The Future Flies in on Silent Wings
I didn’t know she was around until she flew in front of me and smiled, perfectly.
“Do you come here often?”
“H-h-here? You mean, to Heaven?”
Her laugh – like her smile – was perfect. Or was it angelic? I had much to learn. “No, silly. To the reincarnation lottery.”
I looked around, and the vaguely pleasant abstractness coalesced into what resembled a 1950’s bingo parlor, complete with a haze of cigarette smoke. Instead of the usual square of numbers and letters, though, the spinner of ping-pong balls sat in front of a list of names, some lit up, some not.
“No…I mean, I didn’t know.” I looked down at my hands, somehow perfect. “I’m new here.”
She laughed again, like everything that could be right was, and would forever be. “We get a lot of that. People missing their old lives, wanting to go back. But it doesn’t work like that.”
“The poet was right. You can’t go home again. Even if you returned to your old life – which isn’t possible – it’s over. It has to be.”
“Even for kids?”
She nodded, in a sad way that somehow said all grief would be replaced with love. “Kids usually get reincarnated, but they start anew in the best situations we can find. But not even we can control what happens next.”
I looked again at her perfect face and smiled my somehow also perfect smile. “And what if I don’t want to go back?”
“Ah, therein lies the grand adventure.”