The Sequels to Syrrah's Game SGSequels




CHAPTER 51

 

OCTOBER 5TH, 3:21 PM

 

Once in the house, Evan walked over to their soft, brown sofa, slipped his backpack off onto the floor, and plopped himself down into the sofa’s cushions. “Dad. I’m exhausted. How about you?”

Dad walked around the coffee table to the sofa’s other end. He placed his papers down on the coffee table and sat into the sofa’s corner cushions. “Yeah. Wow. Never thought I’d make it through this day.” He looked at Evan. “I mean, how do you cope with daily, mundane tasks after just coming back from a very amazing, yet incredibly disturbing event?”

Evan thought a moment about Dad’s words. “That really sums it up good, you know? It was very amazing, yet incredibly disturbing.” He thought too of discussing his doubts with Dad, about all that they had experienced, but maybe now wasn’t the time.

“And it’s affected us both quite a lot, back in the real world. Me with Ron, you in class. So, they had you come down to see Principal Seiner at lunch time?”

“Yeah, just before lunch. I was starving, something we haven’t felt in a long time, and--”

“Tell me about it! It felt great to eat today!”

Evan laughed. “I know! It was great. But yeah, he had me, Mrs. Ornal, that counselor lady for me, and Mrs. Lindele talk about what happened. It was not that long. And I guess that’s when they called you, and told you they needed to speak with you, before I got picked up.”

Dad nodded, and nestled his back into the cushions. “Gosh. I hope it wasn’t a lie, telling them I wasn’t feeling so great, and that you were only following through, or acting out, yesterday’s church sermon.” Dad let out a short, quiet laugh. “Yesterday. Sunday. It actually feels like months ago.”

“Yeah. I know what you mean. But no, I don’t think you lied. Not really. I just hoped they believed it.”

Dad leaned closer, his face serious. “We’re really going to have to keep this under wraps. We just can’t get so enthusiastic about it. Let out small bits at a time, I suppose.” He looked on the coffee table, at his laptop, still there from when he left it the night before everything started. “Oh, and I ordered the PSP camera attachment, just like I promised.”

Evan smiled. “Thanks, Dad. I really need it.”

“You’re welcome.” Dad gave a broad smile back. “Should be here in a couple of days.” He picked up his laptop. “I’m going to get in touch with Kyleigh, and the others, to find out how they coped today.”

“Good idea.” Evan stood up. He started heading for his room, to get his laptop, when he stopped, and looked around the living room. “Wow, Dad. Everything looks so normal, and larger, since that time we came here. And that sign isn’t here.”

“Yeah, because we were in that copy universe. We were never actually even here.”

“That’s right, so true!” Evan then remembered the horrible thought he had, when first entering science class. “Dad. It doesn’t make sense to me. I heard the Savior explain that the copy universe was dream essence, that the people weren’t real. But we’re not real too. Doesn’t that seem wrong to you, what happened to all those people and beings?”

“Well, good point, Evan. The way I’ve thought about it…is when we dream, our dreams produce other people all the time, even people we know, and things can happen to them. But nothing actually did happen to them, because it’s just our dream, a reality we created. I believe that’s what the Savior meant.”

Evan stared at the floor, thinking a moment. It did make sense, but at the same time yet seemed wrong. “Oh. All right, I guess.”

“Don’t overthink it, Evan. We’re okay, everyone else is okay, and it’s great to be back. And we even saw Mom.  We should just be glad everything is okay now.”

Evan shrugged. “Yeah, I guess. I’m going to get my laptop. I’ll be right back.”

He went to his room and took the laptop off his desk. He thought a moment, and realized he and his PSP needed a rest from each other; he slipped it out of his back pocket, turned it off, and placed it on the desk.

He looked around the room, at his bed, the football posters on the walls, the footballs on the floor, and at his old toys in the corner. Yeah. Dad was right; it sure was great to be back.

But, more important things needed to be done.

He walked out of his room, carrying the laptop, and went over to the sofa, dropping himself into the cozy cushions again.

Dad didn’t take much notice of him, his eyes glued to his laptop screen. “Kyleigh is chatting with me on Facebook. She wants me to go on Skype, so we can talk more.”

“You should. It would be easier.” And it would keep Dad’s prying eyes away too.

