The In-Betweeen series
a gripping story about the choices we make
and a deeper meaning of life
The In-Between series
From the International Bestselling author, Sagar Constantin comes the first book in the addictive IN-BETWEEN series.
Eva Monroe is returning from a three-week business trip, one in which she left her five-year-old son in the care of her ex-husband when the plane that’s taking her home crashes.
The accident leaves her in a coma, unresponsive to doctors’ attention and the urgings of her little boy.
However, while Eva’s body lies on the precipice of death, Eva’s spirit has traveled to a place known as the In-Between – a world that is hovering in the clouds above our world.
The In-Between is the temporary home of people who must decide whether to return to their lives on Earth or move on to the next stage in their development.
It is a wondrous place, filled with spiritual aids and advanced technology. It is also a place where a person faces oneself fully for the first time.
When Eva arrives at the In-Between, she is utterly sure of her decision: she wants to return to her son. Yet she soon realizes that what she believed about herself and her place in the world isn’t as straightforward as she’d always assumed. And with this realization comes the understanding that her decision will be much harder to make than she ever would have guessed. She is faced with the most challenging decision a parent can make.
Awareness is like a light in the dark. The more light, the easier it is to see what is the best choice to make or thing to do. Without light, we often follow our fear and inexpedient strategies to survive.
We can have it all. And the more we try to fit everything into our lives the more we miss out. Being present is one of the greatest gifts we can offer ourselves. In the present, we will appreciate life more. To be present we have to start prioritizing. Discover what is most important to you, what makes you happy, and what gives you energy. Many people are wasting their life on things they don’t enjoy or spending time with people they don’t feel like being with.
Life is full of choices. Not choosing is also a choice. Some choices will have a great impact on your life and can be life-changing. Becoming aware of the feeling and thoughts that are controlling our choices can give us greater freedom.
“Excuse me, sorry.” I’m running as fast as I can, and I struggle to get the words out as I’m panting hard. Up ahead is the yellow sign saying gate 122, the gate closing notice is flashing angrily, but somehow everybody has agreed upon walking in slow motion and right in front of me. If I don’t make it, I won’t be able to pick up Luke from Kindergarten tomorrow as promised. And even worse, I might not make it home in time for his fifth birthday.
“Can you move, please? I’m sorry.” I’m squeezing my way through a group of people on a travelator as they have decided to stand on both the left and the right while looking at their phones. It seems that people have conspired to get in my way or slow me down.
Finally, I can see the check-in woman looking impatiently at her watch and flipping through a printed list. When she sees me, she puts on a forced smile and crosses me off the list.
“Late again, Ma’am….”
I’m still puffing and get out my passport and boarding card. “I’m sorry. I just had to get a present for my kid.”
“Did you see anyone else running this way?” There is a small sign of a thaw in her tone of voice.
“No, I didn’t look back, sorry.”
I throw a glance to her list, where two people are still not crossed off.
“Have a pleasant flight, Ma’am.”
“Thank you.” The departure hall is deserted, and I head straight for the plane. A woman in a tight suit welcomes me, and I hurry down toward my row. A few passengers manage to move their attention from their tablets and give me the “you are responsible for the late departure” look as I pass. Luckily, I don’t have to walk through the whole plane; I’m in my favorite row, number seven.
The lady at the aisle seat looks up from the emergency folder.
“I’m by the window.”
She moves just enough for me to slip past, and I drop down in my seat with a sense of relief.
“This is the flight attendant speaking. Will passenger Mr. Wung and passenger Mrs. Jensen please let yourself be known to the staff?”
I reach for my diary and start flipping through it. Grocery shopping, pick up Luke, playdate with Luke, prepare for Luke’s birthday. Luckily, I just managed to get him a present, a massive box of the latest released LEGO castle with warriors. A warm sensation flows through my body, making me blush. There is no way I will let Luke out of my sight for the next few days. The story I just did grew much bigger than I anticipated; I was supposed to go home last week. But it developed, and I had to stay till the worst crisis was over. Hopefully, I will cash in a big check and be able to take off work for a few days. If I’m really lucky, I might be nominated for the Pulitzer Prize again this year. It would be my third nomination, and hopefully, this time… I don’t finish the thought. Instead, I cross out an appointment with John; that’s not happening, I think to myself.
“We still need to hear from Mr. Wung and Mrs. Jensen.”
So much for being the one to blame. I look around. Everybody is absorbed in their own world, watching something on their devices. The staff is busy too. That gives me a chance to call Luke.
