I walk inside a strange coffee shop and close my eyes. The smell of coffee and roses permeates my senses. I glance at black and white photos staring from the walls, and the afternoon sun peeks through the windows, casting a gold glow. I see women dressed in pea coats and dresses and men in starched white shirts and black pants, chatting and studying at their individual tables as if nothing is out of place.
And then I see him, walking up to me.
He smiles and introduces himself, shaking my hand, as if we had made plans to meet at this coffee shop at this certain time. I cannot hide my excitement. C.S. Lewis himself?
I order coffee and chocolate cake for the both of us. I sit down and Lewis tells me all about the wonders of true, homemade chocolate cake, and how it really never does compare to what you buy from a store.
We talk about everything under the sun. I remember him mentioning his thoughts on his book, Till We Have Faces. He gives me tips on writing, and rambles about classic books, theology, and life advice. And when he talks, it’s so easy and effortless. He talks almost non-stop, but he’s the kind of person you want to listen to, to hang off his every word, to soak in everything he says lest you forget.
The funny thing is, while he’s talking, I notice something. The sun is so bright, and the coffee shop is filled with so many beautiful, vivid colors, but C.S. Lewis is black and white. He has no color. And I see in the corner of my eye people giving me weird expressions, as if they can’t see him. And I don’t think they can. He is real only to me.
I remember bringing my copy of Mere Christianity, flipping through worn, underlined pages, asking him questions on certain chapters, free will, eschatology, and he goes on and on about the best way to talk to a die-hard atheist about the problem of evil, and of God’s eternal love.
This goes on for hours. Everything he says is so … intelligent, and so beautiful, and so full of truth, I want to live in those moments forever listening to his hearty laugh and seeing that playful twinkle in his eye.
And then I wake up from a beautiful dream.