"From the beginning, as I began to wake up, I was aware of the sea, the flowers, and the fields," Amelia recalls. "I felt a tremendous sense of peace and excitement that came from a deep understanding that there is something bigger than myself—a conscious entity that is very much alive."
Trees stretch out in every direction without signs of human habitation, with only flowers and birds for company. She steps forward, but the flowers close behind her, forming a wall of vibrant yellows and violets she cannot break through—unless she can reach higher to soar above all that holds her back.
"I don't understand," Amelia says. Her voice is soft, barely more than a whisper.
She closes her eyes to focus on the dream she'd had many times before, now transformed into something different, where the darkness would recede, replaced by an infinite light. It's a place where everything is beautiful and harmonious.
"If you can't fly above it, you can't get through it," the voice says, quiet and calm with only a hint of wonder and urgency.
Amelia opens her eyes to see a small, rose-purple woman standing behind her, with arms outstretched and her palms open. The dream unfolds in front of her, but her eyes widen as she sees a green-shaded man close behind the woman, his arms extended too, "I have to help her," the man says, smiling, and he tucks his wings close to his back.
She smiles with wide eyes at the two in front of her.
"You said I had to fly," Amelia remembers.
She knows she will hear no response from the voice. But it will open her mind to unknown possibilities, allowing her to grasp at straws for new insights.
"If you really want to go somewhere, don't fight it," the voice urges her. "Just go."
Amelia's gaze falls to the woman's lips, which form the question, "Do you want to fly?"
"Yes," she says softly.
The woman takes a step forward, and Amelia shudders. She's not ready for this.
The woman disappears.
But before the room gives way to blackness, Amelia sees another pair of eyes watching from the darkness, and a man steps forward, wings stretching from his back.
He looks almost like a seabird, but his hair is auburn, and his eyes are brown. The smile on his face seems genuine.
"I've been waiting for you," he says. "I'm ready to join you."
The two fly high into the air, above the blue sea and the sun. They fly together, gaining speed with every stride until they are airborne, and Amelia knows without a doubt that she has made the right decision to leave the darkness behind.