Dead Before I Died

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Where do you go when you don't remember a thing?
What do you do when you're so lost and lonely?
Who are you...?

Submitted: December 04, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 04, 2012



The light…

So remarkable, so white, I wanted to move towards it so badly that I felt like I was getting closer and closer to it. Then I noticed it!

I really was moving in its direction. But how? I don’t remember walking. I don’t even feel like I am. I wanted to look down, to check if I actually was, but before I knew it, it was too late. The light exploded, somewhat like a nuclear bomb. I can feel my pupils dilating as the bright light struck me, and then it all went dark.

My eyes flashed open to see lanterns floating above, between the trees. My vision was a little blurry; it took me a few seconds of blinking before I could notice it was actually the night’s stars. I realized I was lying down on the floor. As I looked around I saw I was in some sort of forest. Confused and not really sure of what’s going on, I tried to get up but fell back to the ground; my body was so weak and numb. After a couple of attempts, I stood up and intuitively I started looking for a way out. But before I could do anything, it suddenly hit me… Who am I?

I didn’t remember anything! Not where I am, not my age, not even my name. All I could remember is… her? There was a girl. I can’t put my finger on how she looks like; I don’t even recall her name. I just know she’s out there somewhere. I have to find her, for she might be the only person that can help me know what’s going on.

I felt really aggravated with how things were. I don’t know why, but it annoyed me so much that I couldn’t conjure up who she is, even more than the fact that I don’t recognize myself. As I kept walking through the forest, I couldn’t help but think about her. Who is she? What if she’s looking for me? What if she’s not? A million questions were gushing through my brain that it gave me a headache.

I didn’t know how long I was walking but it sure felt like a lot, so I decided to sit and rest on a small log. I closed my eyes and lowered my head, wondering if I’m actually heading somewhere or just turning in circles aimlessly, I heard the sound of my stomach gurgling and I felt my throat really parched. Then again, questions started surging through my mind. What if I die of starvation or dehydration? There must be a lake, pond, or even a river out here somewhere. Determined to find one, I chose to get up and look around more, but as soon as I looked up, the forest wasn’t there anymore.

Shocked, my head started spinning. Instead of the forest, I was sitting on a bench, in an empty hallway. The lights were dim and flickery, as if that place was abandoned, I stood up and looked at the door to my right. The door had a plate on it labeled “018”, and hesitantly, I turned the door knob and went in. The room was dark so I started running my hand over the wall looking for a light switch. When I hit it, light emanated and I noticed that it looks like a hospital room. There was a hospital bed with rumpled bed sheets and un-fluffed pillows, and a chair beside it. I was in a hospital.

I felt connected to that room in a way, but I didn’t know how. I couldn’t describe the feeling I got when I was in that room. It was like I was here before, I just couldn’t remember when or why. This memory thing was really starting to provoke me, and as soon as I turned around to leave the room, the scene shifted again.

“Where was I going end to up now?” I thought. The setting altered into what seemed like… a football field? I saw a football on the ground and I picked it up and just looked at it and again. I felt that same connection I had when I was in the hospital room, yet still nothing triggered my memory. I was extremely confused at that moment. None of the scenes seemed to be making any sense. Neither one of them had anything in common with the other. By then the questions in my head were starting to scream at me. What in the world did this all mean, why is this happening to me? I fell to the floor wanting to scream and cry. Just as despair was starting to take over, I realized I was no longer in the football field.

The bell then rang so loudly as I stood up in the middle of what looked like school hallway. Surrounded by lockers from both sides, I started walking forward, and that was when I saw her. She was standing in the door, wearing a white dress. With her brown hair going perfectly down on the sides of her face and her skin so white, you’d think you can almost see through her, you’d say she was an angel. An angel with big green eyes staring at you with such innocence that made you feel obligated to protect her, in any way you could. Her full lips slightly parted like she wanted to say something but couldn’t.

She was just standing there, looking at me. Something inside me told me she was that girl. The girl I was looking for, the girl that held the one memory I had. And just as I was going to call out to her, she turned and walked away, looking at me with the side of her eyes.

“No” I whispered.

I started to run after her but just as I reached the door and turned the corner, everything changed. I had just stepped out of what seemed to be a coffee shop. To my left and right were many other small shops, but all the same, empty. I looked in front of me on a big intersection with a small park in the middle with a couple of slides and swings. What was weird was it was also empty, not a single car went by though a few were parked on the side, and the traffic light didn’t change from green. I looked past the road to the park, and I saw her again. She was sitting on one of the swings, smiling with a smile that I just couldn’t convey no matter how many words I know. That smile felt so warming and familiar, to the extent that I didn’t even feel nostalgic anymore. And, to my surprise, she waved at me to come over. At least I think it was at me since no one else was around. So charmed by her, I started to cross the road. I looked both sides before I stepped off the sidewalk, but when I reached the middle of the road, out of nowhere, this light shown in my face and I heard a long honk.

Before I got the chance to even understand what was happening, everything went dark again. And then the image of the girl came into my mind. The girl on the swings smiling at me, I just couldn’t think of anything but her.

For the second time, my eyes flashed open, but this time I wasn’t in some forest, hospital room, a school, or even an intersection. I was in the ER surrounded by lots of heads with masks on. I felt sedated, I couldn’t move at all except my head slowly, and I was dizzy. I felt like I couldn’t hold up my eye lids any longer. It all went dark again.

When I woke up, I was staring at a white ceiling. I tried moving myself up, but felt a hand touch my arm. When I looked at who it was attached to, I saw the girl again, but this time I remembered her name. Sarah. Things started to come back to me now. My name is Jake. I’m a 23 year old man, who just got married to this beautiful woman, the woman that has been coming to me throughout my journey. My journey…? Was that all just a dream?

“What happened?” I finally said.

Sarah then started explaining what happened. She told me that we were both in the park and I went to get some coffee from the shop across the street, and while I was heading back, a speeding car bumped me. I was rushed into the ER room, and she was told that I had died for about 30 seconds, before I was revived again. Now I know why everything felt so familiar. All those places I’ve seen, they’re all from my life. When I was 12, I went for a camping trip with my family in that forest, and that was where I faced my biggest fears, snakes. And the hospital room I walked into, room number 18, it was the room in which I was born. The football field was where I was “living the dream”, captain of the football team, leading the team to championship. And the first time I ever met Sarah was in school, sophomore year, in that same hallway that I was in. And finally that intersection was where I had my last memory. All these are memories of my life.

I now know where all those people go to when their heart stops. In reality it’s merely a few seconds, maybe a couple of minutes. But in your head, it’s a complete new life. Those people go through important stages of their lives. A stage at which they were born and another of which they face their greatest fear. Then a third stage in which they experience their happiest moment and one where they first fell in love. And finally, the final stage, where they die. They get to relive their most precious moments.

Today was my day. I don’t know what to call that place, but all I can say is that it’s magical. This experience helped me realize what’s really important in life, made me realize that I have things to live for. I came back from the dead for those things.

© Copyright 2019 Reem El Chazli. All rights reserved.

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