I could hear Sam calling my name.
“Sam? Sam! It’s you! You’re alive! But you’re… you’re dead. I held you. We buried you.”
“I’m here David. I’m here. But I can’t say I’m alive.”
“What happened to your eyes, Sam? They look so hollow.”
Sam turned away in shame, “I’m dead David. I no longer have a soul. I’m empty.”
I didn’t know what to say. Sam knew what I was thinking though, I always told her how I loved her eyes.
I turned her face to me, “I have an idea. Maybe this will work. Close your eyes.” and I cupped her cold face and kissed each eyelid.
With her eyes still closed, she smiled a genuinely touched smile. Then she opened her eyes and looked up, “Did it work?”
I looked into her still-empty sockets and I did not have the heart to say.
“They’re still empty aren’t they?” She asked though already knowing the answer.
I nodded my head.
Her smile didn’t leave though, she continued to beam, “Even in our dreams you’re so good to me. Even in this loss. It’s nice to know someone sees it fit to treat me this way. I’m sorry I cannot do a thing to repay you. I’m a ghost of who I was.”
“Actually, you are literally, a ghost.” I corrected.
“Even in our dreams you’re exacting!” she laughed. It was the first time she laughed about being corrected. I guess perspectives change when we’re dead, when the finality of what is truly of gain and what is truly a loss are realized.
“I’m sorry. It’s a bad habit.”
“No no, you wouldn’t be you if you didn’t want to fix everything. You’re going to fix a lot of things.”
“Why are you only like this now that you’re dead?” I jokingly asked her.
“Ha ha! Because it’s too late to do anything else. I can now just appreciate. That’s a lesson one can only learn through the sadness of being too late.”
“So you’re saying we’re too late…”
“For us? Yes. For me as well. But not for you. Abe showed me a little about your journey, and I wish I could be the one to accompany you but that’s impossible. What is possible is you.”
“To go on this journey. To see it to the end.”
“I don’t feel like going anywhere anymore.”
“That’s not the David I know. Can you make me a David promise, the kind I know that is never broken?”
“Depends on what it is.”
“See this journey to the end.”
“And where is the end? Did Abe show you too?”
“You know where the end is. You told me about it. You can feel it in your heart.
“I don’t know where all of this is going.”
“To who knows where, David. To who knows where. See this journey to who knows where.”
It still didn’t make complete sense to me – yet it did. It would make more sense to me later, as with many things, and the reader will notice my redundancy in pointing this out through my recollection. Many things don’t make sense in their moment. Maybe because we’re too overwhelmed in the present. Maybe our minds are unable grasp experience and lesson instantaneously. Maybe we were never designed to understand everything. Maybe there’s nothing to understand at all.
“David, promise me to see this journey to who knows where.”
“I am satisfied. Oh, David, you’re going to have an adventure!”
“Forgive me if I’m not as ecstatic as you. I sort of just buried my love – you – in case you forgot, and her ghost is making me make promises. I don’t know if I should be sad, afraid, creeped-out, or even mad that even in death, you’re making these requests. You seem to be the smart one now. Tell me something that makes sense. Why don’t you promise me this journey is going to end happily unlike everything that’s happening now?”
We were both quiet for a moment.
Then she spoke.
“I can’t promise you anything. I don’t know the future. Besides, I could never keep my promises to you while I was alive. What more now that I’m dead? I can only say what I’ve seen in my own life, that every thing you touched you made better, and that wonderful can never be remembered apart from your fingerprints. And if you continue on this path for even just one more day, the world is made better one more day. If you touch just one more life, the world is made better another life. This momentary wasting away has a purpose. I know it’s not easy to have your heart. The bigger the heart, the heavier, the easier target it is. But your heart is a safe haven, I know that well, let your heart, for others, now swell.”
“I’ll find a way for us.” I told her.
Sam just smiled looking sadly at me. It’s a face that still haunts me. That look of “Yes, please try. But I know no possible way, goodbye.”
But like somethings that have not changed, I was not going to let impossible get in the way.
The sound of birds singing woke me. It was all a dream. All just a message it seemed. Some dreams feel so real that we find they actually are.
I looked to my right and there was Abe looking back at me. “On a date in your dream?” He laughed. “Get your things. Are you ready for who knows where?”