he light glared onto his freshly pressed suit. Jonathan preferred to look good upon any circumstance, even if it meant a long and tiresome journey alone. The light was a tiny hole across the vast dark sky. Yet Jonathan straightened his suit once more. He had prepared himself before. He knew that this day would come, and he was prepared for it.
He had only just started, but there were already the signs that he had learned through books. Windows began to form out of nowhere. Jonathan couldn't resist; he had to peek through one of them. He crept up to the windowsill. Amazed, he saw himself at around 2, holding his new baby brother. This experience was like nothing in the books. Such details he never remembered were so remarkably vivid now.
He had to see more. He crept up to another windowsill, as though afraid someone could catch him stealing a cooling pie. Another life story appeared; Jonathan saw himself scoring the winning goal at his soccer championship. He was lifted onto the shoulders of his brothers and teammates. He remembered this one: the winning goal and the praise that he received. Windowsill after windowsill, Jonathan crept up to each one and peeked through. Each time, there would be another life story, some he remembered, yet others were completely forgotten, buried at the back of his head.
The light grew brighter after every memory that Jonathan saw. Sometimes it would grow a lot bigger, other times he was wasn't even able to notice the difference. It had been a long walk and Jonathan's legs were failing him. He had to sit down and rest, but the light was luring him into its wrath and almost commanded that he kept on walking. But his legs refused to and Jonathan lay there on the ground staring at the light, wondering what it would promise for him.
The next few days were the same. Walking on the road laid for him with the light growing bigger and beckoning him. Jonathan continued to look though each windowsill. And each time, a memory would come rushing back. Only now, they weren't all of the nicest kinds: some were starting to haunt him.
It started with the big lies and his parents finding out, or something like crashing the car. Then it grew bigger, it became losing his job, losing all his money on the stock market or being unable to pay for his bills and getting chased by the IRS. After each of these menacing memories, Jonathan felt remarkably tired. But there were always happy ones to keep him company and to sustain the smile on his face, like the births of his sons and daughter.
The happy memories that he cherished; the ones where he taught his sons Timothy and Thomas how to play baseball. As well as others where he watched his daughter's dance recitals. These were the memories that kept him from slacking off and quitting most of the time. Other times it would be the angelic face of his late wife, Amy. These were the memories that kept him fueled and prepared to live other days in the harsh world.
And so it continued for days, weeks, and perhaps even months. Each day would be the same, invariably, Jonathan would wake, walk and peek, walk and peek, and it became a routine until his legs could no longer carry him any further. And each day, the light would grow, slowly, and surely, but it would always grow. He didn't notice it at first but, by the end of a day's walk Jonathan would. As the days grew and Jonathan's legs grew weak, he began to wish that this journey would become shorter, that it would end soon, but it didn't.
It continued and more memories came. His grandchildren now came into view, and there would be more happy ones, for a time at least. Then the "evil ones" as he called them came, his children and grandchildren and even his great-grandchildren started to neglect him. One by one as they grew older, they slowly drifted off, off into their own new worlds and their own new lives. The feeling of loneliness overcame Jonathan; he longed for his journey to end. He longed for the light to simply envelop him and take him away, but it wouldn't.
Each day became torture now. Jonathan dreaded the windows that would not let go of him as they drew him towards their windowsills. Then he would feel the sensation, a feeling that was so exhilarating to him. Yet he yearned for it to simply leave him alone. But, he couldn't help but to creep up to every single windowsill and glance through.
Though the light grew nearer and brighter every day, it never seemed near or close enough, it never seemed to end. Jonathan was on the verge of giving up, there were no longer any happy memories, he felt only losses and hopeless now, nevertheless he carried on, for he knew that his time would come. He knew that one day all his suffering would have paid off and he could live in paradise.
The light had grown, Jonathan was now able to feel it's warmth spreading throughout his back, however, he kept his suit on. "After all, a good impression is all you need" it was his personal motto. Jonathan felt that the end of his heartache was soon. It would be just a matter of day and indeed, it was…
Though Jonathan would never know, it was exactly on his birthday and time that his journey ended. It was precisely 8:32 am on June 15 that Jonathan became one of us. It was just the beginning of his walk that day when the light had covered him and took him to our gate: the pearly gates of heaven.
© 2002 The Richmond Hill Public Library Board