Thursday, February 23, 2012

Part II: The Time They Met in Heaven

Greg was an old man. He was on his death bed, ready to go. 

His skin no longer seemed to fit his body, his mind couldn't keep up with the world and he felt out of place. He was ready to be done with this life- all he had left were scattered memories, mostly bad. He didn't have very good relationships with his kids, neither of whom were at his death bed. 

His eyes lids felt heavy.... He thought back to his sons. He loved them dearly, but had cast his eldest, Anthony, out of the house over religious differences when Anthony was 17. Greg had never spoken to him again and he regretted it. He felt so much pain in his stomach, he couldn't swallow the feelings anymore.

And without warning, he felt his heart pump it's last beat. Hands at his sides, he clenched the bed sheets with his brittle fingers and let go. All life was gone from him forever.

He opened his eyes. He was alive. He was somewhere he'd never been before....

It looked like an Apple store. It was very white and clean. There were a lot of people and yet no one was yelling. 

There were video screens everywhere, showing past and future lives. There were time tables that stretched stories high, alerting people of who was coming in and who was about to be depart.  Giant maps outlined the universe and all the planets in it. 

Greg found himself walking into the heart of this place. It seemed to be inside, but he couldn't see any walls. 

He looked at all the people there, so many faces. So many young faces. He looked down at his arms. He was shocked to see he was young again.

'Must be in my 20's,' he figured. He looked around, it seemed as if everyone was in their "prime." Greg stopped to watch the video on the monitors, watching other people's lives play out in the past, present, and what appeared to be a future. It was all very deja vu to Greg, he had to take a step back-

He accidentally bumped into someone. He turned around, ready to apologize, when he saw it was one of his sons, Anthony.

"Oh my god. Anthony."

Greg turned pale, color washing from his face while his son looked as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening.

"Hey dad," He said nonchalantly. 
"I...what...I-" Greg was very flustered.
"It's okay dad. It is."

Greg lunged forward, embracing his son.

"I'm so sorry. I'm so...sorry."

Anthony hugged him back, giving out a slight laugh.

"Ha, dad, it's okay. Really. It is. I forgave you a long time ago."

Greg took in his son, who looked more like his brother now that they were both in their 20's.

"What is this place?" Greg asked.
"It's Heaven."
"Well....It's the closest thing to what we'd call Heaven. It's the place we go when we die before going back to live."
"Going back? But what about the bible? And the preachers? All those people on Earth, they don't know...I- I didn't know. I'm so sorry Anthony." 
"Greg, it's fine, seriously. It wasn't just Christianity, there were A LOT of religions on Earth, so trust me, a lot of people didn't know. Besides, could anyone have predicted THIS? Any of those people alive on Earth, do you really think anyone of them is imagining this when they talk about the afterlife?"
"No, I suppose not. Looking back it seems so stupid. I never should've let a book get in the way of our love. I was a lousy father-"
"This isn't why I came to see you, you need to stop blaming and judging yourself. Just accept that it's in the past, it happened."
"I just want to go back and fix my mistakes- Wait, you said you came to see me, here?"
"Yeah, well, we've had about 400 lives together. In MOST of them I've been your father, but now we've switched and you're now my father. That's pretty normal, so don't worry. But... we just keep going in a similar pattern. I just wanted to come see you to say that the past is in the past, and it's okay. You talk about wanting to go back and fix mistakes, well that's the beauty of life, Greg, it just keeps moving forward, so if you want that chance, you'll get it. I wanted to tell you to just stop being a procrastinator. The relationships and things you want in Heaven...don't wait to die before allowing yourself to have them next time. Make them for yourself in THIS life. Don't keep pushing it off. You've used Heaven as an excuse before and guess what happens, we never get there. I just want to have a good relationship with you while we're alive."
"I don't know what to say."
"You don't need to say anything, when you feel like you're ready, we'll both know."

Greg reached out and hugged Anthony again. Without any notice, they both vanished.

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