I open my eyes again. He has now closed his eyes and leaned back in his cushy leather chair. I glance to my left and see, without surprise, that the other chair is now empty. My Bible is still in my lap, open to the book of Romans, chapters 7 and 8. I close the Bible, and close my eyes again.
I wait, but it is only a moment before I feel a breeze on my face and hear the sound of waves breaking against a shore.
When I open my eyes again, I am standing on a beach in bright sunlight. Six feet away, facing me, is the same man I just saw sitting in the leather chair. He has opened his eyes too. We are both naked. My first impression is that our bodies are like that of a Barbie doll, with visible joints so that we are “posable.” This immediately fades, and I see that our bodies are normal except that our crotches are not “anatomically correct.” None of this is terribly surprising. What I find surprising is what stands between us.
Between us, protruding upward from the sand of the beach, is a post topped by a flat white table at a height slightly above my waist. On the table is a large white candle, unlit, flanked by two white tapers in semi-ornate candle holders, both burning.
I can’t contain my disgust. “You have GOT to be kidding!”
He grins and plays air guitar. “Nice day for a… white wedding!”
“Did it HAVE to be like a WEDDING? A fucking UNITY CANDLE?!”
“There you go swearing again. What will your pastor think?” He is still amused, but I can tell that he is also a bit irritated. He suddenly looks past my left shoulder into the distance, and his face becomes very serious. “Here she comes.”
I look around. Although she is still far enough away that visual identification is a bit questionable, I know that he’s right about who it is. She’s walking steadily along the beach toward us. I look back at him. “Are we supposed to wait for her?”
He continues to follow her approach grimly. “I don’t think so. I think we’re supposed to be done by the time she gets here.” He meets my eyes again. “I guess I’m ready.”
We stare at each other for what seems like a long time before I respond. “OK, I’m ready too.” We both step toward the candles.