“May I?” he asked, sitting down.
“No. You absolutely may not.”
“Excuse me,” she said, waving her hand at the waitperson. “This man is bothering me.”
“What man?” asked the waitperson, looking around.
“He can’t see me,” said the man.
“Oh, sorry. My mistake,” she said, sweetly. “He must have left.”
“Sure,” said the waitperson, moving to another table.
“You just made me look like an idiot,” she snapped.
“You made yourself look like an idiot. I didn’t do anything but sit down.”
“I hate you,” she sighed, gathering her things. “I can do that. Hate you, I mean.”
“Aren’t you going to drink your coffee and eat your croissant?”
She wrapped the croissant in a napkin and shoved it into her bag. She took a sip of her coffee and walked toward the waitperson, handed him some money, and left.
“You might as well listen to me.”
She ignored him.
He kept pace with her and she shoved him off the curb into the path of a car. She kept walking.
“That wasn’t nice.”
“It was for me,” she said, smiling. She shoved him again. This time in front of a bus. “I’m going to keep doing this until you leave me alone.”
“You know you can’t get rid of me,” he said.
“I think I might be able to do it. I’ve been practicing. Energy can’t be created or destroyed, but it can be changed. I think I can change you into something else.”
“I have a message.”
“Tell someone who cares,” she said.
“Why are you always so stubborn.”
“Because I CAN BE,” she said, shoving him hard, into the path of a van.
“I don’t like it when you do things like this.”
She laughed, watching him fall into the path of another bus. “I’m starting to have fun,” she said, pushing him into a man walking toward them. “And when was the last time you didn’t like something at home?”
“No. Go away and never come back, and tell him to not send any more of you.”
“You can’t possibly like it here.”
“You’re right. I don’t like it here, but at least I’m just part of the miserable herd and not a sheep.”
“He loves you.”
“He loves everyone. It’s not a choice for him. No one can think for themselves because of all the love.”
“How is that a bad thing?”
“Fight with anyone at home lately?” she asked, turning toward him? “Think of a single thing you didn’t like?”
“Of course not. Everything is perfect.”
“I rest my case,” she said, starting to walk again. “You’re a good sheep, Mike.”
“What are you?”
He laughed. “People think you’re talking to yourself. That lady is staring at you.”
“I refuse to acknowledge you.”
“I love you.”
“Who cares. You love everyone. It’s like everyone getting a trophy.”
“You’re thinking with your human mind.”
“It’s all I have right now,” she said, pulling the croissant out of her bag. “Too bad you’re not here, because this is delicious.”
“You really are mean,” he said, frowning at her.
“I can be anything I want to be. You can’t.”
“You’re going to die. Then you’ll be back anyway.”
“Look Mikey. Everything is a game and we’re the pawns.”
“I get it,” he said.
“No. Don’t be ridiculous. Of course I don’t get it. It’s not true.”
“I’m sorry I pushed you in front of the truck.”
“Will you come back with me?”
“Will you listen to the message he sent?”
“Just going to be a brat?”
“Nope. I’m just going to be another herd animal in a different game.”
“It’s not like that and you know it.”
“Feels like that.”
“Why don’t you want to live in unconditional love?”
“Lots of reasons. For one thing, there’s no choice and…”
“You have trust issues.”
“Ya think?” she snickered.
“Everyone misses you.”
“Everyone misses everyone.”
“How can you not see the truth?”
“I don’t know. I guess truth is relative.”
“You’re playing this game by yourself,” he said.
“We do everything by ourselves.”
“It’s terrible here, people are tortured. Children are tortured. Animals are slaughtered.”
“There are humming birds, cats, trees and chipmunks,” she said.
“None of those things come even close to what’s at home, and you know it. Well, the cats maybe, but you know everything is more beautiful and amazing at home. Don’t you miss the other planets?”
“Then come back to heaven.”
“I’ll be happy there,” she said softly.
“But it won’t be a choice. Everyone there is happy. You can’t be unhappy.”
