Afterlife Adventures

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Chapter XXXVI -Sorrow- (D1)

I was still laying on that same field trying to wrack my brain on who I should give it to. I held the red diamond on my face. You are such a headache, I thought jewelry was a girl’s best friend? Why is this a nightmare to me? I groaned again lying to the side. Should it be a man or a woman? Gabriel’s words rang in my head like a broken record, choose someone valuable and don’t be blinded by what you see outside. It’s like a clue of some sort, the way I understood it is to try not to see a person’s riches but rather look into his/her character. Hmm. . . that could be something. Then again, there are a lot of good and bad people on earth. It just depends on how someone’s perspective sees it.

That’s it! I had to see those myself!

I’m not gonna be able to see all of it just laying here, I need to see it with my own eyes. Why does it sound so simple yet hard to do? Can I just give it to a dog instead? After all, they are the most loyal and loving creatures a man could ask for. Lazily, I stood up and looked around. Some people were walking, some talking to their companion, some riding a bike, and other normal usual stuff people would do.

As I looked sideways, I noticed a huge dumpster by the end of the road. Walking around it, an old lady was busy digging trash with the use of a wooden cane, poking and reaching everything that gets in the way. I felt a tinge of pain shot through me making my nerves tremble and my stomach churns as if I had any. I could give it to her!

The lady grabbed a few plastic and paper bags here and there and placed them on her not-so-good-looking bag. It had stitches and holes around it like it’s seen better days. She slung the bag on her shoulder and grabbed the cane using as support with every step she took, trying to avoid attention as much as possible. I followed her to another dumpster and she again began her digging, finding a few edible foods on some fast-food wrappers and munching on it without caring whether the item was still good or clean.

A few heads turned her way, some even visibly scrunching their faces as she took some bites. The lady didn’t mind one bit, maybe she’s used to the stares and is too hungry to even care. With no luck, she exhaled and looked down. She was about to swing the bag when suddenly she yelped a quick AH! and dropped the bag. Clutching on her upper shoulder, she sat down slowly and massaged the damaged area. Her pained expression told me that this was not just ordinary joint pain but rather, a deep one. A few minutes passed, the lady stopped massaging and tried to move her arms slowly, twisting them from left to right. Satisfied, she stood and carefully placed the bag on that same shoulder, walking in another direction.

I imagined what would happen if she suddenly saw a stone like this. Would she sell it? Keep it? Give it to someone she knows? How would she react? Has she ever handled something as precious and as expensive as this? I may need a bit of a back story to her if I’m eying her like this and I need to do it fast!

The lady walked on and on and now we were in a place full of junk, or more likely a place full of trash and waste. Wait, does she live here? In this reeking and unhealthy atmosphere? what’s worse are mountains and mountains of waste! The lady opened a barbed gate and entered, what I saw was a nightmare of trash. Never in my life had I visited a wasteland and this is what I’m seeing right now. In my shocked state, I still managed to follow the lady on wherever she was going.

My eyes landed on a rusty and abandoned-looking container ship. She opened what looked like a door, and stepped inside. Flicking a switch, her lights were a mix of a light bulb and a few working fairy lights making the inside glow. She opened what looked like a window, inhaling the smell of waste from outside. Sighing, she placed the bag near a lamp and headed towards the opposite side of the container. Looks like a kitchen corner but with fewer utensils. And I doubt that the refrigerator was working.

When she opened it, a few cartons, a scallion, a bowl with mashed-up food, a potato, and a single carrot were on display. A small smile spread across her face reaching out to the vegetable and the mashed-up food. She started a fire and placed an old-looking saucepan on it drizzling some oil. She heated the food and sliced the potato followed by the carrot. Dumping just a bit of water, her food was ready. Turning off the fire, she placed her newly cooked food on an old coffee table and turned on the TV. Surprisingly, it turned on but the channel was a bit blurry and on black and white. She munched happily not caring about anything in the world.

No words could describe how shocked, disturbed, a bit disgusted, pitied, remorse, whatever words were out there that share the trait of meaning. For a person seeing it all for the first time, if I was still alive, I may even have fainted. You don’t see this on the news every day, it’s like the hard life in the shadows. A knock on that container shook me out of my reverie.

The door opened and a young lady around her thirties entered, carrying soiled plastic bags on her sides. The old lady stood up and hugged her giving a small kiss on her cheeks.

"It’s all I found gran, sorry about that. It’s been a bit hard and the weather’s not in our favor” the girl smiled sadly caressing the old lady’s hair.

"Oh dear, you know I don’t want you pushing yourself to the limit. This is more than enough. Come, come, let’s eat, lucky we have some good vegetable here” the old lady’s raspy voice made my heart clench even tighter.

The girl opened her bags and took out containers of leftover food. Sitting down on one of the broken chairs, she and her gran ate happily in silence. The TV speaking gibberish as their background. I closed my eyes and took a step back away from them and away from the door.

Outside, the scenery just made it worse. I floated on and on without any sense of direction until I reached a lake in the middle of a forest. It seemed like this place was famous for hikers and adventurers. The path and some strings here and there told me so. I dropped down to the water and tried to feel it with my ghostly fingers. This mission is not just ordinary relationship-related whatnot but I had to decide and it’s very hard in a small amount of time. I looked at the diamond and raised it to the sun. Should I give you them? They seem like nice people and they could do better with it in their lives. But then again, are they the right ones?

UGH! I screamed in frustration and tried to punch a tree. Nothing happened.

Deciding to find some more scenery and people. I again, flowed anywhere until school grounds entered my vision.



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