Ally had grown used to floating around. At least it was comfortable. Ally tended to see things from ‘this world’ Ally’s point of view, however, because it had grown so boring to watch everything happen from above. Especially when Ally, that is, herself, was asleep. Who knew that one’s spirit stayed awake when the body slept? Must be the stuff of dreams. Hey, now there’s an idea! Maybe I can influence myself through dreams? But what would I attempt to communicate? And why did it take me nearly forty years to think of doing that? She would have to think of a plan.
She followed, as she must, Ally and Joel as they traveled to a new location. Ally, now forty-five-years old, asked Joel, “Where are we?”
Joel answered, “What does you angel sense tell you?”
She sniffed the air and then told him, and he said, “Correct.”
She never realized how regularly that scenario played out. One would think she would have learned by now. Ally vowed she would change that dynamic once she returned to her world.
If she returned to her world. She’d given up a long time ago hoping for any solution to getting back to her real world. Every five years she would contact the wizard and all he ever said was, “I’m working on it.” I mean, really, how long could it take to round up a counter spell that would get her out? He’s had at least six hours, his time. Unless the spell required him obtaining some hard to acquire items, she couldn’t imagine what could take him more than an hour or two. She had begun to suspect he wasn’t being honest with her.
Joel said, “Maybe you should engage your emotional connection. That appears to be the easiest way to figure out who or what is our assignment.”
“Sure” Ally willed her connection open. “I’m sensing some distress in that building over there.” She pointed to it.
“That is a hospital. Of course there will be distress there.”
“Well, I don’t know. Maybe God sent us here to heal someone in there.”
Joel started walking toward the building.
“Wait! Do you actually think I’m right?”
“No, more than likely you’re wrong. But I figured it was worth checking out to keep you happy.”
Ally shook her head. “Really? You think I’m wrong?”
“Not definitively, but more than likely.”
“Keep me happy?” Ally threw up her hands. “Angels.”
They both marched toward the Hospital, with the “Ally balloon,” as she had taken to calling her spirit trapped in this world, in tow behind the Ally of this world. But Ally would tire of listening to herself and Joel chat about stuff. So she would often distract herself from what they were talking about. I wonder what it is about our conversations that I don’t want to hear? She had never asked herself that question before. But it was painfully obvious that something didn’t sit well with her.
I know. Ally contemplated her thoughts. I think it is Joel’s attitude. He is so arrogant, because he is superior to humans in many ways. And he tends to assume that he is and acts accordingly. He even comes across to me like he’s using me. There, she had said it. Something she had inwardly felt for a long time. Being an observer of their interactions had revealed that truth to her. In addition to her own “love-sick” attitude, where no matter what Joel said or did, she acted like a love-sick puppy around him. It might be expected of a teenager, but it didn’t look good at all on a middle-aged woman. Maybe it was the sense of distance she felt as well. While the “this-world” Joel was a decent substitute, it had been years since she had made any direct contact with her Joel. I wonder if this Joel accurately reflects my real-world Joel? Maybe the dynamic I’m seeing here is, well, wrong? Somewhere deep inside, however, she feared it wasn’t.
Kaylee and Joel had more conversation with Josh, but about other topics, more to help time pass than anything. But finally they left Josh’s house after enough time had elapsed that Joel figured Ally should be close to dying.
As they said their goodbyes and stepped off of Josh’s porch to head back, Kaylee turned toward Joel and said, “I have a favor to ask of you.”
He paused, then asked, “Does this have to do with further ‘active-waiting’?”
“No, and yes.” She paused, attempting to read Joel’s facial expression, which appeared blank to her. So she continued, “No, in that my first request was more of where we should go to wait, given that she was on her way to her house, wouldn’t it be logical to believe that her house is where she would first appear?”
Joel smiles. “Why, yes she would. But your second request?”
Kaylee didn’t look directly at him. “I was wondering if it was possible to stop and take a peek at the time-warp you were both talking about.”
“What? Why?” Joel’s left eyebrow was cocked up along with his left cheek and his mouth slightly half-cocked along with them.
“I don’t quite know, other than just to see it.” She knew the angel enjoyed showing-off his knowledge.
“Hum, I suppose it could be managed. It isn’t normal to say in that transportation state very long. But I think I can manage it.”
“Think or know?”
“I know I can, what I’m unsure of is how powerful the draw on you will be. No problem when you are traveling multiple-times faster than the speed of light. But to stop and take a gander at it, you could end up in the time trap yourself.”
“That’s a risk I’m willing to take. I mean, if the only real risk is losing a day, then I think it is worth it.”
“Are you sure?” Joel stared at her. “You would be sucked in right before Ally returns. While it is a day in our life, it will seem to be an entire life-time before you get to see her again.”
“I think so.”
‘Think or know?” Joel smiled at her.
