He looked up. A man stood over him, smiling down. He was pale.
“Hey kiddo!” he said, pulling a lollipop from behind his back and placing it in Frank’s hand. Frank looked at the lollipop, grasped in his toddler-fist, then up at the man.
“Are you an angel?” he asked.
The man nodded. “You bet.”
Frank licked the lollipop, pensive.
“But, I’m,” his head felt emptier, “I’m big,” he decided, unable to find the word.
The man laughed. “Not anymore kiddo. This is heaven, and heaven is fun. Big people are no fun. Don’t you want to have fun?”
Frank nodded his little head.
“Well then,” the man stepped aside. Behind him, the world opened onto and endless city of color; rides, mazes, playgrounds, laughter and stalls overflowing with candy; cotton and otherwise.
I’m too old for this shit, Frank thought. But that thought faded. He tried to hold onto it. He knew that with it, went more. But, it was gone.
“Go on Kiddo,” the angel said, patting him on the shoulder. Frank walked. The ground was soft. There was music. He headed to it. A great expanse of cloud had been cleared away. Animals danced on stage. Frank wobbled his way toward it.
“Oomph!” He cried, knocking into another boy. The boy began to cry. In a moment, from the air beside Frank, an angel stepped. He picked up the fallen boy, kissed him once. The boy began to giggle.
He stopped when the angel disappeared again.
“Sorry,” Frank said. The other boy smiled. It was a big smile.
“It’s okay,” he said.
“I’m Frank,” Frank said.
“David,” the boy said. Frank thought the boy looked familiar, but he couldn’t place it.
They stood, silent, a moment. Frank wanted to hug the boy, he wanted some big person to come tell him what was going on.
“Where are all the big people?” Frank asked the boy.
The boy shrugged. “The angels say that we don’t need to be big anymore.”
Frank frowned. “What does that mean?”
The boy looked a bit sad.
“Sorry,” Frank said, “have you been here a long time?”
The boy nodded. “Years. Two, or three?” he held up four fingers. “You get a party every year on the day you got here.”
“Cool!” Frank said, finding the idea more fascinating as moments came by.
“Yeah!” David said, matching his enthusiasm.
Frank frowned. “Do you want to be my friend?”
David thought about it. “Okay,” he decided. “But I already have a best friend. So, we can just be friends.”
Frank found that fair.
“Do you want to meet her?”
David looked around, spotting a small girl jumping up and down on the belly of a giant teddy. Frank saw her too. He thought she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen, even though he couldn’t quite remember anything he’d ever seen.
David called out to the girl.
She turned, smiled, then rolled off the teddy and came running.
She was wearing a small blue dress.
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