Patience leads me down what seem to be endless corridors, all with gold-rimmed picture frames holding photos of God and his family.
We stop abruptly at a dead end.
"Patience, I hate to state the obvious, but what are we doing at the end of this corridor? There isn't anything here."
Patience turns to me, barely able to keep a smile from creeping onto her face.
"All will be revealed soon, Jade. Now shut your eyes, and hold onto my hand tight. Don't open your eyes until I tell you too."
I obey, closing my eyes tightly. I can feel the brightness of the white walls burn through my eyelids, but I ignore it, and wait for the moment when all is revealed.
Suddenly, we drop. I feel the ground beneath my feet crumble and then we fall, faster and faster.
Patience tightens her grip around my fingers, comforting me.
"Don't open your eyes, Jade! Keep them shut, and everything will be okay!" she replies. Her voice is soothing. Really soothing.
"Were here," Patience states, "you can open your eyes, Jade."
I open my eyes, and glance over towards her. She still looks glamorous, her white hair curled stylishly, her beautiful silver gown flowing neatly to the floor.
Next, I look around the room that I stand in. It's cupboard sized, and white all around. What exactly did I expect? A colourful room with flashing lights?
"Now Jade, before we enter into the Great Hall, I need you to relax and breathe slow. Then I'll need you to release your fears. Remember what they taught you in your Newly Dead classes."
I nod understandingly. I know what I must do.
Slowly, I reach my hand up to my head. Then I pat, slowly at first until it becomes more rapid. I know I look crazy doing it, I can feel Patience's eyes bore into me, but I continue, until my fears and worries are gone. They aren't gone for good, though. They will be back.
"Great work, especially since it was your first shot at it. Oh, and before we enter, there are American's inside too. Keep your distance, and be polite. Dead from other countries, especially the elders, can be fierce so they can protect their own."
Patience reaches out a steady hand, and right before our eyes, a world globe the size of a baby bouncy ball appears. Patience wraps her palm around it and twists, and a large silver framed door appears. We walk through in silence, myself in silent awe.
The Great Hall is a magnificent place! It's so long that I can't even see the end of it! And the width is extraordinary! I can't see the end of that, either!
"It's a beautiful and peaceful place. The American's are only here to give their suggestions to God. Once a year they all gather...-"
"...Here and give in their ideas and collaborative Dead mass, I know" I finish for her, gazing left and right. In the centre of the room -I think it's the centre- is a large pool. Around the edges are blue and white tiles, all with moving faces of people who once worked in the Great Hall. I feel my heart do a flip when I notice the small moving animation of my grandmother.
"Good work. Now come on, we must go and find God. He is waiting."
Patience guides me around the long queue of fidgety American's, all of which look up when we float by. Some growl, some gaze and some do nothing. I raise my eyebrows when we reach another door, this one with a silver and gold plaque holding the name "GOD".