Dan was floating again.
This time, the space was light blue and felt more contained than the last. The flashes of pain were gone, but the voices and images were not. The images of his family, friends and Phil crying played on loops, cycles he tried not to look at. The voices however, were an ongoing cacophony. Dan had the feeling that unlike the images, the voices were in real time.
And although he was surrounded by noise and pictures, this space was empty.
He heard the nurses and beeps, the sound of wires being moved and the elderly coughing. He heard words that were only familiar because of doctor shows and words he, for all his intelligence, did not understand.
Lost in listening to the noise, Dan didn't notice as the space's colour began to get darker. The light blue hue dimmed and the space became a shade between dark blue and grey. The images and video loops morphed into one video, and although he knew how it went, Dan could not tear his eyes away.
He watched through the perspective of his own eyes, as he sat down at the desk in his room and played with the corner of his notebook. Folding and unfolding the paper in his restlessness. He heard and saw as he tapped his pen against the wood of the desk, and watched his hand as it scrawled and crossed out sentences until the paper was crumpled up and thrown in the bin. This process had been hard. He remembered.
The pretence of a bath had pulled him away from Phil's company, and he sat now trying and trying again to write his goodbyes.
Dan watched as his past self got to the point where his sentences would not be crossed out. And he was struck by sharp pains again with each and every word of his pathetic parting.
The pain was almost unbearable, and amidst it he was struck with the fact that this afterlife was more painful than death had been itself.
He was shaking, his whole body convulsing. An unstoppable, uncontrollable force had taken over him. He tried to talk, to say something to make it stop, but he could only grunt and listen as unwanted noises left his mouth. The light was changing again, and he could see it pulsing as it got lighter. Each pulse meant more pain, and one word would not stop circling in his head, round and round as he tried to fight,