Decisions By D.I. Jolly
Rick opened his eyes with a gasp and then frowned. Slightly confused and a little annoyed, he stared at the bright Pearly Gates, and the smiling winged man standing in front of him.
As he sauntered over to the man his frown deepened.
“Seems a little cruel to bring a man like me up here, see all this, knowing full well I’m going to go to that Other place.”
Saint Peters’ smile grew,
“Before that decision is made first your choices must be weighed up and then judgement passed.”
“Choices? You still trying to sell that one huh?”
“What do you mean?”
“One hand says it’s all your choice and the other says God has a plan. Well, let me tell you when you walk into a room just in time to see a man finish inside the back end of a battered and bleeding eight-year-old girl.’
Rick shook his head as if trying to shake out the memories.
“Choice doesn’t exist.”
Saint Peter lost his smile and adopted a more sombre look.
“I’m sorry you feel that way, and that you had to go through that. But it was a series of choices that brought you to that moment, much like it was to bring you here now.”
Rick’s frown deepened further and he felt his temper climb.
“Let’s just get this over with, I’m not exactly excited to start damnation but let’s not prolong the inevitable.”
“Tell me, why are you so convinced you don’t belong here?”
“Man… Is this my punishment? To have you annoy me for all eternity. I’ve killed people, hit women, had kids I’ve never seen with women I can’t tell you the name of. I think I broke every rule in that book of yours. Let’s not fuck around here.”
Peter looked down at the small scale in front of him and then back up to Rick.
“And yet your scale balances.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means you have another choice to make. You can either stay here or go back to where you came from.”
Rick stared at him baffled and lost for words. Finally, his voice came back, but small and humble.
“I …I can stay up here? With you? Why, how?”
“That little girl you mentioned? The one you saved. She made the choice to be inspired by you, and attacked the world with a warrior’s spirit. She’s going to medical school now, and her drive is so strong that she can find cures for terrible diseases and can save millions of lives. Because you saved her, she decided not to be a victim but a hero. And that is only one example of many. You did very hard things but your heart was always in the right place.”
Rick let that wash over him for a long while. Then a smile spread across his face.
“Hey is talking to angels like talking to an answering machine?”
“Well if they don’t have choice, if you ask them the same question do they have to give you the same answer every time?”
Peter smiled again and let out a little laugh.
“Why not come in, and find out.”