This is the much-anticipated sequel to a short story where a young woman meets her twin flame so if you haven’t read Part I then click here to read it, otherwise enjoy this mind-bending and “out of this universe” story!
Synopsis: Lexi and her twin flame Jamal take a powerful psychedelic that allows their souls to journey back into their past life and across time and space, giving them the most profound experiences of their lives.
by Kendall Beaver
Jamal and I stumbled through a dark hallway giggling and laughing, heading towards the front door quite drunk. Glancing down, I remembered he was pulling me by my hand; I squeezed his warm calloused hand back. I loved how alive this man made me feel, bringing out my inner child and allowing her to play and just be free in our cold, cruel, and often judgmental world.
Arriving at the front door, Jamal thrust his free hand into the aluminum push bar handle — Doosh! — it swung open and a bright prismatic light blinded me, causing me to squint my eyes…My vision was blurry for a few moments, then it readjusted and I widened my eyes to see colors dancing around me, as if I were looking through a kaleidoscope. Holy shit! My supernatural abilities were back.
I released Jamal’s hand, ran up the concrete stairs and saw auras emitting from living things all around me: trees lined down the street emitted a neon green color; teenagers horsing around a bodega emitted whites and yellows; a stray cat tip-toeing from an alleyway emitted an orange hue before disappearing behind a stoop. Yes, god yes! I missed all of this, seeing our world as a zoo of rainbows.
I sniffled and swallowed back my tears. Jamal arrived next to me and said underneath his breath, “I can see it too, you know.”
I glanced at his beaming face and knew he was telling the truth, but I still asked, “Really?”
“Oh, yeah,” he nodded. “Experienced this in the Andes. Didn’t think it’d happen again– ” He took a large swallow, getting emotional. Then he continued, “You know why this is happening, right?–why we can see all these colors and vibrations?”
“No,” I said shaking my head.
“We’re beginning to see past the illusion of this world, to see beyond ‘The Matrix,'” he said with animated arms. “This world, this isn’t all there is to see or experience–no, no!–there’s a whole ‘nother dimension that most people can’t even begin to understand. But you and I are seeing it, though, and us coming together reactivated our ability to see that.”
Tears streamed silently down his cheek. It made my heart warm to see his vulnerability, and I subconsciously added, “I think all this energy represents love in some way because there’s no greater force or vibration in the universe.”
“Yes,” he pointed at me then punched his finger to emphasis my point. We stood there in silence…Our gaze drifted back out to our beautiful and colorful world, which I preferred the silence because words couldn’t explain everything we felt right now; our presence was more than enough…Then I felt Jamal tap my fingers, I slid my fingers into his and that wonderful feeling returned, the one where I felt deep and infinite like the universe.
Jamal pushed his key inside a brass lock, twisted it 360°, then pushed an old mahogany door open. I followed him into a vestibule where we were confronted by another mahogany door. He unlocked that door and we stepped into his two-story brownstone which was a late 19th century house that he rented along with five other guys. There were people hollering and laughing in the background, whom I assumed to be his roommates, and I immediately smelt pot.
“Gonna say hi to the guys.” He led me past the stairs and into a dining room on the left-hand side where five guys and two girls were standing around a table playing Drunk Jenga, one of the girls having just pulled out a Jenga block. Everyone chanted Jamal’s name as soon as they saw him, and I noticed some Chollo in a black Yankees cap cradling a joint between his fingers. His douchey style and white aura were repulsive, but I liked the tattoo on his neck of crows flying up to his ear because I wanted one of those tattoos on my shoulder blade or traced along my pelvic bone, beginning somewhere in my pubs. But I wanted one with tropical birds like toucans, not crows.
Jamal introduced me; I said hi; they invited us to join them but Jamal politely turned them down, and as we walked away we heard a crescendo of “ooh’s,” making it sound like we were in love and still in kindergarten. Winding back to the front, we ascended up the staircase, arrived on the second floor and eventually came to Jamal’s bedroom which had an electronic lock on the door; I wondered why the front doors didn’t have this. Jamal typed in his code, opened the door, and I saw lots of green, red, and yellow auras dancing around his room.
His medium-sized bedroom looked like a jungle and made my large collection of plants–or what I thought was a large collection of plants–small in comparison. There were ferns and Red Congos on the ground, a large Bird of Paradise in the corner, and some succulents in bulb glasses dangling from the ceiling. I’d always been attracted to plants and could usually list the names of plants I’d never seen before which didn’t make any sense because I grew up in Tucson; I suspected it had something to do with my past life, like I was a florist or something, and if I stayed away from plants for too long then my daily depression and anxiety became that much harder to manage on my own.
“Figured you’d like the plants,” Jamal said with a wide grin, glancing over his shoulder as he walked over to his dresser. Sliding the top drawer open, he pulled out a small rustic wooden box and sifted through it…grabbed a small bag of blue pills, placed everything back into the drawer and closed it. “The good stuff,” he said wiggling the bag a moment, then he bent forward and took a seat on the ground. I swung my mini Kånken backpack off and joined him.
