Ordering your dinner at the cafe, you see him. The curious man catches your attention, and it seems you've caught his eye, as well. Flustered, you quickly turn away, yet notice that he watches as you order your food. It was then that you felt a very odd sense of reminiscence. He was familiar to you somehow.
Who does he remind me of...?
Why does he keep staring?
My gosh, I can’t believe he caught me eyeing him!
What’s his problem? I wish he’d quit staring!
You sit alone, silently munching on your choice of pastry, wondering whether or not to introduce yourself to the man. This continues for the moment, however, you notice the man abruptly stand up and take his coat. What are your thoughts?
Oh no, he's leaving!
Oh well, I have other things to worry about than guys anyway.
Guess it wasn't meant to be.
Good. Get out of here. (I'm NOT being sarcastic... Really.)
To your relief, he does not leave, but instead surprises you, as he turns to your table. How does he greet you?
Hello! What a beautiful day out, huh?
Hmph. Hi there.
Hiya! Great to see you!
He invites you to walk with him for a while, to which you joyfully accept. As you both take your leave out the door together, he wraps his coat around your shoulders, saying,
You should think ahead next time and bring a coat.
Autumn afternoons are quite chilly.
Silly, don’t want you catching a cold, now would we?!
You enjoy the quiet stroll through your peaceful hometown with this new acquaintance. You both converse with one another, simply enjoying the company. What is it about this man that interests you?
He is taking the time to talk to me about everything and anything. He seems very open and honest.
He seems as if nothing in the world bothers him. He's just so happy.
He respects me and treats me equally, despite the fact that he's older than I am.
He is frowning. Though I can’t tell what he's feeling just by looking at his face, I can tell that he’s deep in thought.
He leads you to a nearby park bench, where you both take a seat and continue your conversation. The sun is beginning to set, giving the park a somewhat celestial glow in beautiful shades. What does your new friend do, while he sits on the bench?
His fingers are playing around with his watch, and he avoids eye contact for a few moments. Is he pressed for time or just nervous?
He slouches in his seat, with his arm resting lazily on the bench’s side. He seems very sloppy yet carefree.
He sits with feet on the floor, his hands on his lap, and his back straight. Everything about him is in a very composed and refined manner.
He stretches out his arms and legs after a while, and seems somewhat restless. Quite the energetic man.
His smile is to die for. He looks at you with such adoration. Suddenly, he says something to you that confuses you, "How long has it been, I wonder?" Your thoughts?
I’m sorry, but I don’t understand. Have we met somewhere before?
...What is he talking about?
Were we friends? Lovers? Enemies? I’m so confused!
You mean, we HAVE met before? I thought I was just dreaming that up!
You ask him the meaning of his words, to which you notice a part of that glow of happiness melt away, sorrow taking its place. He weakly smiles and responds, "You mean, you don't remember me at all?"
Oh, please don’t cry! Don’t cry!
I’m very sorry, but I don’t remember.
No, I don’t.
I... I’m sorry... But...
Slowly, you shake your head with remorse. He stifles a laugh and responds somewhat bitterly, "I understand. It's been at least nineteen years since we've last met. You wouldn't remember me anyway, considering..." His voice trails off, and his eyes are filled with sadness. Quickly, in an attempt to hide that sorrow, he replaces it with a slight smile. "You probably have many questions. I'll explain, but first I want to show you something."
Of course. Lead the way.
I guess I have nothing else to do anyway.
Sure... I will.
...Do you want your coat back first?
He leads you to a nearby beach, where the only one present seemed to be the breath-taking sunset and the silent sounds of waves lapping against the sand shores. "We used to come here all the time. This was our usual meeting spot. You once said it was your favorite place on earth, just because of its serenity."
We met here often?
I told you that? Well, it’s true; this place is my favorite!
Is that so? This ocean...?
This ocean? My favorite spot? That’s interesting. I’ve always felt drawn to this place.
He begins to pour out his story. He goes on to explain that he is dead, no longer a living human being. He is what he refers to as a "shinigami" or a "guardian of death". He reveals to you about his job of returning lost souls on earth to be judged to find their place in heaven or hell. For a few moments, you ponder this information.
So, you mean, you’re dead?
No, that’s not true!
Then... You’re a spirit? This doesn’t make sense.
How can you be dead if you’re standing right here in front of me?
"We first met in heaven. When I was told to go down to earth, I told you that I would meet you there some day, even if you were born to earth many years later. We swore to meet each other again. ...Well, even after I passed away, I never gave up my search for you. I knew you were still out there somewhere. And I couldn’t return to heaven without seeing you, just once."
We were lovers?
I’m so confused!!
We met in heaven?
"I know it's against the rules, but I'm going to give you a bit of my power, so that you can remember when we were in heaven. Is that all right with you?" You nod, feeling a door somewhere inside you open to new opportunity and to being reacquainted to your memories before your birth. You feel a complete trust to this man, giving you a more reassuring feeling.
If you say so...
I think... I think I’m ready.
I believe in you.
As soon as he heard your response, the overwhelming memories in your mind seem to explode with information all at once. You recall the beach on which you now stood, you recall the vast glories of heaven, and you recall the wonderful man standing before you. Needless to say, even as these memories return to you, you have many more questions for this person. Is there a first question that comes to mind?
Did you ever accomplish that goal you dreamed of?
How did you die?
Can we still be together, even after you have died?
Why would such a wonderful person come back for me?
This train of thought broke, however, as you heard his softened voice whisper, "Don't you remember me?" It came to you;