Why could they not find more comfortable chairs in heaven? Here I sit on this hardwood plank surrounded by walls of white. Not a sign of decoration just hard benches stretched throughout the room and each occupied by a waiting person. Why do I look like I did when I was 40, chubby and balding? I thought in heaven we would look like we were in our prime. How many others have sat here and survived sitting on this board? Most likely not a soul, no one could survive this torture. Why would God do this?
Oh, here goes another man. I only have two more people in front of me. Why is this taking so long? Wasn’t heaven supposed to be more efficient? Wait. Does that guy look like my Dad? Oh I hope not, I have a score to settle with that old man. How could God even allow him to come up here? He is going straight to hell for beating mom and me. One night plays in my dreams constantly. Dad was standing over Mom with the frying pan; she was just looking at me trying to tell me, through her eyes, to go away. I just couldn’t take it any long so the next swing I stepped in and took the hit. I saw the fire burning in his eyes and smelled the rancid beer on his breath. I knew at that moment that the outcome of this night was going to change many to come. My mother died that night. He lived on in jail. I never want to see his soul enter heaven! Drunk all the time, always wielding that cursed stick. I haven’t seen him since the trial. “Good riddance,” I always said, “made the world a safer place.” But is that him? I think it might be. Look, is that the scar from the time I reversed the knife on him. He gained weight and his hair is even thinner than mine. I think it might be. Oh no he is heading this way.
Oh what do I say back? Hi dad? Hello? Hey? Should I shake his hand? No he was never a father figure to me. He doesn’t deserve me being cordial to him.
“Ummm, who are you?”
Ha! Look at that face. I think I struck a cord there. Good, make him uncomfortable, make him suffer a little. It is the least I can do to repay him for the years of torture and hell he put me through. I can’t believe he has the audacity to even speak to me and here of all places. What is he even doing here anyways? He should have gone straight to hell. When it is my time, I will tell them all about him.
“Son, I know we haven’t seen each other in a long time but can’t you recognize your own Dad?”
I have no Dad. We might share blood but we have no other relation. I had an abusive man who taught me life lessons that no one should learn. You never taught me how to swim or play ball. You taught me how to hide my bruises. I should just ignore him. I am next and will just explain it all to them.
“I wondered if that was you. How did you get here?”
I always have to be so polite, even to those I loathe, that’s something Mom taught me not you, Dad.
“Son, I am so sorry.”
Wait, is he crying? Did he just apologize for and for what? Is it sincere? Did all that time he spent in jail really make a change in him? I can picture him sitting in a room not unlike this one, bare walls and a hard bed. How many nights did he spend in there crying? I must speak with Jesus.
“Are you trying to apologize?”
“I need your forgiveness for it all. I am so sorry son, can you please forgive me?”
“I don’t think that is possible, dad. Maybe see you later”
I wonder if he meant it. Where is this guy taking me, down some hallway with more white, plain walls? Is Jesus behind this door? Wait is that my Mom, Grandma, all my dead relatives and friends? Why are they crying so hard? They don’t look happy to see me.
“Honey, you failed.”
“Mom, what do you mean? Failed what? Where is Jesus?”
Who are those two men?
MY FATHER and who?
“Hello my brother.”