Kaylee looked him in the eye. “Know so.” Kaylee smiled back. “After all, I trust you not to let me get sucked into his trap.”
He sighed. “The things I do for you girls.” Then they disappeared in a flash of light.
Kaylee jerked when she same out of the angel transport. Her feet weren’t touching anything solid, just air. Or whatever the equivalent of air in this place was. It felt more like a void to her. When she jerked, she slowly started spinning until she was upside down. “Which way is up!”
Joel laughed. “Everywhere is up and everywhere is down. You need to stop kicking the void if you don’t want to spin.” Joel grabbed her hand and moved her until she was “upright” with him.
Kaylee scanned the scenery. A ball of something stood in the distance. The darkness was punctured with little lights, like the kind one might see on a summer’s night in Camellia. Except now, there were untold numbers of them everywhere, some brighter than others. To her right, at least currently, there was a cone of whirling stuff. She pointed at it, “I assume that would be the time warp?”
“Yep.” Joel stood staring at it.
Kaylee started drifting toward it. Joel grabbed her hand and pulled her back. “Okay, you’ve seen it. Best we go on.”
“Wait! Can we get closer?”
“I don’t think that would be a good idea. Already it’s pull on you is getting stronger.”
Kaylee knew he was right, but also trusted the angel to save her. The pull, however, was indeed getting stronger. This would have to do. She yelled out as loud as she could, “Ally, kill yourself to escape!”
About that time, Kaylee’s hand slipped from Joel’s, and she tumbled toward the hole. Joel zipped toward her. “See, I told you we needed to leave!” His hand drew closer to hers, until their fingertips touched.
The next sight Kaylee saw was Ally’s living room. They rolled across the floor until they stopped just short of the living room wall.
Joel stood and dusted himself off, breathing heavier than usual. “Why did you do that?”
“Just a hunch that she might get the message.” Kaylee also rose from the floor and straightened her hair.
“But she should be old right now, ready to die at any time. Even if your message gets through, she’ll die maybe a little earlier, but only by a few minutes.”
Kaylee growled, “But to her it will feel like years! Don’t you even care what she is going through? Your own wife?”
“Of course I do. It’s just that, I have no choice in the matter.” He stared Kaylee in the eyes. “The Big Boss said wait. He might get me a demotion or something. My only out is—“
“That I did it because I love her. God loves her too. Don’t you think He cares?”
“Well, of course. But why did he tell me to wait, then?”
“I don’t know. Only He does. Maybe it was a test to find out how much you love her. Ever thought of that?” Kaylee waited for the angel’s response with her arms crossed.
“Honestly,” He bowed his head. “That thought never even crossed my mind.” He paced the floor. “If it was a test, it was a mean one, because I failed it miserably. All I could think about was—”
“Yourself. Your potential promotion in the ranks of angels.”
“Doing what the Big Boss told me to do.” Joel flopped onto the couch.
“In other words, yourself, to make yourself look good for the ‘Boss.’” Kaylee sat beside Joel. She said with a soft voice, “I know you love her, God knows it as well.”
“Maybe not after this.”
“No, he even knows what’s in an angel’s heart. My guess is that he wanted you to realize it. Because if you didn’t love her, you would not be so heartbroken about it now.”
He wiped his nose on his sleeve. “Why yes, you are right.” He smiled at Kaylee. “Well, we can always hope what you did will get through to her. You never know.”
She smiled back at him. “No, you never know.”
“There is one other thing. I don’t know for sure whether I should reveal this, but I think I already have.”
Kaylee’s eyes widened. “You mean, you’re going to admit to it? Of course I already know. I was hoping you would eventually fess up.”
“I did erase her memories of her emotional connection she had up until entering the steam house.”
Kaylee’s eyes grew wider. “You did! Just those memories?”
“I thought you knew?”
“I thought you erased all her memories.”
“No, just the ones concerning her experiences of an emotional connection.”
“Best I wait to divulge that once Ally has returned. It should be within the hour.”
“You mean, within five years for her.”
“Unless she receives you message and is able to act on it.”
Kaylee sighed. “Yes, I know it is a long shot, but I had to try.”
Joel’s arms reached around Kaylee and hugged her. “Did I ever tell you that I love you as well?”
“You didn’t have too. All the years you provided me with tea was evidence enough.” Kaylee squeezed Joel back, but he failed to let go. “You said Ally could reappear at any time? If so, you should stop hugging me like this. You don’t have any idea what seeing us like this would do to her.”
He released Kaylee. “Sorry.”
Ally sat alone. Kaylee would pop in every once in a while to check on her, but by and large, Ally was alone, sitting in a chair. On occasion, Joel would flash in, talk a bit, and then he would be gone on his next assignment. He had set up something called a TV which he had enabled it to receive some Earth stations, as Joel called them. They did help pass the time, but were poor substitutes for real interaction. It was a weird feeling, being bored while in Paradise.
