Heaven Is Painful
The first thing I noticed was that heaven was painful. My throat was burning and there was a heavy pressure on my stomach. Are they purifying me of my sins or something, I questioned. The pressure was removed and then something wet and soft, pressing against my lips, breathing. Over and over again, the process repeated while I floated in a dark starry abyss.
\”C\’mon,\” a beautiful voice shouted, an angel maybe.
Come where? I wanted to say but I couldn\’t speak, my tongue stuck to my throat.
\”C\’mon, you can\’t leave me Star,\” the voice begged.
Can\’t leave you? I\’m already with you.
Suddenly, I felt a hard punch hit my stomach and I coughed.
\”Thank God,\” the voice sighed, lifting me up.
Slowly, I peeled open my eyes to see a blurry figure looming over me.
\”I guess I\’m not in heaven then,\” I croaked, my throat scratchy.
\”If you think I am your heaven, then yeah, you\’re in heaven,\” he chuckled.
I focused more on the figure, his voice seeming vaguely familiar, I just couldn\’t put my finger on it. One thing was clear, though, the figure, though angelic in his voice and movements, had no wings.
\”You don\’t have any wings. If I was in heaven, you would have wings,\” I commented.
\”Got me there, star,\” he admitted.
\”Wait… Ryan?\” I stuttered, widening my eyes further. How could I not recognize his voice before, I criticized myself.
He smiled at me but didn\’t reach his eyes.
\”What\’s wrong?\” I asked, attempting to sit up on the wet tile. Wait, wet tile? I glanced around and saw I was in an indoor pool.
\”Don\’t you remember what happened star?\” Ryan demanded, running a hand through his curly wet hair. Wait, wet hair?
I frowned, thinking, trying to recall what happened.
\”We were hanging out at the pool, you were making me different alcoholic drinks to test…\” I began, memories of us laughing and clinking glasses together flashing behind my eyes.
\”Yes and…\” he prompted.
Ryan teased me and I became doubtful of his motives. I drank the whole mudslide in anger. The liquid rushing quickly down my throat. I was senselessly drunk since it was my first time. Ryan left to get me food. I fell into the pool. I squeezed my eyes closed in frustration.
Leave it to me to be a complete idiot.
\”I\’m sorry,\” I finally whispered, gazing into his eyes.
\”Just don\’t try dying on me again, ok?\” he said, offering me a crooked smile.
\”I\’ll try not to, Ryan,\” I promised, squeezing his hand in support.
His grip tightened around mine and he pulled close.
\”I\’m sorry about teasing you earlier,\” he murmured, changing the subject.
\”Sorry for over-reacting,\”
\”Sorry for leaving you alone in your drunken state,\” he responded.
\”Sorry for getting drunk,\” I answered
\”Sorry for driving you to get drunk.\”
\”Sorry for saying for doubting your motives,\” I said.
\”Sorry for making you think I was using you,\” he whispered.
\”Sorry…\” I began but I couldn\’t remember what I was going to say.
\”Sorry, for everything,\” we both finished at the same time.
\”Jinx, you owe me a soda,\” I giggled and he gave me a fake scowl.
\”Not fair,\” he pouted.
\”Life\’s not fair,\” I pointed out.
\”True, but I have more than a soda for you,\” he replied, giving me a plate full of assorted foods.
\”The food, I promised, my star,\” he mocked bowed extending the plate to me.
\”Thank you, my charming,\” I curtsied, playing along, taking the plate.
For a little while, we sat in a comfortable silence, eating our food. And let me tell you, it was quite good. He had Chick Fa Lay nuggets, sesame chicken, pizza, lasagna, some type of cookie brownie and some red velvet cake with cream cheese icing.
\”That was amazing,\” I moaned, shoving the last piece of cake in my mouth.
\”Glad you liked it,\” Ryan laughed.
\”Did you make all of this yourself?\” I inquired, wiping my hands on a napkin.
\”I made the cookie brownies and red velvet cake, but they are my grandmother\’s recipe,\” he answered.
\”Well, your grandmother\’s a genius then!\” I declared.
\”I\’ll have to tell her you said that,\” he chuckled.
\”You better,\” I threatened, pointing a finger at him.
\”Cross my heart and hope to die, if I don\’t\” he promised.
\”Don\’t promise me that,\” I mumbled, pulling my hand away from his.
His hand tightened around mine, making it impossible to break free.
\”Please let go, you\’re killing my circulation,\” I whispered.
Ryan turned to face me, shadows casting his face in darkness.
His eyes, glittering like blue diamonds.
\”What should I promise then, to make you believe I won\’t break my promise?\” he questioned.
\”Not your death, at least,\” I answered, shivering at the thought.
I had only started to get to know Ryan, but it was simply too painful to imagine him dead. Death was permanent, there was no going back. It was painful and terrifying, I would never wish upon anyone. Simply the thought of Ryan, my Charming, laying in a casket, unmoving, made my chest tighten.
\”Then what?\” he breathed, leaning in closer to my face.
\”I… dunno,\” I stuttered, alarms going off in my head at his closeness.
I could make out the light dusting of freckles across cheeks and his thick black eyelashes that brushed gently when he blinked.
\”That\’s not a good enough answer,\” he replied, his voice gentler than a sea breeze.