I’m in an Italian restaurant and, for a moment, I feel scared. I’m positive I know this place, but I rather I didn’t. The last time I was here, I ate the most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten in my life, which meant I was back in the Circle of Gluttony. I look to the kitchen and I swear I see Beelzebub smiling and preparing another lasagna for me. I begin to scream, I couldn’t be back to hell. I mean, I could. Actually, I deserved. I’m a suicidal, I couldn’t be where I was before. But that doesn’t matter, ’cause I was an I had to find my way back. I needed to find my way back to heaven.
I feel a hand around me and a sweet voice whispers in my ear:
Are you all right, sir?
And then, I realize everything will be fine. That perfect voice, that soothing voice couldn’t belong to a demon (maybe Lucifer, but I know it’s not him. How do I know? Well, I’ve been him…), that voice could only belong to an angel. So I open my eyes, and the intense brightness of the angelical creature warms me, it soothes me, makes my soul feel at peace (another proof I’m not in hell; if I was, all the light would cause me was blindness).
So I look around, the restaurant is certainly similar to the infernal restaurant, but there are major differences. The environment is much more illuminated, the sadness that existed in the infernal canteen is replaced by happiness and peace. The feeling of torture, not only for the clients, but also for the employees, that was so present in the infernal restaurant, is replaced for feelings that only paradise can offer. In general, in the furniture and clothes of the waiters, the canteens are identical. But in the small details, the subjective things, they differ in some deep way. So deep that, as looks pass by, it seems impossible that someone might mistake the two places.
Then, I realize I’m on my knees in the middle of the restaurant, I don’t know for how long. Everyone’s looking at me with worry, but I don’t feel bad for having so many eyes on me. I feel bad for getting everyone worried, I feel bad for leaving an angel-waiter hanging. I still haven’t answered his question and, even so, he doesn’t seem slightly upset. And besides not answering him, I also didn’t let go of his arm, his warmth and his comfort. He would have every reason to be “angry” at me, but all he does is give me the certainty that everything will be all right. And I feel bad for it, ’cause I know I’ll never be able to repay him.
I’m sorry, yes, I’m fine. It’s just that, this place seems… - And I look around, asking myself how could I think that the places in heaven and in hell were similar. – …like another one I’ve been to.
And it wasn’t a good place?
Actually, it was terrible. – I say, after my fit of laughter.
Then, please allow me to change your opinion of Italian restaurants on the afterlife. – The angel helps me get up.
That would be great.
The angel guides me to a table, and I see the looks continue to follow me. Angels and people, everyone worried with my well-being. I sit down. I don’t even need the menu, the angel tells me what I want and I just nod. He goes to the kitchen, but not before asking me if I’m certain everything’s ok. I say it is, and I repeat that to everyone that is still looking me with concern. And I feel bad again. I feel like crap ’cause I know I’d never worry that much about someone the way that everyone in the restaurant are about me, I feel terrible for knowing I’ll never feel that much empathy and solidarity as the people in the canteen.
Then I smile sadly. Only a person like me could be able to feel bad and depressed in heaven.