Chris is a 20 year old man who mourns the loss of his girlfriend, Justine. Justine committed suicide because Chris’s mother disapproved of her. Chris runs away from home and dreams of being with Justine. One night, he is involved in a car crash and he dies. Chris wakes up in the afterlife where he finds Justine. They are free to live in a paradise that they create, but soon enough Chris realizes that this paradise is not as perfect as it seems. One night in the afterlife, Chris hears his mother calling him. He follows the voice and comes across a television screen. His mother appears on the screen. She apologizes for her attitude towards Justine and begs him to come home. Chris tells Justine that he needs to go back home. She then reveals to him that she was the one who crashed into him at the park. She never committed suicide. She merely faked it to see how Chris would react. She died alongside Chris when the accident happened. Chris decides to go back to the real world. He awakes in his car. He calls his mother and apologizes.
So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. – Genesis 3:23 In Genesis, Adam lived in paradise with Eve, but he was sent out of Eden after he had eaten the forbidden fruit. In Imagining Paradise, Justine is the “forbidden fruit” which Chris desires. He neglects all of the other blessings he had received on Earth – his mother, his home and his life – and wishes to be with Justine. Although Justine portrays herself as a good person, she is revealed to be evil at the end of the story. She is the one who tempts Chris and cause him to abandon his life in order to live in a paradise that he creates for himself. As soon as he had spent time in paradise, he is called back to Earth to work on his relationship with his mother. Just like Adam in Genesis was kicked out of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken, Chris now has to work on the life he had abandoned on Earth. I chose this Bible verse because humans are quick to dream of a place in which the grass is greener, while simultaneously neglecting the life that they are living. They live each day dreaming of a better life, and they start to push away people in their lives as a result. In Imagining Paradise, Chris neglects his mother and dreams of being with Justine. When his dreams are realized, he comes to terms with the fact that this ‘paradise’ is not as glamorous as it once seemed. He is then kicked out of the afterlife to work on the relationships he neglected when he was on Earth. People are quick to form a perfect reality, which then becomes their downfall. They are then forced to work on the things they neglected while they were dreaming of a perfect, unattainable paradise.