“And you are?” The old man in an elegant white and gold gown blocked Nina from entering the room.
“She’s with me,” a smooth, gentleman’s voice spoke from behind the man blocking the door.
“Of course, My God,” the old man bowed his head and stepped out of Nina’s way without hesitation. Nina walked in and found a medium-sized boardroom with a long table. Old men in white gowns sat at every seat and they all focused their attention on a younger man. He looked in his mid30s, with a smooth, clean-shaven face and a chestnut crewcut. He wore a navy blue business suit, and he was God.
“Nina had some questions about the universe and I thought it’d be helpful to bring her along for this meeting.” Nina felt slightly embarrassed at the special treatment. She was just a barista that happened to find God in an alley.
“So…,” God smiled at the room. Nina found it slightly amusing that other than her, he was the youngest-looking person in the room. “Let’s get the important stuff out of the way first. Who’s right?” he asked. Nina looked closer at the gowns. Though all the men appeared to be dressed in the same uniform, each also had a small golden logo on the collar representing their individual faith.
“None of you,” he said. He waited a moment while the men all looked at each other and him in confusion. Then, he continued, “And, all of you,” God chuckled. “It matters more to you than it does to me; I do my thing regardless of what you believe.”
“We can enter the kingdom of Heaven without belief?” An old man with a cross on his collar asked.
“Ah,” God nodded. “I knew there was a reason I brought Nina,” he said, and looked at her. “You were curious about Heaven too. The truth is, Heaven, as any of your religions imagine it, doesn’t exist.” He shook his head for effect. “Eternal paradise? That gets old mighty quick. There’s no, ‘end state’, “God used air-quotes. “There’s no permanent happiness. It’s unsustainable once boredom sets in.”
“If there’s no Heaven… then there’s no Hell,” one of the men said from the table. “Then, what happens after we die?”
“Oh, there’s a Hell,” God nodded, then, he shrugged. “But, again, it’s not what your religions have come up with. At this point, it’s little more than a name with a lot of bad stigma attached. As for what happens… there are options,” God said. “Most of the time you’ll get another life on another Earth. Do it all again with no memories except for the lessons you learned deep in your soul.”
“There are other Earths??” one of them asked. God nodded. Nina wanted to point out that God brought her to this meeting from a different universe, but she did not want to step on his toes. If he wanted to mention it to them, he would have.
“Why?” one of the men asked. “Why not have one perfect Earth? Did you make a mistake?”
“God doesn’t make mistakes!” one of the men berated the other one from across the table.
“That’s not true,” God said. “I have, in the past. But, having multiple Earths is intentional on my part. You’re asking why I didn’t make one perfect Earth, my question to you is, perfect for what? If my goal only required one Earth, I would have stopped at one.” Nina tilted her head at him. She knew she was the only one in the room brave, or at least, familiar enough with him to ask the question they all had.
“So.. then what’s your goal?” she asked. God smiled and every white gown in the room stiffened as the men all sat up straight and perked their ears up.
“I’m having fun,” he said.