Wed, Jan. 28th, 2004, 11:19 pm
short story.They sat on the couch, side by side, talking like they normally did. They had been best friends since they could remember. Their mothers had always been friends, thus, they had, too. People had bothered them about it for years. It wasn't natural for boys and girls to be just friends. They were either dating or fooling around. Not just friends.
But that's what they were. They had never had sexual feelings towards one another, or, they had never voiced them. Just friends, against society's will.
Today's topic was heaven. The divine pasture all of us God-loving people go to when we kick the bucket. Who knows what heaven really is? A castle of clouds, perhaps? Elision fields?
He was going with the philosophical point of view.
"Heaven is whatever we want it to be. If we don't believe in heaven, we either warp ourselves into a vast nothing to wander for eternity, or we just die, and sleep. We pretend like nothing's happening, so it doesn't. If we believe heaven is the land of God, then we wake up at the Pearly Gates, St. Peter waving us in. It's all in one person's mind." He looked out the window. "Suppose I wanted my heaven to be your backyard. All I would have to do is believe that's what heaven is, and poof, I would awake from death in your backyard, in the tree house we built, the sun shining down." She laughed.
"Well, I guess that's one way to look at it."
"Well, what do you think?" he asked her. She looked out the window. Her eyes fell on the aforementioned tree house, and a small smile crossed her face. She remembered building that tree house. She remembered every splinter, every time he ever fell out of the tree. "Hello? Still with us?" he asked, waving a hand in front of her face. She turned her head to face him.
"I saw this movie once, where a girl hits her head and basically goes into a coma. She's sitting in her mind, waiting for someone to come get her. Her mind looks like a humongous water deprived desert. But when someone finally does awake her, her mind turns into a gorgeous fantasy land. Waterfalls and lush, green hills as far as the eye can see," she said. He waited patiently; there was a point to this reference. "Maybe, while we're living, we create heaven. Every time we close our eyes, we create our heaven. Whatever matters most to us appears. It takes us our whole lives to make our perfect heaven, adding in family members, lovers, friends, places. And maybe that's why we die. If we've finished creating our heaven, maybe we just go to sleep forever. We close our eyes, and swim in our inner heaven for the rest of eternity." She closed her eyes, reinforcing her statement. A cloud swept over the sun, darkening the whole room suddenly.
"Well, what do you see when you close your eyes?" he asked. The cloud blew past, the sunlight filling the room again. Her eyes fluttered open.
"I see you." Her heart stopped beating.