~The Blue Room~

*Chapter I*

It all happened in a flash. There was no long wait, no bright light, no lifelong slideshow. He blinked, and everything stopped. The chaos in the streets, the bitterness of the winter wind, the long list of things-to-do that ran through his head. Suddenly, quietly, without fanfare, there was nothing.

When he opened his eyes from the split-second blink, he found himself sitting in a room. The room was not large, but it wasn't small either. The walls were a soft, powder blue. There were no photos on the walls, no windows, no doors. There was nothing extraordinary about the room at all. In fact, the plain-ness of the room was it's distinctiveness. He sat on a soft, cream-coloured sofa. He felt no anxiety, no impatience. He felt no fear, he felt no euphoria. He felt...nothing. And yet this nothingness did not disturb him in the slightest. He simply sat on the sofa, staring at the light blue wall. He sat for perhaps minutes, perhaps days. He really had no concept of the passage of time. Then, without warning, yet without any type of disturbance, a woman appeared. She sat down next to him, and looked at him. He turned to look at her, to take her in.
The lines on her face indicated wisdom, but not age. Her eyes were soft yet strong, and were the colour of dark chocolate. He had never seen this woman before, yet he trusted her unconditionally. After a short period of time had passed, she spoke.

"Chandler Muriel Bing."

Chandler nodded in acknowledgement, but said nothing.

"Your body, it's quite young. Thirty Four. Yet your soul is quite old."

"Yes."

"Do you know where you are?"

"Yes," Chandler said truthfully. But in fact, it had just dawned on him, moments earlier.

"Do you know how it happened?"

"No. Not yet."

The woman nodded, and turned to look at the plain blue wall. Chandler followed suit, and the two sat in a comfortable silence for another short period of time. The wall slowly faded away, revealing a chaotic stormy Manhattan night. Like an old projector, the scene flickered before the two viewers, at a slow but steady pace.

In time, Chandler was able to make out the location--Houston Street. It was snowing, and the wind was blowing litter all over the street. A familiar face came into view, seperating itself from the sea of unfamiliarity.
He watched the man fumble with his cell phone, as he stepped out onto the busy street. He noticed the car, at the very same time the driver noticed him. But it was too late. The car hit the man with full force, sending him through the air. He landed with a deadly thud.

"Wow," Chandler commented dryly.

"Quite a way to go, huh?"

"Hmm."

"You were killed almost instantly."

"What about--?"

"Your friends and family? They were devastated, of course."

"Even--"

"Yes, even your wife. The two of you were estranged at the time of your death, right?"

"You could say that."

"She loved you. She still loves you. Your death was not easy on her. But she is getting by now."

"How long has it been?"

"Four Years."

"Oh."

"She remarried. But he cheated on her. She lives alone, with your daughter. She's lost, because she feels like she's lost the game of love. She's thinking about you tonight. That's why we're here."

"You want me to help her?"

"Yes. Help her remember what it was like to love. To live."

Chandler nodded, and looked back at the wall, which had now faded to a darkened apartment, in another part of the city. It was eerily quiet, save for the muffled sniffling that eminated from the far corner of the room. In a heartbeat, Chandler found himself standing in his ex-wife's apartment, looking down at her as she wept quietly.

"Monica," Chandler whispered, and Monica gasped. She looked up, and scanned the room, but could see no one. Was she imagining things? Maybe she really was going nuts. Shaking her head, she stood up slowly, and wandered to the bathroom. She flipped on the light, and turned on the water. While she waited for the water to warm up, she looked up at her reflection in the mirror. She looked...old. And tired. Sighing heavily, she closed her eyes, and let here mind wander to better times. As she opened her eyes, she looked at her reflection again, and jumped when she saw Chandler standing behind her. She whipped around, but again found that she was alone. Her latest episode frightening her, she rushed toward the phone and dialled her brother's number.

"Ross, it's Monica," she said, her voice shaky and desperate.

"Mon, what's wrong, are you okay?"

"I...I don't know. Look, Ross, I know it's late, but do you think you could come and pick up Melinda? I need...I don't know what I need, but I don't want to scare her."

"Well, you're scaring me, Mon, what's going on?"

"I...I can't explain it. I just need to be alone. Please Ross. Just for tonight."

"Mon, you know I have no problem watching Mel, but are you sure about this?"

"Yes."

*

Ross looked at Monica and Chandler's sleeping five year old, and smiled sadly. She looked so much like both her parents. Ross found it remarkable that Mel had managed to pick up so many of Chandler's personality traits, since she was so young when Chandler was killed. Ross sighed, and picked the little girl up, all the while wondering if any of this had to do with Chandler. He silently reassured his sister, then took Melinda back to his apartment without another word.

Monica closed the door behind Ross, and leaned against the frame, sighing deeply. She was filled with an unusual calmness, as her eyes wandered the darkened room. She wasn't sure before, but now that she was totally alone, she became more convinced that her instinct was correct:

Chandler was there.