universe,” she said. “You’re probably not my John.”
“Different universe?” Ella asked. She narrowed her eyes at the woman, then glanced at John with a stern look. It wasn’t common knowledge outside their relationship, but John had been working on accessing alternate universes his whole life. She got the feeling he was on the verge of a breakthrough, and it seemed odd that a strange woman appeared claiming to be from another universe.
“Oh, yeah. You probably won’t believe me, but I can prove it. I’m from a different universe,” she locked eyes with John. “In that universe, I married John,” she said. “But he’s probably in other universes too,” she said. Ella stared at the woman. The stranger was slightly taller than her, but they both had fair skin and blonde hair.
“Am I.. you in this universe?” she asked. The woman smiled but shook her head.
“There aren’t any other versions of me, I’m something called a Unique Soul. Specifically #35, La Estrella,” she held out her wrist to show them a blue star tattoo with the number 35 on it.
“Well, it was nice meeting you. We’ll let you get back to your traveling, bye now,” John said. He grabbed Ella’s wrist to try and pull per away. She stood firm.
“John!” she said. “She’s from another universe! You know, your life’s work??”
“Oh, I know. But.. uh. I just figured out the last problem! I solved it! Let’s get home so I can work on it!” he said.
“Well, go on ahead, then,” Ella looked at the woman. “I’d like to talk to you some more, if you don’t mind?” she asked. The woman smiled broadly.
“I don’t mind at all! We can talk about our Johns. Did you know, my John’s favorite number is 46?” she asked.
“46?” Ella asked. The number sounded familiar for some reason. However, she had a woman from another universe standing in front of her, and her husband, John, desperately wanting to go home, but not alone. She was too distracted to place it. The woman nodded.
“That means he’s a Unique Soul too. There are no other versions of him in any universe. There’s only one John,”
“You hungry babe? I’m starved, let’s go eat,” John said, tugging at her hand again. Ella tilted her head at the woman.
“Only one John? If your John is a Unique … how did you mistake my husband for him?” she asked. The woman shrugged and raised her hand to wiggle her fingers at the air. A black portal opened beside her.
“Some people just look similar I guess, without actually being the same person. If he were really my John, the cheating Unique Soul that has wives on at least four Earths that I’ve found so far…,” she said as she stepped one foot into the portal. “…it’d be easy to prove.” She stepped completely into the portal and turned around so that only her face peeked out. “My cheating husband has a tattoo of a sun on his back with a 46 in purple numbers,” she smiled one last time before the hole disappeared. Ella remembered why the number was so familiar.