THE ATHEIST - EPISODE ONE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
I wake up to consciousness. All around me is fire, but it doesn’t burn. The strangest thing.
There are many people around. Many of them are crying and screaming. I turn to look at what they are all looking at.
It is my car. It is ablaze in red hot flames and smoke. I touch myself to see if I am injured at all. I’m fine! I wonder if anyone was injured. I don’t even remember what happened…
In the midst of the crowd, I see them. My wife and our little girl. The Police are preventing them from passing the tape. I call to them and run to embrace them. But my touch has no impact. They are looking right through me.
What is this??? I am beginning to be afraid. Why can’t they see me? Why can’t I touch them?
“Angela… Angela,” I call her name. “I’m here, Angela. Stop crying…”
But she can’t hear me. That is when I see it. A corpse. The body is covered as it is wheeled away in a stretcher, and into an Ambulance. Instinctively, I follow it.
They don’t see me enter, as they close and lock the Ambulance door. I now know what had happened. There is only one explanation. But I am afraid to confirm it.
It doesn’t make any sense. Why am I still here…living, when my body laid burnt and lifeless on the stretcher? What type of existence is this?
“You have crossed over to the next life.”
I blink twice, and look about me, sure that this medical staff is talking to someone other than me. But he is looking right at me.
“I thought no one can see me,” I say.
“No, they can’t, but I can.”
“How? Who are you? And why am I still…alive…when I am dead?”
“I’m your guide. You can call me Samuel.”
“Guide to where?” I ask, baffled. I can't believe what's happening. I have heard of people who said they died and went to heaven and came back to tell, but I always thought they were quacks. But here I am, dead but…not dead.
“We’re going to take a trip down memory lane… A recap of your life, if you will…”
“And then what?” I swallow hard, afraid of his answer.
“Judgement? What do you mean, “judgement”?”
The ambulance stops. They open the doors and wheel my body out. Instinctively, I follow. Samuel follows beside me.
“It is appointed to man to live once, and then judgement. Have you never heard that?”
I had. I remember it. It is from the Bible.
“You mean..?” I swallow. “This is real? Christians were right about God and judgement day and…hell?”
“Well, they don’t agree on a lot of things, but they are in the ball park.”
Suddenly, we are in the morgue, and Angela walks in. They remove the sheet from my body, and she wails and nods, confirming that the disfigured and burnt body is mine. I looked at it and want to cry, but there were no tears to cry.
“What happened to me? What killed me?”
“It was an unfortunate accident.”
“At least I was alone…and not with my family,” I console myself.
“You were not alone.”
“I wasn’t? Who was with me?”
Instantly, my memory returns to me. Kim. Beautiful, sexy, Kim. Oh no. Did my wife know that I had not been alone? What had happened to Kim?
“Where’s she?” I asked.
“She’s with her guide.”
I put my hand to my mouth. Oh no! I had killed Kim… Again, no tears to cry. How do I deal with all this emotion? What am I doing here? I just want to be gone. No memories. No after life. That’s the way it was supposed to be.
“Oh, God… Darren!!!” Angela cries, and she is comforted by one of the medical staff, who escorts her out of the room.
“Does Angela know about Kim?” I ask.
I swallow, realising that there is no escaping it. She would soon find out about the woman who had died next to me in the car, when it is reported in the news. She would know that I had cheated.
Why do I suddenly care if she would forgive me..? I never wanted her to find out. I never wanted to break her heart. And now…she would know that I betrayed her…and I wouldn’t be around to ask her forgiveness. She would spend the rest of her life wondering if what we had was real… Oh, this is painful!
My body is sealed in the body bag and placed in my own special chamber at the morgue. Oh, how I want to go back into it… To stay in it and know that my time was done. What awaits me now?
“Please make this stop. I don’t want to remember anything. I just want to be dead and gone…”
“That’s not the way it works. Follow me.”
I don’t want to follow him… But I have no where else to go. I find him standing in front of the Maternity Ward.
“What are you doing here?”
“We’re going back to the beginning…”
He walks inside and stops at the Baby Unit, where all the new born babies are laid in small cribs. I stand beside him, looking at all the babies. He doesn’t have to tell me which one is me. I am drawn to him, as I was drawn to my dead body.
‘Baby McAnthony’ is written at the top of my little crib, where I lay sleeping.
“Do you know you were a miracle?”
“That’s what my mother said. They said she could never have children. She had six!”
“You opened her womb.”
Samuel starts to walk away. I hesitate but follow him, after taking one last look at Baby McAnthony. What a perfect little baby I was.
He enters a room. It is filled with my family. My mother is lying on the bed, and a baby is in her arms. I know it is me.
For a moment, she looks right at me, as though she can see me. “Mother,” I call.
My father walks right through me and goes to carry me from my mother’s arms. She hadn’t seen me after all. I realise that I never said goodbye. And now, I will never see my mother again…
To be continued...
Photo credit: www.pixabay.com.
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