Sara's Promise(6)

By: Deanna Lynn Sletten

"Everything will be fine," he told her, placing his hand on hers. "They'll take good care of you."

But Sara was anything but calm. Her eyes were wide with terror. "No, Billy, don't let them take me," she pleaded, grabbing his arm so fiercely he winced. "I can't leave you and the kids. You need me. I don't want to go."

William knew there was nothing to panic about. She was safe in the hospital with competent doctors to care for her. "Everything will be all right, honey," he said, bending down to kiss her forehead. "Everything will be fine. Trust me."

They wheeled Sara down the hall and through double doors marked "Hospital Personnel Only". William stood calmly as she disappeared, even though her eyes pleaded with him the entire way. Unnerved by her fear, but careful to hide his feelings, he turned to the children standing wide-eyed and frightened behind him.

"She'll be fine," he reassured them as he placed an arm around each and led them back to the waiting room. "All we can do now is wait."

Chapter Three

When Sara opened her eyes, the first thing she saw were the colors, ribbons of watercolors, blue, green, pink, yellow, every color of the rainbow floating above her. The golden light beyond intensified their shades from pastel to a brilliant bright, an explosion of color so perfect and beautiful, she couldn't take her eyes from them. The golden light was so radiant, as if looking into a perfect sun. She should have needed to shade her eyes against it, but she didn't need to. She could look upon it without even blinking.

The wavering colors called to her, dancing high above her, glistening in the perfect light. She wanted to join the colors, become a part of them, fuse with them. The warm glow that illuminated the colors smiled at her. She found herself happily rising up to them, ready to embrace their beauty and become as one with the colors, as if becoming a part of one of her own canvases. But these colors, and the light beyond, were unlike any canvas she'd ever painted. They were absolutely perfect. They were ethereal.

As Sara rose toward the beckoning beauty of the ribbons of colors, she turned only briefly to look upon the scene playing out below her. Men and women were scurrying about, concentrating all their energy upon a pale figure lying motionless on a table. Panic filled the room as one man called out orders, and another pressed firmly on the chest of the figure, pumping rhythmically, consecutively, calling out numbers as he did. The intense scene below her was in complete contrast to the calm, loving feeling above her, so Sara distanced herself from the one and rose toward the other.

She floated, higher and higher, until the colors surrounded her and made her one of their own. Twirling, drifting, spinning, Sara reveled in the soft, powdery feel of them, becoming one with the colors. She raised her arms and brushed through the colors as if swimming, watching with delight as the colors separated, mixed, gelled, then fell back into place. It was like being a part of a beautiful painting, Sara felt free, a release of all that had ever held her down, as the golden light continued to smile down upon her and warm her from within.

Sara continued to rise, every fear, emotion, and pain falling away from her like unwanted weight. She felt lighter and lighter, airy, like the ribbons of color. Air, sun and mists of color reflected upon her, through her, within her.

The radiant light beyond drew closer. The makings of a face seemed to appear in its glow. "Welcome home, Sara," the lighted face said in a tone so warm and loving, unlike anything she'd ever heard before. It seemed like she felt the words rather than heard them.

Sara smiled, feeling light and breezy, the colors continuing to follow her, surrounding her as she rose even higher. No matter how she moved, the ribbons of color stayed with her. They were her friends, her family, her one true love.

Suddenly, panic swelled inside Sara. She stopped floating up and turned her face down toward where she'd come. Her love, her family, they were not here in the midst of the colors or in the smile of the golden face. They were back there, from where she had floated up.

"There's nothing down there for you now, Sara," the golden rays told her kindly. "Up is where you want to go now. This is where you belong."

But Sara could only look down. Through the mist of colors, she could make out the form of a face, no, three faces, three familiar faces. "My family, they need me," Sara said.

But the lighted face above only smiled at her. "We're your family now, Sara. We need you now. Come to us."

Sara turned toward the golden face, once again feeling the warmth of its smile. She wanted to continue to follow it, bask in its loving warmth forever. Yet, something held her back. Again, she glanced below, and caught the pained expression on a face that she loved. Her heart ached for the pain she saw in his face. A gasping sound came from behind that face, and she saw two more faces with glistening tears on their cheeks. A sudden urge made her want to hug them, hold them tight, and wipe away their tears. She had to go back. She had to erase the pain from those faces she loved so much. The golden face would have to wait. The others needed her more.

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