The family is around him, the man is unable to articulate words. He cannot make even a sound.
His daughter is holding his hand tightly, as her strength could change the future.
The father takes a last glance at his sons and daughters, brothers and sisters.
Now the woman wants to compensate the weakening of his hand with holding it with more pressure.
They all are aware, the moment has arrived. The man closes gently his eyes and his head softly falls on the pillow.
– Where… Where am I? Hello? Is anyone there?
A freshman-lookalike guy is running towards him, while absurdly yelling.
The man bends over a little bit, trying to guess who that guy is.
He seems a stranger, so the man takes some steps back, ready to run away in case of danger.
The guy gets closer and sort of congratulates him for something. “Yeah! You did it!”, he shouts.
Eventually, the guy hugs him as strongly as his daughter did with his hand, and tells him enthusiastically:
– It’s a prank, bro!
– It was a prank all the time!
– Wha- What was a prank?
– All that stuff!
– I don’t get you, what are you referring to?
– Your life!
– What’s the matter with my life?
– It was a prank, dude!
The man shakes unconsciously his head, processing what that guy has just said.
– My life was a prank?!
– Yes! And you didn’t even notice!
– Are you telling me that…
– We are so good at this, man. You swallowed it all!
– …my life was fake?
– Yeah, of course! What do you think all that technology was for? We needed something to record all that!
– So all my memories, all my relatives, all my friends…
– Exactly! And don’t make me more answers, please!
– …were only but a fake world?
– Come on, it’s all gone. Don’t think about it anymore.
The man’s breath is speeding up. The guy is worried about him.
– Are you OK?
– Well, um… I don’t know. All this has come to me of a sudden.
– Would you like me to bring a glass of water?
– Yes, please…
– Here you go.
– Wait, where was it?
– What do you mean?
– Where did you get the glass from?
– Oh, I forgot. From now on, you can get things just asking for them.
The man closes his eyes while muttering something. Then he leans back and bursts into a surprising laugh.
– Wow! I have no longer pain in my back!
– I see you figured it out…
The man starts to look around him. They are in a white place.
– And now what?
– But I’m bored here. I feel like I’m useless.
– Are you saying you would like to be already dead?
– Maybe… You know, everything I wanted to achieve in life was accomplished, so there’s no point in staying here timelessly.
It seems as it were the first time the prank guy had heard something like that.
– So, what do I do?
– You could… I don’t know… Ask for death.
– Yeah, it’s an option. A tough one…
The man is considering his choice.
– By the way, what time is it?
– No time. Eternity.
The man makes a final decision.
– I see. Too early to me. I’d better go.