They say your life flashes before your eyes when you die. Well, that didn't really happen to me. I remember it hurting; a searing pain in the back of my mind, and then it was all over...
I found myself floating, drifting high above the battlefield. My feet touched something that felt like an invisible glass floor, and soon I found that I was able to stand on it. It took awhile to get over my fear of heights, but once I did; I opened my eyes and just, watched, as the entire world carried on.
Funnily enough, I didn't feel much of anything at the time. I guess they tend to play it up in the movies. They always show that people remain angry, that people have feelings of wanting to do something or to accomplish something. But once you're gone, you don't actually feel much of that.
Instead, I remember being calm. I was very calm after that final moment. I would poke my head every now and again, thinking that the skin would feel raw, but other than that; I was alright. I eventually started walking though, standing in one place can be pretty boring, and as I walked, I looked down at everything that was going on beneath me.
Hatred, war, people screaming. You see that stuff and you just feel sad. You don't feel angry, you don't hate. You just tend to wish that all the people down below didn't actually have to feel that way.
Now, of course, you can understand their feelings. I mean, when I was on the ground I was always angry. Every day of my life I was thinking: "This guy's the enemy, this guy's wrong, I hate this guy, I don't like this guy." But once you're gone, all that changes. You just realise it I guess, like you're waking up from a really bad dream. People - they aren't so different. Sure, that guy might not believe in the same God that I do and that other guy might not believe in a god at all. Yet, once you're away from everything, once you're away from all that noise that surrounds you, you tend to understand that, there's a kind of inner peace that all of us can feel. One that happens, only after you're free.
You don't think about the bad stuff any more. You don't feel that discomfort eating away at your chest. Instead, you look up and see this big giant ball of light; floating slowly in the air and it just wraps itself around you. And then, once you're inside that brilliant ball of light. You find out that everyone's the same.
It don't matter if you're black, it don't matter if you're white. It doesn't even matter if you're Muslim or Christian or a total Atheist. This isn't heaven; it's not a magical paradise. It's just a place where we all gather. There's stuff here if you want it, but I guess you tend to feel like you don't need it any more. Some people do the things they enjoy, others just watch the clouds go by.
The main thing though, the one thing that sets this place apart from everywhere else though; is the fact that everybody just starts talking. You meet someone on a long winding road and you just start talking to them. Eventually more people gather and then everybody just starts talking. You don't think any of that irrelevant stuff before hand. It doesn't matter what they're wearing. You just walk up to them and talk, like being back in the playground when you were a kid.
You talk about all the things you liked, the kind of life that you had. You take all that fond stuff with you; high-school memories, the stupid shit you did with your friends. You share some stories and learn about other people. You see their lives for what they were. But you know what - nobody's unhappy. Everybody's always smiling, because even when you talk about the bad stuff, there's always someone there to listen to you.
I guess it's just a really warm place when you think of it like that. You don't crave any of the excitement that you did when you were on the ground. I mean, I been building a pretty big house of cards since I got here and I gotta say, it's gotten crazy big you know!
But sometimes you just can't help yourself, when you look back down on the ground. You see the world and you just - end up feeling sad I guess. You see the tears in everybody's eyes, the hatred that burns beneath the surface. You know they're upset, you know they're filling with all that negative emotion. You can feel it on your skin, but there's nothing you can do for them. You can try, nobody stops you from trying. But you learn to give up after your hands pass through them, after you shout your voice hoarse trying to tell them the truth. I guess that's as close as you can come to being sad in this place.
"Little bro, Mom, Dad. You don't have to cry, you don't have to hate the other person. He was just doing his duty, like I was doing mine. We crossed paths and then we separated. I went one way, he went the other. But I didn't vanish off to a distant land, I just came to this place ahead of you all. And I want you to know, that I'm going to be waiting. I'm going to be keeping these seats of ours warm, because I know, deep inside this heart of mine, that when the time is right, you'll be up here too. And the first thing I want us to do, is to just sit down at a table, like we never used to, and we'll talk. Because I know that I'll have about a million different things that I want to say to you all. But maybe I'll start with a long overdue, 'I love you'."