“This is a dream, right?” I said, unsure….
“Nope… You’re really here…” the voice said.
“Here is…..heaven then? I’m dead?” my disembodied voice squeaked out…
“Hulloh! God?” I was getting desperate now.
“Well, son… you got part of that right…..” the voice said, slowly.
Silence again…. This time from me.
“You ARE dead.” It offered helpfully. But it didn’t make much difference to me!
“But that can change.” It added quickly, sensing my unease.
My greatest confusion lay in understanding where I was and what I was doing in this darkness…. All I was aware of was a presence…
“You have a choice, son.” The voice said, more resolved this time.
“Oh yeah? What? What’s the choice? I’ll take it! I’ll take anything but this!” the desperation was still a part of me, though I could feel the presence of something that was trying to calm me.
“You can choose to start over again. Or you could choose to move into an unknown…. ” the voice said.
“Start over? As in….. get back to the crash where I died, and die again?” the sarcasm in my voice was thick.
“No. Start over from scratch. Be born again.” It said, calmly…ignoring my scoffing tone.
By now, I had had just about enough. Someone was definitely fucking with me.
“I’m not.” It answered my question before it even left my lips!
“Not really…. Son… you are a minute part of a gargantuan being…. A molecule …. One that’s returned after a brief stint with other parts of itself.”
“Please…. I don’t understand… Please.” I was begging now… Crying…. Some clarity was all I asked for.
And then, just like a movie screen in superfast motion, every second of every minute of every hour of every day of my life started playing out….. Like someone had recorded it all and was showing me EVERYTHING…. Every nitty-gritty detail…. The glory, the embarrassment, the first kisses, the last goodbyes, the pride of winning, the shame of quitting, the gregarious laughs, the silent tears…. Everything… And it ended at the car crash.
“This…. Your life….. was another episode in a grand scheme of living and dying…. Your two hundred and twenty seventh episode.”
The sheer incredulity was overwhelming and overpowering! I had lived and supposedly died two hundred times? Seriously?
“You don’t remember. It’s still new to you. You are still attached to the memories of your latest life… after all, you’ve only been dead for a few seconds…. But yes. This was the end of your two hundred and twenty seventh life of meeting a million molecules such as yourself….The same beings you’ve met in all your lives before.” It concluded.
“What do you mean by that? Have I really met the same people in all my lives?” The slow realization that this was indeed reality, was sinking in to me…. Clearing my mind of the fog of a recent death… a recent life.
“Yes…. You met the same people…..saw the same people….. every time….. With some, you spent years….with others, you spent seconds…. But they were all part of you in every life….. Your best man at your wedding? Well in your hundred and tenth life, he sold you a handful of peanuts…. And in your seventy second life, he set fire to your barn… Your wife in this life, was a stranger you helped save from drowning in a previous life…. The stranger you flipped off on the road today was a daughter to you in a previous life…. The thousands of people you saw at the concert you attended today in your last hours alive, were all associated with you in your many previous lives….. And so on and so forth…. And this information, my son, has been given to you for the two hundred and twenty seventh time….. ” the voice ended abruptly, but not wearily.
The realization that all that was said was true was getting stronger now…. I remembered being here in this darkness…… Being told these same words…. Being made to understand ‘the choice’…. And I knew what I was going to pick….
“Are you sure? Are you sure you want to go back to the beginning and start your two hundred and twenty eight?” it asked in finality.
With a smile I felt on a face I didn’t have, I knew that the voice had heard my decision. Had felt it…
A million miles away somewhere, a baby was just about to be born.