What happens to us when we die? It's a question humans have been asking for millennia, one addressed by many belief systems, but a question that's also impossible to answer in any concrete way. It's not like we can simply ask the dead, and so beyond the veil lies a realm of possibilities, amongst them the chance that there is a great paradise where all our wishes are fulfilled, or a long endless slumber where we simply suffer no more.
I can't say that I subscribe to any belief system, yet the question itself fascinates me. I like the thought of being reunited with loved ones, since we all have something to say to the people we've lost. Those last words we never mustered the courage to speak out loud, or thoughts and feelings we simply couldn't put voice to when those people were alive. Sometimes we don't realize what we have until it's gone.
In Reunited, that's exactly Peter's plight. The feelings he wanted to express while Oliver was still alive were simply too hard to acknowledge in light of his death. The afterlife gives Peter a second chance he never expected, and the time is finally right to let Oliver know how he's felt for so many years, without the threat of death looming over their heads. But the real world isn't quite done with Peter yet, and he'll have to convince the world to let him go if he wants to move on into the eternal paradise of a life with Oliver that awaits him in the life after life. Reunited is a moving tale of a love lost, cherished, and regained, a love that stands the test of time and reaps the rewards… a happy ever after that will never tarnish or be stolen away.
Blurb for Reunited:
Peter had thought that Oliver was gone forever, but fate offers him one last chance to reunite with the man he loved and lost.
Peter’s undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Dazed and confused, he finds himself at a community center he once frequented a long time ago. Going inside, he meets his old friend Oliver. There’s one problem—Oliver’s been dead for twenty-two years, lost to the ravages of AIDS in 1992. Suddenly the impossible has become possible, giving Peter a second chance with a man he had thought lost to him forever.
Peter finally admits his feelings for Oliver, long hidden beneath layers of denial and grief. Oliver owns up to the reckless mistakes he made in life, the drugs and casual sex that led to his untimely demise. Unfurling the mysteries of how they have come to be reunited, Peter and Oliver embark on a weird and wonderful journey through their past and present lives, embracing the whirlwind romance they could only dream of when Oliver lay dying.
Excerpt from Reunited:
Peter’s throat constricted as tears came unbidden. “No, it can’t be possible...” His mind raced through the possibilities before the man before him could even come up with a response. His chest ached with the memory of his heart shattering into a million pieces. Once, long ago, in ’92, he had loved and lost this man, and now, impossibly, here Oliver was, sitting before him as though he’d only been misplaced, left at the train station a while like lost luggage.
“I’m not sure whether to be flattered or not. It’s me, Pete. Olly.”
The confirmation of his wildest dreams took Peter’s breath away. He didn’t realize he’d stopped breathing until the familiar burn of his lungs forced him to draw oxygen. He dabbed at his eyes with a napkin, suddenly aware of the pesky tears that threatened to tear down the dam he’d been keeping shored up for the last twenty years. He wanted to reach across the table and touch Oliver to check if he was really there, and not some apparition of the mind, conjured up by a secondary brain tumor.
“Where have you been all these years?” Peter asked, trying to unravel the strands of his disjointed memories. How had he lost Oliver, exactly? Try as he might, he couldn’t recall how Oliver had come to slip from his life.
“Sitting here, mostly.” Oliver pushed a sugar cube around the table with his finger. “I’m glad you stopped by. I really missed you, mate.”
“I missed you too,” Peter said, not really so surprised to discover that he meant it. Peter boldly reached across the table and placed his hands on top of Oliver’s.