June 2022 Flash Challenge, Day 23
I was worried about Stuart. Everyone says twins are supposed to be alike, but we were fraternal twins; while we were alike in many ways, we were also different.
Stuart had been the sensitive one.
I was worried about him. When I walked through the door, I had hoped to find Misses Clendenin talking to Principal Rafferty and a rational explanation for the muted bangs we’d heard.
Julia had always been the smart one and the one with the good memory. So much time had passed already. She reminded me that I had turned away from the door when the kid in a bulky green jacket entered, which was why I didn’t remember anything.
I was the first, Julia had told me.
Stuart had been the last. Julia said my brother didn’t take his eyes off me, for an instant, even as the boy made his way into the room. I wish Julia had left that part out or that Stuart had been first.
I couldn’t take another cycle. A long time ago, we had stopped saying years; it made everyone sad when the fifth one had passed, and each of us had read the plaque. It was my brother’s idea to call them cycles.
I had to get help for Stuart and the others. Somewhere, someone could help us. Maybe there was someone on the other side of the door.
I opened the door and passed through.
We get so much wrong about the afterlife. We aren’t separate souls when we return to the source. We are each the whole. We only experience being something separate, something smaller, something finite, when we pull ourselves from that glorious, shiny field of golden love.
“Stuart should see this,” I say or think. I’m not sure which.
I turn to get my brother, the sensitive one. But the door is gone.
“Oh, Stuart, I’m so …,”
But then I’m sinking back into all that gooey, golden-warm love. I feel nothing but gratitude for every minute of my silly, little life, nothing but compassion for every creature. That includes the troubled teen who had entered our classroom what felt like minutes ago.
I lie back, relax, and rejoin the electric humming joy that is the foundation of everything.