nodded once again, still trying to fully comprehend my decision. I didn’t blame
him. It wasn’t every day somebody said they wanted to forget about dying.
put on a smile and shrugged. “Well… it is
His face lit
up. “I have an idea! Let’s go meet all the folks ‘round here!”
“Sounds like a fine idea” I responded. Getting to see the locals sounded like
the best way to get used to my new life in this new land. It was a first step.
got his sense of humor back. “You’ll like all the girls ‘round here, they’re
real pretty” he said grinning.
punched him on the shoulder. “Grandpa!”
currently walking towards the town square of the area I lived in. There was a
large fountain depicting an angel spewing water out of its mouth. Surrounding
it was a barrier of gold and silver blocks. I started strolling towards a group
of people resting beside the beautiful structure, but my Grandpa steered my
away from them.
heavy grievers” he said, gesturing at the people by the fountain. “Best to
and followed my Grandpa. He pointed up ahead at a building at the edge of the
where all the characters are” he said happily. “This is the After Café. Amazing
name choice, I know”.
I laughed at
my Grandpa’s joke and opened the café door for him. Looking at the building
from the outside, it looked very eye-catching, but on the inside it looked like
any ordinary restaurant in the world. The menu, however, was huge, and so was
the interior even though the exterior had said otherwise. I guessed some
afterlife magic was at work.
as we walked in, my Grandpa was called by a trio of elderly gentlemen sitting
in front of a window.
Barry! Good day to ya?”
breathed a quiet sigh. He didn’t like his actual name too much. He preferred to
be called Brandon, and that’s what we always had called him. I assumed he made
an exception for his friends, though he didn’t seem to like having to.
nodded. “Yes, it’s been a fine day” he responded.
One of the
men gestured to me. “Who’s the boy with ya?”
was caught off-guard by this question. He took a deep breath and replied.
grandson” he said while staying in a cheery mood.
The men were
grandson?” they said, almost in perfect unison. “How old is he?”
said the good die too young” one of the men said. He shrugged and pulled two
chairs over to his table.
“You seem to
not be troubled so much, so I won’t bother ya” he said. “Why don’t ya’ll sit
down?” he offered us.
nodded. “Don’t mind if I do”.
I took a
seat at the table, my Grandpa sitting down right next to me. The three men
began to introduce themselves to me.
good to see ya” one of them said while shaking my hand. “My name’s Kyle”. He
nodded to the man next to him.
Vernon” he said. Vernon smiled and shook my hand as well.
Phil” the last man introduced himself. He shook my hand as well.
“So I guess
you’ve been getting ‘round the town well?” Vernon asked me. His voice was
really deep and a little hard to comprehend.
I shook my
head. “This is the first place I’ve gone, excluding my house”.
Phil said. “I heard that some young fellow was moving in soon”.
“I guess that was me”.
“Did you get
a good place?” Kyle asked me. I shook my head.
like it at all. I’ll get used to it eventually” I answered.
“I hated my
first place as well” Vernon said. “They recreated the place I lived in when I
was a kid. Broke me up pretty good”.
place was my vacation home in France!” Kyle chipped in.
that one house I spent the night in with that hot chick in Vegas” Phil said.
and the other men broke out into laughter. I laughed weakly, as I didn’t
understand their humor up to this point.
told his own joke while still laughing from the previously told one. “My first
home was that one vacation home in Ohio!” he said. The men all laughed. I did,
too. There really weren’t too many places to go to in Ohio.
your place still has that still of your life” Kyle commented, bringing back the
subject of my house.
“I don’t want to talk about it” I muttered, barely audible to the men.
nodded. “Don’t worry, we know the feeling”.
and shook his head. “Yeah, I remember my still picture. Got it removed as soon
as I possibly could. I don’t wish to talk about that either”.
that looked to be as old as the men came over to our table. She was wearing a
pink dress with her nametag that read ‘Jane Smith’ pinned under her right
“Can I get
you anything?” she asked me. Picking up a menu in front of me, I just asked for
a cherry Coca-Cola. All I needed was a good amount of caffeine in my body.
memory flashed in my head; I had planned something when I was alive that
involved a lot of soda… but for some reason, even though I had barely been in
the afterlife for an hour, I couldn’t seem to recall it. Maybe my venture to
erase my memories of when I was living was working.
over at my Grandpa and his friends. “Don’t you guys want anything?” I asked
shook their heads. “Jane knows what we get” Kyle answered.
nodded. “Always the same thing. I’m assuming it’s no different today?”
nodded. “Yep. Same old, same old” Vernon said, waving his hand.
jotted our orders down on her notepad and disappeared behind the counter.
his hands. “Well, you seem like a fairly nice young boy. The world needs more
of you” he said, complimenting me, something I heard rarely.
it’s polluted by the likes of idiots and jerks” I responded. It wasn’t the best
way to reply to the praise, but it was the truth.
shrugged. “It’s tough, but eventually those people will get smacked in the face
by reality. It doesn’t take too long”.
nudged me. “He’s right, you know. Idiots and jerks can’t stay like they used to
be or they sink” he told me.
