He smiled. "And anything else I need to be at the moment."
She caught a movement in the trees to her left.
Felt herself drawn to the movement and in less than a
blink she was in the trees, in the mist.
"Are you frightened?" the mist asked.
"No. Should I be?"
It said "Darlin', you've never been safer."
She watched as features took soft shape; dark hair, even
darker eyes that smiled. The faint form of a strong, healthy
She wrinkled her brow. "I can't see your clothes but you
aren't naked, either. Oh, shit. Are you a ghost?
Why does it feel like I know you?"
"Because you do. In a way.
You know me even though we've never met.
I'm not a ghost. You're seeing my soul.
And, it's your soul that I'm talking to right now."
With a gasp of recognition she said "I didn't know you
were gone! I was coming here to meet you."
"I told everyone it was happening. Turned out to be
sooner than I thought. No tears, babe.
This is a better way."
"We were friends." she whispered.
"That hasn't changed. Except it's even better now.
Listen to me... there is no human way to imagine this.
It is perfection here. Accept that. You'll feel better.
I was wrong about a lot of it. Or, at least the way I
wrote about it."
"You were wrong? Imagine that." she smiled.
"Don't be a smart-ass. I tried the best I could. Just like you.
People make a struggle out of it and it doesn't need to be.
Actually, we don't get a choice. This is the way it is.
This is, I am, nothing is anything like anyone has ever
been able to imagine. It is unknown until you get here."
She tried to glance back over her shoulder, where she had
been. How long ago?
"Don't worry about your friend." The mist knew what
she was thinking. "No one can see you here. When you go
back, he won't know you've been gone.
There is no 'time' here. It's all 'now', and now is forever.
Now and forever are one in perfection. This is not the end,
there is no stopping."
"What about the end times?"
"They've come and gone many times and will continue.
They are neverending, too."
She hesitated. "What about the Son?"
"Same as us. He lived. He tried. He died. He's fine."
"And the Bad Ones?"
"They're here, too. Just not here here. Another part of
the perfection of the perfect balance. Another unimaginable."
"Why are you telling me all this?"
"Because you need it the most and you doubt it the most
and you want it the most. Now go back to the party."
"Will I see you again?"
"Of course. You'll see everyone, all the time,
at the same time. Always.
Go for now. Let life bring your stories and remember
you are loved."
The carpenter was staring at her. "You're looking
a bit pale. Am I boring you?"
"Oh, no. It must be jet lag. Something like a dozen time
zones and I get here three hours before I took off. Or,
something like that." She blushed.
"Well, how about I walk you back to your hotel and you
try to get a good night's sleep? Would you let me take
you to breakfast tomorrow and show you around a bit?"
She took out her notebook. He offered a pen.
She looked at his face, dark hair, darker eyes and said,
"Well, my plans have changed a bit. So, yes. I'd like that."
She wrote her number on a corner of the page, tore it off
and gave it to him. Then she wrote:
'his eyes matched the sky,
both wonder and thunder.'
Feeling a soft breath on her neck, she glanced at the trees,
saw the mist fade away.
Not a ghost. Not a dream.