Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2nd Life

A short story

I remember everything. It has been almost 30 years now. It seems like another life. It was another life.

Let me explain. I don’t remember everything. Especially not my births. Thank god I don’t remember my first or my second birth. I think that regardless of the nature of a soul, there is something that prevents people from remembering such incidences. I do remember the big stuff. The same stuff that everyone remembers. I just remember it for two lives.

I’m not too sure what killed me the first time, something probably from behind. I definitely didn’t see it. And it was probably unexpected because I can’t even remember the exact day that it was. And I know I died right before I was born because my last strong memory is of 4 days before my new birthday.

But my life has been odd. It was tough to be trapped in a child’s body with all the memories of a full-grown adult. Most of my childhood was rediscovering how to be a child again. Needless to say I was homeschooled. I stopped talking about being reincarnated about 4 years after I was born. No one believed me for many obvious reasons.

When I turned 7 I made a resolution to change it all. I would change who I was before. I didn’t like the nobody I had become in my last life. I would take my mistakes from before and do something meaningful. Meaningful because I had been given a once in a lifetime opportunity. So I did that.

Childhood was tough; I was a chameleon until I couldn’t be one. I could never be one for long. I did do something that I never regretted ever. I stood up for the underdog. I reached out to the children, even the mean ones, and I made them better. And at some point, children would not want to spend time with me anymore; they sensed that I didn’t belong in their world; that I was against nature.

Adults similarly made that connection. They were impressed by my knowledge and conversational ability; freaked out by the fact that I was smarter than them. I realized that would perpetually be my fate. Revolutionary until I was a complete outsider. I could fix the world but it would never want me.

I descended into bitterness, something that does not sit well on a 12 year old. So I hid away my body. It would only hinder me. I sent correspondence all sorts of ways; I made every sort of proposal for every sort of skill I already had. I was born with a PhD in Business Politics and Advanced Project Management. I took that knowledge and by the time I was 15 I had found my backer. He gave me a small budget, probably because he was curious to see if a 15 year old could do what I had proposed, and I turned that into a $45 million dollar corporation by 17. When I turned 22, I was in control of more assets than half the world’s governments and had enough economic activity in so many parts of the world that I had enforced a sort of uneasy peace due to economic necessity. If one nation went to war with another, it would disrupt my supply chain and halt the economies of 2/3 of the world.

By the time I turned 25, 14 separate governments, 4 corporations, and 2 psychopaths had tried to kill me. But that didn’t really worry me, I had died before. What worried me was that I couldn’t end the suffering or the violence. War between nations had stopped. I fed everyone in the world. No one wanted anything, but they still fought. I withdrew into my room. I disappeared. No one was there for me; the world had turned itself against me. I gave everyone everything, but I had nothing. No one could understand me. No one could believe who I was. I was just the outsider again, and the whole world knew it now.

They rejected the peace I had given them, and I was isolated. Then I found her. Lovely, perfect, wonderful. The biggest mistake I made in my old life was that I gave myself away to people that couldn’t take it. They would drop my heart on the floor and carelessly let it get stepped on and kicked around. She never abused me; never asked for anything more than me. And she opened up to me. The first person to ever open up that space; the indefinable and vulnerable space of her heart. And I could explore that space. Live comfortably there. She gave me a home where I felt I had none.

And it felt like she got me—understood something I could not explain. She was a new experience. We both saw something in the world from a perspective no one else had. And I gave myself wholly and completely to her.

I told her about being reincarnated. I told her about my life. I opened up to her. She told me that it was cheating. We laughed about it, finished eating our dinner. We made love and fell asleep.

That was two hours ago. Five minutes ago I woke up with her sitting on me holding a scythe over my head. She wore white. My beautiful muse, the woman that had inspired me. She held the scythe gracefully over my head, poised to thrust it into my heart.

The angel of death. She had come to take me finally. I owed her my life, both of them. I looked at the clock 11:58.

“Can I have another chance at this?” I asked her.

“No, you are an anomaly, and you will remain so. After your death, a newly uncovered draft of your will demolishes your empire and the world goes back to the way it was.” She said it without emotion.

“I’m the only one like this, ever?”

“Jesus and Methuselah, but nothing like you.” This she said with some intonation; I suddenly felt special in her eyes.

“You look beautiful,” I held back a smile.

“Thank you,” she whispered. Her voice hinted at a darkness; a regret. She was losing something.

“I would have married you” I meant it wholly. I would happily give up my life to be with her, no longer isolated from the human race, “I love you.” 11:59.

“I love you too.”Her eyes watered, the clock struck 12:00, “happy birthday.” And she plunged the scythe through my body, a streak of red. Then blackness.

Bright lights flooded my eyes; I was engulfed by warm water. Hands pulled me out of the tub; and I breathed for the first time of my third life.