A Short Encounter
It met me in the night. I dared not breathe or make a sound and as I held my breath, feeling twinges of pain rising up in my chest. “I’ll make you a deal,” it said softly in my ear.
Shuttering in fright, with goosebumps widespread, I paused within to try to figure out if I should respond to such a voice. “Who are you?” I pleaded.
“Who I am does not matter, but where I’ve been you will want to gaze upon once more, can you fathom what I have in store for you?” Thoughts began to pour over me that I should at least see what this deal might be. How could I make a decision if I did not know my options? After already being assaulted by such fear, why not ask for more clarity?
I finally got the guts to whisper back “What is this deal?”
A young lady stood alone in the distance, waving, with a huge smile on her face. I knew her. Someone I had lost in life. I felt a lump well up in my throat and tried to smile back. I felt her. I felt her heart and knew that somewhere in her realm, she was as real as she could be. I looked up and saw more.
My Dad waited up on a hill surrounded by a picnic lunch. In his hand, he held a bag of cookies, which I knew were for me so I could feed the birds. It was his way of saying it was OK, for so long ago, as a child I fed the birds this way. I longed to join him there on the hill, and then a shift in the wind began. My eyes went toward the water, seeing an island beyond.
Smooth rock hills plastered the land, with every color of green dancing through the trees between. Out of the movement came animals I had lost in life. I wanted to hold my children. “What is the point of all of this?” I thought.
“This deal I make benefits you only during the night, my friend. I will allow you to see the loved ones you have lost in death, but only in your dreams. You must accept that in life though, misery will follow you all of your days. Which will you choose my friend? Happiness in sleep, misery in life, or misery both day and night?”
“So my only choice is that of nightmares by day and night, or only by day? What if I make no choice at all?” I dared to ask.
“You will be doomed to the eternal abyss of darkness if you make no choice at all, so know that either way, you make a choice. Your pain cannot be thwarted.”
In my mind, I decided to make the choice, not really knowing what it all entailed. Being happy in a dream- what more could I really ask for after all of the pain in this life? The entity that came, took my answer and left. I knew that this was not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter of hardship.