Second Chances

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Lena is always sure of facts. in her life, there's no such thing as maybe and hazy areas. that's all turned upside down as lena's life is put on hold. maybe there are more important things in life, lena has to decide what those are.

Submitted: July 29, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 29, 2016



She didn’t like it, but she had been called back to life for a reason. Sucking in a deep breath, Lena lifted her chin and slipped through the plain door. 

Lena felt her stomach jump as she fell through swirling mists of unformed ideas, memories, thoughts. The fall seemed to last for eternity, yet it seemed to have taken just a second once Lena’s feet touched down. Still shaken, Lena felt her soul settling back into the prone body stretched out on the ground. 

With a start, she jolted awake. Blinking at the sudden brightness in her eyes, Lena tried to get her thoughts into some sort of order. She had been driving Cassie home from school. Cassie had been chattering on and on about a boy that Lena had noticed at school. Lena turned her head for a split second to tell her sister to knock it off when a booming crash sounded behind them. The force sent Lena flying and a second thundering boom shook the air. Lena’s vision had blacked, and then she had opened her eyes to a very different, very white place. 

A figure had approached Lena and announced that she was in some place called the Inbetween. Mind still groggy, Lena tried to focus on the blurry figure until it came into focus. A woman stood over her in jeans with pure blonde hair not unlike Lena’s own and enormous white and gold feathered wings that stretched behind her like an angel’s. 

That’s when Lena’s mind clicked and she jumped to her feet with a shriek. “This can’t be happening!”

The woman—no, the angel because Lena, Lena was dead. She could feel it—looked at her with concern. “Lena, are you alright?”

“How do you know my name? Wait that’s a stupid question. You’re obviously an angel, and I’m dead. Aren’t I?” Lena’s mind started whirling again, and if she was still alive, she most likely would have thrown up.

The angel nodded. “You’re perceptive for a newly dead. Are you sure you’ve never died before?” 

Lena gawked. “Died before? No offense weird angel lady, but people can only die once. It’s cats with the nine lives. “

“Oh, yes that’s right,” Angel Lady agreed, “and my name is Margot. Just so you know.”

“Well you obviously know who I am, so introductions on my part are kind of redundant. Care to maybe explain what I’m doing here? Or maybe what here is?”

“You’re in the Inbetween. I already told you that, and well, what you’re doing here, that you know.” Margot said.

Lena thought for a second, “Those booms, I was in a car crash wasn’t I? Cassie, oh no, Cassie was in that car crash too wasn’t she? Where is she? Is she alive or in this Inbetween place too?” 

Margot held up her hand in the slow down signal. “Yes, you were in a car crash. Yes, Cassie was in the crash. Maybe, I don’t know where she is.” 

Lena gaped at Margot, “But you’re an angel. Can’t you find out whether my little sister is dead or not?” 

“You aren’t dead, Lena,” Margot said sounding much more serious than before. “You’re in the Inbetween. You may still have a chance. Cassie might be here, but she might not be. I’m not all powerful I can only tell you the state that you’re in. Lena, I don’t think you’re completely dead.”

“But how can I be not completely dead? Isn’t it just a once and done sort of thing.” Lena tugged at her worn hoodie sleeve in agitation. “I was in a car crash. Now I’m in the Inbetween. I must be dead. That’s the only answer.”

Margot shook her head, “For all your talk of musts, you are naïve in the eyes of death, Lena. The Inbetween in a sort of way station some say. You have two options. One, you find that you are at peace with the world and can move on. Two, you still have unfinished business, and your soul is allowed a second chance at life to ‘tie up loose ends’ so to speak.”

“And you think that I have unfinished business in my life. I can live again?” 

Margot sighed, “Yes, that is what I mean, but Lena, know this. Going back can be hard. You’ll remember your time in the Inbetween, you’ll remember everything. Do you understand?”

Lena straightened and clenched her hands, “I can do it. I know I can.”

“Then follow me,” Margot beckoned with her hand as she spun and began walking into the white mists that seemed to like the Inbetween. Darting to keep up, Lena thanked whatever deity that was in charge here that had her meet an angel as short as she was. 

Margot was noticeable quiet on their walk, but Lena couldn’t push herself to break the heavy silence. Instead, she plodded along and hoped that they would reach their destination soon. Lena’s feet were starting to hurt, and she was getting that uncomfortable feeling in her gut from the vertigo all this new information was causing her. 

