The "Other" Side
"Why did the chicken cross the road?"
"Shots fired! I repeat, We have shots fired! We need backup........... and man down, we have... a man down."
I remembered that night, like it was yesterday, like I was reliving it all over again. I remembered the first shot that penetrated my body, the second, then the third, all felt like...... death. I didn't feel it before it was too late, blood was gushing out, out of the wounds and out of my mouth. I remember seeing the man's face clearly, when he shot me, he was old, wrinkles in his face, white hair, his eyes, they were heavy, his blue eyes, seemed to fade away. The man almost had his life taken away, so he took someone else's for it, he knew that if he didn't, his life would be gone in an instant. His life would be spent in jail, filled with solitude to atone for his probable sins, may they be true or not.
I did believe in an idea of justice, that justice is always served, that justice is just and not biased, that justice always sees the truth, the hearts of the people. We are all guilty, no one is innocent in this world. We are all guilty in the eyes of justice and we all serve our time, but there is always an end to it, there's always an end to justice.
My vision was blurred, as I was looking into my partner's face. He was scared, I could see it in his eyes, he was scared of the man, scared of losing me, scared of everything. Who wouldn't be? He has a wife and kids and he would not give his life for a mistake of someone else. I made a mistake ,I admit it and with that mistake I had to suffer for it, with that mistake my life was taken away.
I remembered the first time I joined the force. It was my dream to be a detective, the thrill, the life on the edge, the search for justice and the means for it. It was all me. I didn't had a wife and kids like most of the people in the force had. My older brother always told me that I should get a wife like he did, he said that it was fun to have kids, to have a family that you love more than anything else in the world, to have people worth fighting for.
My brother had a reason to live, the same as my partner did. We all had something to live for, the question is, what is it I lived for? Did I actually just died for nothing? Well, no one dies for nothing. No one dies in vain, but what happens if we actually do die for nothing, because all I could remember was that I was shot, I was shot and my life ended because of some rookie mistake, because I didn't dare to check my corners, because life and its cruelty decided to take my life away, because God was angry at my sins and decided that a sinner like me no longer deserved to live. All of these, are one out of different reasons why I died, why I'm stuck in the "Other" side of life.
I still remembered the first time I heard that joke. "Why did the chicken cross the road?" My brother asked me. I remembered the way he looked, he held to his laughter. With wonder, I asked "Why did the chicken cross the road?" Then he answered," Because it wanted to get to the Other Side! Get it? OTHER SIDE?" then he went to a crazy laughter. I didn't, that was for sure, I didn't get the joke or if it was a joke. I was confused. Now I knew the "Other" side, and its not so amazing after all, I bet the chicken thought the same way too, because the chicken decided to cross that damned road, thinking it would have a better life in the "Other" side.
This "Other" side seemed empty, even if it was full of souls, waiting for their justice to be served. I've seen them, just dead, pale skinned, glowing, all in despair, hoping to be back to the world or the heaven or hell that awaited them. That's the weirdest part of it all, there was no heaven or hell that was waiting for you, no golden stairs nor burning furnace, all was the souls, waiting for their judgement. No one knew who served this "judgement", all they know was there's a voice that you must wait for, it may take hours, days or even years. Only you can hear it, then the voice will give you the judgement, they say this judgement would either let you enter heaven or hell, they say the voice was God.
There was a lot of souls, dead people, praying to God, then I realized that I should too. I was and still am a believer of God. During those moments I had a stronger feel for it, for him. All of them had a stronger faith for him. I looked around, there was also some who didn't pray, there was some who walked around the endless streets, there was some who just sat in a bench, there was some who just cried. Some talked to themselves like they had lost their mind, some shouted, some just stayed quiet. I had no idea where the location was, but there was still buildings, streets, street lamps, around us, it lacked people though, people who lived. There was only us, those who died. Nobody can actually distinguish who just entered this world, this purgatory, all you would see, is that there's more and more of you appearing as well as disappearing. No one knows how long you would stay.
Some decided to communicate with me, asking me how I hit the dirt. Some of them reacted the same, saying that they were sorry for me, and I just replied I was sorry for them. Some told me the story of how they died, and I listened, then in that moment I realized that there are a lot of varieties of dying, not just getting shot three to four times. Some of the people had families they wished to return to, some had relationships, some had jobs, but it was for certain, everyone in that world wanted to return to the living, because they left something or someone behind. Even the old, would like to have another chance at life, they all wanted back to life, so they may correct what was wrong, but the reality of it, there was no chance of coming back, you served your time, you had your chance, that was it.
I took a deep breath and prayed. I don't know how long I would stay here, but I did know that I left a lot of things behind, for crying out loud, I left my whole life. I am here, to atone for my sins, in a world that no one understands, waiting for my God to pick me up. I know that I had died, in a moment my life taken away. God, I would do anything to get my life back, to tell my partner that I'm fine and going to be okay, to tell my remaining family, my brother, that all is well and to tell sorry that I disappointed him, to feel the sun shine once again, to feel the night's breeze, to love, to live. All I have for now is regret, all I have for now is judgement and justice, all I have for now is the "Other" World.