What’s that pungent smell. It smells like abandoned things. A rejected teddy bear socked up in the tears of stolen childhoods. Leftovers that were left over and over again.
It smells like… Like… I can’t place my hands on it. If only I could see.
Its still dark.
A crack of light makes its way to me. Someone must have opened a door somewhere. I can see. First a few steps past my nose. Then a few more steps. And some more. And then something moves.
Who is there!
No sound. Just echoes of my voice.
And then I see it. I see them. I see dead people.
Before I could run for cover, eight of these things, dead things come towards me.
Can’t you remember me! Its me! Don’t leave me down here! I want you! You are mine! Come with me! You can never be free of me!
They kept screaming at me. I didn’t understand what they said. I heard the words but I couldn’t make any sense of it. How could they know me. Where am I? Is this a joke?! I was dead yesterday. Is this hell?
Before I could put my thoughts together, one of them grabs me. I am face to face with her. Her. She looks familiar. I know this face. I know this face too well. Oh God. Is that…
Yes. It’s me.
No, it was me.
The remaining seven turned and faced me, each with one hand on me. They looked like there were ready for a fight.
They were all me. I knew them. Lived them. For all two decades of my life. Forgettable Joy, Needy Joy, Unloveable Joy, People-pleaser Joy, Forever broke Joy, Fragile Joy, Lonely Joy and Hopeless Joy.
As I called their names one by one, they nodded their heads in affirmation. Dead things.
You are not leaving here without us. We go wherever you go. You are one with us!
“No! You are dead things!” I replied. “Dead things have no place with the living!”
And what are you? Alive?
Then they let out strong and vibrating bouts of laughter. In unison. Loud and shocking.
I didn’t feel so confident anymore. May be they were right. This is probably my life now. Face to face with who I am.
Before I could recline into my sorrows, I felt the ground shake. It split right into two.
The dead things looked at me. They didn’t seem very happy anymore. Some of them started crying.
Wait. What’s going on. Something’s not right.
Then I felt a hand grab my shoulder and it went all black.
Bone to bone, muscle to muscle, flesh to flesh. Neck meets head, ribs cover the heart, limbs find each other.
Dry bones shall rise again?
I draw first breathe. It feels… it feels different.
I am different. I am still me but just… different.
By my second breathe, I find the courage to open my eyes. I flinch. It’s too bright.
I open my eyes fully, trying to put my thoughts together. It’s all light. I can’t make out any shapes. Just light. Then something moves. Oh God, not this again!
And then I am face to face with a Man. The emotions I feel are confusing. A part of me is scared, as I am face to face with who I think may be my creator. Another part of me is excited and happy. I know this man. HE was at my burial!
It’s Sunday. Day three. Just like I promised.
I ran to Him and hugged Him. I held on to Him like I was holding on to my dear life.
“Is this real? Am I alive? I am confused. Two days ago, I was dead and now… I don’t understand. Help me.”
HE looks at me in a way that confuses me even more. Why is HE looking like HE is holding in laughter.
I am smiling because I’ve been down this road so many times and it gets even funnier each time. Yours is quite interesting though. You should have seen your face yesterday. If I had hesitated even for a moment longer, you would have….
Wait. Yesterday. HE was there yesterday? Was HE the one that pulled me?
I will make this quick and easy for you. You have a lot to do so let’s not waste any more time than we need to.
You were dead. Yes. In a manner of speaking. And now you are alive. Yes.
This new life is different from what you had before. Very different.
From the inception, you were made different. You ARE different.
You have been born into a new family, so you don’t have to worry about connections any more. We’ve got that covered.
No need to worry about sickness either, we’ve signed you on for great health.
WE (Your new Father and I) have also opened a bank account for you. It’s limitless, so you don’t need to worry about money anymore.
And as for those eight dead girls from yesterday, they are dead. Dead, buried and never to rise again.
My kneels buckled. I landed on the fall with my bottom.
“What is this? Who did this? How can this be happening?”
HE smiles again.
“No! You don’t understand. Do you have any idea what I have been through? The things I have done? The sacrifices I have made! I worked hard on my own for these things you are offering and I never got close to them. Ever! And now you stand here. Offering me these things on a platter of gold and I am just supposed to believe you?!”
“I am not a child! These things don’t come for free. Who did this?! Whose life am I about to steal because this certainly isn’t mine.”
I looked at Him. For the first time, I saw a hint of pain and sorrow in His eyes. I took His hands. Blood. It’s all bloody.
“What did you do! What did you do! Why would you do this for me!”
I was shaking. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The light caught His body and I could see clearly now. There was blood on His sides and on His feet.
And then I remembered. The stories my mother told me. They were real after all. This was real.
I did it for you. I would do it over and over again if I had to.
Remember that I love you. I have paid a great price for you to have this life. Use it well. Empty it of all its contents. Go and show them who you are. Who I have made you.
My beautiful butterfly. Fly and let them see your beautiful colours.
HE handed me a book. It was small, white and stained with blood.
That is your script. Your new life story.
I wrote it. It’s interesting. I am quite proud of what I put in there.
You’ll see that it has My name at the beginning and at the end. I AM your beginning and end.
No one else can write or dictate your story, just Me.
I drew my third breathe for the day. It was a lot to take in. But I believed Him. I did.
Then a strong wind went through me and I fell.
I woke up in my bed. In my father’s house. Same as three days ago. Everything around me looked the same.
But everything was different. About me. I had a new lease to life. A rebirth. A new chapter. A new script.
Someone saved me. Someone two thousand years ago saved me.
Today was the first day of the rest of my life. And I was ready.
I told you. Look what I would make of this dead butterfly. Embrace your new wings my daughter.
It’s a beautiful Sunday after all. Just like HE promised.