I was in a car crash, and I saw bright lights and felt pain, but that was okay. Because when I woke up, my parents were right beside me, and I was surrounded by endless blue skies and rolling hills covered in luscious green grass, and everyone was chatting, and the air was filled with sounds of jubilee.
And I thought I saw Grandma Lulu sitting in the grass, but that wasn’t possible because Grandma Lulu was in heaven. Momma told me. And I thought I saw Uncle George talking with his friends, but that wasn’t possible because he died in a car accident. And I thought I saw my dog Cinnamon, but that wasn’t possible because she wasn’t alive anymore.
And I met new people and made new friends. And such strange people they were! Eccentric, telling me I was born in 1508 and Beethoven was truly the star of my time and I once got a letter from Washington himself! But it was okay to be unconventional like that, because the best of people always were.
And people wore such strange clothing, I was tempted to laugh. Bellbottoms and crop tops and corsets, the clashing timelines making for an interesting picture. I wanted to take a photo and send it to my friend Quincy, but Momma said I couldn’t do that even if I tried. I was going to ask Momma what she meant by that, but then she was already gone and conversing with a pretty woman wearing a hijab.
And there was a sort of sad atmosphere, clinging to everyone’s shoulders like a cloak. And people would ignore it, as they would if rain were to fall on that cloak. And maybe rain was falling, and that cloak was keeping them dry, so they paid it no mind.
And people looked at me pitifully, and they gently patted my shoulder and crooned, It was too soon for you, darling, but welcome home. And I asked them what they meant and they would just shake their heads with smiles on their faces, then off to the cheerful celebration they went.
And when I asked people where we were, they patted my head and whispered sympathetically, Sweet girl, we’re in paradise. But I didn’t know why they were sympathetic if we were in such a perfect place.
And then the laughter and clinking of cups and toasting began again. To a new life! the people exclaimed jokingly and laughed. I didn’t understand, but I laughed too, because life was too short and I wanted to enjoy it while it lasted.