A Promise

Two friends made a promise to each other- one that neither of them can keep.

There were once two very close friends: Adah and Leah. Adah and Leah loved each other very much, and couldn’t bear the idea of losing one another. So, they both made the promise to each that if one of them were to ever die, they would tell the other what lays beyond.

Unfortunately, Adah was struck dead in a brutal car accident one summer afternoon. Leah heard the news, and was heartbroken. However, Leah knew her friend would return to her soon to tell her what lays beyond death, and assure her that they’d reunite.

Adah did find what lay beyond, too. When she awoke again after the accident, she found herself in a glowing land filled with peace. She was greeted by a comforting voice. Despite it not having a form, she could feel it holding her and making her comfortable.

“So this is what lays beyond,” Adah said. “I like it.”

The voice laughed in pure joy. “I am glad you find it comfortable, child,” it said.

Adah looked around, trying to find a way back to Earth. She did not find one. “Voice,” she asked, “How am I supposed to go back to Earth?”

The voice sighed. “Adah, you are not meant to return to Earth. Your body has perished, and now your soul is moving on. This is way things are, and the way they have always been.” Adah panicked at hearing that. “But Leah!” She begged.

The voice cocked its head- can voices do that? “Adah, what about Leah?” the voice asked. Adah looked down, as if hoping to avoid the gaze of the voice- can voices have eyes? “I t-told her,” Adah stutter, “I PROMISED her that I would tell her what lays beyond death!”

The voice considered what Adah was saying. “Well,” it began, “you can return to Earth. But if you do, you will not be allowed to come back here. You will be trapped there forever, and you will have to watch as Leah eventually dies and comes here herself- without you.” Adah thought about this carefully. The voice spoke to comfort her. “Leah will not be alone forever. She will come to new friends on Earth, and she will eventually be here to reunite with you, too.”

Adah nodded. “Leah won’t be alone without me forever. And she’ll be here too.”

Adah looked up, as if facing the voice. “Okay. I’ll come with you. I’m sure she’d rather I be happy here with you than alone on Earth after telling her what lays beyond. And so Adah died and went to what lays beyond, finding peace despite her short time on Earth…

Leah waited for months for Adah to return to her and tell her what lay beyond.

Leah went to Adah’s funeral, and felt despair. However, she reminded herself that Adah would come back to her soon and tell her what lay beyond, and remind her that she’d eventually be reunited with her friend. She cried, but she cried out of happiness for that knowledge. So she waited for Adah, every day. She would stay silent as much as she possibly could, in case Adah’s voice was quiet and Leah needed to hear her whispering in her ear. She was quiet, and waited for day after day, week after week, and month after month for her friend to speak.

Leah never heard Adah’s voice. Despite all of her waiting in silence, she never once heard Adah tell her about what lay beyond. Leah became more and more angry and bitter, day after day, week after week, month after month. Her friend never told her what lay beyond death. Leah became bitter. She was angry because there was nothing beyond death. Her friend died, and never came back to tell Leah what lay beyond death. Eventually, Leah would die too, and she would never reunite with her friend in whatever lay beyond death. Leah was lonely. Leah hated her loneliness, and hated finally knowing the truth. Leah knew she would die and be alone, and she hated that. She hated it hated it hated it hated it.

Eventually, however, she learned to live again and made a new friend, Maya.

Maya and Leah loved each other very much, and couldn’t bear the idea of losing one another. Maya asked Leah that if she were to ever die, that she’d come back and tell her what lay beyond, and that Maya would do the same too.

Leah felt tears well up in her eyes. “Maya, there’s nothing beyond death,” she said. “We’ll be friends with each other but only for as long as one of us lives. If I die, I can’t promise you that I’ll tell you what lay beyond. But if I ever die, please don’t be sad for me. Please go make a new friend and live.”

So Maya and Leah promised each other that if one of them died, they wouldn’t tell each other what lay beyond- for there was nothing. Instead, they promised each other that if one of them died, the other would not be sad and would keep living her life.

Leah hated knowing the truth, but she was glad she had finally found someone to share it with.

Author: Kay Walker

I write short stories, and post them to my site justmynarratives.com

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