Flashes of Life

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

Chapter 8 (v.1) - Flashbacks

Submitted: September 05, 2019

Reads: 4

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Submitted: September 05, 2019

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I looked around the surroundings and noticed that I was actually perceiving two realities at the same time – the one at the hospice, and the one in the park. Both realities were fading in and out as if competing to anchor themselves in my mind. But Jules was as solid as I was. He was wearing a white tunic and faded jeans. He looked more mature and appeared to be in his mid-twenties. But he looked disturbed and worried and there were times when I caught him wincing in pain.

“Jules,” I said holding his hand. “I believe you now. I believe you’re Isabel’s son. But I’m tired. I’m tired of playing these games. I’m tired of shifting back and forth from one reality to another. Just tell me what you want from me. Tell me what I need to do.”

Instead of giving me an answer, I started getting flashbacks.

(Jules at age five)

“Please, just tell me how you know my name?” I asked the little boy sitting on the swing during my first encounter with him.

The little boy gently wrapped his arms around my neck. “Because I am you Julian. And you need to die,” he said innocently.

I felt someone placing their hand on my shoulder. It was Jules the adult. He gestured for me to walk with him down the path as Little Jules started playing in the sand on the playground.

“Julian, the reason Isabel is overdue and hasn’t given birth is because you need to die before I can be born. And she doesn’t have much time.”

“But why?” I asked in despair.

(Flashback: Jules at age ten)

“Jules, I want to stay. I still haven’t seen the rest of your story. I want to see you graduate and get married and have children and …”

“But you will get to see all that,” Jules said riding his bike in circles around me. “You’ll get to see me graduate and get married and have a real girlfriend and have my own kids and all of that. You get to see all of it.”

I suddenly stopped in my tracks as a crazy idea started popping in my head. Jules said that if Isabel loses the baby, she’ll be losing both of us. I’m the only who can save us. I started to recognize a common theme in all of these visions I’ve been having. Could it possibly be what I’m thinking? I started contemplating the enormity of what all of this means.

“Jules,” I asked in awe. “Are you talking about … about being reborn?”

“Reincarnation, transmigration, rebirth … there are many names around the world, but yes.”

“Are you saying that when I die you will be my reincarnation? That I will be reborn in you? That … that …” I was stunned into silence as I felt a lump in my throat.

“I will be your reincarnation,” Jules confirmed. “You will be reborn in me,” he said putting his arm around my shoulder.

Reincarnation? Is that even possible? Will I know I’m me? … I mean, will Jules know I’m me? Or rather that I’m him? … Or that he’s me? … This is so confusing.

We continued walking down the path. “But … but I have so many questions. How does this work? Does everyone get reincarnated? Does everyone get to experience this revelation before they die?”

“No. You are one of the lucky few Julian. It will take too long to explain, and we are running out of time. But I will tell you this – it is because of the quality of your character that you have earned this enormous gift. Your life-spirit - the essence of who you are will be transferred into me. You will be my inner voice guiding me through all the good times and all the bad times throughout my life, just like you’ve been doing during all of these visions that you’ve been having.

“In my new life, I will retain parts of your memories, parts of your experiences, your wisdom, your morals, your interests, and even some physical characteristics. That means that your awareness, the part of you that identifies as you – as Julian, will be part of my subconscious. So, in a way, you will get to see me graduate, and get married, and have children.”

“Buy why me? Somehow, I don’t feel so deserving. Jules, I told Melanie that if I could go back in time, I would’ve left your mom behind to die during that accident at the plant. What does that say about my character?”

“Do you remember how Melanie responded when you told her that?”

(Flashback)

“I don’t believe that,” Melanie said angrily. “I don’t believe that for one second because that’s not who you are Julian. You’re better than that. If you had ever found yourself in a similar situation, you would’ve done the same thing. You would’ve jeopardized your life so that somebody else could live. That’s what I believe because that’s the Julian I know.”

