“What Happened to Sharon?”

I looked at Tali and saw immense grief behind her eyes. I didn’t know who Sharon was, but I said, “Sure, let’s do it right now.”

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and began my journey to the Lower World to find Hilla. We met at the same ocean shore with Dolphin and Bear, who had brought me over from the cave. I sat next to Hilla and we watched Dolphin gliding nearby through the waves. Before I had even formulated my question, Hilla said, “He’s dead.”

~~~ — ~~~

In the third and final scene the couple were back on the beach. By this time, the sun had been totally swallowed by the Mediterranean. He appeared alone, walking along the shore; then he stepped into the sea. She was standing at a distance watching him, waiting for him to turn around and look at her. But he doesn’t turn. He continued walking into the sea, and when the water reached his waist, he looked over his shoulder, turning ever so slightly so she could see his face. He raised his right arm slowly out of the water and waved in the air; it was a farewell wave to her. And right before her astonished eyes, he walked further and further into the waiting sea until it completely enveloped him and he disappeared.

~~~ — ~~~

“Hilla, why did Sharon go?” I asked.

Hilla turned her face towards me, her long, silky, straight, coal-black hair swinging down over her shoulders, and looked at me with a serious expression in her eyes. “His soul couldn’t cope anymore. Some souls find this world a searing experience and break down when opposing forces seem to be pulling them in different directions. Their inner framework shatters. His soul just couldn’t take it anymore so it decided to leave the Earth.”

With a puzzled and heavy heart, I thanked Hilla and returned to Tali. I gently relayed Hilla’s explanation for Sharon’s departure.

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