“I’ll set it up now.”

“That’s good.” Evan started up his browser and brought up Google. So, Sirah said she had committed suicide. Would it be in a news search then? He typed in Sirah, in the news category. But, what? All he was getting was a list of news articles about wine. He searched on down through the list, but nothing about a teenage girl committing suicide was showing up. So, new search.  Along with Sirah, he entered the search term ‘suicide’. But only a short list of links showed up, with none about suicide.

Darn. Was it all just a lie? A horrible dread stabbed in the pit of his stomach. But, no. Can’t give up. Not yet. Think!

Could she have committed suicide by an accident?

To make it an even better search, he decided to do an image search, with the search words ‘Sirah’, ‘suicide’, and ‘accident’. At the top of the page, there were photos of wine, and a few photos of teens or young people in accident news articles. So he kept scrolling down on the page.

And then she appeared. Sirah. Her photo. His heart nearly jumped out of his chest.

He immediately clicked on the link. ‘Sauk Center Teen Killed in I-94 Overpass Crash’. He was right; she did do it by an accident. He skimmed around the article. Her name wasn’t Sirah, but rather Syrrah, and her last name was Van Meir. Her full name was Syrrah Van Meir.

And there was more. No way. She lived in Minnesota, just like he and Dad! Heart beating faster, he started reading each word, silently. ‘Saint Cloud police said the woman driving the Jeep Grand Cherokee that crashed into the overpass columns on the 260th Street and I-94 intersection was traveling at a high rate of speed. Police believe, from eye witness accounts and impact destruction that she was driving at least 100 miles per hour. The driver, Syrrah Van Meir, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.’

Dad started talking on Skype.

Evan scrolled farther down on the page. And then he saw another image of her. Syrrah, my beautiful Syrrah. Such pretty, wavy blond hair, and such beautiful, crystal-like green eyes. She was smiling, her teeth so white and perfect. A high school photo, maybe? Probably. He studied her face a little more, and she just looked different. Everything about her was softer, less intense. Her skin was softer, more radiant. Her eyes were softer, kinder, less penetrating. So why did she seem so different in Heaven?

He looked at Dad. He was busy talking away, the Skype obviously still working well.

Evan scrolled to the article’s beginning to find the date that it happened. June 29th, just about three months ago. Wait a minute. That was the same day they were driving Mom to her Mayo clinic appointment, when they saw that crash! A shot of adrenaline ripped through his body. “Dad!” Dad was still talking to Kyleigh. “You need to stop for a minute! I have something to show you!”

“All right. Hold on a few seconds.”

“Please, hurry. This is really important.”

Evan went back to reading. ‘Police mentioned that alcohol and drugs were not a factor in the accident. Syrrah’s father explained that she had been depressed and behaving strangely several weeks prior to the accident, but refused psychiatric help.’ So, that explains the change in her appearance, since the school photo must have been earlier in the year. 

He kept reading. ‘The crash was very destructive, with the vehicle disintegrating into many pieces.’ Evan certainly remembered that part. ‘Police were not sure if the jeep possibly malfunctioned, producing the high rate of speed.’

He looked at Dad. He was still talking to Kyleigh.

Evan couldn’t wait anymore. He scrolled around the page until Syrrah’s photo was in clear view and he slid across the cushions until he sat right next to Dad. He held his laptop’s screen right where Dad could see it.

“Hold on, Kyleigh.” Dad became quiet. He stared at Syrrah’s photo. “That’s her all right. No doubt.”

Evan scrolled up on the page. “But look. Read the news article. Her real name is Syrrah Van Meir, spelled like that, and this is the same accident we saw when driving Mom to the Mayo clinic!”

Dad took Evan’s laptop in his hands and leaned back in the sofa. He began reading through the article.

From the Skype window, Kyleigh waved and smiled at Evan. He did the same, but without thinking, his thoughts only on Syrrah.

Once done, Dad typed in the news site’s URL in a message to Kyleigh and sent it to her. “I’m sorry, Kyleigh, but I have to talk with Evan. Read this article and show the others. It’s rather important. I’ll get back to you soon.”

“Okay. Thank you, Lang.” She then said good-byes to both of them. And Dad ended the Skype session.

