Monday, June 30, 2014

Reincarnation


Suppose you could carry over your memories to the next life. Would you keep killing yourself until you find the best one?

I had the opportunity to try it out for myself.

It started with my suicide. The last thing I remember was my fall from a bridge and my last gasp for air as water flooded my lungs. Inexplicably, I found myself alive again in the middle of a high school lecture. The teacher promptly scolded me for my lack of attention.

The memories of this boy began to fill me. I recalled everything he knew. In this life, I was an ambitionless teenager from a broken family. This body is tainted with vices with a problem-stained reality. I can’t take this one. I must end it.

And right after class, I did. A speeding truck was perfect.

In the next life, I found myself in the body of a brilliant college student. Her, or rather, my future was ensured and I had supportive friends and family. I couldn’t ask for any better. I told everyone close to me about my sudden recall of my past lives but none believed me. Eventually, they verified my story and found old news about the deaths of two people: a man who jumped from a bridge and a teenager hit by a truck.

Years passed and my life was stable. A dream job with a steady income would’ve been enough. But I know that it can be better. I looked at the mirror and smiled wondering what I will be next.

It felt like time travel as each life was further into the future. I ended each one that didn’t satisfy me. In different incarnations, I was a celebrity, a professor, a wealthy businessman and so on. But I wanted more.

Finally, I was a lone child in the street. The cold of the night crept on me. I wasn’t worried. I might as well spend time wandering the city.

I finally came across a familiar bridge. This was where it all started. The bridge was old and collapsing with a “No Entry” sign. Odd. Why can’t I remember my past lives beyond that particular one?

“Hey, kid” I heard an old man. “Don’t go in there! That bridge is haunted!”

“Haunted?”  I asked.

He told me of how a man drowned himself years back. They say that he would possess those who would pass by and fill their minds with his and his victims’ memories. Eventually, he would end their lives by suicide. There are several deaths attributed to this curse over the years.

“That can’t be true!” I protested. “I am that man! I am one and the same as all those lives I’ve ever been.”

“Stop!” I hear the old man shout as I entered the bridge.

I was ready to jump. The sensation of my first death came back to me. All those past lives… I could not help but wonder… What if I was wrong? What if I had taken all those lives that weren’t mine?

I was beginning to slip. I tried to hold on.

As I was about to fall, a hand grabbed me and pulled me back up. It was the old man. I wept. All this time I had stolen lives in a selfish desire to get the best one.

I bid the old man farewell as I sought to find significance in this life.

This is a terrible start. But I’ll give it a meaningful end. After all, I stole this one.

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