Fernando Aranguiz

Web Developer

It came in a dream. The contact, I mean, happened in a dream. I had had dreams of that kind before, but this was definitely something different. 

He came dressed in white, and I have to say that white was never a color Ric used, except on rare occasions. He was smiling and playful, as if he had recently done something naughty and was still waiting for everyone else to realize and say something. I was indignant, really angry with Ric, and in no mood for his strange games. 

How was I not going to be angry? Only two days ago, they told me that Ric had died and that it was apparently suicide. Ric had called me some hours before his death and we had talked on the phone for almost half an hour. He was desperate, confused, and we could barely maintain a coherent dialogue. He told me that he had lost all hope, and that everything he had done in his life had come out badly, and that he didn’t know what to do. 

I encouraged him and told him not to lose hope, but I have to confess that his state alarmed me quite a bit, and I thought at that moment that Ric had really gotten himself into a big mess. But it never occurred to me that he might take his own life. That was something I didn’t even contemplate as a pessimistic possibility. I only imagined that this was another crisis, like the many Ric had had during the twenty-odd years I had known him. I suggested that he call his sister right away, so she could go and see him and help him calm down a little. Rick promised me he would do that, but it wasn’t what happened, and two hours later he was dead. 

The worst thing was my anger. I didn’t feel sad or bitter or anything like that. I simply felt a mute outrage, because in the book of my moral precepts, it was written that one never takes one’s own life for any reason. 

 

The news overwhelmed me for that reason, because it didn’t fit within what I could intuit, and after some minutes of absurd reflections about what could have been done, I was left in a blind inner rage. 

A whole day passed and I remained incensed, mentally telling Ric that he had been a swine and an imbecile to dispatch himself in that manner, having so many people around him who supported him absolutely, who loved him the way he was, and all those things you say when the inexplicable grabs hold of you by surprise. 

So I suppose that that night my memories were all there, purposely not leaving me in peace until Ric made contact. 

And there was my friend, all in white, very happy, and I couldn’t help telling him that he had done something infinitely stupid and how could it occur to him to kill himself without warning us. 

Dreams are always absurd, and one says things one would never say in ordinary vigil, so I went on with my list of insults and Ric sat there the whole time as if nothing important had happened, which confused me considerably. 

Finally Ric opened his mouth and with his shining and mischievous little eyes told me not to worry at all, because everything was happening in the best possible way and that in reality everything had come out better than he ever could have expected. 

I was looking at him with my mouth hanging open and he kept on smiling and explaining to me that in this new life everything was forgiven ahead of time, so you didn’t even have to worry about what you would do or not do. Ric told me he was well and happy, and then just as he had appeared, he disappeared in the dream and I had no more images. An enormous peace filled me and I knew with an impossible certainty that Ric had truly made the transition despite my fears, demands, apprehensions and criticisms. 

 

That night, I was at least able to tell myself that my anger was unjustified and that I was not god, to decide whether what Ric had done was good or evil. That night I forgave Ric, but more than anything I realized that my inflexible attitude did not fit with the situation, and an enormous relief flooded me with the thought that perhaps… perhaps everything was fine after all… 

The next day I almost completely forgot about Ric. It is incredible how quickly the memory dissipates, and in a life full of thousands of things to do, memories always have to wait in line. I decided to call Jorge to tell him that our friend Ric was in perfectly good shape and that we didn’t have to worry about him at all. I believe Jorge received the news with relief, but certainly he must have asked himself how I came to this conclusion. Well, if I didn’t explain it at the moment, this story will serve to clear things up. 

Portland April, 2001 

THE LOOKOUT

These stories were written in the last twenty one years and in general they are about the theme of intuitions and internal realities that are not always visible, but are undoubtedly true. Truths that push us in a profound and human direction.

View it at Amazon.com or just click on each one of the links to see that story in full. The cover of this book was designed by my best friend Rafael Edwards