The boy stood. Or rather, he found himself standing, as though he had been there for quite some time. Only he couldn’t remember getting there. Couldn’t remember where "there" was. Couldn’t remember what he was doing, or what he was supposed to be doing. Couldn’t remember who he was. Couldn’t remember…well, anything. The place he found himself was not so much of a place at all, but really more of a feeling. A feeling of distant familiarity. There was a word for it, only he couldn’t remember. Thinking seemed to be getting in his way, muddling his thoughts, so he squeezed his eyes shut and simply felt…it was peace. And safety. That’s where he was, in Peace and Safety. Only Peace and Safety weren’t really places at all. They were simply feelings. That hadn’t been much help. He opened his eyes again. All he could see around him was white, but not a solid comprehendible color of white; it was more a rolling, translucence, constantly moving though almost imperceptibly. He almost thought the movement was in his imagination.
As he continued to look around, trying to make sense where there seemed to be none, he saw a shadow easing towards him. The form seemed to waver in the rippling fog, and he thought about drawing back, but to where? There was nothing behind him but more mist. So he waited. And the form emerged into a living shape; a man, but different.
“Come with me.” It was a command, but so gently and kindly put that it seemed to curl around the boy and convince him that it was the very thing he had been wanting, waiting for. He moved forward, fell into step with the man.
“Where are we going?”
“To the Gateway.”
“But how do you know where to find it in all this white?” He smiled, and the boy could feel the smile more than he could see it.
“I’ve traveled this way many times before. My Master often asks me to escort the newcomers.”
“Who is your Master?”
“A Friend of yours.” The boy lifted his shoulders in a shrug, admitted,
“I don’t remember anything. I don’t even know who I am.”
“You’re name is Aviel.” The boy thought hard. The name sounded so foreign, he was sure he’d never heard it. But it felt right.
“Are you sure?”
“It is not the name to which you are accustomed. But it is your True name.”
“How old am I?”
“Time, years, age…they have no meaning here.” The boy shrugged again.
“How did I get here?”
“That, too, is unimportant. When you arrive here, you shed the menial trivia that once seemed almost to rule your existence. All that truly matters here is the Relationship.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You will, once you enter. All will then be clear.”
“Who are you?” The boy felt the smile again, a warm brush washing over him like sunlight. Only it wasn’t an outward sensation at all, but rather one that seemed to start in his heart and soak through him.
“My name is Gabriel.” Strange, the boy thought, that he should remember sunlight when he could recall nothing else. But the warmth continued to grow until it seemed to seep out of him, spilling across his feet, rising into the air to break through the translucent white. Then the golden warmth emanating from him collided with another light, a Greater one. A brilliant, gleaming sensation poured through the mist, parting it, scattering its particles until they could no longer be seen in any direction; only the warm, loving light dancing through to him through Gates that shone like pearls. Not sunlight…Sonlight!
He remembered now! The only Thing that was important, was down on one knee in the Gateway, arms stretched wide, light pouring from nail-scarred hands, beckoning to the boy. He started to run, new power coursing through him. But no, it wasn’t new. It was age-old, streaming beyond time itself. The power of love, offered to any in the form of the most personal relationship that could ever be.
And as he ran he shouted, “My name is Aviel! I remember! Aviel…God is my father!”
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