Simon Enters

Phil reappeared on the bench, his hands shaking and his face ashen. "Boy, these trans-universal flights really are hell." he joked, "Probably lost my luggage, too." But no matter how much he tried to make light of the situation, he knew he needed to get back to his hotel and lay down before he collapsed on the bench. "Okay Scotty, let's get this transporter up and running again." he closed his eyes and in a flash he was in his bed back in his room. That was it, the last of his reserve used up. His final image before falling into a deep sleep was of Andy trying desperately to convince his friends on the set that he really did see Phil, and that Phil was okay. Drug-induced hallucination, they all figured. That is until Andy remembered to tell Dave to move that photo in his wallet. Dave nearly toppled over. NO ONE knew about that. No one. They didn't doubt Andy any longer, and they all went out to dinner that night and reminisced about the days gone by. They left a chair open next to them just in case someone wanted to join them. Phil smiled, not this time gang, but maybe later… And with that he was asleep.

Jan Hooks In Between Exams

Walking through the park, munching on the pretzel she was lost in thought. "I AM a mom" she was practically glowing. "But I am not a mom, this is all too confusing." She had only arrived there a week ago and was just getting used to her surroundings. And being dead. Now THAT was something to get used to! Everyone was so friendly here, so very nice and helpful. They showed her to her hotel and helped her settle in. She was told about the purpose of the place, to discover whether you needed another dose of humanity again or eternal peace in 'heaven.' Being a good Christian girl, she was a little shocked about the whole concept. "So Phil was right after all," she thought to herself, "he always suspected Buddhism was the closest to the truth. I guess looking for a church would be a bit futile at this point." She stopped to admire a lovely flower garden, and for the first time since the exam she allowed her thoughts to drift to Phil. "I wonder where he is?" she thought sadly, "Long gone from here, I'm sure." She felt lonely, a loneliness so deep it weighed down her soul. She wished she could see him just one more time. She missed him so. She bent to pick a rose growing at her feet and inhaled the intoxicating scent. She had never smelled a rose as sweet. It brought back a memory of a bunch of roses delivered to her home after she went into remission. There were 11 gorgeous long stem white roses (her favorite) and a card that read: “If you are wondering why I only got you 11 roses, just look in the mirror and you will then have a dozen. You are my most beautiful rose. Love, Phil."

She had kept that card with her in her wallet from that moment on, and it always brought her joy when she read it. She took it out of her back pocket now and ran her fingers over the lettering.

"Why do I still hang on to old memories?" she sighed, "He is gone and we will never see each other again, so why do I torture myself so?" Before she had a chance to change her mind she tore the note into pieces and let it fly into the wind. "So much for the past, now lets get on with the future." she thought out loud and headed out of the park.

Rounding the corner, she spied a bookstore and made a beeline for it. She always loved to read and since there wasn't a television to be found anywhere, she figured she would soothe herself with a good novel. As she entered, the little bell on the door handle sounded and the owner of the store came out of the back room to greet her. He was tall, with brown hair and brown eyes and a friendly smile. The store amazed her. From the outside it appeared to just be a quaint little shop, but on the inside it turned into the largest bookstore she had ever seen. Every book, every story, every poem ever written could be found on its shelves and Jan did not know where to start.

"Excuse me, but do you have any good suspense or romance novels?" she asked the proprietor. He looked at her with a perplexed smile, and then laughed out loud. Jan, for just a moment, felt a touch of anger, but then realized how funny her question really was. "Okay, okay, I guess I'd better narrow down my choices, right? How about a story about love, romance, danger, bravery etc. etc. etc." she smiled. "Say no more pretty lady, I have the perfect story for you." he said, and reaching up right next to him he brought down a small book. Taking it from him, she flip it over to the cover and stood there in shock. "Love is a Dream… but, how did you know?" she looked up at this magician in front of her. "Oh, I know all there is to know my dear. When you are surrounded by all the books in the world, you learn a lot." he answered, smiling.

The story was by a living soul by the name of Terri, with critiques by her group of friends on the Internet. After she lost Phil, she rememberd signing onto their website every now and then and smiling at the comments some of them made. She would even add her own once or twice without them knowing who she was. There was Lisa, whose dreams meant more than she realized, and Katie, who had something going with her pillow. Eri was the new one, but a breath of fresh air, and Hillary wrote great stories. Denise was the youngest, but added much to the conversation, and Chick was from Sweden, and balanced out the rest of the group with common sense. She loved them very much because she made Phil alive to her again.

"Okay, can I borrow this one?" Jan asked, cradling the book to her chest. "Borrow? Oh no, you take it." he said, "any book you see is yours for the keeping. See, we have plenty." he pointed to the place he took the story out of, and miraculously there was another copy there to take its place. "There is one stipulation, though." he stepped closer to her, "You have dinner with me later." She was taken back, not knowing what to say. Her first thought was 'I would never cheat on Phil' but then the ridiculousness of that idea came through. "I don't even know your name." she smiled, "Should I just call you the book guy?"

"No," he laughed "Simon will do. How about I pick you up in a little while at your hotel?" She smiled, enchanted. "All right Simon, it will be nice to have some company for once." she shook his hand and noticed that her palm tingled when it connected with his. "See you later." she smiled as she left his shop. "Later, Jan!" he called back. As the door shut behind her, his smile lingered and in a flash of light he was gone.

Part 11