/Latin: I believe/
The answers he gives Rice make sense, but his mind, alike his eyes, is turned elsewhere. Pearse is waiting for the conversation to end, even though he has a feeling it is not him who is doing the talking and thinking. The real Pearse J. Harman is not thinking at the moment. Yes, he is talking, but it feels like someone else was forming the words and someone else's lips were moving, and he is looking, but he cannot see beyond his mind.
His mind is a hall of mirrors. Pearse remembers a time – mere hours ago – when the world was simple. Only two dimensions, good and evil, life and death, the light and the dark, nothing else. The darkness of night and the blinding, burning light of the sun.
The world unfolding before him now is endless, a complex web, a whole universe of dimensions, and Pearse ceases his desperate tries to think, surrendering to the current. The maelstrom is tossing him around and he is drowning in the crashing waves of doubt, trying to gasp for air and suffocating with uncertainty.
The dark and the light merge and melt into a trembling chiaroscuro, and all of a sudden Pearse sees all the spectrum of hues and shadows, from the densest black to the purest white. He raises his hand, hoping to find an anchor to reality, then blinks and stares in disbelief, because his body is transparent, lights and shadows dancing across the skin and through his flesh. There are no longer only two dimensions to the world, and Pearse does realise in horror that there is more than one dimension to him. He is not made of pure light, and deep in his soul there are shadows he knows have always been there, shadows he has kept on ignoring for decades, overlooking them without effort simply because they have not seemed to fit. He has erred, he has chosen wrong decisions, he has made mistakes.
He would give away anything not to err now, to choose the right path, but he is no longer certain which path is right. What if there is nothing else but this world, what if there is no other afterlife? He is lost, alone and sick with doubt.
A thought emerges, and Pearse grips onto it with all his willpower. He has lived his life for a cause. His life. A whole life. The only thing he can do now is take a breath and continue down that path, because he would not throw away something his whole life has been sacrificed to.
It takes time to build up enough courage to go to confession. He is sitting at the back of the church, watching the altar and the cross, thinking, praying to his God whose existence a part of him cannot stop doubting, desperately hoping for a revelation.
None comes. There is no sudden clarity, doubts do not vanish, fear of death does not dim, and Pearse is still sick with uncertainty and worry.
There is just a soft and quiet voice at the back of his mind: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. Pearse does not see which way is right and where the truth lies exactly, and how much life he has left and if there shall be an after. All of a sudden, this does no longer matter, and his soul is at peace because he does no longer need to see.