I bowed my
head. “It’s just hard… they bug you so much you can’t wait for reality”.
don’t have to care about those individuals now!” Vernon said cheerily. “They
aren’t around these parts, nor will they ever be”.
that!” My Grandpa said, nodding. I seconded his call.
came back with our drinks. The glasses were huge; I couldn’t wait to drink it
picked the glass up away from me.
think you’ll do well with that, you look like Jaws over there!” he joked. I
laughed and he gave the wonderful drink back to me. My Grandpa had always been
one for humor, whether it is good or not. He just liked making people smile or
at least trying to.
I dove right
into the soda and immediately felt much better. The savory cherry taste felt so
good. It put me at ease for what seemed to be the first time today. I started
chipping away at my mountain of memories, and so far progress was steady.
Kyle took a
sip of his own drink. “Ah, now this is the stuff you know” he announced to the
“You tell us that every day” he pointed out.
shrugged in response. “My opinion won’t change”.
I shook my
head. “This is where it’s at” I told them, holding up my soda.
a big soda fan” Phil said.
stuff when I was little” Vernon said. “All I wanted to do is play and have
My mind shot
a brief memory into my head of me and my friends running around at a waterpark
and playing a very intense game of tag. We splashed water at each other and
dove away from close tags.
wrong with that” I replied.
all!” My Grandpa shouted, “Unless someone gets hurt”.
laughed. “Then it gets hilarious!” he said. We all had a good laugh and started
playing off of the joke. The first few were funny, but we quickly stopped when
the joke got old. Another memory of joking around tried to get into my mind,
but it was shut down.
back over to our table. “Want anything to eat for today?” she asked us.
back over at my menu and was about to say something when my Grandpa spoke up.
“I was actually
thinking we could scoot out” he said.
fine” Vernon said, waving his hand.
around the afterlife!” Phil called after us as we walked out the door.
opened up the exit and we both headed outside.
wondering, why’d we bail on them?” I asked Grandpa.
loud as the meal progresses” he confessed to me. “One drink leads to another,
and they can get a little annoying. I didn’t want to subject you to that on
your first day”.
“I’m used to loud people. But it doesn’t matter, let’s get going”.
across the square and down a path made purely out of silver and gold.
Everything seemed to be made out of those two particular materials in the
afterlife, and it seemed to brighten everything up.
was moving faster than he usually did. I had neglected to mention he wasn’t
even wearing his cane anymore.
you using your cane?” I asked him.
“No need for
it” he responded simply. “If you’re injured or handicapped, you recover from
your condition and are able to move around freely”. He smiled. “It’s a very
A large path
winded down to a huge house. That’s an understatement; it was gigantic, made
purely out of shiny-looking cobblestone and more silver and gold bricks. The
windows were blue with intricate designs on them colored in red. The walls
around the place and the towers made it look reminiscent of an old Medieval
Times castle. This one had obviously been modified quite a bit.
noticed I was gazing at the structure.
where good ol’ George lives” he said, pointing at the building.
asked, wondering who it was.
“He runs the
afterlife” he replied. “Nicest man I’ve ever met. He’s done nothing wrong to
meeting that one man before and after I had entered the afterlife. I assumed
that had been George.
incredibly busy twenty-four seven. You know, running the afterlife is no
down the path.
we going to go to now?” I asked.
wandering” Grandpa said.
Just as we
passed by the pathway that lead to George’s residence, we heard a creaking
sound of what sounded like a gate opening. We both turned our heads looking for
the source, and we located it at the entrance to George’s large house. Emerging
from the house was the man himself, decked out in a shining silver robe.
“So I see
you’re getting around fine!” he called after me.
I was unsure
how to reply, as I had just learned this man was incredibly busy every living
minute of his life. Now he had the time to chat with me?
“I guess you
like this place more than you originally thought” he said. “I told you it just
takes a little getting used to”.
He waved at
my Grandpa. “Brandon, good day?”
He was just
as unsure how to respond as I. “I… guess” he said, stuttering.
sighed. “Its OK guys, don’t treat me like I’m a dozen levels above you”.
I managed to
start some conversation with this man. “We were just by a café”.
I guess?” George assumed. “It is your Grandpa’s favorite after all”.
“It’s a nice
place” I said.
nodded in thanks. “I knew building it would be a good idea”.
indeed. Brick by brick. Doesn’t take too long”.
“I know. I
built the Parthenon just piling some bricks on each other”.
laughed. “You’ve got a sarcastic humor” he pointed out. “I’ve been sarcastic
for all of my life”.
“So have I”.
