The gates opened with a loud swing.
Charlie looked to his wife and smiled, and she did the same. She grabbed his hand and the two of them walked forward.
They had just gotten into a car accident. The car had hit another head on, with Charlie and his wife, Anna, killed. They stood at the gates of Heaven itself. After a lifetime of hearing about Heaven and Hell, as well as other people in their lives fighting about its reality, they were standing right in front of it. The bright light from the place in front of them shined brightly onto their faces. It was surreal, the two of them still together. Anna could remember their wedding night, Charlie promising he'd love her forever and be with her even after death. Well, I guess you can say he was right. Charlie and Anna had been together for years, having dated in high school and getting married shortly after college started. They had spent a lot of their lives together, and now they'd truly be together forever.
Charlie smiled and held Anna's hand. The two of them walked further forward until being stopped by a tall man.
"I'm sorry, but you two have to do a task before you are let into Heaven," the angel said. Anna looked at Charlie with a fond look.
"Whatever it is I'm sure we can handle," she said. The angel handed Charlie a long piece of paper and looked at the both of them. He crossed his arms and smiled at the two of them.
"Charlie Smith, read this paper. It contains all the lies you ever told your wife," he continued. Charlie smiled awkwardly and looked at the paper.
"Charlie, it's okay," Anna said, placing a comforting hand on Charlie's shoulder. Charlie sighed and began to read.
"I didn't eat the last fries. I paid that bill on time. I called Mom back. I didn't lose my temper," Charlie said. As he went on, he spoke about small lies he had told Anna. The lies on his paper weren't huge, mostly about things he did or didn't do on a small scale. Small lies that didn't matter if he told the truth. He continued to read and exchange awkward glances with the angel and Anna. He slowed down as he continued, as the lies became more and more serious.
Anna smiled, realizing how much he loved her. How much he still does love her. She got tears in her eyes and she looked at Charlie with such a look, it would warm anyone's heart.
"I hate you. I'm not sorry. I wish you would just disappear," Charlie got choked up, beginning to get into the moments when he was upset with Anna, but deep down never hated her.
"I'm okay," Charlie barely got out. He finished with that and folded the paper up. He looked up, crying now, and wiped his eyes. He sniffled and looked to Anna, now tearful. He gave her a tight hug and kissed her head.
"Anna Smith, it is now your turn. Here you go," the angel handed Anna a small piece of paper. The paper was comically small, and Charlie examined it with interest.
"What could be on there?" He thought aloud. "This makes me the worse person, then," he continued. He smiled slightly and waited for Anna to read.
But she couldn't. She stared at the paper in silence. Tears streaming down her cheeks.
"Oh come on, Anna. I won't be mad, I promise," Charlie swore. He tried to reach for the paper, but the angel grabbed his arm slightly.
"Only she can see what is on the paper, so only she can read it. Anna. You have to read the paper or you will never enter Heaven," the angel said. Anna took a deep breath. The four words in a small font on her paper seemed unforgiving, the black ink contrasting the stark white paper. She looked to Charlie, who was now seriously concerned, and then looked at the paper. She sighed, and closed her eyes before speaking. As she spoke, Charlie's slight smile faded and his face became twisted with confusion and sadness.
"I really love you."