The darkness started to dissipate as he gradually opened his eyes. Everywhere around him was white. Everyone he saw was wearing white. People were not stationary. There was a lot of movement around him. Some people stopping to have a glance at him; as if he was not suppose to be here. He couldn’t say exactly where he was. The sky was cloudy and it was an expansive place. As he tried to figure where he was he noticed a figure standing at a gate. The gate was beautiful and very high. There were two doors to the left and right of the gate. No one spoke a word. The man at the gate did not speak a word also. Everyone naturally knew where they should go to. The whole place was like a grave yard.
“What is going on here?” Larry broke the silence as he asked the short man in front of me.
The man responded not.
“Where does that gate lead to?” He inquired. The man gave no response
He was getting a bit frustrated. He looked behind and the face that stared at him appeared friendly. He was a young boy of not more than eighteen years of age. He had freckles on his face and a small scar on his left cheek.
“Where do those doors lead to?” Larry asked. The young boy just stared at Larry as though he heard not the question that Larry asked him.
“Hmmmmmm.”, Larry sighed and kept mute since his companions had decided to be dumb for as long as they wished to. He realized that, that was the way they all acted. He decided to follow suit.
“Whoa! What was that?” He exclaimed. As he witnessed a man vanishing as the man at the gate nodded in approval, after going through the scroll that was in his hand.
“Did you see that?”He asked, but not anyone in particular. Probably he thought what he saw would get their attention but they all behaved as if it was a norm here. None of them shifted thei rgaze.
His gaze focused once more on the man at the gate. “Who is he?” he asked himself
“Besides, why am I here?” He asked and then he looked at his fist and he slowly began to recall what had happened to him.
‘I am dead”, He said. And he was glad. He had no regret. All that pain he had left behind.
“Down here or up here, I am sure people do not feel or go through pain”, he thought to himself.
His unfriendly and un-chatty short looking companion looked back at him and said, “In your dreams”.
“Huh! What did you say?” He asked but the man was back to the usual silent mode.
He started to wonder. “Did he know what I was thinking?” He thought to himself.
He tapped the man on the back and he responded.
“Bro I really don’t understand what happened just now, but seriously, you have just invaded my privacy and you have no right to get into my head”, he said angrily.
The man just stared at him and said nothing.
Larry continued, “After all, I tried being cordial with you but you decided you wanted to be on your own. Right now I want you to let me be. Bro don’t get into my head again. You have no right to do that, okay”
The man he was talking to started smiling.
“What is funny? What did I say that is amusing you?” Larry asked.
The smile became contagious as everyone started smiling.
“You have no idea where you are; do you?” The boy he described as being not more than eighteen, asked.
“Hallelujah! The dumb now speaks”, Larry said
“You are not suppose to be here”, a lady said.
“Says who?” Larry asked.
“Says me”, the man at the gate spoke.
“That voice sounded familiar”, he thought to himself. He looked at the man and tried to place recognition on him but his face was still hidden in spite of the fact that he was now close to him.
“Why shouldn’t I be here?” Larry asked
“Because your end is not yet at hand”, the man said.
And then it hit him. It had been ten years now but he could still recognize that voice wherever he heard it.
“Dad, is that you?” He asked
The man obliged him by pulling off the hood.
“Dad! He exclaimed and wanted to hug him but his dad stopped him.
“Do you know that you are stupid and dumb?” His dad said
Larry just looked at him and said nothing because he knew what his father meant.
“Are abusive words allowed here?” He asked.
His dad ignored him.
“You are going back. You are not suppose to be here”, his father said.
“I guess I am old enough to make my own decisions”, Larry said with a hint of anger in his voice, not because of what he said but because he recalled his father giving up the fight when he was battling cancer.
Larry believed that he didn’t fight enough to stay alive.
“I didn’t end my life, but you did”, his dad said.
Surprise registered on Larry’s face, “How did you dothat I-I-I was-was-was”, he stuttered.
His father winked.
“Oh! I have forgotten. Right here everyone’s mind is like a book that can be read. But I am unable to read your thought and that of others. Why is that?” He asked.
“That answer I have given to you already”, the gate keeper said.
It was so abrupt.He couldn’t see it but he felt it. A force so strong started pulling him down. Trepidation enveloped him.
“But I don’t want to go back. What am I going back to?” Larry asked
“Life! Life my dear son”, his father said.
He fought it but the invisible hands that were pulling him were not relenting. They pulled him further down and a distance was already being created between him and his dad.
“But this should be my choice and I have a right to make it”, he yelled the words
“Up here you have no rights. At least not now”, his father said
As he was pulled further down he kept on screaming, “No-no-no-noooooooooo”
Hold him down. The patient has awoken. Larry kept screaming, “No-no-no, I am not going back dad. I am not going back”. He kept struggling as if he was fighting someone.
The nurses looked at themselves and their thoughts echoed the same thing, “Is he going insane”.