Avery tried to laugh. She tried to laugh the whole conversation off... But she couldn't muster the slightest bit of humor.
Jerome stared at her expectantly.
"No." She said, shaking her head. "No, you're wrong." She stood up and began to walk around the tree, unable to face her friend.
He closed his eyes and leaned his head back, resting it on the soft wood. "Don't do this, Ave."
"Don't do what, Jerome?" Avery threw her arms up in the air. "Believe that I killed myself? What the fuck kind of a person would I be if I did that? You're insane." She stopped herself. "No, you're dead." Once again she stared him straight in the face. "You're fucking dead, Jerome. And this is a dream. Simple as that."
Jerome opened his eyes. "This isn't a dream, Avery. Try to wake up."
Avery froze. "No."
He raised his eyebrow. "Because you're scared that I'm right. And if you can't wake up," he gestured to his surroundings. "then this is real."
She looked at her feet. "Yes."
A gentle breeze blew by, pushing the branches back and forth. Avery's short blonde hair flew in the wind.
"Okay, Jerome... I'll play." Avery took a deep breath. "Let's say, hypothetically, that I did kill myself. Why are you here? You died in a car accident."
Jerome stood up and turned to the cherry blossom tree. "This is where people go when they take their own life." He placed his hand on the bark and looked towards its branches. "I was sent here to help you get through."
"Sent?" She scoffed. "How would I get through to wherever, exactly."
"Come to terms with the fact that you're dead. Do what you couldn't do in life, Ave. Come to terms with just how important living is."