Reddit Writing Prompt: After death, people get to spend eternity with the person who loved them most in life. You died in an accident, then woke up next to a complete stranger.

heaven-and-hell
artist unknown

My eyes open.

I lay still.

Something is wrong, but nothing is wrong, all feels right and the air around me feels filled with love and understanding and I cry.

For the first time in my life I know God. I know this being that was not suppose to exist. This being many people fought and killed each other over, but that was never the intent. I realize that God isn’t a person. He is everything. He is air, food, the ground, the universe, he is me, and a feeling fills my mind like it is being flushed and I get to witness the life I gave God.

Suddenly I am witness to my birth. I see the doctor and the nurses. I see my mother I feel the warmth and comfort and sustenance of her breast. It washes over me and I stay there for as long as I want. I am a baby. I am loved and cared for. I want for nothing.

Finally I let the whirl pool take me further. I can come back to this moment whenever I want and release my self into the excitement of learning to walk and talk and stab my older brother with a fork and he stabs me back.

I get to play again with him day in and day out until he goes to school and I am alone with my mom for a few years during the day.

I let the whirlpool take me past the alphabet and times tables and learning about fractions and Darwin.

I stay for awhile and enjoy my youth, my strength on the high school football team. I enjoy running when it wasnt painful and I could run forever. I enjoy losing my virginity and winning prom king my senior year. I enjoy getting accepted into college.

I skip past the painful knee injury that ends my football career.

I skip past the studying to become a doctor.

I skip past medical school, my internship and the 24 hour days that still dont make sense.

I stay for awhile and explore my Doctors Without Borders experience in the Sudan. I stare down the war chief once more. I feel the exhilaration of winning my life back from his death squad by fixing his daughter’s heart.

I skip past the long as hell flight that lands me in New York City. I revel in my new home and exploring the busy streets again. Of being back in America.

I love this place again with its endless streets and possibilities. The tones, smells and faces all different and ever changing.

I win my dream job again. I open chests and make hearts work again. I give life. I give possibility.

I live my day to day life forgetting that there is more.

Then I see her.

I know immediately she is the missing part of my soul. Tall and graceful. Long legs, perfect stride. I chase after her on the Hudson River Greenway on the lower West side. She is fast. I dont think I will catch her, but I do. And I follow her and she doesn’t know it. I need to talk to her. I need to know her. And then she stops and I run into her. She falls. I help her to her feet. I apologize and we meet eyes and I know she is mine.

We date.

We are inseparable.

She likes Florida.

I like Alabama.

We are perfect for each other.

We drink beer with friends and travel the world.

I ask her to marry me. She says yes.

I am more happy then I have every been in my life.

She is the dream I never knew I had and it is coming true. I ask the man who has been through it all with me, my older brother, to be my best man.

He says yes and throws me a bachelor party.

In my life review I become confused because things end as I stumble drunken through my front door into my empty apartment.

I dont get to see my wedding, then I realize I dont have any memories of my wedding, because I never had a wedding.

I back the review up and I see myself walk through my apartment door again.

Then nothing.

I do it again and again and it still ends into blackness as I walk through my apartment door.

I play the nothing over and over again.

I am confused.

In this place of love, in this place of understanding I stand in confusion and begin to explore and bask in the perfection of everything the tangibility of it all the malleability. I feel like I could have anything I want, but there are no other people and the confusion of my death weighs on me. I want answers and in a place of everything it is the only thing missing.

Then I see her.

She is short with black curly hair and ample flesh. She holds her shoulders like her very existence is an embarrassment to her.

She seems familiar like I should know her. She watches me and as I approach, flinching.

I dont like this and replay my life again.

I run through it not expecting to, but spot her.

A lot.

She is in every class photo standing near me always looking.

I go to college at Alabama and she is there serving food at the Dorm cafeteria.

I go to the airport to leave for the Sudan and she is there watching me go through security crying.

I get back and again she is there elated as if she thought I would die.

She works in the cafeteria of the hospital I did my internship at.

I wonder how many meals has this person served me?

I go back and count and the answer is many thousands.

She is there in the peripheral of so many memories and then finally on the day things stopped she is there in the bar watching me. Fat silent tears dripping into her untouched beer.

In my afterlife I approach her and even in this place of love and understanding she starts crying. “I loved you, you have to understand. And now I get to have you for eternity.”

And I realize she is the answer to the blackness of the end.

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Author: Bryan Aiello

I call NYC home and wish the subway went everywhere and Times Square didn't suck. I saw John Turturro once. Maybe it was him. He was wearing a yellow shirt and smiled at me like he knew I knew. I am an Army vet who writes. I like characters who want more then they deserve. I like genre fiction. I love space. I love paladins. One day I might write a paladin in space story. Just you wait. The university of South Florida spit me out with a degree in creative writing and I find myself questioning the sanity of going to a school that advertises a fake beach on its brochure ever since. I intuit grammar. I Got married in 2012 We had twins in 2015. I do a lot of cooking and dog walking and ranting about the unfairness of sentience. You can follow me on Twitter: @bryaiello Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/BryanAiello My Subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Voyage_of_Roadkill/ My Reddit profile: https://www.reddit.com/user/Voyage_of_Roadkill/ Like my work? Become a patron at: https://www.patreon.com/BryanAiello

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