From the Other Side: A Story from Beyond
A Story from Beyond is how I’ve entitled my first article on human compassion. It’s an emotion that seems to be disappearing. Which is why, every time I witness a kind act, I remain under the impression that I’m witnessing a story that’s beyond reality.
It’s time to go home. And the editorial office is empty. Then, my cell phone rings again. I pick up but I only hear a strange voice. There’s no signal. I wonder who can be calling so persistently from the other end of the line. But it’s time to go home.
A Story from Beyond: The Storm
It’s raining hard. And I go from 62 mph to 50. But I’m not too confident about what might happen. The highway is empty. It’s 11:30 p.m. and people are already at home, getting ready for the next day. Today is a stormy day. And the rain has been pouring down the streets since 6:00 a.m. and, according to the weather forecast, it seems it’ll continue throughout the next two or three days. Then, my cell phone rings once more. But I never pick up my cell phone while I’m driving.
Lightning on the horizon leads me to understand that the rain was only the beginning. Indeed, a storm is approaching and I’d better get home soon if I don’t want to be a victim of its fury.
I park on the street, get out of the car, and go inside my house. Lightning brightens the sky, and thunder becomes the prelude to the greatest flood I’ve ever seen in my life. I hang my jacket on the coat rack, change my clothes, and make myself comfortable.
Then, the phone rings again.
“Yes?” I ask when I answer.
“I thought I wouldn’t be able to hear you clearly,” answers a manly voice.
“Who are you?” I ask.
“I’m Alberto, your grandfather.”
I remain silent for a few seconds. Then, I ask again: “Who are you?”
“I already told you, your grandfather.”
“My grandfather is dead,” I reply furiously. “For thirty-nine years now, we didn’t get to meet…”
The sound of thunder takes me out of that awkward moment and I realize the call disconnected. Or maybe I hung up. I don’t know. In any case, I’ve never liked phone pranks. However, my grandfather’s been dead for 39 years and I never got to meet him, although anyone who knew anything about my family would know it. Then, I look at the clock and see that it’s already midnight. It’s so late. So, I sit on the sofa to read a pending article before bed. When I start reading, the phone rings again.
“It’s normal to doubt, we’re not used to talking to our deceased relatives. But don’t worry, it’s just an experience; a story from beyond, the kind you like so much. After some time goes by, you’ll see it more objectively and be able to cherish it,” says the voice that claims to come from the other side.
I don’t know what to say. If it’s a joke, I want to hang up. If it’s true, I’ll feel ridiculous thinking that it’s true.
“In which year were you born?” I ask without thinking.
“In 1920,” he replies, “May 8, 1920.”
A Story from Beyond: The Showcase Cabinet
The rain splatters hard against the windows. I realize the date of birth is correct. But that doesn’t prove much either.
“Let me tell you, I’m glad to see that you have me in the showcase cabinet in your living room and that you carry me around your neck,” adds the voice.
Here, I get up and run to the showcase cabinet. I’ve only been in this house for two months and haven’t had anyone over. How can the man on the phone know I have a picture of my grandfather in my living room? And how does he know I’m wearing the pendant that my grandfather wore his entire life?
“Relax, don’t be frightened, sit down,” says the voice.
“Listen, if this is a joke, if someone’s put cameras in my house, I’ll call the police,” I replied angrily.
Then, I sit down and try to remain calm. It seems I’m going to experience my own story from beyond. And I know this stormy night isn’t going to be easy to forget.
“I know that this doesn’t happen to you frequently, you’ve been taught that talking to the dead is crazy and now you think that someone’s playing a joke on you or that you’re losing your mind. Consider that nothing in life is as it seems. Since we’re children, we’re taught to have one perspective, which limits us,” says the voice. “Don’t believe everything you see or everything you hear. Doubt everything. And make up your mind based only on your own experiences.”
“There is no death, daughter. People die only when we forget them… If you can remember me, I’ll be with you always.”
My disbelief is at its limit. Yes, the afterlife has always caught my attention. But now that I seem to be living it, all I have is doubts. And I refuse to believe it. For some strange reason, I feel a lot of love towards the grandfather I never met.
“Let’s say it’s true, that you’re my grandfather. How can you call me on the phone?” I ask.
“Thanks to the storm, a channel was opened. It’s not always easy to communicate with your dimension, but there are events that facilitate it. Our worlds are very close but very far apart at the same time. We occupy the same space, but can’t see each other because we’re in different dimensions,” he replies.
A New Flower
“I understand. So when the storm is over, we won’t be able to talk anymore?” I ask.
“I don’t know, probably not. Anyway, I won’t be here much longer. I must leave this dimension and return to my own. So, your story of the afterlife is about to end,” says my grandfather.
“What do you mean?” I ask surprised. “Will we see ourselves in this dimension?”
“Maybe, but we won’t recognize each other,” he replies.
“Explain,” I ask intrigued.
“I’ve been in this dimension longer than I should. When we leave our body, we review what we’ve learned, both good and bad. You needed this experience to continue developing. You’ve always wondered if there’s life on the other side, but until today I hadn’t been able to contact you,” says my grandfather.
“Why?” I ask. “Why couldn’t you?”
“You weren’t prepared,” he replies. “Despite your inclination to want to believe in the signs that might come from beyond, you wouldn’t have believed me. Now that I’ve made contact, I must go.”
“Wait!” I shout.” May I know where you’ll be born?”
“I don’t know, I could come back either as a woman or a man. And I’m not going to remember anything about this life, either. Perhaps some isolated memory that I’ll interpret as something strange going on in my mind, but nothing else,” he answers.
“Grandfather, thank you. I’ve always carried you in my heart and I always will,” I say.
“I know, me too, now I have to leave, I love you.”
“And I…” I add.
The call disconnects. I recline on the sofa. And without saying a word, I look up at the ceiling in disbelief. My mind shifts between belief and self-deception.
A Story from Beyond: Sleeping Beauty
My son is already four years old and only likes to play and sleep. His name is Alberto, just like his great-grandfather. The year I spoke to my grandfather, I met the woman who’s currently my wife and our son was born soon after.
That stormy night changed my life considerably. The events developed faster than I could’ve imagined, but we’re happy. Alberto is playful and likes to open every cabinet. There are times when I’m overwhelmed by his energy and so I end up on the couch, exhausted.
One day, I walk into a room only to find every drawer empty. Everything is on the floor. Alberto is sitting on the carpet playing with some jewelry. I run towards him and pick him up.
“Look at what you’ve done, now you’ll have to clean it up,” I scold him.
I notice that he’s wearing grandfather’s pendant. Yes, I put it away the first and only day I talked to him. I figured it had fulfilled its mission, so I decided to put it away. Many times I think that it’s the link in my story from beyond with my grandfather.
I reach out to take it off but little Alberto resists. “Honey, we have to put it away. It was my grandfather’s,” I say.
He frowns and says, “No, it’s not yours, it’s mine.”
I don’t feel like engaging in a never-ending argument with him. His mother is stubborn and so am I, so he definitely takes after both of us. So I tell him “Someday I’ll give it to you. You’re still very young and I don’t want you to lose it.”
“No, you won’t give it to me because it’s already mine,” he answers again.
“Oh yeah? And who gave it to you? “I asked.
“The lady in the hall,” he answers.
“What lady in the hall? Mom’s not home and in the living room, we only have…
I turn pale when I realize who my son’s referring to, my great-grandma, whose picture hangs on the hall.It might interest you...