The Color Of Forever(9)

By: Julianne MacLean

I felt it deep in my gut—that Logan was waiting for me to be his mother again.

During the day, I wrestled with feelings of longing that led to feelings of hopelessness, which I feared might eventually lead to something darker—perhaps a serious depression that would swallow me up.

After a week of this torture—which I tried to convince myself was not rational—I decided that I needed to understand what, exactly, had happened to me on that mountain, so that I could move on and live the current life I had been given.

I googled “life flashing before your eyes” on the Internet and read all sorts of accounts from people who’d had near-death experiences, but no one described anything that came close to mine. They all, in their brief brush with death, revisited their own lives, which only left me more confused and uneasy.

I was about to call my doctor and make an appointment for an assessment of some kind, when I stumbled across a conspicuous link within the text of someone’s personal account: Memories of Past Lives.

Naturally, I clicked on it.

Chapter Eight

I must have sat in front of the computer for three hours, reading scientific and theological theories about reincarnation, accompanied by actual case studies. From what I read, it appeared that the scientific community placed more value on the reports from young children than adults, for children were less likely to be influenced by what they had seen or learned during their lives.

One case described a child who, at the age of two, told his parents they were not his real parents, and he named the people who were, along with details about where they lived and the names of his brothers and sisters. The boy’s name was Paul, but he insisted it was Derek.

Paul’s mother, understandably disturbed and upset by her son’s emotional state and his insistence that he belonged to someone else, began an investigation and uncovered evidence that there was indeed a family by that name living in the town Paul described. Further investigation revealed that the family’s twenty-three-year-old son had died tragically in a motorcycle accident. The death had occurred shortly before Paul’s birth.

The mother arranged for her and Paul to visit the family, who lived on the opposite side of the country. When the family was introduced to Paul, who was now four, they believed wholeheartedly that he was the reincarnation of their late son, Derek.

Later in life, when Paul reached adulthood, he bore a shocking physical resemblance to Derek. Black-and-white photographs of the two men, both aged twenty-three, were displayed side-by-side on the web page, and they could have been twin brothers. The sight of it sent an unexpected shot of fear and foreboding to my core, for this—at least to me—represented substantive evidence that they could indeed be the same person, living two decades apart.

But was it truly reincarnation? Or some other strange phenomenon no one had yet understood? Or was their report a hoax?

The radiator shuddered in my living room and the heat came on, causing me to jump with alarm. Laying a hand over my heart—now pounding like a drum—I gazed around and realized it was pitch dark everywhere in my house except the corner in the living room where my desk was located. I must have switched on the lamp at dusk, but I didn’t remember doing it.

I checked the time. It was 10:30 p.m. and the house seemed eerily quiet, though the wind was gusting outside and rattling the windowpanes. Shivering a little, I pulled my sweater tighter about myself, feeling rather creeped out by everything I had just read on the Internet. I hadn’t felt that way since I watched The Exorcist on television with Mark, a year before we were married. He went home afterward and left me alone in my apartment. I didn’t sleep a wink that night.

Rising from my chair, I crossed to the kitchen and switched on the overhead light, then went room to room and turned on lights everywhere, as well as the TV, and that was much better. I didn’t feel quite so alone with the reassuring laughter of the audience on The Big Bang Theory.

I then decided to call my mom and check in with her. I asked about her day and she asked about mine, and eventually I made the mistake of letting it slip that I’d had a vision during the accident and hadn’t been able to stop thinking about it. She asked me about a few details and then I told her about what I’d just read on the reincarnation website.

“Oh, Katlyn. Surely you don’t believe in any of that mumbo jumbo,” she scoffed. “You were unconscious and had a dream. That’s all it was, and you had it because of your divorce and because you still want to be married and have children. That’s a goal you should be focusing on. You shouldn’t be reading about reincarnation and past lives on the Internet. You should be surfing around a dating site. What about that eHarmony place I always see advertised on television? I’m sure you could meet a wonderful man if you just put yourself out there. The clock’s ticking, you know.”

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