Truth Ray

At a party on Summit Avenue…Lacey wanders into the house headed toward the back where the kitchen is. She has no idea where else to go.

Lem is talking with friends. Joe is flirting with a group of girls. Elliott walks down the stairs, makes eye-contact with Lacey and then has to leave. Harold is arguing with some girl. Zelda and Scott are off together. Louis is wandering too, with a girl. But…he does seem to secretly be watching everything like a hawk.

And there stands Michael in the kitchen. For no clear reason. Their eyes meet and it seems as though they’re stuck together for eternity with some sort of unknown physics of Heaven. But Lem protests.

“I’m just not sure!” he says in genuine concern.

And suddenly they’re all sitting back in a car. Parked in Louis’ driveway on Summit Avenue. Or is it Lacey’s driveway in Minneapolis?

“Am I? Who am I?” she asks.

“I love you either way.” says Louis.

“I love you more than any man alive. More than any man-“ starts Michael.

“No! I do.” says Lem.

“Wait! What does God say?” asks an Asmat dancing to Thom Yorke singing, “Oh my God.”

“I love making this a hymn in my mind and heart.” says Lacey to the Asmat.

His mouth opens. He smiles.

“You’ve befriended Asmats, Lacey.” says Lem.

“Have I?!” Lacey asks.

“I think so.” says Lem.

“My goodness. That’s a compliment.” says Lacey.

They wink at her and then disappear downhill past The University Club.

“They love me too.” says Scott Fitzgerald.

“Am I slightly Celtic?” asks Lacey.

“You’re English, regardless.” says Zelda.

Lacey stands in the middle of Summit Avenue. Closes her eyes. And waits.

“Your memories are weird, Lacey.” says a ghost. As if to insinuate she’s a child of a rare man with similar brown eyes and an English last name.

“Or did my mother have brown eyes?” she asks.

“Who cried? Who was the lady who painted your nails and then cried because she was leaving you?” asks a ghost.

Oh well.

It’s a rainy night. The street glistens.

“I love you.” says Louis.

Silence.

“And I’ll repeat myself: you’ll never be as content with anyone as you are with me.” he says.

“It’s hard to explain some things this side of Paradise.” says God.

Lacey takes a deep breath.

“You almost died. Just feet from here.” Michael points at the corner.

“Was I really that close to death?”

“Yes.” says Michael.

Then he goes on, “You’re in Heaven.”

“I’m not dead though.”

“I am.”

Louis walks closer.

Lacey’s riding on a horse with a long sword stretched out cutting off heads of demons. One quick swipe.

“God who was I supposed to be with?” she asks politely.

“Me!” says Michael as he rides up on a horse and kills a demon attacking her from behind. And so she follows him. Then he places her on his horse and they ride off together.

“Is that correct?” she asks Louis on Summit Avenue in the middle of the street tonight.

Scott smiles. “There’s nothing wrong with making sure.”