By Emily Fisher (Sun Valley High School, Aston, PA)
The crash happened so quickly, I barely had time to take a breath before my car flipped.
I’ve always hated the emergency sirens ambulances play. The calls of the ringing in the distance brought a certain reminiscence inside me that sojourned for a while, until I decided the memories overstayed their welcome, and I reach for the cigarettes in the dashboard’s glove-compartment. Menthols had always provided a sense of serenity ever since Mom died. When the paramedics took her from the crash scene years ago, they took a part of me with them. As the paramedics come for me now, I can hear my mother’s voice above all the sirens, serenading me into my last sleep.
The paramedics dragged me out of the car and began attaching me to a gurney and shoving IVs in the arm. Tears blurred my vision, making the carnage indistinct. Not that I wanted to see it anyway, but I watched my 2015 Chevy Malibu twist and burn away through swollen eyes. On the short ride to the hospital, I could feel myself falling in and out of consciousness. The Emergency Room was filled with somber faces and doctors sprinting from room to room.
“She’s losing blood fast, we need to get her into an intensive care unit now!”
Dark crimson stains seeped into the clean white sheets on the hospital bed. A thousand questions and orders were yelled to one another, doctors scurried into my room, their faces scorn. The lights above me began to intensify, burning my eyes. Even as I closed them tightly, the vehement rays burned me, consuming me. A feeling deep in my chest curdled my blood. The light lifted me, and when I awoke, I was in yet another unfamiliar terrain.
Sparse, tall oak trees surrounded me. I left the summer behind me, the leaves have fallen and the autumn air chilled my skin. I stood and began down the path that was cleared. The path looked as though it could go on forever, the twists and turns covered with the shadows of the trees. A calm essence of gardenia flowers filled the air, soothing my worries. I stopped for the slightest second, only for the sound of crunching leaves to reveal I was certainly not alone. I turned, and a man in a suit was sprinting my way. I hurried away, running as fast as I could go, twisting down the path and nearly tripping. A sharp left turn led me to a wooden door. It was connected to what looked like an old wooden shack that was decaying. The handle was the only thing that seemed to be in perfect condition- it didn’t rust and deteriorate like the rest of the house did. Its golden glow gleamed in the sunlight, looking brand new. Before I could enter the house, a hand laid upon my shoulder and turned me.
“Why are you following me? What is your name?” I asked suspiciously.
“I could ask you the same. I have a lot of names that originate from many different people, many different places. My importance fluctuates with whomever you ask. I’ve walked in the shoes of nearly everyone.”
As confusing as he sounded, his voice flowed with formality and grace. He didn’t stutter when he spoke, and his gaze was captivating.
“What is your name?” he asked, his interest struggling to be contained.
“I’m Emily Fisher.”
“Not once you go through the door, you are not Emily anymore. When you pass away, there is no end. There is no paradise or punishment. There is no sin, or any good service that will guarantee you into a city above the clouds where the angels fly and sing songs of prosperity. Hell is just a figment of imagination. Religion is a mere pastime and just another set of rules that someone chooses to follow. There is only reincarnation into life, and lives to be lived.”
“Who am I?”
“You are a part of the reincarnation continuum, as am I and everyone else. Those who enter through the door forget their past lives and accept being reincarnated into a new life. I have experienced many things, and so will you. Betrayal, loss, heartbreak, fame, racism, wealth, tragic lives and beautiful ones too. You have just begun your journey. You will soon be reincarnated into another life. And one day, you shall experience all life has to offer.”
“What will I experience next?”
“You will only know, once you enter the house of reincarnation.”
And with that, he opened the old, wooden door and told me to enter.