Lost in thought, Lena didn’t notice that Margot had stopped until she ran it the feathery wings. Stumbling, Lena mumbled an apology, but Margot didn’t seem to have heard. Her focus was on a plain looking door. The door seemed to be free standing in the middle of empty space. It was rather worn with cracked white paint and a tarnished silver knob. 

Margot gestured for Lena to step forward. Taking on an air of formality, Margot spoke, “From this point on, there is no going back. This door will lead you to your unfinished business. Are you ready?” 

Suddenly feeling the enormity of what she was doing, Lena could only nod. 

“So that you don’t reveal the secrets of the Inbetween, you must make a swear. Repeat after me. I, Helena King, do hereby swear that by stepping through the door of life, I am agreeing to never speak of my time here in the Inbetween. So long as I am alive, I will have my memories, but I will never let a living being know what happens after death. I swear on my life and soul.”

Lena repeated the words, jitters racing up and down her back as she spoke. Facing the door that would take her back to her life, Lena hesitated. Glancing at Margot, the words fell out before she could stop them. “Can you please just tell me, what happened to Cassie? Please, I need to know.”

“Cassie’s business is finished. She won’t be there when you get back if that’s what you’re asking.” Margot replied in an almost matter of fact tone, but Lena could hear the faintest tremor running under Margot’s word. 

Dismissing it, Lena thanked Margot for telling her that Cassie was truly dead before reaching out for the doorknob. Wind rose out of nowhere as sped past Lena’s ears like rolling thunder. Her vision grew blurry. As Lena was sucked into the door, she could have sworn she heard Margot cry: “Good luck, Lena!”

Lena took a ragged gasp of air. So, it hadn’t been a dream. She had almost been dead, and Margot, Margot was—

“Lena! Oh god, Lena!” A voice was shouting and as Lena slowly sat up while trying to orient herself, she was encased in a tight embrace. Lena buried her face into the shoulder and inhaled the familiar scents of fresh paper and man cologne that her dad insisted smell nice. It didn’t. Usually, the smell made Lena want to push him away, but this time, she hugged back with equal force. 

“Oh, Lena, I thought I lost you,” Her dad’s voice broke, and Lena thought that she might burst into tears right then. 

“I’m fine, Dad,” Lena could tell she was physically fine. Maybe a few bruises and scratches, but nothing huge, definitely nothing life threatening. “Really, I’m barely hurt.”

He removed his arms from around Lena’s body, and looked at her long and hard. “Lena, There’s no easy way to say this, but—“

“I already know, Dad. I already know that Cassie’s dead.” Lena breathed, the words feeling like splinters in her heart. Saying them out loud gave a note of finality to them that hurt worse than any injury Lena might have got.

Her dad gave her a look of grief, “I’m so sorry, Lena. I’m so, so sorry. Let’s go home. You should probably rest after all.”

Lena felt herself nodding, felt her hands grasp her dad’s, felt herself being pulled to her feet, her feet moving until she was walking with her dad back home. A though slowly began tugging at her thoughts. 

Before she could formulate the words, they were home, and a small blur was racing towards Lena at top speed. Her little brother, Theo, wrapped his skinny arms around her waist with a cry of “Lena!” 

She hugged him back, and the movement made tears prick at the corners of her eyes. Lena barely kept it together. She had to. Theo was upset enough as it was. He didn’t need his older sister falling to pieces. Faintly, she felt her dad’s hand on her shoulder, felt him guiding her inside and up to her room. She distantly registered the fact that she was now lying in her bed. 

As her dad moved to leave her room, the word’s finally came to Lena, “Dad, what was Mom’s name?”

He looked back at her in surprise, “Her name was Margot. Why do you ask?”

“I don’t know. I guess the crash just made me think of her. That’s all.”

He dad seemed to buy it because he left her room, shutting the door as her went. 

Lena burrowed down into her comforter as she finally let the reality of what had happened crash over her. Sobs shook her body as tears ran down her face and wet her hoodie. Memories of Cassie flew through her mind. Playing on swings, making fairy castles, having tickle wars against their dad and Theo, getting older as Lena started drifting from Cassie and their games, and Cassie trying desperately to hold onto the bond they once shared. Lena cried for the moments she had pushed Cassie away and for the moments they would never get to have. 

As Lena cried herself dry, she vowed to never take her life for granted like that again. After all, who knew when she would die again. Lena wasn’t going to take this second chance as light as she took her first chance. She wouldn’t. Not again. 


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