by Kyra Rooney
It began with my mother. Flashes of her presence cycled between visual interpretations and sensations of her being. It was like how it was when I was young. We were companions, and we were intimate and playful, the way a mother and daughter always should be.
We were among a multitude of subways. This subway system was not cramped. It was an expansive, intricate highway of trains. There were people around but not so many to the point of overwhelming chaos. Tracks were in disorder–some cut short and some balanced over the city and some crossed over others. Amidst the disorganization, they still worked together to function. Despite this, my thoughts were distracted by my friend Jack’s recent suicide. The rabbit hole of him and the times we shared left as soon as the train eased towards us. My mother and I entered the train but realized that we mistakenly took the wrong one. We traveled on a bridge overlooking the entire city, so we weren’t disappointed about the setback. Once we exited the train, my mother’s presence left, but not uncomfortably or abruptly.
I started down a sort of lopsided concrete street for a few minutes. I was in a state of subtle tranquility and soon felt Jack’s being walk alongside me. He was surrounding me gently to notify me that he was with me. I knew it was him. He had no physical body since that had already passed on to another plane. His voice emerged in my head after he walked with my presence for a while. He started joking with me just as he always used to. They were his usual sort of jokes that made fun of my innocence, sex jokes, and all of the normal Jack-like vulgar things I would expect to hear from him. I didn’t respond to him because I was consumed with laughter. His words spoke to me clearly through real time conversation. All of his vocal fluctuations and scoffs and half laughs were there. I felt the lit up white reflections in his eyes that gleamed when he said something he knew he shouldn’t. I felt him holding a pen and looking off as he’d say something completely inappropriate, then immediately walk away as if nothing had happened. They were his final words to me.
We kept walking along the sidewalk when gradually the familiar background began to fade away. Ahead of us an enormous, illuminated sphere appeared. We revolved around the bright surface of the moon and all of its grayed craters. We were no longer beings, only sensations drifting with the gravitational tug of the iridescent rock. Jack was taking me on a tour of his soul’s new home. Our voices and laughter hushed, but our presence was stronger than it had ever been on earth.
We floated away from the moon and faced vast, deep space. The view was an endless, comforting darkness. As we drifted further away from familiarity and into eternity, an abundance of stars began to glow around us. Specks of light moved as never ending glimmerings of fragile but definite bulbs. Bodies, emotions, boundaries, and pain were gone. The purest form of nothingness enveloped me, and the only thing I was certain of was Jack’s guidance. We surged forward faster into star-infested space–through light years and beyond time and limits–I only felt the slight reassuring breeze of God and Jack and my collected yet simultaneously dispersed soul. I had never known anything more complete than this.
Thumbnail image by Amelia Stanford.