“Now,” he said opening the bag, “we’re each gonna do two Neptunes. That’ll be enough to send your soul back to your previous life.”
“Whoa whoa whoa, send my soul back? Like…how does that work?'”
“It’s what Ayahuasca plants do. Neptune is synthetic Ayahuasca, made to be the same chemical composition and everything.”
He shook two pills from the bag into my hand, and I asked, “How long will it last?”
“Few hours,” he shrugged. “But it’ll feel like minutes.”
I stared at my pills. He could sense my hesitation and calmly assured me, “It’ll be okay. Just do what I do.” He popped the pills in his mouth, contracted his throat muscles to collect some saliva, then swallowed them. I did the same thing: tossed the pills in my mouth, collected saliva, swallowed them.
“Niiice…” he held up a hand; I high-fived him. “Now give it a minute.”
I sat there contemplating what could happen, and within moments I began to feel weightless. I raised my hand in front of my face and slowly expanded and contracted my fingers…I couldn’t feel my hand! “Whoa-ho,” I giggled. “Whoa, my voice!” It was slow and drawn out.
“We’re crossing over nowww,” Jamal chuckled, his voice deeper than mine. I followed his gaze down and noticed that he had dispensed another Neptune into his hand.
“Heyyy, what are you doing?!”
“Opening a portal.” He popped the pill into his mouth and shrugged his eyebrows at me. I was going to ask what he meant by that but I began to lose control of my body and my entire field of vision went white…
The white vision receded and I found myself standing in the middle of a rainforest surrounded by tall trees. A phia bird caught my attention as it shrieked overhead, then I registered the cool and moist ground beneath my feet and looked down: My skin was dark like oak, my chest bare (my breast had yet to develop), and the only thing covering my body was a skirt made of tucum palm leaves that were woven together. I felt so amazing, so free! And somehow, I had unlocked a hidden body of knowledge contained within my soul and knew that I belonged to a tribe called the Awá that lived in the Amazon, although we just called it home, and if this really was my past life or one of them, then this would explain why I’d always been fascinated with plants and yearned to be in nature.
“Lexi,” I heard someone say from behind me. I whipped around to see a male teenager stepping down giant roots of a Ceiba tree, the roots making a natural staircase. He was naked except for red toucan feathers wrapped around his biceps and a toucan feather tied around the base of his penis. He had short black hair, thick and bushy, and was carrying a beautiful wooden bow that was taller than his body. “Jamal, is that you?”–whoa, that didn’t come out in English, it came out in Awá but my mind translated it into English.
“It’s me,” he replied in Awá. “Here though, I’m known as Jutowí and you’re known as– ” “Lekoyaí,” I automatically responded.
Jamal embraced me tightly and I suddenly remembered why we were here: to gather honey for tonight’s feast, which would be a roasted peccary that was captured this morning. I conveyed this to Jamal and he nodded in agreement.
“Have you seen this moment before?” I asked.
“Once or twice, nothing beyond this moment; but I’m sure there’s a reason why the universe brought us here.” He swung the bow over his shoulder then grabbed one of the many thick vines hanging from the Ceiba tree. “C’mon, our brothers and sisters won’t forgive us if we don’t come back with honey.”
Lifting his body off the ground, he placed his feet against the wall of the tree and quickly began walking upwards. I stared in awe for a moment, then grabbed one of the vines and quickly pulled myself up the tree.
Snaking and crawling up through the branches, I headed towards a small beehive that I knew was nearby…I arrived at the hole where a few bees were swarming around, and I went on autopilot: I yanked a large leaf from a branch, reached inside the hole, scooped up some honey and quickly jumped back, hopping a few branches over to distance myself from the aggravated bees. “Friend, not foe,” I hissed in Awá. I pulled a vine toward me and began scrapping it with my fingernails…strings of fiber shedded off…I collected enough to make a thread of string. I folded my leaf up, tightly knotted it, and stuck the packet inside the lining of my skirt. I glanced over to see Jamal placing a wrapped leaf in one of his armbands.
After gathering enough honey, we climbed down, walked over to a nearby stream, and washed our sticky hands. As we walked home, we spoke about our different destinies: Jamal’s rite of passage would be coming up in a few sun rotations, where he would have to jump off the cliffs, swim underwater through a dark cave, come out on the other side, climb back up the steep cliffs, and if he survived all of that then he would be allowed to marry a girl of his choice and start a family. With my recent puberty ceremony, I’d become part of the pool of girls that initiated men could choose from.
Tcht! A twig snapped loudly. Jamal drew his bow and pulled an arrow taut against the string, aiming it at the source of the sound. I took cover behind him and looked for a sign of a predator, my senses on high alert, but didn’t see anything. It was silent, save for my loud breathing which I tried to control…
Voop! Jamal screamed in pain as he fell backwards; an arrow was sticking out of the right side of his rib cage, dark blood gushing out. I immediately dropped to the ground, picked up his bow, loaded the arrow, whipped around — Vzzt! — an arrow flew past my ear — I released my arrow and struck a white man in the thigh who was running towards me carrying a crossbow and wearing strange clothes.
