The muggy air clung to me like the soul-less demons that perpetually pulled me towards Hell. The mysteries of life had been solved. There are no mysteries. Only illusions. You may go throughout life thinking that the best is ahead, but it is only a hope; a dream in which someone shakes you awake. Too hot, and too cold. Too fake, but all too real. Too dead, yet very much alive. My life, stuck between both worlds. My case is merely one of millions. Never bargain with the Devil, because you will always lose.
“No, wait. Let me guess, the Carbacio?” I said in a hopeful voice.
“How’d you know?” He asked, a smile playing on his lips.
I beamed, “I must be psychic.” I slipped my arm through the crook of his elbow. I was much shorter than him, about 5 inches, but we managed to fit perfectly walking side-by-side. We were voted the “Cutest Couple of the Year” two years in a row. We didn’t really need the title, but it made us feel special, so I guess it was a plus. We always took walks around my neighborhood after we had dinner with my family. My parents already treat him like a son-in-law.
“Prom is going to be the best. Everything is so perfect,” I said, sighing contentedly. I stopped and faced him, taking his hands in mine. Seeing that I had turned serious, he stilled. Gazing into those piercing green eyes, I said, “I love you, Liam. I hope you know that I always will, too.”
A confused look crossed his face, making me panic for a second. Does he not love me anymore?! What’s wrong? But after a moment, it disappeared, “Evelyn, of course I love you more than anything, and nothing will separate us. I hope you know that.”
We didn’t have these heartfelt moments very often. But when we did, his words just melted my heart. He gave me his full attention, and all of his emotions expressed with such raw honesty. The thing about Liam is that he could stare you straight in the eye with no shame, whereas I end up in a fit of giggles.
The sky turned a deeper stormy gray as time went on. A light drizzle began to sprinkle on our heads. I giggled, pulling him back around so that we faced the direction of my house.
The night air was chilled and crisp, I inhaled, filling my lungs. Everything is so perfect.
Everything is so perfect.
Then, I collapsed.
The air was so thick I could cut it with a knife. Dense, muggy, polluted. My lungs cried for oxygen, burning, burning. The room was redolent of sulfur, assaulting my nostrils. I opened my eyes, but I saw nothing. Pitch black, as black as night. Panic rose through me. Where was I? My throat constricted. Claustrophobia closed in around me, like hands suffocating. I felt like crying, but no tears came.
All of a sudden, bloodred smoke exploded in front of me, clouding my vision in a haze of red. I rubbed my eyes. I was transported into a room, somewhat resembling a jail cell, except no door. The walls were some kind of medieval-looking, charcoal gray rock. I was on the cold floor, my head spinning. I turned, coming face to face with a person.
I shrieked in terror. “Hey, I’m Luc,” he said with a devilish grin. He was wearing a snug black v-neck that stretched over his well-toned body.
“WHAT THE HELL?!” I screamed.
“Correct.” he said flashing that grin again.
“You are right, you are in Hell.”
“What?!?” I said, confused.
He chuckled, leaving me extremely puzzled. “I love to joke with these.”
Suddenly, another guy appeared, “Quit it.” he commanded with an stern, irritated tone. He turned around, with a smile plastered on his face, the moment his eyes met mine, his smile faded. He looked at me with such intensity that shook me to my core. Inside, I felt a flicker of recognition. Did I know him?
“Come on, Matt, let’s get it over with,” Luc whined.
“Get what over with?!” I questioned furiously.
Luc shot me a mocking smile, “We’re gonna fight over you, Sweetheart.”
“Don’t talk to her like that,” growled Matt.
“Aww, Matty Watty, I told you that you couldn’t protect her forever.” He said with an evil grin. My mind reeled, was I in a dream?
“SHUT UP. Just do it,” Matt barked.
Luc tossed up stones, they landed in a perfect line, “Looks like fate is on the Devil’s side this time,” he said with a victorious grin.
A look of desperation crossed Matt’s face, then he disappeared in a puff of white smoke. “Ready to hear the deal?” Luc asked.
“What deal? What is going on?!”
Luc sighed, “I always have to explain everything. Okay, so, you’re on the cusp of death right this second. Your ‘blessed’ family is probably getting you the best medical attention possible, and the medics are probably using the defibrillator right now. But, as much as they try, they won’t ever wake you up.”
I stood there, shocked into paralysis. What had he tried to explain to me?
“But, your life is your choice... kind of. You remember me and Matt? Yeah, we were fighting over your soul. But, I don’t truly have it... yet. You see, I have to make a deal with you. Your life, you know, be with your love, what’s the boy’s name? Oh, right, Liam. You know, live out your dream, have the perfect life, yada yada. In exchange for possession of your soul. Just one signature, I swear it’s quick and easy.”
“Do you think I am a freaking idiot? What about ‘never bargain with the Devil’?” I dared.
“Look, I’m not the Devil, I’m just his messenger, do what you want, but just to let you know that Liam of yours won’t be living much longer if you don’t take the deal.”
My chest tightened, was this really happening?Not Liam, I can’t let anything happen to him.
“Why are you doing this?!” I cried, tears threatening to spill.
“Sweetheart, it’s my job. Now, what do you say?” If I weren’t so terrified, I would have ripped that wicked smirk right off of his face.
“You’re a MONSTER!” I spat.
His expression changed, he was getting irritated and impatient, “Look, I haven’t got all day, tons of souls to deal with, you know? Call me what you want, I just need an answer.”
My anger faded, I wouldn’t be affecting this guy by the slightest.
“Time’s a tickin’. Your boy’s not gonna last much longer...”
“What are you going to do to him?!” I screamed.
“Oh, just a bit of heart failure,” he said, a matter-of-factly.
Tears streamed down my face, “Fine, please, just.. Don’t hurt him,” I said, defeated.
Luc smiled, “Good girl--”
“Wait,” I interrupted, “One question.”
Luc chuckled, “Fine, what is it, Sweetheart?”
“Have I ever met Matt before?”
“Uh, yeah. You just did.”
“Stop, really. Have I ever known him?” His arrogant face darkened, he knew I was serious.
“Little Missy, that’s something that you don’t need to know.” He vanished in a cloud red smoke. Nausea churned in my stomach. I couldn’t shake the feeling that this whole situation was much crazier than I could have ever imagined, if that was even possible.