Dad placed Evan’s laptop on the coffee table. “All right. This is really strange and weird, that we saw her only about three or so months ago and then we ended up in the hull. Maybe she knew, somehow.”

“She did. I swear when she raced by me in her car that she looked right in my eyes for a microsecond. And what about how I remembered her when we were talking to Dr. Bohanek?”

“Evan. She was driving much too fast. You can’t possibly say that for sure. And you just had a memory, that’s all.”

“No, you’re right. I don’t know for sure, but I feel it…somehow.”

Dad’s face became serious, concerned. “She was with the Dark Causalitors, which, though the Savior didn’t actually tell us specifically, were probably demons. She was one of them, Evan.”

This was expected. Evan sighed. “But Dad. She doesn’t want to be with them anymore. She wants to be with the Savior. That’s why she did everything she did, to us, to get us and herself before the Savior.”

“Well, yes…but do not forget, it was her who read your mind, to move us around. And the Bible is clear on such topics.”

“But all our minds were read.”

“But that doesn’t make it right. Besides, we didn’t allow it willfully. It was done without our choice. We couldn’t stop it.”

“But what about how she showed me those underground places, to alert me? She was trying to do some good.”

“By lying to her colleagues?”

“Uh…yeah, but for a good reason. She couldn’t have done everything she did without doing that.”

Dad inhaled deeply and stared down a moment. “Evan, you have to understand. This girl was very, very bad, to have ended up with those Causalitors. She was evil.”

Really? But it didn’t make sense. Evan picked up his laptop and scrolled down the page until her photo appeared again. “Dad. Look at her face. Does she look evil to you?”

Dad stared at her face again. “Well, all right. I will give you that. She does look like a sweet girl in the photo. But looks can be deceiving.”

Evan folded his arms across his chest and fell back into the sofa’s cushions, his laptop staying on his thighs. “I don’t know what you’re worrying about anyway. She’s dead, gone, and with the Savior now.”

Dad slowly fell back in the same manner and gazed kindly at Evan. “I know. I just don’t want you to get caught up in thinking about someone like that. Besides, you have to realize, you were sixteen and a half when you saw her. Your hormones were raging, and she--”

“I know, I know.” This had gone on enough. Evan closed his laptop, placed it on the coffee table, and stood up. He looked down at Dad. “I’m sorry, Dad. I’m really tired. I guess I’m going to lie down for a while and take a nap.”

“Okay, son. Where’s your PSP, by the way?”

He shrugged. “Just in my room. I need a rest from it.”

“All right. Have a good nap.”

Evan walked into his room and promptly lay down on his bed.

He picked up a nearby football, and began tossing it up toward the ceiling a few times.

Done with the tossing, he caught the football coming down and placed it by his right side on the bed.

Syrrah, when she first landed on Heaven’s golden road, and the several times she looked up into his eyes, to his much taller height, and nearly brought him to his knees, physically and emotionally, passed through his mind without mercy. He couldn’t control his mind’s images of her.

He closed his eyes and eventually drifted off to sleep.

In his dream, he was there again. They were driving down the highway and bright orange sunrise beams from the east lighted the interiors of the oncoming cars and trucks, making it easy to see the drivers and passengers. But he had gone back to playing Madden NFL on his PSP, happy it was a good distraction from Mom’s illness and the long drive to the Mayo clinic.

And then he heard the thundering, racing motor. He looked up. A black SUV, that jeep, was charging down the highway, in the oncoming traffic lane, traveling way faster than the other cars, and it zoomed by. Yes. He did see her face. He wasn’t sure if it was Syrrah, but it was a girl, a teenage girl, and she looked right at him.

He had hollered at Dad, asking if he had seen the racing SUV, and of course Dad hadn’t missed it.

Though Dad slowed down some, they kept going on their way. But Evan turned back and watched in shock as her black jeep sped off the highway into the grass divider, the tires then grabbing a metal guard rail. The momentum kept the jeep rolling on up the ascending guard rail until shooting the vehicle at the concrete column of the underpass they had just driven under. Her jeep slammed against the concrete and exploded into a million pieces.

And fortunately, for some reason, it hadn’t caught fire.

But this time, instead of not finding her anywhere on the ground, or anywhere by the side of the road, he could see her. She was standing there, on the road’s side. Syrrah, his beautiful Syrrah, alive, well, and waving at him.