Another white man emerged behind him with a crossbow aimed at me — Voop! — I was throw back and hit the ground hard. I howled at the piercing pain across my chest and looked down to see an arrow sticking out of my chest; I began gasping for air, realizing that my lung had been punctured…Then I heard the shrilling war cry of my Awá warriors from behind me and them shouting, “Kanai! Kanai!”, which means “not Awá” (“not us”), and they began firing arrows at the invaders.
Jamal desperately crawled up to me and gripped my hand tightly. I looked at him and no longer felt any pain. I gave him a soft smile and whispered in Awá, “This is it for me…” He shook his head and tears began falling from his eyes. “But you can’t die!” “This isn’t the end…We’ll meet again in the next life– ” then my eyelids drew to a close and everything went dark…
Being dead was exactly like I imagined: pitch black and nothing else. But then I realized that I wasn’t dead, that I was still alive, just floating around in empty space. Then I suddenly felt Jamal’s presence nearby. “Jamal?”
“Hey,” he called out, drawing near me.
“Where are we…?”
I felt him stop in front of me. “Another dimension where time and space doesn’t exist, a portal that can take us to other universes outside of our own.”
“You mean…like a pit stop?”
“Yeah, I’ll show you.” A beam of light appeared to my right and grew in size, casting a spotlight across Jamal and I floating in front of each other. The hole expanded and revealed a purple universe filled with clouds stretching in every direction, surrounded by glittering constellations and galaxies.
“Whoa…” my jaw fell open. The dark portal we were in disappeared and Jamal and I floated in the middle of space.
“This is my universe,” Jamal smiled widely. “Every soul gets their own universe that exists outside our Matrix. This is where we go every night when we dream, where all our memories get stored; every second of our life, past and present, accumulates here and never dies.”
Jamal continued: ”But when we wake up our brains will tell us that this can’t be real, that it’s just some silly dream and nothing else. This is the battle we fight every morning when we wake up.” He extended his hand. “C’mon, I’ll show you around.” I took his hand and we flew forward, flying through his universe.
We soared over the clouds and I squinted my eyes, realizing that Jamal’s memories were contained within the clouds and being played on repeat. I beamed with the brightest smile ever, for I felt like a little kid again, the who believed in magic, that anything was possible. And then I began to weep, because I’d never given myself any love since I was a child which is what I was feeling right now—nothing but pure love.
Jamal pulled me down and we sailed through the clouds where I saw memories of his current life: Jamal as a toddler playing on a playground with his father; a young Jamal sitting at an eulogy with a portrait of his father propped over a casket; Jamal as a teenager being harassed by a police officer in public; Jamal arriving at college with his mother; Jamal at a party getting high; Jamal working in a call center bored as he talks on the phone; Jamal enthusiastically riding his bike through a crowded street in Mexico City; Jamal being held at gunpoint in Colombia, staring down the barrel of a handgun; Jamal taking his clothes off, kissing a Peruvian girl who would be his ‘weeklong fling.’ His life was more interesting and complicated than I imagined, having such a chill personality, but I guess we’re all the same: always working hard to bury our ugly and most painful memories, hoping they’ll never resurface, and searching for happier and prettier memories to keep us from remembering what we put underground.
Then we halted in front of a towering mushroom cloud that played the memory of us meeting tonight. “So…” Jamal turned to me, “ever figure out who sent you the text?”
I read his mischievous grin and my eyes widened. “That was you!?!”
“Oh, yeah. When my psychic identified you, I got my buddy in telemarketing to find your number in a database called LexisNexis, that’s how I made tonight happen. I know, creepy but — ”
“No!” I pulled him in and embraced him tightly. “I’m just glad you found me.” I whispered “thank you” repeatedly for a few moments then we held each other in silence, levitating next to the movie clip of our lives…Woom-mm! I felt something run across my body. I looked aside to see translucent waves rippling across the universe. “Uh-oh.”
“The Neptune’s wearing off—the portal’s closing. We’ll be waking up soon.”
“But, but—I don’t wanna go.”
“Me neither,” he said softly, “but let’s enjoy what time we have left.” Then he pulled me in and we rocketed out of the clouds, igniting a sonic boom as we raced through the universe at lightspeed.
Clouds and stars whizzed past us…I couldn’t help but giggle and think that this is what it must be like to be a superhero (if they were ever real). But it wasn’t enough to outpace the dark force that was swallowing up all of the stars and constellations, killing off Jamal’s universe by the millisecond. It was all about to disappear and swallow us with it, and I quickly closed my eyes–
Then I re-opened my eyes and took a deep inhale as I exhaled a “Holyyy shit.”
“Whew!” Jamal exasperated. “Man! You okay?”
“Mm-hm,” I nodded.
Jamal let out a chuckle as he caught his breath.
I propped myself onto my left elbow, sniffling and wiping runny mascara from my face with my right hand.
Finally, a few moments later, I glanced at Jamal and grinned and said, “So…when are we gonna do that again?”
Stay tuned for my next short story:
“The Ghost I Saw at My Father’s House During the Spanish Influenza of 1918”
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