The final thing that she could recollect before plunging into this darkness was that she was running across the road blindly and a truck was hurtling towards her. A few hours prior to that she had lost her job, when she came home early found her boyfriend was cheating on her in her own bed, and before that she had lost all ties to her friend who had warned her against him. She wanted to kill herself for all the good that it would do to make her not feel at all.
She couldn’t feel anything, except know that everything was dark around her. She tried to open her eyes but couldn’t even feel them let alone feel like she was in her body. What she could feel still was the anger and the sadness combined with the pit of hopelessness from everything that had happened. What was strange that in the strange blackness around her, she could still feel all that and think to herself.
Had she had eyes, tears world be rolling from them. She felt helpless in the dark but, she wished she could see and tried hard.
“So see” said a voice
“Who’s there?” she asked startled, the voice was familiar but she had heard it in a very distant past “Father?”
“What happened? What is this?” came out as suddenly as the confusion from her.
“First see what you feel child” replied the voice
She didn’t know what was happening and her existing anger turned to more despair.
“How?” She thought
For that she needed her eyes.
“Do you?” he asked and she came to the point of madness from despair. This wasn’t any place where she could comprehend anything. What she saw was only darkness and confusion and nothing more in it.
“The heart and the soul sees what you feel child, not the eyes”, he said “See what you feel”
And the madness continued for a long till she grew wearisome and spent.
“Are you there?” she wanted to ask him aloud
“Yes”, came the answer before she had finished and a to her surprise a little relief washed over her. She knew then she felt it.
It was humbling to know then; she was her soul, and not her body. Then she opened her eyes to see.
Her father stood before her, awash in golden light, and hints of peaceful light blue here and there. Around, there were people everywhere all different colors; each had a color for their emotion and a certain aura or sense most unique to them. Some were brightly colored as her father, some as dark as the night, some people changed their color constantly. Few were white. Some souls were much bigger than the others while some were dwarfs. Some were fainter than the others, and new lights kept coming and some existing ones suddenly went out and then floated away.
“Am I dead? Where am I?” she asked hugging him. A small coolness washed over her, as if the fire was being quenched even just a very little.
“At the hospital, but in another world. And you are I think, in a coma” he said gesturing to her. She looked at herself to see a burning red of her agony and a small light was travelling from the heart of her soul to somewhere earthly, connected to her body which she couldn’t see. She was still alive but just not over there.
She looked closely around her to find some people around her. One was her boyfriend, a darker shade of red to her and her friend, worried pink. She reached out and tried to catch him but the moment she touched him, her fingers burnt and she withdrew. Her father held her fingers then, the same cooling feeling coming in.
“Do you know what happens when you’re around people who’re not good for you?” he asked.
No, she didn’t know. She had just entered this world and didn’t know a thing what was going on. She had a lot to learn.
“And very little time” said her father adding to her thoughts.
How do you make a soul grow?
By nourishing it by reading books, learning something new, helping people, playing a sport and almost anything that would involve the head and the heart.
How do you heal a soul?
Through meditation, and cleansing it through prayer, soothing it with love. In this world, a river flowed around them, pushing everything. Some souls got into the river, stayed there till all the deep red embers were cooled off with its waters and then came back up. But this would happen only to one in ten souls. The others got out the same, or even more ragged than before.
As soon as she decided to heal, her father asked her to plunge into the river. She was too scared at first. For days after prayer and the meditation though without any great change, she tried going into it, holding a chain to stay there, but when she stayed there, the water cut through her and when she came out she was more ragged than before and she felt horrible, she was bleeding red. Ebbs of red light flowed around her burning and cutting her deeper.
She tried to retreat deep inside herself but the fire burnt her from the inside. Giving up she looked at the golden light of her once dead father and wept more tears.
“Why does this happen only to me?” she asked
His golden flames flickered. He knelt before her and raised her chin up and she felt the usual soothing whenever he was close to her.
“Why, that’s selfish child. Once would you look around you?” she felt him say. And so she did.
She looked around herself. The place where there should be hospital bed beside hers was gently flaming red, red people standing around it. Not far, a red child was searching, hungry, looking for his mother. Another flame not far away, dull as it was, went completely out before floating away.
She broadened her look and she could see the city, one in every few people were red, and they effected the people around them. The city seemed to be specked with like the reds in a coal. She broadened it more to see the state, then the country and then the earth. It was a massive ball of burning coal.
Still she thought returning to herself. “It’s not the world that crumbles that makes me feel as bad as my world crumbling” she told her father.
“You would when you realize you’re a part of this world” he replied
So from then on, she everyday plunged into the river. And every day she would come out more ragged than before.
After a few days her father asked “What are you doing child?”
“Trying to quench the fire in me” she replied
“What are you doing in the river?” he asked
“Why, lowering myself, and holding on to see if I get healed” she said
“And you do the same thing?” he asked
“Yes Father” she said
“Then would you expect a different result?” he asked
Feeling stupid she contemplated it. And for a very long time. And then it came to her.
She lowered herself into the river once more, chain in hand. After she was well into the water and the flow around her was fast and steady, she let go of the chain.
The river took her then in its flow, gently it kissed her embers, cooling them. A steamy substance came out of wherever she was healing. She was not stopping the flow this time by holding on to the chain, but was going with the flow, wherever it went.
Of course she couldn’t hope to keep in one place in the river in that manner as of before. For the river was time. And now she was in its flow. She slowly began to be able to move and swim around the river, though never backward. It would hurt her. When she swam forward, the river gladly helped her adding its strength to hers.
For a time unknown, she stayed there; it felt the best thing in the world to be in it. Then she came out. Her father was standing there, waiting, and the golden glow even more bright at the sight of his daughter glowing.
“It was time” she said her soul laughing away
“Yes child” he said “And now it’s time to go back too”
“She’s opening her eyes!!” somebody exclaimed
The said her name, shook her, poured water into her mouth and soon her eyes focused and she was back in the earth world, and began to feel her body.
She saw the people around her, with her heart now, not with her eyes and knew which ones were good for her and which were not. She wouldn’t call this the real world, there was much more to life than what she was seeing with her eyes and she knew it.
“Hey!” she smiled at them and the faces of her family and friends reflected it right back at her, perhaps with even more energy.