I love writing prompts.  Every now and then, I find one in the the bottomless depths of Pinterest that plants a driving seed within me.  One that must be watered, and nourished, and…

Well, just plain written.

Here is one of my latest attempts.  The prompt itself, in this case, is the quoted paragraph in blue below.  From then on…it’s open season.  Enjoy!

“You’re okay.  Breathe. Just breathe.  Open your eyes. Come back.  It’s okay.  It’s all over now. You’re okay.  Wake up. Please wake up. Don’t do this to me.  Don’t do this to me. Don’t do this to me. I love you so fucking much.  Come back.”

I stopped.

Funny; I thought I heard a voice, something longing and lasting and desperately beautiful calling to me.  But that was a silly thing to think, wasn’t it?

Wasn’t it?

My spirit guide had stopped, too, right beside me.  Her robes drifted in the nonexistent breeze, as fluttering in curiosity.

“Didn’t you have a friend?” she began, then hesitated.  She had no reason to pause; she had kept me strong through everything.  The head-on collision, the rising panic as I felt the blood leak from the inside to the outside of my body, the numbness that spread through my screaming wounds like a forgiving heat.  Then, the coma, and the promise that when the time came, she would walk me out, and I wouldn’t feel a damn thing. And she had been right; the separation had been glorious. I felt lighter and clearer-headed than I ever thought possible.

I stood beside her, waiting until she was ready to go on.  In front of us, the end of the tunnel. She’d promised me temples, buildings with golden and silver and pearlescent domes.  Walkways of diamonds and glass. Fruit trees with succulent treats that sparkled under the eternal sun. And the fashion! Everyone was young and beautiful, and music filled everyone’s hearts so fully, so robustly, that every pulse was a harmony.

She met my eyes.  “This isn’t delusion,” she said.  “We’re not here to drag you into the end.  We’ll always be here.” I didn’t have to ask her what she was talking about.  Like this, I knew.

Fifteen years we’d known each other, he and I.  We met in kung fu training, where he was already loved and respected.  I pretended not to notice him, and he initially appreciated my deceit. He was also already engaged.  I trained hard, became an instructor and his rival for attention. People loved and respected me, too.  He married, to a beautiful, predictable bride. He became busy, and brought her to class in her free time.  She met me and started visiting the studio when he wasn’t there. But I was.

In time, he learned to hate me.  I’d perfected my own ire years before.  His wife was not fooled, by either of us.  Soon, he left the school. I stayed. My job moved.  We ended up working in the same building, ran into each other at lunch.  Found out that we were more similar than we’d allowed each other to know.  It became harder to hate, more painful to avoid. So I stopped the pain. I got another job, in another building.  I told him I would never talk to him again.

And then, the accident.

In that tunnel, I knew everything.  I remembered everything. I relived everything.  It only had to matter to me if I wanted it to. His life was open to me.  His wife had been threatening to leave him for years; finally, he called her bluff and signed the papers she’d faxed to his job.  He’d resented her since the wedding, when she’d confessed that she had never been pregnant to begin with.

Come back.  Come back to me.  Please don’t leave.  I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.  I shouldn’t have waited. I’ll stay.  I’ll help you. Please come back to me.  Please. Please. Please. Please.

He had been in the hospital almost every day.  He left me flowers at first, then trinkets, then cards, then letters from the kung fu kids.  Brought changes of clothes for me, for himself. Turned off his phone and held my unresponsive hand for hours.  Lost weight. Took leave from work. Braced his head on my hip and let his tears soak the sterile, over-starched bed sheets.

The damage I had taken was not permanent, but it would take some time–a very long time–before the headaches would stop and my emotions would stabilize.  The seizures would leave me disoriented, and I would soil myself on more than one occasion. I would always have a limp (stupid shattered kneecap), and in my old age, it would be impossible to sit for long and short periods of time.  He would get upset, scared, angry, hurt, confused.

But he would stay.  I would love him forever for that.

I looked at my spirit guide for confirmation.  “Oh, yes,” she said. “He will stay. Because he wants to.”

I smiled.  Behind me, only a few steps away, I could feel the milky sweetness of eternity parting to welcome me in.  It was ardent and refreshing, a taste I would remember until my final days.

I would tell him all about it when I woke up.