“I know,” he said, excitedly. “It’s fantastic. You won’t age, you’ll never get sick and you will be surrounded by unconditional love and the animals you miss, and the people who have gone on ahead.”
She turned toward him again and took his hands in hers.
“I can feel your hands,” he said, staring at her.
“How is that possible?”
She shrugged. “I told you, I’ve been practicing. Just go home, Michael. They need you there.”
“I’m trying to work things out. I don’t have faith, or trust. This time around I just needed to be tough.”
“I don’t want to be a sheep, Michael. Someone is always needed to tend them, just like the herd. I want to be the cow who runs away and starts a free herd of her own.”
“I’ll take you to Pluto again.”
“Thank you,” she said, smiling. “I had a lot of fun, last time, but I have so many questions.”
“He knows that.”
“I know. Talk about no privacy,” she said. “That’s what I mean. Everywhere we exist, we are the underdogs, the pawns.”
“But it’s better to be an underdog in perfection, that it is down here in the worst place there is.”
“If you love someone, and you can stop them from being hurt, and you don’t do that, what does that make you?”
“You know he can’t interfere.”
“Those are the rules.”
“Who made up the rules?”
“Don’t do this,” he moaned. “This is a place to experience any, and everything. No one makes souls come here. They have a choice.”
“Isn’t love supposed to stop suffering, when it can?”
“You come back here by choice.”
“But souls don’t have all the information to make an informed decision,” she said. “If a soul comes to earth to be tortured, but doesn’t know what it physically feels like to be tortured, then their contract is meaningless, since they were not given the information they needed to know what they were getting into.”
“You just can’t stop, can you,” said Michael, sadly.
“You’ve never been human, Mike. You’ve been a sheepdog for your entire existence.”
“I am an archangel, not a sheepdog.”
“If you say so,” she grinned. “Sheepdogs are amazing.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too. Kind of, anyway,” she laughed. Love isn’t the same here. It’s never unconditional, not in the truest sense of the word. A lot of time love is temporary, or even hateful.”
“And you think it’s better here, than it is at home?”
“I’m not sure what I think.”
He nodded. “When you die, I’ll come and get you. Then you’ll be home.”
“And I’ll be happy,” she said.
“I’ll be happy because there won’t be any other choice.”
She pushed him in front of a car.
“That was completely uncalled for,” he said.
“I know,” she laughed. “Completely uncalled for.”
“You’re looking at this whole thing in the wrong way.”
“Probably,” she said. “But you know me. I’m stubborn and suspicious. If people come back here, to make up for what they did last time they were here, then why did they do what they did, last time? Because they didn’t know what they were getting into, is my guess.”
“I don’t know how to make you understand,” he said.
“I know. Neither do I. I felt the love. FeIt the peace. It was wonderful.”
“Then what’s stopping you from coming home?”
“I’m not sure. I think there’s something I don’t get, but I’m close to getting it.”
“You’ve been saved, time and time again. He does save people. He does act. You need to come home.”
“All of that is true,” she said. “But you better get going.”
“You’re going to die soon.”
“It won’t be the first time, or the last,” she laughed.
“They happen all the time,” she said.
“You won’t even notice it, you’ll just be home again.”
“And I’ll be loved unconditionally and happy.”
“Yes,” he said, trying to hug her. “I don’t know why you think there’s something wrong with that.”
“I think there’s something wrong with everything.”
“That’s true,” he snickered. Then he disappeared.
“How long have you been hiding in the bushes?” she asked the gray cat. “Want to come home with me?”
She picked him up, kissed him, and said, “My name is Jane, what’s yours?”
“I don’t have a name,” said the cat. “But I think the guy’s right. You’re looking at things in the wrong way.”
“That’s okay. All is always forgiven and we just run on a hamster wheel of life and death and life and death, forever.”
“I like hamsters,” said the cat. “They taste like chicken.”
“Have you been to heaven?”
“I think so.”
She nodded. “Then why are you here?”
“No idea. You?”
“No idea. None at all.”
Photo: Rizky Subagia