02 - The Revelation
Walking down the boardwalk by the shore should be calming, yet my mind is racing from thinking about the phenomenon that occurred a week ago. The Counselor, as he called himself, instructed me to go to this park and sit on a bench to meet him again. Our previous encounter felt like a job interview, except we talked about life. I had so many questions, but he would reflect them back at me and ask, “Well, what do you believe?” At the end of the interview, the Counselor seemed pleased.
“It is a rare thing for a person as young as yourself to try so hard to pull back the curtain and peek backstage. There is a yearning for knowledge beyond what you are meant to understand. There is also a fault with the design of your reality that you cannot pinpoint, but with time, you will help us find it.”
The Counselor leaned back in his leather desk chair and crossed his arms. “Tell me, what do you fear most?”
Without hesitation, I responded. “Death. I fear death.”
“Tell me, why does death scare you?”
“When someone I know has passed, I hate the idea of the only things left behind are my memories with them. They are what I value most, and with one half of the memory gone, it only leaves myself to carry them on. As soon as I die, everything is lost, and my time spent with them might as well never happened.”
The Counselor smiled, “Knowledge is power, where I come from, and as a reward I will grant you some.”
I can’t help but smile as I recreate the experience in my mind as I continue walking. My reward put me at ease.
“Death only takes you to new possibilities and your memories are preserved, always.”
Many of the depressed episodes of my life all started around the idea that we all had only one life, and now I know for a fact there is more to add to our stories. It is an incredibly freeing feeling, as if a boulder has been lifted off of my chest. Not only that, but I also stumbled onto a secret society who are interested in recruiting me into their ranks. There seems to be a purpose to my life after all.
A bench comes into view and I speed up my pace, not because I am late, but because the excitement is too great, and my brain is telling my body to hurry up. The Counselor didn’t give much detail about this second meeting, so I can only hope to learn more about life and everything that comes after, as he promised.
Approaching the bench, I look around and realize I am alone with the exception of seagulls flying overhead. I shiver as I pull back my jacket sleeve to reveal my watch. Right on time, so I sit down to bundle up and wait. The seagulls circle above, and I take a deep breath as I take in the serene scene before me.
A rather large seagull lands in front of me and turns its head, eyeing me. I stare back at its unusually bright yellow eye and become transfixed. Once I manage to break free from the eye, I stand and notice my surroundings losing color. I spin to view my landscape turning a bleak grey and when I fully turn around, a young Indian girl, about my age, stands in the bird’s place.
She smiles, “Hello Kate, my name is Jaanvi.”
I smile back, in love with the magic that I witnessed. Jaanvi and I are the only things in view with color. Her traditional Indian clothing shows all the color the surrounding park has lost. I feel underdressed in my simple outfit of a green redfield jacket and blue jeans. Jaanvi’s smile fades and I sense she is waiting for me to speak.
I attempt to say something clever, “Hi, Jaanvi the seagull.”
A wider smile returns to her face, “The Counselor was right, you are funny. Welcome to the Enlightened, recruit. You no doubt have questions already, so fire away.”
Noticing a bird in the distance frozen, mid-flight, I point to it and before I can ask my question, Jaanvi answers it, “Time stands still so we may speak, anything that may be watching you still sees you seated on the bench, and I am still a bird at your feet.”
Her words are easy to believe, since the cold breeze has vanished and the white caps in the ocean remain motionless. “And where is the Counselor?” I ask.
“He sent me instead as he felt I was ready to be a Mentor, your Mentor. The Counselor recruited me before you and decided recently that we would make a good team and promoted me. I am to bring you up to speed and it is an honor to do so! You are the first to ace the test!”
Jaanvi’s excitement may exceed my own. “Test?”
She laughs, “You don’t even know do you? Amazing. When a potential recruit is interviewed, they are asked ten questions about life. According to the Counselor, he didn’t even have to ask them, you did yourself. And then you answered them, every one of them correct.”
A little surprised, I think back to the interview and the questions I asked. Happiness runs over me, and then terror a moment later as I remember the answer that I gave to one of my own questions to the Counselor.
I look to Jaanvi who senses my revelation. “Yeah, so let’s get to work.”