Jean is a young mother speaking to her infant daughter, who died shortly after birth the day before.
Scientists have a new theory that the Big Bang caused two universes when it blew: our universe, where time travels in one direction; and a mirror universe, where it goes the opposite direction. Imagine that-time traveling backwards. I guess it makes a certain, twisted sense. Maybe the sheer force required for the universe to birth herself sent her creation spinning in one direction and her in the other, forever out of each other's reach.
I know the mirror universe isn't an exact copy of ours. I know it's not a parallel dimension like in science fiction where there's another version of me somewhere with a goatee. But what if there was another copy of us, living in reverse? It would mean that instead of seeing you for the last time yesterday, some version of me would still be waiting to meet you. It makes me so achingly jealous of that woman, I nearly hate her.
When I first felt that quickening, the otherness of you turning and kicking within me, I saw us as two parallel lines. I thought our lives would run alongside each other until mine blipped off the graph. I didn't realize our lines would intersect instead, and there only briefly.
I only got to touch you once in the real world before you were gone. Your tiny, perfect fingers were such a shock of pure joy in my palm. There's some comfort in knowing that the woman in that mirror universe will get to meet you that way-that her very first moment with you will be a physical connection that ripples through the universes. That she'll end her time with you as I started-feeling your little, shivering kicks fluttering against her belly.