I waited, mulling. I knew I should be upset, but that peaceful sunlight, and that breeze, and the serene summer sounds. It was hard to remain discomfited. And while I was content to just lay there for a time, I was really looking forward to getting up and going outside under the blue, blue sky, and maybe running again, and feeling the warm air on my face… and my eyes. I hadn't felt that directly, and still been able to see clearly, since second grade; a very long time ago. It was a small thing, but suddenly, very significant. I didn't know why. I didn't care why.
But there were questions, and so far, precious few answers. Actually, no answers.
"So, how can I be dead, 'technically', for a time?"
He chuckled. It was a friendly sound, not at all derogatory.
"Don't tell me," I said. "You saw that one coming."
"Yes, I did. Like I said. I know you. I've studied you."
"No you're not. You're annoyed. You think I'm trying to distract you. But I know better than that. Your laser-like focus is undistractable."
"Now you're making fun of me. And that's not even a word - undistractable."
"Yes, I am. A little. But I'm sure you don't mind because…"
"Yeah, you know me. I get it. So?"
"You are aware of the true definitions of death, yes?"
I merely raised my eyebrows. Two could play this game of being enigmatic.
"Relax," he said. "It was a rhetorical question. I know exactly what you do and don't know."
"You're that good, eh?"
He smiled. Despite myself, I liked him. He was growing on me.
"You have undergone the First Death. Your consciousness, your spirit, has been separated from your physical body."
"So I'm unconscious, and this is a dream. What'd I have? Heart attack? Stroke? What?"
"No. You are not unconscious. You are dead. You were shot."
"Yes. Now you're getting it."
"I should be really upset then. "
"Who shot me?"
"That's not important. Your family is safe. I know that's what you're now primarily concerned about. You were the intended target. You really do worry too much."
"When you asked me what's the last thing I remembered, I saw me on the ground. I didn't look shot. No blood. I looked old, and well, heart-attacky."
"Whaddya' mean, 'nope'"?
"You saw what you could handle at the moment. Your Father is like that. Merciful. Kind. He knows you far better than even I do."
"And it's not important who shot me?"
"No. Not at the moment."
"So, I'm dead."
"And this is Heaven?"
"A small piece of it, yes."
"What I can handle right now."