Today I found an interesting article on my email. It was sent by somebody from India:
The laws of Reincarnation state that there are certain things in your past lives, both good and bad (known as Karma), that may be “erased” or, on the contrary, “activated”, thus affecting your present life to a considerable extent.
I can’t remember the author of the note. I cut it out and put it in my Bible.
When Norman came in after watching the ghost movie, he told me to pray for Ah John’s recovery.
“Are you sure that he wants to carry on?” I asked casually.
“It could be that secretly he wanted to die,” I said.
“And it could just be that he was asking God for permission to end his life, one never knows these things,” Norman agreed with me at once.
“But it is our duty as Christians to pray for sick people,” Norman corrected me.
“Amen.” That was all that I could mutter.
I didn’t know any other words of prayer. I still believed in Buddhism, even though I ate meat.
This afternoon I rushed to see Father Crawley immediately after Yoko-sensei’s class. Surprisingly Father was there waiting for me.
“Do you get bad dreams?” He asked.
“Not at all, I sleep through,” I said.
“I am not surprised, since you take sleeping pills,”
“No, I don’t,” I said.
“But I do take those white tablets ... and they are contraceptive pills.” Thus emphasising my marital status.
Who told him I took sleeping pills?
“I really want to wake up early,” I declared again.
“It is up to you, why don’t you set the alarm?”
“I do set the alarm,” I began to get a little frustrated.
“Listen, unable-to-wake-up is not a sin that we, as spiritual leaders, know how to deal with. Perhaps you should seek medical help.” Father Crawley gave me an alternative.
And then he continued with our old thread and asked, “were there any blood stains?
“Why? No,” I proclaimed.
“Then, were you there?” he asked.
“No, I wasn’t,” I had to confess.
It suddenly dawned on me that a witness to a murder, or any other type of crime, must be present at the scene.
“Then how did you know that a murder took place? Assuming that you knew.” Father Crawley looked at me intently, with a piercing voice.
“In any story, you must decide if you are the victim or the villain.” Father gave me another piece of advice.
I couldn't answer the question on why I was dead and then now I was still alive.
“I am not whom you think I am,” I said, emphasising.
I knew that I was Victoria, the wife of the President of Christmas Island. But that Father Crawley didn't know about this, and I was not about to tell him. It was a state secret, it still was. No one knew about this. No one knew who I was, except that I was Mrs. Foo – Norman’s wife. And then I allowed Father to decide if he wanted to pursue the thread.
Father told me the number of decades I should pray and what to say for penance. A decade is ten beads of the of Rosary consisting of fifty beads.
I walked out of the cubicle, and noticed that the lady that was in the waiting area was no longer there. I took my time to walk back to the apartment. I knew that I will be having steak for dinner again tonight. I had already brought the meat out and put it in the basin, as I walked past the mall, I saw that the shop at the corner selling winter clothes was still having the same items on display. I wanted to go in and ask for the price except that I might feel obliged to pay for it later on, so I stopped at the window and admired it for a while before deciding against it.
Shaun was already in when I arrived at the flat and I was surprised that he was early today. The door to his room was closed. If he wasn’t back, he would leave the door open. The radio in the living room was on, news of the new American leader making another surprise move was announced. We were too far away to be affected by him, and I haven't decided if I wanted to go back to Christmas Island after my course. A two-way ticket did not mean that I could not later on secure a job in the country and change my mind.
“It’s good to believe in God.” The lady at our regular meeting place told me. By regular meeting place I meant the waiting area outside the confession room.
“And all murderers must be punished,” I replied.
“They usually are, no one gets away with murder,” the lady continued, as though stating that it was going to rain tomorrow. I wanted to tell her that I knew of someone who was off the hook – the one who murdered me. But that she did not know that I was Victoria. Victoria was dead. Victoria Li was Bill’s wife. Bill Young was the President of Christmas Island. Christmas Island is a country in the South Pacific.
Victoria died of a heart attack, just after she had given birth to a half-Indian boy. Nobody could explain how two Chinese persons could produce an Indian baby. Both Bill and Angelina swore on the Bible that neither he nor his late wife Victoria had committed adultery. The newspapers were hiding the information, with only one short paragraph released about the death. And even then it wasn't clear if Victoria had died of heart attack or suicide. There was even a mild suspicion that Bill Young killed her. Angelina Leong is the second wife of Bill Young.
I went in to do my next round of confession.
“I can’t wake up again,” I said.
“Is there any way you could help me get up?” I looked at Father James Crawley, helpless.
“Even Norman could not wake me up in the morning.” I lamented.
“Why can’t you wake up?” Father asked. Whenever I woke up in the mornings I felt like I was being drugged.
“Could it be the food that you ate at dinner?” Father asked.
“You must remember to give thanks to the Lord before you partake the of your meal,” Father Crawley told me.
“It is only right,” he said, and he continued,
“since all good things come from Heaven,”
“I often forget,” I had to confess.
“But I am sure that doesn't account for my being drugged,”
I was thinking of what happened eighteen months ago. I haven't told Father Crawley that I was Victoria yet. I am a deceased Victoria and I am posted to heaven.
I arrived at home, the steak waiting for me. I sprayed a layer of soy sauce and rubbed some pepper in, making the meat more succulent. For sure I was not a Buddhist. Buddhists don’t eat meat. But I believed in their theory of reincarnation. I was yet to decide if I was going to cross over to become a Buddhist, if Father Crawley couldn’t help me wake up in the morning.