Chapter 6: Journey's End

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 50

I felt myself coming out of a fog of delirium as I heard my name being called. “Julian … Julian, can you hear me?” It was Melanie. I was back in the examination room. I noticed Isabel was lying on a bed on the other side being monitored by a couple of nurses.

“Mel, what happened? I … I was just talking to Isabel. Is she okay?”

“She said you passed out and that’s when she started going into labor.”

“Mel, how come I keep passing out? How come I keep having these dreams – these hallucinations that seem so real?”

“Julian, I’m afraid the aggressiveness of your cancer cells has accelerated. Your hallucinations are one of the symptoms. Just try to relax okay?”

Suddenly I felt the tension building inside my entire body. Oh no, please not another seizure. “Mel … Mel, I can’t do this anymore.” I grabbed on to the rails on the side of the bed as my body started convulsing violently. I felt my reality shifting again as I observed in an almost detached state of mind being surrounded by several nurses trying to hold me down. I saw flashes of myself standing in front of a school talking to Jules.

“I can’t do this anymore,” I muttered with a deep grunt.

And then I was back.

“What do you mean, you can’t do this anymore?” Jules asked derisively. “Didn’t you tell me you were an expert at putting on a tie?”

I was back just like that. The seizures and the pain were instantly gone. I felt such elation that I felt like laughing and crying at the same time. I need to find a way to keep myself from going back. I am not going back. If I can just stay here long enough for my body to die, maybe … just maybe I can stay here forever.

Unlike my other visions, this time I knew exactly what was going on. Jules was now sixteen and was getting ready to meet his girlfriend Amy here at the school to take her to the prom. He was wearing a lose tie around his neck waiting for me to show him how to tie it properly. His hair was all slicked up with a handsome boyish crew cut that seemed to be the focus of his attention as he obsessively kept patting it down with his hands.

The sun had already dipped below the horizon and was being replaced by large cumulous dark clouds morphing and expanding upwards with flashes of lighting in the distance. Other students were mingling around smoothing out their own hair and popping mint candies into their mouths.

“Alright Jules, do exactly what I do,” I said attempting to demonstrate how to put on a tie. With one tie around my neck and another tie around his neck, I slowly took him through the process one step at a time. It took him a few tries to get it right, but only because he insisted it had to be just perfect.

“How do I look,” he asked as I stood in front of him making some final adjustments.

“Aw man, it looks like you’ve got a stain on your shirt,” I said pointing at his chest.

Jules’ eyes widened in horror and when he looked down, I ran my finger up his face jokingly and started laughing. “Got you.”

“Oh, you’re toast,” he said with a mean grin.

He punched me hard on the arm. “Ooow!” I cried out in pain. Then he wrapped his arms around my chest from behind and picked me off my feet.

“Say you’re sorry Julian,” he said jokingly. “Come on, say you’re sorry.”

“Alright, alright,” I said laughing. “I’m sorry. Now put me down before your clothes get all wrinkled.” That must’ve done the trick because he immediately put me down and started smoothing out his fancy tuxedo.

“Hey, can you do me a favor? Can you wait out here during the dance just in case I need some advice about something?” Jules asked in a low voice.

“Mmm, yeah, I guess I can do that. I’ll be sitting down on that bench right over there okay?”

“Thanks Julian. You’re the best.” He leaned in to give me a hug, but then changed it at the last moment into a manly handshake as he looked around clearing his throat. Ahh Jules, he’s growing up.

“Hey handsome. There you are,” said a feminine voice walking up to Jules.

“Amy!” Jules gave her an appreciative up and down look. “Wow – you look really … really beautiful,” he said swallowing hard.

Amy was wearing a short sexy-looking turquoise-blue satin dress with spaghetti straps and a revealing V-neck. She was wearing contact lenses that had transformed her hazel eyes to a color that matched her dress. She had matching stiletto heel ankle strap sandals with glittering rhinestones. “You look pretty hot yourself,” she mewled as she grabbed him by his tie and pulled him in to give him a passionate kiss.

Jules gave me a side glance in embarrassment. “Um … ahem – Amy, I ‘d like you to meet Julian. Julian, this is my girlfriend Amy.”

“Ahh, so this is the famous Julian,” said the seventeen-year-old with a hint of annoyance as she extended her arm to shake my hand.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Amy,” I said politely while questioning the appropriateness of her dress.

“You know, Julian never stops talking about you. In fact, he talks about you so much that I’m beginning to get jealous.”

“Well, in that case, I’ll just let you two love birds be. Enjoy the dance.”

Amy hooked her arms into Jules’ and led him away as if she was eager to get him away from me. Jules turned to me looking apologetic and mouthed the words ‘don’t leave’.

I walked over to the bench shaking my head and sat down. I started reflecting on my own youth and tried bringing up memories of when I was sixteen. Some of these visions that I’ve been experiencing kind of matched what I remembered as a teen. But most of them didn’t. Another thing I noticed is that the more time I spend in these other realities, the more I feel like I belong here more than I belong in my other reality.

