“The boat to Paradise is leaving now. Do you want to come?”
Erica stood there as she mulled over the unexpected words.
She had only known darkness her entire life – the darkness of her dad leaving her mom, her mom later committing suicide, her older sister becoming pregnant and abandoning the family at the age of 16. Erica had only known loneliness and the fear of overcoming her loneliness. She had met great people through the grace of God, sure. But these people had only played temporary roles in her life before they too had to be called to continue their lives in other dimensions. She had learned to become self-reliant at an early age, and – despite the crack head obstacles that had been thrown in her path – now had a good job and roommates who mostly annoyed her but nevertheless helped her pay the expensive rent in the nice area of town that she now lived in. But as she began to climb the ladder of her personal success, she knew that that wasn’t enough.
On the other side of her voyage would be a tall and handsome man or woman who would await her, marry her, and for whom she’d bear beautiful children. These children would later grow to become a scientist, an engineer, and the future President of the United States.
But here, the question the captain asked her haunted her because she knew that it would release the ghosts of her past which she had spent her whole life trying to bury.
“The boat to Paradise is leaving now,” the captain reiterated, impatiently looking at his watch. “Do you want to come?”
Erica knew that if she got on board, she would ride through many thunderstorms which would include endless hours of therapy, many years of tears, and ultimately a newfound confidence and outlook on life that she never knew she had deep within.
But she didn’t want to reach into the cobwebs and release all those tiny creatures that threatened to invade the peace of her brain.
The horn sounded for the last time. People boarded but there she stood. Paralyzed in eternal contemplation. The words echoing in her mind.
“Do you want to come?”