I don’t remember how I got here, I only know that I have.
The day had started like any other. The drive in was the same as usual, stuck for hours in nose to tail traffic. The only way to break such monotony was to steal quick glances at the other drivers in the hopes of catching them with their fingers up their nose or scratching something they shouldn’t.
I’d barely made it through the door by the time my shift started. I made my way to my desk, hoping my line manager hadn’t seen me sneak in barely seconds before.
Most of the people I work with don’t take their job too seriously and who could blame them? Working for a crisis line hardly makes for the most jolly of atmospheres. The most effective way that my colleagues found of dealing with the often traumatic subject matter they heard was to brush it off with a funny comment or two.
Talk about gallows humour.
It wasn’t my place to judge how they coped, just as it wasn’t my place to judge the members of the public who called the helpline looking for advice or support on how to get out of whatever mess they’d found themselves in.
Unlike my colleagues, I couldn’t just brush off some of the things I’d heard. The stories I listened to affected me; I couldn’t help but hope that they’d find a little clarity and that their situation would soon change.
I certainly didn’t think I was Jesus, but I did what I could to help them. I did as much as I could.
I’d gone for my first break just before midday, in need of my caffeine fix. As I walked toward the staff room I felt the air sucked out of the room and then a deafening boom. For moments – or possibly hours – I remembered nothing.
Fingers twitching, my eyes fluttered open. Darkness and the faint sound of people weeping and groaning tickled at my senses. With great effort, I lifted my head from the floor, noticing a woman a few feet away pinned by a large piece of debris.
Our eyes met. In her glassy orbs I saw the very real fear of death. She looked as terrified as I felt.
It had been a phrase I’d heard so many times, one I found impossible to ignore.
Crawling over to her, I heard the ceiling above me creak ominously. Looking down her body, I saw her legs were buried under a large chunk of concrete.
“Hang on, I’ll get you out,” I told her.
Her eyes widened at something above her. I paid her no heed – I had to get her out.
I remember her terrified scream and then…….nothing.
A voice from behind makes me jump.
“Welcome to Heaven, Peter.”
The door I’d walked through only moments before vanished. I’m surrounded by my own idea of Heaven, reunited with those that I’ve loved and lost.
Inspired by Thain in Vain’s Week 22 Flash Fiction Challenge prompt: You (or your protagonist) walk through a door, only to find that not only are you not where you expected and there doesn’t seem to be a way back…”