The Color of Heaven
Julianne MacLean writing as
Copyright © 2011 Julianne MacLean
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or a portion thereof, in any form. This book may not be resold or uploaded for distribution to others.
This is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Cover art design by Pat Ryan Graphics
Photo credit: Vladimir Piskunov
A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without adversity. - Donina Va’a Renata
A lot goes through your mind when you’re dying. What they say about life flashing before your eyes is true. You remember things from your childhood and adolescence – specific images, vivid and real, like brilliant sparks of light exploding in your brain. Somehow you’re able to comprehend the whole of your life in that single instant of reflection, as if it were a panoramic view. You have no choice but to look at your decisions and accomplishments – or lack of them – and decide for yourself if you did all that you could do. And you panic just a little, wishing for one more chance at all the beautiful moments you didn’t appreciate, or for one more day with the person you didn’t love quite enough. You also wonder in those frantic, fleeting seconds, as your spirit shoots through a dark tunnel, if heaven exists on the other side, and if so, what you will find there. What will it look like? What color will it be?
Then you see a light – a brilliant, dazzling light – more calming and loving than any words can possibly describe, and everything finally makes sense to you. You are no longer afraid, and you know what lies ahead.
Sunshine and Rain
In this remarkable, complex world of ours, there are certain people who appear to lead charmed lives. They are blessed with natural beauty, have successful and fulfilling careers. They drive expensive cars, live in upscale neighborhoods, and are happily married to gorgeous and brilliant spouses.
I was once one of those people. Or at least that’s how I was perceived. Not that I hadn’t endured my share of hardships. My childhood had been far from idyllic. My relationship with my father was strained at best, and there were certain pivotal events that I preferred to forget altogether – events that involved my mother, which I don’t really wish to go into now, but I will explain later, I promise.
All you need to know is that for a number of years my life was perfect, and I found more happiness than I ever dreamed possible.
My name is Sophie. I grew up in Camden, Maine, but moved to Augusta when I was fourteen. I have one sister. Her name is Jen and we look nothing alike. Jen is blonde and petite (she takes after our mother), while I am tall, with dark auburn hair.
Jen was always a good girl. She did well in school and graduated with honors. She went to university on scholarship and is now a social worker in New Hampshire, where she lives with her husband, Joe, a successful contractor.
I, on the other hand, was not such a model student, nor was I an easy child to raise. I was passionate and rebellious and drove my father insane with my adventurous spirit, especially in the teen years. While Jen was quiet and bookish and liked to stay home on a Friday night, I was a party girl. By the time I reached high school, I had a steady boyfriend. His name was Kirk Duncan, and we spent most of our time at his house because his parents were divorced and never around.
Before you pass judgment, let me assure you that Kirk was a decent, sensible young man – very mature for his age – and I have no regrets about the years we spent together. He...
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