John left the office at ten minutes after five and headed straight for home. He went out in the back yard with his son and played catch until it was time for supper. John watched as his son, Billy, finished his homework after supper was done. After watching some TV, they all went to bed.
Just as John crawled into bed next to his wife, a sudden chill went through his body, and he shuddered.
“What is it, John?” Marry asked. “Are you alright?”
“Just got the chills all of a sudden. A feeling that something is wrong,” he replied. “I’m fine now though.”
They laid there kissing and caressing each other until things heated up. John was in the middle of making love to his wife when time suddenly froze, and a man suddenly appeared in the room.
“What the hell! … Who are you and what just happened?” John asked as he quickly covered himself.
“My name is Constantine. I am an Angel of God!” he stated matter of fact and then he unfurled his wings. “This past life you have been living is a lie. It was set up by Satan without your knowledge or consent. Do not worry, he will be reprimanded.”
“Past life? How much?” John asked more confused than ever.
“Over ten years for you,” Constantine replied. “I am here to offer you a correction.”
“Wait… How come it took so long to find me?” John asked. “You’d think God would have known right away.”
“It has only been less than forty-eight hours for us. Besides, there are over seven billion people on Earth now. God watches over everyone,” Constantine answered.
“Whoa. Ten years? Bull….” John started.
“Forty-eight hours actually,” Constantine stated again.
“Bull. I’ve got a seven-year-old son. I met Marry in college over ten years ago. I’ve been working a little over eight years for the same company,” John explained.
“We know. We reviewed everything. I am here to correct this,” Constantine said.
“So you said. What if this is what I want?” John asked. “What if I like my job? What if I love my wife and child? What then?”
“God appreciates your love for this family. But it is not real. It is false. A trick. Set up by Satan to rule your life,” Constantine replied. “You will be living a lie. Everything that happens to you will be what Satan wants you to believe. God has his plan for you. A much better plan.”
“Why doesn’t he just change things back then?” John asked.
“He could end this play, this facade, right now because you never asked for any of this. But then you would be lost. You need to make decisions on your own, with God’s guidance,” Constantine explained. “You also need to tell Julie how you really feel about her.”
“Huh? Julie? That pretty waitress from the diner?” John asked. “I do like her. She’s always nice.”
“God knows everything. I will tell you this much. You are supposed to be with Julie,” Constantine stated. “But you have to confess your love for her before midnight or your soul will be lost to Satan for all eternity.”
“If I never asked for any of this, why will I lose my soul to Satan? I never agreed to this,” John offered.
“You know now. The longer you live the lie, the harder it will be to redeem your soul in the end,” Constantine explained.
“If I do this. What will become of Marry and Billy?” John asked.
“They did not exist except for now, in this sham,” Constantine replied. “But, regardless, they will be taken care of.”
“Regardless? What does that mean? It sounds like I’ll lose everything unless I tell Julie how I really feel about her,” John stated. “Is that true?”
“Yes. God does not want you to follow Satan. Now that you know about his deception, you will not be allowed to continue on with it. You will be lost,” Constantine explained. “That is why you must tell Julie how you feel about her before midnight tomorrow. That is how much time God has allowed you. Not a moment more.”
“So then, ten years of my life just gone? Poof. Like it never existed?” John said.
“It has not existed. It is only an illusion,” Constantine stated. “It has only been forty-…”
“… Forty-eight hours. I know that now,” John said. “But still. It seems so real to me. My work, my marriage, my son and these last ten years of my life. It’s hard to believe it’s all fake.”
“That is what makes Satan such a strong Angel. His mastery over time and illusion,” Constantine stated. “He was one of God’s finest.”
“It will be difficult for me now to keep this from my family when I wake up in the morning, knowing all of this,” John reflected.
“Do not worry. You will not remember any of this. Only that you must confess your undying love for Julie before the stroke of midnight tomorrow,” Constantine explained. “Then the time-line will be corrected for you.”
“What exactly will happen if I miss the deadline?” John asked. “Will I die?”
“No. You will simply remember what you were doing before and be put back into the life that you were leading before Satan plucked you out of it,” Constantine explained. “But you will be at a loss. That is why it is important you contact Julie and let her know.”
“Sounds like she’s a key part of me having a successful rest of my life,” John said.
“You could say that,” Constantine offered.
“I just did,” John mused. “Sorry.”
“Yes. It is time for me to leave,” Constantine stated and then rose.
“Will we meet again?” John asked, half knowing that he probably wouldn’t get an answer.
“Perhaps. If it is God’s will,” Constantine replied and then as quickly as he appeared, he was gone.
All that day John couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that he had to talk to Julie, the waitress from the diner. He couldn’t concentrate on his work, and he found himself constantly thinking about her. It was Friday, so he asked if he could leave early. The boss gave him the green light and he was out of there by three pm. He drove around trying to build up his confidence and then finally parked in the lot outside of the diner, it was four-thirty.
He took his wedding ring off before entering. When he walked in there was only one other customer, a man, sitting at the counter. John could have sworn that he had seen him before. He sat down a few seats from him and grabbed a menu. He didn’t need it because he knew what he wanted before he even entered. Julie brought a glass of water and a coffee cup and set it in front of John. He nodded and she filled the cup. He ordered up a full meal and sat there drinking coffee and glancing at the stranger seated a few stools down from him. God, he looks familiar he thought.
“No misses at home?” Julie asked as she set the plate of food in front of John.
“No,” he replied, thinking that he thought he had a wife but now was not sure.
“A shame. Nice looking guy like you should have a wife,” Julie stated as she stood behind the counter and stared at him.
“I’d like to be,” he stated before taking a bite of food.
They chatted while John ate his meal. The longer he sat there the less sure he was that he was ever married. When he was finished eating Julie told him that she was off at six. It was five-thirty so he asked if he could stick around.
“Can I tell you something Julie?” he finally asked.
“Sure, John. What is it?” she said.
“I’ve stopped in here a few times for lunch,” he started.
“Yeah. I’ve seen you around,” Julie stated.
“Well. I think you’re very beautiful and I was wondering if we could date,” John stated. “I know it’s sudden, but I really do like you a lot.”
“I’m flattered. I like you too and yes, I would like to go out on a date with you,” she replied.
“Thank God!” he said with relief. “I didn’t think you liked me.”
“Yeah. You’re okay,” she offered. “I like you.”
Julie’s shift was over, and she was getting ready to leave when John offered her a ride home. She accepted and they headed out together. When they got to her apartment, John told her how he really felt.
“Julie. I have a confession to make,” he started. “I don’t just like you. I really do love you and was wondering if we could be more than just friends.”
“I think I would like that,” Julie stated and then kissed him on the lips. “Would you like to come up for a drink?”
“Yes, if you’re sure it’s okay,” he replied.
“I’m sure,” she answered as he walked her up to her apartment.
The next day he drove home… He knew where it was, just wasn’t sure what he would find when he got there. He pulled up into the drive and everything looked normal. He walked in and saw that it looked just like a single man lived there. The phone rang, it was Julie. They talked for a while and then made plans to go out dancing later that evening.