Fields of Barley, Vol. 4
(If you want to read this form the beginning, hit the Short Stories & Otherwise Link above)
Upon hearing his response to her question, this woman tilted her head slightly to the left and smiled, her golden hair shifting in perfect unison until it came to rest in a new position on her shoulders. The smile melted Mark’s already affected heart. He was hers.
“Mark,” she said, her voice keeping him in her control. “My name is Anne-Lisa and I’m here to help you.” Mark knew her name even before she said it and he realized he’d known her name forever. “Please sit down.” He followed her example and slowly lowered himself to rest upon a bench, the most comfortable bench he had ever experienced--a bench that was not there moments earlier.
“I want to say that many of us here are very excited that you have arrived. We’ve been expecting you. Shortly, you will be leaving this room and continue on. It is my job to help you make this transition for your journey.” She broke her gaze and looked downward.
“Not everyone finds themselves in this room, but some do.” She again looked at him, and as if she sensed his confusion over her statement said, “Being in this room does not mean there is a problem, just the opposite. I’m here to help answer any questions you have.”
Questions. Do I have any questions? thought Mark. I have no idea where I am, or what I’m doing here. Right now everything feels right. Everything is….well, perfect.
Perfect. There it was. Mark lived his life by several beliefs, one of which was that nothing is perfect. Life is a series of imperfect events that happen to imperfect people. But if nothing in life can be perfect, how can he feel as if things were perfect now?
And so logic crept back into Mark’s mind, something unimaginable only moments before. For many, logical thought meant enlightenment. To Mark it now brought clouds of confusion.
“Anna-Lisa, you know I have questions and I’m guessing you know exactly what I want …., no, what I need to know. Do you have the answers?”
Smiling wider she said, “Mark, don’t worry. We have answers to questions that have never even been asked.” She paused and continued looking at him. Suddenly she said, “I’m just so glad you’re here.” She quickly leaned close to him and gave him a hug.
Oh, if only this moment could last forever, thought Mark. This simple act touched him on a level deeper than personal, a level where souls communicate without words. He would have given all that he had to feel this way for only a second longer. Anna-Lisa released her arms and again smiled at him. He felt the need to ask her a question or she would leave. The last thing he wanted was finding himself alone in this room.
“Anna-Lisa, I think I’m dead. Is that right? Did I die?” he asked apprehensively, as if he did not really want to hear the answer, an answer he already knew.
To be continued...
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