I had my experience when I was about 16 years old, in high school and still living at my mother’s house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It's hard to think of a reason why this experience occurred as I was not in a typical near-death experience.

It was a normal night, and I went to sleep at my usual time, knowing that I had to get up for school the following morning. At some point, while I was sleeping, I had the feeling of simply coming out of my body. I do have a memory of seeing myself in my bed, but I did not linger there long or experiment with moving around the room. I just immediately took off. I don't remember the specific way that I traveled; it was more like an instantaneous movement.

I remember arriving in a space that was white all around. It wasn't particularly bright, but everything was white and I didn't see anything specific. After a few moments I remember walking towards what I think was some male entity or presence. I was so excited to see him, kind of like seeing someone for the first time after many years and we just embraced and I genuinely missed him. I didn't recognize him from my life here and I never got the impression that he was someone I knew that had passed. We sat together for a while and talked and I don't remember the exact conversation we were having but I remember it was a very quick conversation about how things were going for me.

It almost felt like we were sitting on a bench staring off into some kind of space, and I could see the earth from where we were, and I was very aware of the stresses that I had in my life at the time with family and friends in school and all those things. Looking at the earth I had the realization that it doesn't even matter and I remember thinking, “Thank god that's all down there and I don't have to deal with it." I think I was under the impression that I was staying with this person or entity, and when he mentioned to me something about going back, I was very upset and was insistent that I was going to stay. I remember him saying something in a very like jovial, funny way that "It's okay, we'll see each other soon," and I was back at the house.

When I got back to the house I did not immediately go to my room. I remember being on the stairs or somewhere in the vicinity as I didn't feel like I was in my body. I remember looking at my mother sitting in the living room, and seeing her get up from the couch and walk up the stairs to come knock on my door because she was trying to wake me up for school. When she got close to the door, I went back into my room, saw myself sleeping in bed, and kind of just went right back in and woke up, immediately. She said through the door that it was time to get up for school and I replied that I would be ready soon.

I laid there for a couple seconds and took in what just happened because I didn't feel like I woke up from a sleep. I felt like I had been awake the entire time, but only just got back into my body. Then I started crying hysterically, and I think it was mostly because I really missed the person that I was just with, and was really upset that I couldn't see him again. It felt like actual loss and it stuck with me for a while.

For a few years, after having the experience, when I would tell the story to people, I would get upset and teary-eyed. I felt lucky to have this experience. I wanted to experience it again. I wondered who that person was for a long time and when I would tell the story, I would refer to him as my soulmate, although I'm not sure if that's true or not. I wondered if it was just a dream. There was a clarity that the experience had that made it feel so monumental.  Following this experience, I did just try to go about my normal life. I've always felt like I was extra sensitive to things and very intuitive of people and situations.