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Living Again (Adam Schexnayder-Crowley, LA)

"Time of death: 21:54."

Jacob descended down a slide. He felt like a kid at McDonald's playing like there was no other care in the world. He no longer had to worry about everything.  Bills, school, work, relationships, and everything else no longer rendered in his mind. He only had to slide. He had no idea where it was taking him, but he didn't care. As long as he could live in that moment, at that time. However, he wasn't ready for what was waiting for him in the ball pit. 
He was emersed by the cold plastic of play pen balls. It was a nostalgic reminder of how he would climb up the ladder, loosing his mother in his peripherals, only for her to reappear at the end of the ride. And there she was. Almost exactly like she had left twelve years before. Except this time, there were no wires. No tubes. No monitors. And she was glowing. She was perfect. Exactly what his mind let him remember of her.

"Hello, Jacob."

Jacob was left speechless. His mind couldn't formulate the words he wanted to say. He had planned a speech for her ever since the day she died. He would tell her that he survived. He survived her memory that most said would kill him. He had a great job. He lived a happy life. He even was set to be married a few days from now. He couldn't understand why he couldn't say all of this. Then it hit him. She already knew. She already knew that he was everything she had ever hoped he would become. And that was enough for him. He just sat among the balls. Each one giving him more comfort than he had ever felt. He finally knew what everyone meant. All he could do was laugh. It seemed to fit. His mother joined. She radiated. And he knew he would be ok. 

"Mom. You once told me that you wanted to feel important. You wanted to know that you fulfilled what you were put on earth for. I wanted to let you know. That once you left earth, you did it. You were the sun in the horizon. You were the light at the end of the tunnel. Everyday I lived, I lived for you. I often would ask myself, 'what would my mother say if she were here.' And now I know. And that saved me. Thank you."

Jacob lied back down into the pit of balls. He succumbed to the aroma of life. He closed his eyes. As he did, his mother bent down and kissed his cheek. She caressed his chin like she would always did just before he went to bed. The one thing they both longed for years finally came true. 


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