“Julian, actions speak louder than words. When I pointed the gun at William and pulled the trigger, you jumped in front of him and saved his life. Despite the fact that he was a bully who hit me with a rock and threatened us with a gun, you made the unselfish decision at the last moment that he didn’t deserve to die. Without even thinking, you determined at the last second that his right to live was more valuable than your own. Even though it was just part of a vision, it was a true and honest display of the worth and the strength of your character.

“You have shown nothing but kindness. You pulled the thorns from my feet and pushed me on the swing; you showed me how to fix my bike and made me laugh when I injured my hand; you tried to protect me from a bully and ended up getting shot trying to protect that bully from me; you embraced me and comforted me under the rain in the middle of a thunderstorm after a painful heartbreak. Julian, you saved my mom when you had every right to save yourself. All these things say a lot about your character, don’t you think?”

Jules stopped walking and slowly started falling to his knees. “But we have a serious problem,” he said with his face twisted in pain as he started clutching his fingers on his chest. I finally realized what was going on. Suddenly, everything started making sense. I need to die before Jules can be born. How can I be reborn if I’m still alive? I could hear Jules’ voices at different ages – You have to let go … It’s time to move on … you need to die

That’s why Isabel is overdue. That’s why the baby’s heartbeat is dropping. The longer I live, the more I’m putting Jules’ life – and mine in danger. And if I wait too long and the baby dies … what happens then?”

I went to him and held his weakening body in my arms. “Julian …” Jules reached up with his arm. “You need to hurry,” he pleaded getting weaker and weaker. “Please, there’s not much time.”

I closed my eyes tight feeling an overwhelming sense of desperation. If I hadn’t rescinded my DNR order, I would’ve already been dead and Isabel’s child wouldn’t be dying. How could I be so stupid? What can I do? Is it possible for me to will myself to die? I don’t know what to do. How can I fix this?

I opened my eyes and felt a faint awareness of Melanie standing at the side of my bed holding my hand with tears in her eyes. I pointed at the breathing tube and gestured for her to pull it out. After a spout of coughing and clearing my throat, I was finally able to speak, but just barely.

“Mel,” I whispered raspily. She pulled in closer. “Mel, I need to die. I need to die right now. You need to help me die. Just pull the plug. Pull the plug and let me die. Please.” I could feel my eyes pooling with tears. It was getting harder and harder for me to breath on my own.

“I’m sorry Julian, but I can’t do that,” she said teary-eyed. “That would be a form of assisted suicide and that’s against the law. This has to happen naturally, you know that.”

“No – no … you don’t understand,” I wheezed shaking my head. “You have to help me. You have to end this now before it’s too late. I need to die before it’s too late,” I squealed in desperation.

A nurse suddenly appeared over Melanie’s shoulder. “Doctor, the fetus’ heartbeat is dropping rapidly again. We need to do something now or we’re going to lose the baby. What are your orders?”

Melanie turned to her in alarm. “We have no choice. We’re gonna have to induce labor. Hopefully the ambulance can get here in time. Can you please get this breathing tube back into Mr. Edwards and I’ll get the team ready?” she said walking away rapidly.

I reached out with my arm. “No – Mel wait. This is important. You need to listen to me. Mel …”

I started feeling dizzy from the lack of oxygen and from the exertion. I just lay there with a blank stare as the nurse inserted the plastic tubing down my esophagus. After the nurse was done, I could feel my lungs expanding and contracting as the machine pumped air into my lungs. It’s my fault. The child is going to die. Jules is going to die and now I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. It’s all my fault.

My body felt so weak that I couldn’t even move anymore. I couldn’t even turn my head. I watched with detached curiosity at Mel and her team getting everything ready to try and save Isabel’s baby, try to save Jules – try to save me. I could hear the whooshing sounds of my assisted breathing in my ears going in and out, in and out. I felt so helpless. I could feel myself crying from this dark chasm of hopelessness that I was falling into.

I have to do something. I have to get Mel’s attention somehow and tell her that the only way to save the baby is if I die right now. I have to make her understand. I don’t know where I got the energy from, but I managed to push my arm off my stomach and down to the side. But in doing so, my arm inadvertently landed on the breathing tube and pulled it down enough to partially dislodge it out of my throat.