“But I was
I offered a
little laugh at his response.
raised his hand as though he had an idea. “You know, you seem like a very nice
teenager. Why don’t you come over to my residence for a little while later
today, hmm? You can get to know some people”.
over at my Grandpa. His mouth was wide open in shock. He looked down at me,
smiled, then nodded in approval.
grinned. “Good. Just be around at my place at about… 4 I guess? Sounds good
back into his residence, waving as he did. “See you then!”
gates closed behind him as he walked back inside his house. My Grandpa’s mouth
was still wide open in surprise; the conversation had gone by so quickly, and I
had just made plans to hang out with the most powerful man in this world.
interesting person” I commented. It marked the understatement of the day.
patted me on the back. “You just got invited to George’s house! That rarely
happens to anybody!” he said in congratulations.
“So it’s not
that common?” I asked him.
shook his head furiously. “No! It’s a privilege and an incredibly rare request
would have guessed that on my first day in the afterlife I would get to be in
the presence of the man who ran the place himself, and at his own house! I
could barely recall anything that had happened in my past life at this point;
forgetting was easier than I thought. Hopefully all of my old life will be
dissolved into nothing eventually.
was extremely proud of how I got to be with George this afternoon, and he
continually expressed that feeling over the course of the day. I felt slightly
nervous by the fact that I was going to go see him. What were his expectations?
Who would be there?
these rampaging thoughts out and just continued to follow my Grandpa around the
large city that was the afterlife. We went by many more restaurants, cafés, and
saw many more people of various looks and personalities. Grandpa seemed to have
a lot of friends around the place.
I heard a
bell chime in the background. In the distance, I could see a bell tower. It was
probably counting the hours of the day.
pointed at the structure. “That’s basically the clock for this section of the
afterlife” he said. “It’s three o’clock PM right now”.
I nodded and
noted the time in my head; I had one hour left until I went to go see George at
deeper into the afterlife, the buildings as luxurious and unique as the ones
where I lived. There were plenty of places to go from the looks of it.
a good spot” my Grandpa said, motioning ahead towards what seemed to be a
I raised an
eyebrow. “Why is there a furniture store here, out of all stores?” I asked him.
for your home. I doubt you have stuff in yours yet” he responded.
stopping by now?”
“No, no. It
would be silly to drop by at this time” he answered, shaking his head.
I gazed at
all of the furniture inside the store. They ranged from small enough to fit a
baby, to big enough to fit a party. The multiple colors on the fixtures looked
like a giant rainbow. Some of them had golden decorations on them.
I stared in
amazement at the most expensive fittings. Materials such as those cost a great
deal of currency back on Earth, in the real world. How could I possibly afford
such things? I didn’t even have any money.
how do people afford this stuff?” I asked.
shook his head. “It’s not about money here. Everything’s free”.
is free? Couldn’t that be abused really easily?” I asked.
that make it into the afterlife have enough sense to not take a bunch of stuff
from a place. They limit themselves”.
and I kept going into the afterlife, checking out the places that caught our
eye the most. I seemed to have completely forgotten about my previous life. All
of my focus turned to this life, one that I could tell I would enjoy.
chimed in the distance.
be three-thirty o’clock PM” my Grandpa pointed out. “We best get heading back
if you want to look good at George’s place”.
my fists and shook my head. “Well, great. We’re so far away, we won’t get to my
house in time!” I said.
smiled, his face alight. He must have had an idea.
We can just teleport!”
I took a
step back in surprise.
nodded excitedly. “Yes! Yes we can!” He came over by my side. “It’s not very
hard either, so don’t worry about mastering it”.
simple? Those words don’t seem to fit” I said.
is easy. Just say ‘teleport’ and then the place you want to go to. It’s just
“Are you just playing tricks on me?”
He shook his
head. “This is completely true. No lie”.
I took a
deep breath, released it, then spoke the words I was instructed to.
home” I said. I waited a few seconds for something amazing to happen, but
nothing did. Suddenly, I felt by body jolt forward, a weird electric feeling
passing into my body. I started spinning around slowly, my body gradually being
raised into the air.
like that, I found myself home. I looked around to make sure; it was indeed.
The picture of my life was no longer playing. It looked as though someone had
thankfully pressed the pause button.
A knock came
on my door. I strolled over to answer it. I opened up the door and saw my
Grandpa standing on the threshold.
“So, how was
your first teleport?” he asked me, smiling.
“Weird. I mean, it felt weird”.
says that their first time” he responded. He clapped his hands.
you’re gonna need something half-decent for tonight I would assume” he said.
“Do you have anything sort of nice?”
I shook my
head. “I don’t have any clothes to begin with”.
My Grandpa shook his in response.
have one. Sometimes it just takes time for your clothes to be transported”.
upstairs quick, and lo and behold; my clothes, sorted nicely on table in the
corner of the room. Looking the clothes over, I picked up a green and white
shirt with my tan khakis.
I came back
downstairs wearing my clothes for the night. My Grandpa nodded.
that’ll do” he said. He walked back to the door and opened it up.
“We best be
on our way then. Don’t want to be late”.
just teleport?” I asked.
George’s house. It’s the only place in the afterlife that can’t be teleported
need to get going then”.
held open the door for me, and we began to go down to George’s house.