There was a screeching in my head. There was a pulsing white light, straining through my closed eyelids, piercing my brain. But it was a hollow attempt to wound me. I was wounded beyond belief already, all that could possibly hurt already did so. It ached, so, so much. The screeching screamed to a halt, and a deep, booming throb began in its place. The shrieking light, combined with the sound and the p-

Oh. That's odd. There isn't any pain. The light fades and the throbbing stops.. There is still a gaping hole where my heart had been, but I can't feel it. Like... no. It's not numbness. Numbness has a certain quality to it. This isn't it. I feel faintly sad, but it's pushed to the back of my mind. Not in a I-can't-deal-with-you way, but in a I'll-deal-with-you-as-soon-as-I-can way. And currently I can't. Because the white has faded to a manageable grey, and I can hear some music in the distance. I strain my ears to try and find where it's coming from, but it's as if I'm stuck in a fog, because it comes from every direction. And yet it feels like it's being smothered. I sigh. It seems like a minor detail, but then I've always been like that. Usually, the music takes precedence over the conversation. Identify the song be"fore the desire to know takes control of you entire body.

It's as if someone is listening to my thoughts, because not a moment goes by and the volume is cranked up. Probably metaphorically, but I'm not sure. This place feels timeless. I can't tell how long it's been since the bridge.

And suddenly the memories hit me like a ton of bricks. I recoil, waiting for the pain that usually follows being hit in the head by a heavy weight. But nothing comes. Huh. I'm able to think upon the events that passed with a calm indifference. Like I'm someone else, high above, watching the events come to life.

So, I was at her house. Then she got that phone call... she looked so scared. She ran. It took me all of five minutes to find her. Motorbike, and then he was there. Then he-

Ah. There comes the pain.

I frown. I jumped... How am I here? My mind flashes back to an older thought. High above... Heaven is said to be in the sky... right? Like a ton of bricks... That's how falling into water from 220 feet up feels. It's also how it feels when the truth hits me.

But I don't like the truth.

So I focus on the music.

It's upbeat. In spanish. Sounds almost like a party song. Welcome home... Welcoming party? No, shut up. Continuing. Reggae? That's a reggae beat, I think. I can make out the words. 'Bien, bien. Todo va salir bie-en.' Everything will be okay... Will it? I hope so, but with the way I left things down there, it can't be a good situation. No! I almost scream it aloud. Don't think like that... You can't... It's not... No... Please, no... And silent tears run down my face. My tongue slips out and catches a drop. It's salty. The tears stop instantly. They always do. They always did.

But I don't like where my mind is taking me.

So I focus on the music.

"What do you think, Glynda?"

He turns to face His friend, smiling at the usual disapproving glare.

"I don't like it. But you're always right. You made them, afterall - you know them best."

He grins. "Reggae it is, then."

Glynda has to smile back in spite of herself.

My head feels foggy. My face is wet. The song ended what felt like hours ago. It left nothingness in its wake. There was so much... so much yet to be seen... Why did it have to end like this?

And, as if once more someone is listening in, I get an answer.

"This isn't the end."

I raise my head. I still can't see anything. "But it's the end of everything I know. From here on I know nothing."

He chuckles. "That is true. And if you consider that to be the end, then, the reason things had to end this way is because you chose that way. You didn't have to do what you did. That was no one's choice but yours."

I look down again. "What is there now for me?"

He chuckles.

I frown. "There is nothing here..."

He laughs. It's a wonderful sound, filled with joy. And love. Love that is communicated through happiness. The happiness of being here, and being able to spend time with someone, someone for whom you care deeply. It makes me smile in spite of my current situation. "I do believe that you have yet to open your eyes, child."