Wait – that’s it. The breathing tube. If I could just pull out the breathing tube the rest of the way, I’ll just suffocate to death. What could be more natural than that? I tried extending my arm further out. I could feel myself trembling from exhaustion. I tried focusing as much energy as I could into my arm, and I could feel the tube slowly slithering out of my mouth. It’s working. Just a little bit more. I just need one more push and it would be completely out. I could feel the tip of the tube inside my mouth and as much as I tried, it just wouldn’t come out. So, I finally just used my tongue to push it out.

I could feel myself wheezing as my body instinctively tried to suck in the air it so desperately needed to keep me alive. The rhythm of my breathing started getting slower and slower. My heartbeat was becoming more and more irregular. Then I started visualizing dual realities again. As Mel and her team worked on delivering Isabel’s baby, I saw Jules the adult walking in holding a small toddler in one arm while holding hands with a beautiful lady with light brown straight hair dropping past her shoulders.

Then I saw each version of Jules walking in and interacting with each other as if each of them were individuals apart from themselves. Each of them were just like I remembered them in my visions. The sixteen-year-old in his fancy tuxedo; the thirteen-year-old wearing his school clothes with his backpack; the ten-year-old sitting on his bike with his jeans and his shoes full of mud.

Where’s Little Jules? While I was wondering where he was, I felt him climbing onto the bed and started snuggling himself right next to me holding a large pinecone against his chest like a toy. They all stood around my bed staring at me with a mixture of joy and sympathy and sadness. I knew that it was finally time for me to let go – something they had been trying to tell me this whole time.

Little Jules looked up at me with a long thoughtful smile. “You’ve been really, really good Julian. Now you get to see your big surprise.”

“And what surprise is that?” I whispered.

“The surprise of a lifetime,” he said snuggling into me.

I could feel my body shutting down. I could hear echoes of Isabel crying out from her labor pains as she bore down. My breaths were like waves crashing into the seashore in my ears getting shorter and farther apart. This is it – this is the end of my existence. But now I get to be reborn into a brand-new body free from this deadly disease.

But still, a part of me felt like I wanted to hold on. I wanted to be more than the sub-conscious of my reincarnation. I wanted my thoughts to be separate from Jules’ thoughts. I wanted to have awareness as me – as Julian, even if it was separate and even beneath the surface from the awareness of Jules. Cogito, ergo sum – I think, therefore I am.

 Everything started fading and I found myself standing in front of that giant tunnel in the sky. I could feel myself being drawn into the white comforting light and felt my body being enveloped like a warm blanket out of the drier on a cold winter morning. I could see my lifeline slowly detaching itself from my body as I made my way towards the light.

But right before crossing the threshold into my new existence, I reached out in a last-minute attempt to hold on to the part of me that was still me. There was a powerful ripple in the ether which catapulted a segment of my lifeline back into my body. Despite my confusion, somehow it felt unnatural. I don’t think this was supposed to happen. Suddenly, I found myself in an empty void where time and space were meaningless. I could hear voices that somehow sounded familiar, but at the same time didn’t.

“Congratulations Isabel. It’s a boy,” I heard the familiar voice say. “You’ll be glad to know that his heartbeat is strong. We’ll check his vital signs but so far he’s looking good.”

Even though the voices and the sounds were gibberish to me, there was a spark of recognition deep down inside that gave me a semblance of awareness. Parts of the sounds that I was hearing was me crying out loud after feeling a sharp sensory disturbance. Part of my essence, my life-force had transferred and integrated itself into the body of this new creation. The part that was the infant was dormant and merely responding to basic stimuli. But another part was aware of a different presence.

“What are going to name him Isabel?” asked the familiar voice.

I knew right away what her answer was going to be.

“Jules. I’m going to name him Jules,” she said proudly.

Jules – we are Jules now. I am reborn – and I am aware.

My journey continues …


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