Somehow, my own memories were slowly transforming into something quite different than my own experiences while growing up. I suddenly realized that I started forming past memories of spending time with Jules as if I had been at his side his whole life. Maybe I’m just seeing myself growing up in a way that I would’ve liked to grow up. These new memories painted a picture of Jules having a mostly happy childhood with loving parents in a healthy and stable environment. Something that I had always wanted.

I remember when I was in one of those shelters for boys after my dad had abandoned me. I had vivid memories of me crying into my pillow at nights desperately praying and begging to be adopted by a nice family. During the times when couples were touring the facility looking for someone to adopt, all of us boys were scrambling and competing for the showers and the sinks to get ourselves washed and cleaned trying to look as presentable as possible.

One day, all of us were ushered into a playroom where a man and his wife would be stopping by. I kept grooming my damp hair with my small black comb over and over again just like Jules was doing with his own hair a few minutes ago. I stood there in the play area standing straight making sure I was not slouching, hoping that they would at least notice me.

If I could just catch the lady’s eye, I just knew she would pick me. The lady and her husband came in and started walking around among us boys. They were a young couple with the lady’s black hair curling down to her shoulders. She was wearing some pretty looking pearls around her neck. The husband was wearing a beige business suit with brown straight hair that didn’t have a single hair out of place and kept looking down at what looked like a really expensive watch.

Then it happened. The lady looked directly at me and smiled. I’ll never forget that smile. It was one of those smiles that told me she had clearly made up her mind about which boy she was going to select. I knew at that moment that she would pick me and my life would change for the better.

She turned to the Director and whispered into his ear. The Director smiled and started walking towards me. This is it. She’s gonna pick me. My eyes started getting watery with happy tears of joy. I envisioned my new parents driving me to a large fancy house and walking me into my newly decorated room and introducing me to a new brother or a new sister.

And then my world came crashing down when I realized that the lady had pointed to a younger boy standing behind me. All the other boys started patting him on the back congratulating him for being picked. My tears of joy had suddenly turned into tears of sadness. I turned around and wiped my face with my hands hoping that no one had seen me before joining the other boys who were still patting the lucky boy’s back. Unfortunately, that was one of many disappointments during the time in my childhood when I was a ward of the government.

I brought my thoughts back to the present as I lied down on the bench and looked up at the thickening clouds wondering what it was going to be like when I die. Is there life after death? Am I going to heaven? Will I experience some kind of consciousness in another realm, or will I just slip into oblivion and simply cease to exist? As all these thoughts were tumbling through my head, I slowly started dozing off.

Then my eyes snapped open as I felt my mind trying to take me back to that other reality. I gripped the side of the bench trying to keep myself from being taken back. But it was no use as I found myself back with waves of excruciating pain running through my body like electrical currents. I was still in the middle of my seizure. Despite the intensity of my suffering, my body was so rigid that I couldn’t even cry out.

Finally, the convulsions started easing off. I felt exhausted gasping for air which in itself was becoming very painful. I looked at the people around me through my tears and saw the way they were looking at me. They looked down at this hopeless dying man with pity in their eyes. I wanted to lash out at them. I wanted to lash out to the whole world and let everybody know that my life in that other reality has meaning. That every time I’m in that reality, I feel whole again. I feel alive again. I want to go back there where I don’t have to go through all this pain. I belong there more than I belong here.

Melanie gently put her hand on my cheek. “Julian, try to stay still. I’m gonna give you some morphine to ease the pain okay?”

I grabbed Melanie’s hand. “Mel, remember what I said about the Do Not Resuscitate Order?” I said weakly. “I changed my mind. I changed my mind Mel. Keep me alive as long as possible. The longer you keep me alive, the longer I get to stay with Jules. Mel, promise me you’ll do this. Please promise me.”

“Okay Julian. I still don’t know who this Jules is, but I promise. I’ll do as you wish,” she said reassuringly tapping my hand.

My body jerked from another spasm of pain. “Jules,” I whispered closing my eyes tight. “Jules, I want to go back.” I started shaking my head in despair. “Jules, please … please take me back,” I cried.

Then I was back lying on the bench feeling light raindrops falling on my face. The memories of my other reality were slowly fading away as if I had just woken up trying to remember my dreams. I could hear someone crying nearby. I slowly sat up and noticed Jules sitting down against a trashcan with his knees up and his face buried into his arms.

“Jules,” I said as I went to him and knelt down. “Jules, what wrong?”

He just shook his head as he kept crying. “She dumped me,” he cried looking up at me full of tears. “Amy dumped me Julian,” he cried and started sobbing unconsolably.

“Oh no. What happened?” I asked trying to keep my own tears in.

He tried to tell me, but his words came out a bit jumbled from the intensity of his grief. “She wanted to … she wanted me to take her to the bathroom so we could ... so we could have sex and I told her … I told her I didn’t want to,” he cried. “And … and then she dumped me!” he wailed out loud. “She dumped me Julian and I don’t know what to do.”

