A Rose by Nicholas Brashear
SUMMARY: A trip to hell and the way back to heaven.
I was 28 years old, married to a beautiful woman, and quickly climbing the corporate ladder. One day I was left work early and went home. I walked inside and into my bedroom to see my beautiful wife. She was in there with another man. She was cheating on me. After I had given her everything in the world she was with someone else. I pulled a gun out of my belt and pointed it. BANG! The gun went off and I fell to the floor, dying, my wife crying over my motionless body.
The next thing I remember was waking up in this black room, a huge room that seemed to go on forever into blackness. I was walking around and around for what seemed like hours searching for something in that lifeless room. It gave me such a weird feeling, a certain nirvana: no pain, no joy, no sadness, and no anger, just nothing. Finally a man dressed all in black and very pale appeared in front of me out of nowhere.
"You murdered yourself. The punishment for suicide is damnation. Your eternal soul will forever be hexed and thrown into the pit of sinners," the man told me.
Then in an instant we were at a giant black door. It wasn't made of wood or metal; it was just black and huge. It looked more like a portal than a door. There was a hellish, dog-like creature on either side, guarding the door. They opened up revealing what was hell. Unlike all the stories I had heard in church about the lake of fire and the flesh-eating monsters, it was almost like a cave. Tons of people just standing around, sad, with a feeling that something was missed out, like there was something better they could've had, but they missed out on it.
I was walking in looking around at all the sinners. The hurt in hell wasn't a physical one; it was the pain that only emotion can bring you. That feeling of true love lost was all around me, and so intense.
I broke down and started crying. I fell to the floor and looked up at the ceiling. "Why me God!?" I cried out. Then, a beautiful white light came down from above me. It was the most beautiful and whitest light I had ever seen. It gave me the feeling that everything was okay. It made me feel loved. Then a booming voice was all around me.
"I saw what happened on Earth. You shouldn't have killed yourself, but you did refrain from killing anyone else, that's commendable. I will give you another chance at life, I will let you live once more and prove that you should come to live in heaven. Now, what would you like to return to Earth as?"
I stood there thinking, trying to take all this in, it was happening too quickly. Then it hit me. "If it's all the same to you, I'd like to return as a rose."
"A rose? That's an odd choice. Why do you wish to be a rose?"
"Well," I started, "after being here, seeing what I've seen, feeling what I've felt, and knowing what I know, I could never return here. So I was thinking, ‘What's more innocent than a rose?'"
"Very well, see you soon."