This time it would be different. That was what I thought every time I tried to kill my self. But each time was the same. I would wake up and he would be standing there, a hint of visible disappointment on his face.
“Why are you so intent on killing me?”
“You!? I’m killing my self.”
“Have you not been listening to a word I’ve said? You have to save the world. I live in this world. Ergo, if you die, so do I.”
“Ergo… who even talks like that.”
“Ok. Let me explain this to you one more time…”
This is where he usually lost me. I had no desire to understand hot death, equilibrium or whatever he went on about. I had never been a particularly clever person so all of that was beyond me. But once he got going, it was tough to stop him. So I did what I usually did. I ignored him and tended to my garden.
The apple tree was growing well.
And the rose! It was majestic. I would sit and stare at that rose for hours. He never understood it, of course. For an angel, he didn’t really understand beauty.
“… and that’s why you have to live. Understood?”
“Sure sure.” My attention was fixed on something else though. One of the petals was drying up. But that was impossible. It had been beautiful and blooming for… I wasn’t even sure. When you’ve been living for centuries time didn’t mean much. Plus, right outside my door was all the time that had ever existed.
“Can you stop it with the stupid flower?”
“Why is this happening?”
“Well the time is close.”
“No! Wait. I’m not ready. My flower needs to live still!”
“Yet you were ready to kill yourself a few minutes ago.”
I looked at him, dumbstruck. “Don’t you understand. I thought the flower would live forever. Regardless of what happened to me. It’s always been like this!”
“Nothing stays the same. Everything always changes. Equilibrium is decay. Decay is equilibrium.”
“Just stop it! I need to think.”
I went and sat cross legged next to my rose.
He tried to talk to me for a while but I didn’t care. After a while he opened the door, where it was the early 2000s. He walked out into the past and was gone.
I sat there for years on years, focusing on that bit of brown. It was getting bigger. My rose would eventually die. But how… I thought we had reached equilibrium. From what I understood that meant static. Unchanging things. I plucked another apple and wolfed it down.
Another thing I had noticed is that in the past few years it had gotten worse. Now there were three petals who had begun to dry out.
I was so stuck by the death in front of me that I didn’t even notice him walking in.
He tapped me on the shoulder. “Have you been here all this time?”
“Time. What a funny idea.”
“If you say so.”
“What do you need me to do to save the world?”
“I need you to die.”
I laughed. “Now?”
“You have some time still.”
“Why can’t god fix all this?”
“God? What a silly idea. What makes you think one exists?”
“An angel brings me back to life every time I die. So logically…”
“Because I exist a god must? I don’t see how that would work.”
“So what happens now?”
“It’s time for a reset. The merge will happen soon creating the ultimate observer.”
I took another bite of the apple. I was more interested in what the angel was saying than the rose now. I looked at him a bit closely. Why had I thought he was an angel? He didn’t look like any description of one I had ever heard of.
“And the ultimate observer chooses how we go on?”
“Not we. The universe world line.”
“I understood.” Surprisingly I did.
I also knew that it was time. For the first time, there was darkness outside. It was never dark outside my room. I opened the door which usually led to various times. Now it was just dark.
“It’s time?” I looked questioningly at him.
I noticed for the first time the wrinkles on his forehead. He had never shown any signs of aging before. It was fast. So fast that it surprised me.
“Will you be ok?”
“It’s up to the ultimate now I guess.” He walked up to me handing me an apple and what was left of my rose. “Go on then. Go. Jump.”
I looked and unsurprisingly looked into the void. It was dark all around.
As I looked down, I saw many other versions of me peeking into the void.
I jumped and so did everyone else.
We all fell for what seemed like ages. As we did, we learnt many things from each other. With every past millisecond I was learning something new. And so was every version of me. Considering we fell for a few millennia, by the end all of us were the supreme knowledgeable beings.
The light came suddenly. All of us were absorbed into it, a single sentient being as we saw the past and the present.
Wr saw him, my angel, huddled near my naked rose plant conspicuous by the absence of the rose. The beauty had seeped into him though. He looked peaceful. Angelic.
We remembered the rose and took it out. It was decided. We closed our eyes and the world line was reinitiated. A loud bang caused us to flinch and close our eyes.
It was time to sleep.
As we fell asleep, we heard a voice of a child’s laughter, smelt the fragrance of a rose and felt a faint taste of a beautiful fresh apple.