Dead or Alive?

I drift in and out of reality. I have no sense of the passing of time. I can’t talk. My jaw is wired shut. My head and face are so swollen. I can’t move my mouth. I scribble on a note pad with my left hand not realizing that my right hand is paralyzed.

“Where’s Dad?” I scribble. My mom tells me he went home. She had to force him to go home and get some rest. They have been here round the clock. “I told him I’d stay with you tonight. He thinks it’s his fault.  Bob?”  She is quiet then. I pass out again. There is something I wanted to tell her- what is it? It was something I had seen. I try to remember what it is. I try and try.

I remember now. I have been dead. My life ended and I was gone. I was with the dead. It was comforting and horrifying to go where I had gone. Thinking I could have stayed there and not come back. Before I came back into consciousness, I had really gone to another place. The reality scares me. I have never been afraid of Death. Life was a joke and my life was meaningless for me. I thought I wouldn’t be afraid to die; all my friends had gone that way… they lived short lives.

“I saw Popi,” is all I was able to write for my mom to see. She doesn’t seem to believe me, she probably hopes it’s not true.
I remember seeing my friend Elton and Terri. I was standing at the entrance to this huge cave. I wanted to go inside. There was Popi, my grandpa, I saw him. I recognized his giant, rough hands reaching out to me to come to him. Of course I wanted to go and join him.

The cave had a yellow glow, white hot light surrounded another figure- a girl i was seeing, Terri. We were just fifteen- she was a cute kid, we hung out all the time. She was out riding around with her friends one night when the guy driving them crashed the car. He was drunk and he lived. And there she was standing there smiling at me- I wanted to run and hug her. She waved.

And then there was my best friend, Elton. I never thought I’d see him again and there he was. “Yo! Peahead!” he called out to me. He laughed, but it hurt so much to see him that I started to cry. He saved my life once and when he died a big part of me died. There would never be another friend like that again. Ever. He shrugged. I just stood there staring in a trance. I wanted to join them, to be with the ones I missed.

Elton must have known I was dead because he laughed at me and said, “You messed up real good,” He knew me. He knew how crazy I was. I was ready to have some more laughs with him, have a few beers so I began to walk towards him. Terri and Popi were with him in a blazing flame of light. It looked like they were surrounded by fire. I was all so beautiful, their faces lit up and glad to see me. When I moved closer they shook their heads frantically and waved me away. They begged and shouted,

“No! Go on! Run! You have to go back! You shouldn’t see what we see! You can’t stay- Go back, Bobby!” They pleaded with me and I wanted so badly just to run to them. The more they said no, the more alone I felt. I didn’t want to say goodbye. Even Elton was telling me I couldn’t stay. So I looked at them one last time- freezing their faces permanently into my memory. I couldn’t stay there. But where was i ? Where were they? And, how come i couldn’t stay? I dont have any answers. But this I do know, I was dead, but now I’m Alive Again.

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