“Besides the carnage of the accident, most everything else about that night, and those next few days, were indescribable.” Alex leaned his head back against his pillow and gazed at the ceiling, so white and plain, and clinical. “I have nothing earthly to compare it to.”
He was ready to go home to his own bed in his own room with his staff catering to his every need, and no more hospital food.
Ellen was quiet, listening, allowing him the pauses he needed, and barely prompting him. Alex appreciated that. This was hard enough to put into words. For some reason, describing what he witnessed at the scene of the accident was easy compared to trying to explain something otherworldly as what happened after.
“There were people. A lot of people. I can’t describe a single one of them to you right now, but somehow, I knew them while I was talking to them. There was unconditional love flowing all around me and I had the desire to share that love, and all that I owned, with everyone I knew. Like nothing I had on this earth was truly mine.”
“That’s pretty intense,” Ellen whispered.
“I wandered through the streets of our community, up one street and down another, feeling love for everyone I saw but also those I couldn’t see, like everyone in each of the homes I passed. It was like I had no enemies, and all of us had everything in common.”
“Gee, would we all be as rich as you?” Ellen chuckled nervously. “Or would you be as poor as the rest of us?”
“Kinda somewhere in between.” Alex raised his head and gazed over at Ellen. “Like there were no physical riches, only inherent riches. Like the love that we all felt for one another was what made us rich.”
“Wow.” Ellen’s voice was more of a breath.
“Will you go out with me sometime?” Alex asked suddenly. Where the heck did that come from? He hadn’t meant to say that. Too late now. This was only the second time they’d met and all they’d done while together was her listen to him talk and take notes. Alex had a strong desire to learn more about Ellen.
“Like… on a date?” He face scrunched up in a combination of skepticism and disgust, like the idea was repulsive.
“Never mind, forget I said that. I just got caught up in the moment. I can understand why you’d be averse to the idea. I’m talking like a lunatic and have a really seedy past. Let’s just keep writing.”
“I’d love to,” Ellen interrupted.
“You’ve changed, Alex,” she said. “You’re not the same cocky jerk you were a few weeks ago.”
“I can’t picture the man you are now doing the things you used to do.”
“Thanks,” Alex choked out. “I feel… changed.”
“Yeah, so, anyway,” she stammered. “Let me get these notes typed up and next time we meet maybe we can go over the things you told me and correct anything I got wrong, and add to the story, until we capture as much as we can about how you’ve changed.”
“I’d like that,” Alex said softly. “Thanks for helping me with this. For what it’s worth, I think you’re the perfect person for the job.”