There was an empty room, he was in a chair–not uncomfortable, but not great. A tanned man in a virgin-white robe stood in front of him. He waved.
“You’re dead!” he said, smiling. Frank looked down at his wrists, there was no blood. He looked back up a the man. He shrugged, “okay.”
The man in the white robe smiled wider, seemed to relax. “Sorry, we’ve found that it’s best to get that right out there, Band-Aid–as you say. Not everyone takes it so well.”
Frank held up his hands, “not much of a surprise.”
The white-robbed man nodded, “right–right-o, of course, okey-dokey, so now we have to go through some forgiveness before we get you on your way.” He walked behind Frank’s chair and rolled out a projector. The lights went out. A bright square opened on the wall and the man handed Frank a remote. Frank looked down at it; there were three buttons: Next, Back, and FORGIVE. The FORGIVE button was big and blue.
“It’s all pretty straight forward, just go through the slides and, when you feel ready to forgive people, hit forgive. If you need anything, I’ll be right outside.”
With that the white-robbed man left through a door. Frank looked up at the lighted wall. A face was there, one he didn’t recognize. Below the picture it read “Called you stupid.”
Frank almost laughed, he hit FORGIVE. Next came a picture of a woman he vaguely recognized; “stole your ruler,” the caption read.
This time Frank did chuckle. He hit FORGIVE.
This went on for a while. There were some that Frank hesitated on but mostly, he hit forgive without anything more than a nostalgic smile. Some came in groups, for example, he was surprised to find that three of his college girlfriends had been unfaithful.
Frank actually burst out laughing when he had to forgive his mother for lying to him about the effects of Marijuana.
After one-hundred or so slides, Frank came to the one he knew was coming. There were two of them, an elderly woman and a man around Frank’s age. He didn’t recognize either.
“Kidnapping your son,” the caption read. Frank looked at the faces for a long while, memorizing every wrinkled inch. He grew angrier and angrier.
“I do not forgive you!” he cried at the screen. He threw the remote at them and it shattered on the wall. The door opened. The man in the white robe peeked in. “Heya! Everything alright?”
Frank glared at him, “you expect me to forgive these people?”
The white robbed man stepped further in, he looked at the screen, he sighed.
“Everyone must be forgiven,” he said. Frank stood up and grunted. “No,” he said. “Just consider them unforgiven.”
The white robbed man looked hurt. He tried to move closer but Frank held up a hand.
“Look, you can’t move on until they are forgiven.”
Frank clenched and loosened his fists, over and over. He shook his head.
“Please, you have to understand–”
“No!” Frank cut him off. “No, I’m not doing it.”
The man in white stood and waited until Frank had paced his initial anger away. Frank sat down. The white robbed man came over and held out a fresh remote.
“Why?” Frank managed to ask, trying not to look at the screen.
The white robbed man knelt down. “I’ll be straight with you. God’s been away a long time. We convinced him that humans cannot be bad if they can’t do anything unforgivable. As long as we keep sending him this data, humanity can keep going. Otherwise,” the man shrugged, “he’ll just come back and start over.”
Frank took the fresh remote and broke it in his hands. “Maybe he should,” Frank said. The white robbed man stood and walked to the door. He opened it. Before he went through he turned and placed a fresh remote on the ground.
“When you’re ready,” he said, and closed the door behind him
**For more WHWFD click HERE
**Note for new readers: What Happened When Frank Died is a series of stories we have done every Saturday since our challenge began. You can read however many you want in whatever order you want. They are each individual stories. There is a backstory that you can figure out by looking for clues in all the stories but it is not necessary to enjoy them individually.