However, she did so enjoy when Joel did come. His presence gave her cause to look forward to seeing him, though the visits were always way too short. She assumed he generally didn’t stick around very long because he could bear to see her in her old age.
Now happened to be one of those visits. Joel sat in a chair, telling her about his last assignment.
He stopped chatting. “Yes, Sister?”
“I had a strange dream, sort of a semi-real dream the other night.”
Joel’s eyes perked up. “Do tell?”
Ally had to use short bursts to talk, it strained her voice to talk too long. “I dreamed that, I heard a voice, as if from, a void.” Joel watched as she struggled to catch her breath. “It sounded like, Kaylee’s voice.”
Joel’s eyes grew wider.
“She said, ‘Ally, kill yourself to escape. But to escape, what I have no idea. This life?”
“It would do that.” Joel stared at her. “You’re not really thinking of doing it, are you?”
“It goes against, everything I’ve, always believed. Yet, it is tempting, I’ll admit.”
Joel threw up his hands. “But you live in Paradise? How could you be tempted to die while in Paradise?”
“Have you looked at me, lately? I mean, really looked at me? I’m old, my energy has been spent. I’m merely waiting, here in Paradise, to die? I’m alone. I’m . . .” She glanced up at Joel to make sure he listened. ‘Lonely. In Paradise. Do you have, any idea, what that feels like?”
Joel slowly shook his head. “I’m sorry. I don’t know. Though I can tell you are having a hard time with it. I can empathize to a degree with you.”
Ally watched from above at herself chatting with Joel. She could empathize, because she had grown bored and felt lonely watching her sit in a chair for hours on end, then to go to bed and sleep, over and over for the past four years.
But this dream she had related to Joel was something new. She knew she had rarely ever had dreams such as that, and she immediately knew it must be Kaylee’s attempt to contact her. To tell her what to do to get out of this time-trap.
It all made sense to her now. The one thing the wizard never intended to tell her all these yeas was how to exit the trap. He probably didn’t really believe her that she wasn’t a wizard, out after his secrets. So he intended to keep her locked up in here as long as possible. How dare he!
But the bigger question was how to influence herself to kill herself so this “fantasy” could end? That wouldn’t be easy. She had minimal influence over her this-world-self, but what she could do, she would. She had no idea how much longer she would live in this state. But she hated it, as obviously her this-world-self did too. Though she knew it would only be minutes more in her world, it would be another year or three in this one. She wasn’t sure she could survive that long. She had to laugh at herself at the last comment. But she did have some hope in that she had said that she was tempted.
Joel appeared before Ally in a flash of light. “I believe I have some good news for you, Sister.”
Ally struggled to open her eyes as she had been napping. “Really? This had better be good.” That came out more sarcastic than she intended, but at this stage of life, she didn’t care.
Joel said, “Whatever. But based on your dream, which you received, I took the initiative to ask the Big Boss, and he said that your death is a go.”
“Is a go?”
“As in, ‘let’s do this,’ ‘get the job done,’ or ‘do it.’ In other words, he’s authorized me to kill you.”
“Hold on, Brother. I said I was tempted, not that I was ready.” Ally thought for a moment. “So God actually said it was okay for you to kill me?”
“Yeah.” The angel smiled at her.
Ally frowned. “You don’t have to look, so happy about it.”
Ally above, was deep in mediation, in the hopes of influencing herself to take the angel up on his offer. She did not want to continue this charade for another several years. She repeated the words, kill yourself, kill yourself, over and over again in her mind.
“But, I thought you would be happy?” Joel raised an eyebrow. “You certainly aren’t now.”
“To tell the truth, there doesn’t appear to be much point to continue living. I can’t do anything productive—”
“Except a thriving prayer ministry!”
“Except I don’t have anyone to pray over. Most everyone I know is in Paradise already.”
Joel scratched his head. “I see your point. The Big Boss did allow it, in this circumstance that he labeled as highly unusual.”
“I’ll say this is a highly usual circumstance.”
“Most definitely.” The angel watched Ally, awaiting an answer.
“Since God has granted this request of yours, it must mean he thinks it would be the best option, right?”
Joel paused before answering. “Just because he allows something doesn’t always mean it is the best outcome. That said, I do sense that it very well may be the case in this instance.”
Ally examined Joel’s eyes before smiling. “I think I’m ready then. After all, once I’m dead, I’ll return here and, maybe we can go on some assignments again.”
Joel smiled. “Yes, that is definitely a possibility.”
“I think I would like that.”
Joel examined her for a moment. “I probably have not said it enough these past years, Ally of Reol, but I do love you.”
Ally wiped her eyes. “And I you.”
With that, Joel waved his hand over Ally. She lost consciousnesses and slept a very deep sleep.