Waving at him? How?

He jolted awake. He opened his eyes wide and blinked a lot, trying to clear his mind and decipher what he had just seen.

He couldn’t. It was just a dream, that’s all.

And why hadn’t they checked about this accident online before? But thinking further, he knew why. Mom was so sick that Dad couldn’t even think straight. And Evan couldn’t too. They hadn’t even stopped to help with the accident, something Dad would normally do, because Dad wanted to make sure Mom got to her treatments on time, no matter what.

Syrrah’s beautiful images entered his mind again. In that news article, she was so pretty, and so kind-looking.

He inhaled deeply, and tried to relax. The feelings he had for Syrrah were very strong. Actually, too strong. He didn’t want to admit this to himself, but there was no other choice, and he couldn’t help it. “I love you, Syrrah,” he whispered, his eyes gazing up at the ceiling, her face still in his mind. “I love you so very, very much.”

“Then help me.” It was a women’s whispering voice. “And I will show you someone who is both dead and alive at the same time.”

Evan bolted up and jumped off the bed. His heart raced. He looked around his bed and at the wall the head of his bed pressed up against. But no one was here. “Who just said that?”

No one replied. And he couldn’t hear even the slightest remnant of the woman’s voice reverberating or sounding again.

He turned to the door. It was open, and he could hear Dad in the kitchen, but it couldn’t have been Dad. He didn’t sound like that, for certain, even if he was just kidding around.

Was it his PSP? Did he record her voice in Heaven by accident? He walked over to his desk and picked it up. His PSP was still off. His cell phone? He lifted it, and looked on the screen for any calls, text messages, or web browser videos playing inadvertently that could have voiced those words. But, nothing.  And it couldn’t have been his laptop, since that was still out there on the coffee table.

Okay. Very creepy.

Standing still, his heart yet racing, the pulse from it pounding in his ears, he carefully looked around. He watched for any movement, no matter how little. And he recalled the women’s voice in his mind. “Then help me. And I will show you someone who is both dead and alive at the same time.”

But he didn’t see anything, not even the tiniest movement at all. And the voice, unfortunately, after hearing it again in his memory, did sound like Syrrah’s voice in Heaven.

Dad’s serious opinion, that Syrrah was a demon, cut through his entire being ruthlessly.

Slowly he backed out of the room. He kept his eyes searching everywhere and his ears alert to the lowest, barely audible sound.

But there was nothing - no motion, and no sounds.

He finally walked out of the doorway and slowly turned away from his room. He rushed for the kitchen.

Dad was draining a big colander of spaghetti in the kitchen sink. “So, did you have a good nap, Evan?”

Evan was shaking slightly, but tried to hide it. He didn’t get too close to Dad. “Yeah, it was okay.” He tried to calm himself, standing there, watching Dad. “Hey, umm, after thinking about it, you’re right. I’m just going to forget about that girl Syrrah. She’s…she was…probably pretty messed up.”

Dad gave him a broad smile. “Well, good. I’m glad to hear that. Hey, are you hungry?”’

“Yeah, starving.”

“Good. It’s almost ready. Just need to simmer the sauce a few more minutes.”

His shaking was subsiding, fortunately. And then a conflicting thought entered his mind. How could Syrrah still be a demon? The Savior had brought her into his realm, wherever that is now.

But why would she want to show him someone who is both dead and alive at the same time? Zombies weren’t exactly the most Christian-like.

Then again, maybe what he heard was just his mind playing tricks on him. Exhaustion from all of this yet pressed upon him, and for Dad too, after all.

“Oh, and I have great news,” Dad said, stirring the sauce, disrupting Evan’s deep thoughts.

“What. Tell me.”

“We are going to Accra, Ghana this weekend, to visit Nahas and everyone else. We have passports, and Nahas is helping expedite the visas, since a friend of his works in the government.”

“Kyleigh will be there too?”

“Yes, she will. I already purchased the tickets online, so, when you can, pack up your small suitcase. And once we see his house, Nahas is taking us down to some beaches by Ada Foah. Supposed to be a spectacular place.”

“Great, that is great.” Evan even smiled briefly.

But it truly was great. Anything to get his mind off Syrrah, and to visit with the others again, would be a very wonderful thing right now.