Joanne: Part 13

Joanne and Terry were walking through the streets downtown very early one morning. Terry was as tall, lanky, and awkward as ever. Joanne hoped he would eventually get used to her but was rather preoccupied. She had just discovered from Terry that there was a very important step in the afterlife experience that she had missed. On one hand it was quite frustrating but on the other she was happy to know that she might now have an actual, specific goal.

“My experience with Peter wasn’t exactly normal,” Terry said as they walked. He still looked very uncomfortable but at least he was finally talking.

“How so?” Joanne asked, trying to mask her excitement a bit. On top of everything else Terry was very jumpy. Joanne was worried he would faint if she showed too much emotion or asked a question too loudly.

“Apparently I died a month early,” Terry said, laughing. “I don’t know why. I was in a car accident and when I got to his office, Peter was just reading a newspaper. He wound up sending me back so I could try again a month later. On schedule.”

“What the hell?” Joanne said. “That’s insane. Did you remember him while you were back here?”

“Oh yeah,” Terry said. “I uhhh… I had a few extra therapy sessions that month. In the end I kinda came to terms with it. Tried to see my family as much as I could. Wound up in another accident and went up for my appointment.”

“And what do you do in an appointment?” Joanne asked. She bit her lip nervously looked up at Terry. She was eager to find out what she was looking forward to.

“Oh, man. Uhhh…” Terry trailed off as he thought. He furrowed his brow and sighed. “I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone, but he basically has a really, super annoying therapy session with you. He asks you a bunch of questions and gets you super introspective. Then he makes you decide.”

“Decide on what?”

“Which door to take,” Terry said, laughing to himself. “You either take the door to something new or, the door to something familiar. He refuses to tell you what that means. Spoiler alert, this is where you end up if you go through the “familiar” door.”

“And what about the other one?” Joanne asked.

“Not sure,” Terry said. “I assume it’s, you know, heaven? Or whatever you believe in. You never really know until you get there though.”

Joanne stared at the ground as they walked. The more information she gained the more confused she became.

“Why didn’t I go through all of this?” She asked. “How often does this happen?”

“I was literally the only person who ever arrived early, so maybe this is the first time,” Terry said.

“Weird,” Joanne said as she slouched. She was starting to feel quite defeated. She had no idea what she should do. She continued to stare at the ground and started dragging her feet a bit while they walked. She went to look up at Terry and surprisingly didn’t see him. She stopped, and looked back. He had stopped in his tracks and was staring past Joanne, looking incredibly confused and somehow more awkward ever. Joanne looked over to where he was staring. To her surprise she saw a wooden door that seemed to have appeared from the middle of nowhere, standing in the middle of the street.

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