“Yeah, it takes some getting used to.”
“You’re not from around here?” Marie asked, surprised.
Galen shook his head.
“I’m originally from Darth. I’ve done a good amount of planet hopping in my 31 years.”
“What’s Darth like?”
“You remember what Hershel was saying the other night? About all the planets looking the same, structurally, but ultimately being different?”
“Aarth, the First planet, is a planet that values wisdom over everything. They strive to know everything there is to know about the universe. Barth loves food. Carth is ruled by the incredibly wealthy. Earth is creative.”
“Darth loves war. And I do not.”
“Yeah. My husband and I were going to move out together, but things got complicated.”
“You were married?” Marie asked, looking for a ring, but his finger was empty. Galen turned and showed her his back. It was inscribed all in white with a design Marie couldn’t put a name to, made up of tiny dots and lines gently intersecting one another.
“That’s beautiful,” she said.
He smiled. “Arkon did it. That was my husband’s name.”
“What happened to him?”
“He died, in a battle on Darth.”
Marie gingerly put her hand on his shoulder.
Galen sighed and leaned back into the tree.
“It’s weird,” he said softly. “I came here trying to get away from what had happened. But when the time thing started to happen, he was the first person I ran into.”
Marie didn’t quite know how to respond.
“That must had been… weird,” she said finally, and Galen laughed.
“Yeah, it really was,” he admitted, “but nice, too.”
“If the time warp stopped happening, would you miss seeing him?” Marie asked seriously.
Galen was quiet for a long moment.
“I don’t know,” he responded. “I mean, yes, obviously. But it’d be a hell of a lot easier to move on if he would stop fucking showing up.”