My name is Erik. I am thirty. I am now, at this moment, experiencing a stroke. There is one question racing through my supposedly non-functional brain. When you die, what happens? Nothing? Or is there an afterlife? I'm about to find out in 3-2-1....


2. A step closer to Heaven?

My heart is racing as I button up my shirt and slip on my tux. I put my hand to my pocket and feel for the object. Good, its still there. I breathe a sigh of relief. I am actually going to do this, I am going to take that step. I walk out of my apartment and get into my black Ferrari convertible. I take a deep breath, put the key in the ignition and drive away.


"Table for two under the name O'Connell."

"Right this way Mr. O'Connell." the hostess replies. I put my hand to my chest to feel it beat. Should I really be this nervous? My answer walks through the front door. She looks stunning and beautiful as ever. I can't believe this goddess has been my girlfriend for 10 years. As she makes her way to the table my heart skips a beat, literally. I put my hand to my chest and let out a small, shallow breath.

"Hi" she says giving me a quick peck on the lips. 

"Hi babe" I breathe with a smile as the feeling somewhat subsides. I pull out her chair and then go to occupy my seat. About halfway through dinner the live band starts to play. Thats my cue.

"Babe, would do me the honor of having this dance?" I say as I place out my hand to her. She smiles her brilliant smile and joins me on the dance floor. We waltz for a couple of minutes and clap when the band is finished. They then start a modern song, our song. Her face gets bright with excitement.

"Babe this is our song!" I smile and pull her close. As Fall For You begins I get down on one knee, shaking and say the most precious words that have ever come out of my mouth.

"Christine, from the moment I first met you I knew you were the one for me. It's been ten years since the day I asked you to be my girlfriend and I would like to take the next step." I fumbled to get the ring out of my pocket and looked up to see her crying and smiling.

"Christine Destler, will you do the honor of marrying me?" She smiled and then knocked me off my feet in a big bear hug. 

"Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!" I give myself a mental pat on the back and exhale. People clap around us as I place the diamond ring on her finger. Her smile could light a city!

"Do you want to take a walk in the park, Mrs. O'Connell?"

"Of course Mr. O'Connell" She beams and sets my heart  on fire. 

"Let us walk." As we exit the restaurant my head starts to spin and my heart pounds. I stumble.

"Erik, are you alright?"

"Just f-fine" I stutter with a smile.

"You don't look alright," She says as I lean on a light post. I loose my balance and land on my hands and knees heaving for breath.

"Erik! Whats wrong!" she shouts as I put my hand to my chest. It pounds and throbs beneath my sweaty palm.

"Get... Help..." I mutter between gasps and collapse on the ground frothing at the mouth.



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