No one needs to sleep, but many of us take advantage of quality rest. We use resting hours to do things that are not tied to our work tasks. I read. The more I read the better writer I become.
I just finished reading the book Celestial Reign, a nonfiction research novel on what eternal life will be like. The author, a dear friend of mine, Anaanni spent decades speaking to the Sovereign’s Court and visiting the Sovereign’s quarters, talking to him one on one. The Sovereign’s scribe wrote the forward to the book, to authenticate her research, to encourage us we had something even greater to look forward to beyond these 1000 years.
“Jo, what would you like for dinner?” La’harii asks.
La’harii can simply be explained as the other half of who I am. Before Ethereal, we were married… And in Ethereal were still married… Fortunately, she found the truth and was able to spend the 1000 years in Ethereal.
Marriage differs in Ethereal than the time before.
“What are you thinking of making?” I ask.
“If I wanted to make what I felt like cooking I would have just made it and I would have not asked you, but if I have to ask you one more time what you would like to eat tonight, then pretend I never asked.”
“May we have rice, with assorted spring vegetables, and figs for dessert?” I ask slightly nervous I lost my chance and my favorite meal.
Smilingly, “Certainly,” she says.
I watch her take her apron off the hook by the kitchen door. When she hangs the apron by her neck, she ties it around her waist. Her long, wavy toffee beige hair drapes covering her face. She must feel me staring, because she whips her hair back as she looks up at me quickly.
“What are you thinking now?” She wonders.
“Who will you be to me next?” I tell her.
I have no fear of her no longer being my wife. It’s odd, but we’re so close now, she feels like sibling almost, but more than that.
“I’m La’harrii. Since I will always be, I will be whoever La’harrii is to you.”
Gently, I reach out to fold her into my embrace. “You’re my best friend…”
“As you are mine… so, I guess, we will always be best friends, no?” She assures me by giving me a soft kiss on the lips. Then she pats my forearms as she backs out of my embrace.
“Come back here!” I wrestle to pull her close again, this time holding her closer and tighter.
“Let me free! The boys are coming over. Deraj is bringing Kahl and their broods. And I’ll have to go down to the grove to pick fresh figs for all of us to eat. I must get started now.”
“Don’t worry about the figs. I’ll go get them.”
“No, you’re writing!” La’harii snaps. She hates interfering with my work.
I release her and nudge her towards the cupboard with the pots and pans. “Cook, please. I’ll go fetch the figs.
Looking directly into my eyes, she takes my hand and squeezes it tenderly. “Thank you my love.”
Gentlemanly, I take control of her hand that holds mine and bow to kiss the back of her hand. Standing up and letting go, I say, “The pleasure is mine, my love.”
For a split second, silence dances in our midst like rain on a tin roof, and then the silence breaks when our mutual laughter erupts from how cheesy moment that just took place. She shoves me out of the kitchen door and into the living and yells for me to hurry and to get going.
Before Ethereal, in the Old World… I did before we ever had children. We weren’t married longed before I converted, then lived on the run, and then was killed for believing in the Sovereign and King Fiel by their Old World names.
I don’t remember too much about paradise. I do remember the beginning of the 1000 years.
King Fiel opened up the sky of the Old World with His Army. I rose from the dust of the earth, the very spot I was killed, and in the blink of an eye, the Old World passed away and Ethereal appeared.
Everyone gathered at the center in Paix. King Fiel explained what the 1000 years would be like. As He spoke I suddenly knew what my role was, who I was, and what my daily tasks would be. He called those forward who would reign with Him in Paix. I was one of them.
After the meeting, we partied for what felt like 100 days. We ate, we danced, we fellowshipped with past and new friends.
At the end of the festivities, King Fiel sent us to our homes. At the front door, I saw La’harii waiting on the porch. I knew she was my wife. I felt a stronger connection to her than I did in the Old World. I was grateful to see her and to know her again.
We spent 500 years just the two of us. We were surprised when she became pregnant the following year. Sovereign chose to bless us, since we never had children together in the Old World. Ten months later, we had Deraj, our eldest. He is 499 years old.
Deraj is married to Kahl’annah’anib’hera but call her Kahl for short. They have three children together. Annah, Raj, and Anib. All three of them are married with kids, who are married with their kids, who are married with their kids… tonight, we have roughly 40 people coming over for dinner and we all love figs. I will mostly likely pick two trees bear to feed all of us.
Our other son, Narsen, is only 109 years old and is married to Shor. They have a daughter name Ellamaye, who is only 10 years old.
For those of us from the Old World, we know what a blessing Ethereal is, but our children, the true Etherealites don’t view life the way we do. How could they really? I at times worry they’ll be prone to darkness and corruption, but then I remember, when you’ve never been exposed to something it is next to impossible to be corrupted when exposed to dark things, simply because of lack of knowledge of dark things. Then my anxiety settles and melts away.
I grab a couple baskets for fruit picking, and head toward the river, to the grove, to pick the figs for dessert.