“Hello,” a tired voice answers at last. I turn toward the window so that the flight attendant can’t see that I’m on the phone as she walks by looking for the missing passengers.
“Hi, it’s me. Can you put Luke on the phone?”
Andreas sighs dramatically. “He’s about to go to bed. Do you really think this is a good time to call? He never settles down after talking to you.”
This is not the time or place to get into a brawl with my ex-husband. I lower my voice, “Just put him on for a minute. I promise I won’t say anything to get him too excited.”
Andreas grumbles and puts down the phone. A few seconds later, I can hear Luke’s voice.
I press the phone even closer to my ear. “Hey, Luke, my love. How are you?”
“I miss you. When are you coming home?”
His voice is not as energized as yesterday, and I have to press the phone even harder to my ear to hear him. It sounds like he has given up on the question he has asked every day during my three-week trip. I wish I didn’t have to go away from him so long, but the circumstances are unavoidable. After Andreas and I split up, I was forced to go back to freelance journalism. That was the easiest way for me to make a living, but it also keeps me on the move. At least tonight, I have a better answer for Luke.
“I miss you, too. But I’m on my way home; I’m actually on the plane, we will take off very soon. I’ll be there to pick you up from Kindergarten tomorrow.”
“And you won’t be going away again?” His voice is soft, and I can hear his yawns.
“Not for a while….” My heart beats faster. “We’ll have plenty of time together. Time to do lots of fun stuff. Maybe I’ll even let you stay home from Kindergarten for a couple of days.”
“That sounds grrreat,” At that moment, Luke sounds wide awake. His voice is full of the kind of enthusiasm I wish I could bottle and bring with me on a trip like this.
He is telling me about an excursion to the park with Andreas and the Kindergarten and how they got ice cream on the way home. I’m forcing myself not to comment on it and start to explain how I interviewed some people who lost their homes in a big storm and how they managed to survive. Luke is not saying a word, but I can hear his soft breathing through the phone. While we are talking, I pull out my favorite picture that I always keep close of Luke, Andreas, and myself on Luke’s last birthday. His blue eyes are sparkling. I rest my eyes, looking at his blond hair and little nose, and lean my head against the window, feeling just a little bit closer to him. When Andreas and I were together, we always went to Legoland on Luke’s birthday; it’s his favorite place on earth. The colors on the picture have started to fade. I close my eyes as I feel my heart expanding. I rest the stiff photo paper on my chin. Now, Luke has another birthday approaching, his fifth. Where did the time go?
Andreas is in the background, telling Luke that it is time for bed. His voice is firm with a hint of irritation. I stare out the window where workers are looking through the baggage trolleys, most likely searching for the two missing passengers’ suitcases.
“Luke, I will see you tomorrow. Have a wonderful sleep. I love you.”
“Bye, Mom. I love you, too.”
“Bye, Luke. Can you put Dad back on the phone?”
There is a scratching sound. The phone is rattling, and a moment later, Andreas is back on.
“What’s up? I need to get him settled.” Andreas is clearly annoyed. There is no doubt that the call interrupted the flow of his evening. I take a quick look through the seats in front of me. The front door is still open, and the staff are chatting up front. It doesn’t seem like we are taking off right now.
I clear my throat and do my best to speak calmly and friendly. “It’s Luke’s birthday the day after tomorrow. I thought maybe we could do something together, the three of us.” Andreas isn’t saying anything in response, so I continue, “You can come over for dinner. As long as you don’t bring any of your new girlfriends.” Again, Andreas says nothing.
“Okay, I’ll come over,” Andreas says at last. “I need to talk to you about something, anyway.”
“We have located the luggage of the missing passengers and are now in the queue for takeoff. Hopefully, we will be on our way in approximately five minutes. We apologize for the delay.” The voice sounds like a tape recording, but I can see the flight attendant moving her lips.
“Great, see you at seven. I’ll make dinner.”
“See you,” Andreas answers briskly before hanging up.
I throw the phone in my handbag and look over at the woman next to me, all dressed in red. She is still studying the safety instructions and doesn’t pay any attention to me. I better get some sleep, so I’m all fit when I get home. The past several days have been exhausting, and I’ve hardly slept. The images of burning houses, animals running for their lives, and people suddenly without homes are printed on my retina. I don’t know how I manage to cover stories with so much devastation, but I do. It must be my ability not to feel other peoples’ pain. The images get blurry, and I doze off.