“How long will it take before I fall asleep?” he wondered, his head lying on a cold pillow, stained with his tears. “Will I feel anything? Will it hurt?”
He thought about what had brought him here. A cruel, uncaring world full of strangers. One failure after another. No more energy to try again, to keep going, to learn from experience. He was tired of all of it.
But mostly he felt alone. Seven billion people in the world and he may as well have been living on Pluto. No connections, no friends, no one to love, no one to love him.
He felt sleep begin to seep into his brain. “How long will this take?” he wondered. He hoped it would be quick.
He started to feel strange, sort of paralyzed. Stuck between being awake and being asleep. He began to hear sounds around him. A door slamming, or maybe it was the window being shut.
A buzzing sound, like a million bees singing in harmony one single note.
He tried to look around but he could not move his head. Above him he saw a shadow float into view.
“Are you death?” he asked in his mind.
A voice came back to him. “No, I am Anguish.”
“I am Anguish. I am here because this is where you have brought us.”
“I just don’t want to be here anymore. Do you understand? It’s too hard.” He felt a tear slide out from the corner of his eye.
“I know it’s hard. I’ve watched you struggle,” the voice replied. “You swim in a pool of fear and loneliness, the tentacles of despair pull you down every day until you struggle to breathe.”
“Yes,” he whispered. “I don’t want to feel this way anymore.”
“I know. I have been your companion for years. I feel your pain every day.”
He felt himself slipping into unconsciousness. He was afraid, but also relieved. Soon it would be over.
He began to feel a tingling sensation come over his body, a vibration of great intensity infused him. His eyes were closed but somehow he could see. He peered around the room but couldn’t find the shadow.
He thought he heard a voice, someone calling his name, at first sharp, then more dull, in the background.
Slowly, the room began to brighten, the light penetrating his awareness. He sensed there was peace in the light.
He felt his body being lifted up, like many powerful hands raising him to the sky. He embraced the peace and the light, and felt himself moving, floating quickly along a conduit of energy.
“Is this death?” he asked in his mind. He felt a presence nearby, a warm and comforting presence. He reached out with his mind to connect to the presence. He heard a voice.
“Hold on, son. We’re almost there.”
He relaxed, ready to let go. He saw a bluish figure enter his view.
“Are you death?” he said to the figure.
“No, I am Hope,” came the reply.
“Where is death?” he asked. “I don’t need hope.”
“Death is near, but I am here now, and you are mine for just a little bit longer.”
“What can you do for me? I’ve had hope before, but I still feel alone, every damn day of my life,” he cried. “I just want the pain to end. I want to be done. It’s just too much.”
He felt a hand on his forehead. It was soothing. Familiar.
The voice said, “There is one thing I can give you.”
“What can you give me?”
“I can give you your memories.”
Suddenly it was like a veil being lifted from his eyes. He remembered who he really was. He remembered why he originally wanted to incarnate. He remembered his strength, his courage, his joy. He remembered the yearning in his soul to come to Earth, to play, to help others, to learn, and to inspire.
“I can’t believe I forgot,” he whispered.
He felt his body lurch, a surge of electrical energy pulsating inside him.
Then he saw the most beautiful white light he could ever imagine. It hovered above him expectantly.
“Who are you? Are you death?” he asked.
“No, I am Love.” The light enveloped him, wrapping him in a tendril of incredible warmth, beauty, and joy. “If you will live, I will live with you. No longer will you feel Anguish. No longer will you need Hope. You will have me with you… always.”
He felt his heart bursting, his body convulsing. He felt a rush of adrenaline and strength infuse him.
“Will you live?” the voice asked.
“If you will live with me, then yes, I am willing.”
“You will forget what you have remembered,” the voice warned.
He replied, “I understand. You’ll stay with me though?”
The voice responded, “Always.”
He sighed and embraced his desire to live. He felt himself rushing backwards from infinity, down a funnel of light into a battered, but gratefully intact body. He heard another voice.
“He’s going to make it.” Then a cry of such gratitude, and someone throwing themselves over his body.
He struggled to open his human eyes, and saw a familiar figure embracing him.
“Mom? Is that you?”
“Yes, honey. I’m here. Thank you for coming back to me.”
“Always,” he replied.
Then he smiled. He remembered… not everything, but enough.