I wrapped my arms around him and tried to comfort him. “I’m so sorry Jules. I’m sooo sorry. It’s okay buddy. Just let it out. I’m here for you okay?”

Jules kept crying into my shoulder. “It hurts Julian! It hurts right here,” he said patting his heart with a fisted hand. “I love her. All I did was try to love her. Why does it have to hurt so much? Whyyyy?!

I could feel my mouth trembling with emotion. “I don’t know Jules. It just does. But you’re gonna be okay, I promise.” I immediately regretted saying that when I felt Jules pushing me away in anger.

“It’s not gonna be okay!” he screamed. “Why does everyone always say it’s gonna be okay? You’re not a psychic!” he said as he abruptly got on his feet and started walking away.

By now, the rain was coming down harder. I immediately started going after him. “Jules, come on. Stop, just stop and talk to me,” I said trying to pull him back.

“Get away from me!” he shrieked as he kept walking off.

Jules just kept walking away from the school grounds. I could still hear the music coming from the school so that meant the dance was still going strong. I kept following Jules trying to keep my distance. The rain started coming down in sheets with flashes of lightning and rolling thunder that seemed to be getting closer.

Finally, Jules stopped looking exhausted and leaned against the perimeter fence under a light post with the rain flowing down his face. He looked so distraught and broken. I approached slowly and cautiously and stood in front of him. He looked at me with so much pain.

“She wanted us to have sex Julian,” he whimpered. “She wanted to have sex and I said no. Why did I say no? Any other guy would’ve said yes. What is wrong with me?” He started wailing softly. “Now everyone’s gonna make fun of me and I don’t know what to do,” he cried. “I’m sorry Julian. I didn’t mean to yell at you,” he said as he finally allowed me to embrace him. He was shivering from the cold as I let him cry on my shoulder under the still falling rain.

“Jules, listen to me. There is nothing wrong with you. If you had done what she wanted, it would’ve caused you more damage than what you’re feeling right now. Trust me on this. Remember when you were telling me about William and about what a douchebag he was for always wanting to be all lovey dovey with her? Jules, you called him a total loser for wanting to do with Amy exactly what she wanted to do with you. She doesn’t deserve you. You’re better than that and the time will come when you will be ready. But it has to be you who decides when that will be, not somebody else. Do you hear what I’m saying?”

Jules nodded trying to compose himself. Feeling a bit calmer, he slowly pulled away and looked at me. “Julian, thank you for coming after me,” he said wiping the rain from his face. “Thank you for always being there for me and … and for being who you are. And now I need to ask you for a big favor.”

“Of course, Jules. You know I’ll do anything for you. Just name it.”

“Julian, I need you to let go.”

“Let go … you keep telling me that. Why do you keep telling me that? Let go of what?”

Suddenly, Jules magically morphed into the five-year-old that I remembered during my first vision. We were at that same park and I was kneeling in front of him while he sat on the swing and wiping my tears. “Julian, it’s time to let go.”

Then the scene changed to the time when I was riding the bike with Jules on the handlebars at the age of ten. As soon as we fell and hit the ground, Jules dusted himself off and walked over to me. “Julian, you’ve come to the end of this journey. You need to move on. You need to let go.”

I started getting really worried. “I don’t understand,” I said in confusion. “What’s going on?”

I found myself lying on the ground feeling the pain of the bullet that Jules had just accidentally shot into my chest. Jules was on his knees looking down at me. “Julian, you can’t stay here anymore. You need to stop trying to hold on. Please – you need to let go.”

“But I don’t want to let go,” I said feeling a tear rolling down. “Jules, what’s happening? Please tell me what’s happening. I want to stay. I want to stay and live here with you.”

“You can,” said the sixteen-year-old Jules as I suddenly found myself back at the school standing in front of him in the rain. “You can stay and live here with me. But first you have to let go.”

Just then, the rain disappeared and I found ourselves back at the park nice and dry under the sunrays of a beautiful day. Jules, still at the age of sixteen walked up to me and put his arm around my shoulder. “Let’s take a walk,” he said soothingly. “Julian, remember when I was five years old and you asked me what my name was?”

“Yeah, you said you didn’t even know what that word meant.”

“That’s because I had no concept of what it meant to have a name. You see, during that time, I hadn’t even been born yet. In fact, I still haven’t been born.”

“I don’t get it. I always thought you were some kind of manifestation of my own childhood, at least parts of it. I thought that I was somehow seeing flashback of my own life before I die. Flashbacks mixed in with something else that I still don’t understand. Am I already dead?”

“No Julian. But when you do die, I want you to know that you will not die in vain. I want you to know that your death will have meaning. Because of your death, I’ll be able to be born. When you saved Isabel – when you sacrificed your future and saved my mom eighteen years ago, you effectively allowed for my creation.

I suddenly stopped in my tracks and stared at Jules in awe. I was agog. “Jules … are you telling me you are the unborn child that Isabel is about to give birth to? No,” I said shaking my head in disbelief. “This can’t be.”

Submitted: August 18, 2019

© Copyright 2020 Bright Light. All rights reserved.


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