I've been dead for a while now and I still haven't set foot in heaven. Instead, I've been waiting in a nice little lobby just outside the pearly gates, right alongside all the others who haven't played the savior card yet.
See, when you die, you go to heaven if you're good, and when you're good the angels trust your judgment. So they give you what we call a "savior card": the unobstructed opportunity to save a single hellbound soul. Sort of like a plus one for someone who wasn't invited to the party.
At first, I thought I'd use mine on my mother as a way of absolving the guilt I have for hating her my whole life. Then I saw what a hot mess my twin sister turned into after my death and decided I would use it on her instead. No way she'd get into heaven on her own after all the shit she did. Even from up here it was hard to watch.
So I waited.
Naturally, my mother died first. I thought it'd be easy watching her fall into eternal flames, searing her flesh off like a melting snowman. But anyone who has seen hell will tell you that literally no one deserves it. Especially when they can see you and they know you can save them; especially when they call your name and remind you how they brought you into the world, how they gave you life, and how you have the chance to return the favor. Especially when they beg and they beg and they beg.
The only thing that stopped me from giving my mother the savior card was the thought of my sister going through the same thing because I wasn't there to give it to her.
So I watched. And she burned. Still burning, matter of fact.
Soon after, my sister committed suicide. With one hand on her shirtless stomach and the other cramming sleeping pills down her gullet, she said something about maybe being together in the afterlife. Of course we will, I thought. I'll make sure of it.
When she arrived, the angels told her all about everyone has one chance to save someone and how I'd been waiting to use mine on her. And my sister turned to me, had a face that seemed to beg like my mother did, but instead she said no, not me, please don't waste it on me. Teary-eyed, she rubbed her belly gently, then looked up at me with the most remorse I had ever seen on a human face.