Author: Arun Bahari

It has been four months since Mary came from her reality to this reality. The migration between alternate realities was legalized last year. There are two laws for migration. First, your alternate version should be dead, and second, you can not go to the reality where you don’t exist. These laws help for identity purposes and keeping the realities intact. Her version in this reality has died in a car accident. Her mother is dead in her previous reality, so she came here where mother’s alive.

She looks at her mother. She has seen her mother dead for a year and was devastated then. It is a second chance for her to be with her mother. In her previous reality, she had a fight with her mother just before her death. She feels guilty.
Her phone chimes. She unlocks it and sees the bold headline.


She clicks on it to read the full news.
” Multiple realities have been attacked by hostile and powerful aliens called Naites. There are refugees coming from these realities. The department of migration is overcrowding.”
There is a knock on the door.

She opens the door and is shocked to see a woman exactly like her on the other side. It feels as if she is looking through a mirror.
A few moments of silence pass between the two.
I’m Mary,” the woman says. I am from another reality.
I know……I know come on in.
Her mother is so shocked at seeing two women exactly like her daughter it looks like she’ll have a heart attack. The other Mary has come alone, maybe no boyfriend or mother for her too.
Mom doesn’t know what to say.

Other Mary sits on the sofa.
We can’t meet or be seen together it’s against the law,” she says.
Don’t worry, due to overcrowding at the department of migration I am allowed to stay with you if it’s okay with you till a reality to my specifications can be found.
Now I understand why we can’t meet with our alternate selves, It’s awkward,” She tells herself.

A couple of days later she is talking like old friends with other Mary. It’s easier to talk with her as it feels like she is talking to herself. Even mother has become comfortable with her.
I’m an actress,” other Mary says.
She remembers her high school years when she wanted to be an actress but didn’t take that path. The idea was still in her mind. The choice which she didn’t make in the past was standing in front of her. She wonders if she is also a product of a previous choice not taken. Every alternate self from the best to worst exists and the best is in front of her where she is doing what she loves. She is feeling jealous of herself.

On the day other Mary has to leave them she says to Mary,” I know you feel a little down for not being the best version of yourself. But you have something I don’t have, a mother.
But you can migrate to a reality where mom’s not dead.
The thing is I can only go to those realities where I am an actress but mom has died in every reality where I am an actress,” other Mary says.
Anyway, what I meant by it is that everyone has lost something and for me, you are the best version. If you want we can change places.
Mary declines.
Other Mary crosses the street and gets lost in a crowd.