Death can happen at any time. Any place. To any one. That’s the beauty of it. You will never even see it coming. That’s what happened to me. It was 1911, my parents had just been murdered. I heard them screaming from my room. I knew whoever it was would be coming for me next. I heard footsteps of boots on the hardwood floor coming closer and closer. I hid under my bed in the middle of the room. Maybe if I was quiet enough, they would think no one was here and leave.
“Where’s the daughter?” I heard a man’s voice ask. Oh my God. There was more than one.
“What?” Another man asked.
“The daughter, you idiot! They have a seventeen year old daughter! Where is she?!” he yelled.
“I-I wasn’t aware that they had a daughter-”
“You idiot! She has to be here somewhere. Go search the house.” the man ordered.
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll go do that,” he stammered, then I heard footsteps leaving.
Silence for a few moments. Then he walked around the room, checked my bathroom, came back and stopped right in front of the bed. He walked over to the side, and I heard him begin to kneel down to check under the bed. I ran out from under the bed, into the hallway.
“Hey!” I heard the man yell. I was sobbing and went straight for the living room where the front door was. I looked back to make sure he wasn’t following. He was. He just came out from my room and his eyes landed on me, wide-eyed. Before I could turn around, I felt something sharp against my throat. I looked up, it was the other man. He had a knife against my throat.
“No...no! Please-” I began begging him. But before I could finish, he dug the knife deeper into my throat and dragged it across. Unbearable pain. Then everything went black.
I opened my eyes and saw just whiteness. I sat up, waiting to feel some sort of pain. But nothing. I could actually feel nothing. Not even the marble bed I was laying on. I got down and looked around. Just white.
Is this heaven? I thought.
Then I heard high heels walking towards me. I turned around and saw a woman. Well, a teenager really. She had Indian tanned skin, dark, nearly black hair, and brown eyes. She was dressed maturely, in a button up blouse with a designer coat over it and a sleek skirt that went passed her knees and she wore two inch heels. She was looking right at me.
“Um,” I began. “Where am I? Am I dead?”
The girl smiled. “What do you remember?” she asked, dodging my question.
“I remember dying,” I said. “There were two men. Oh my God. My parents. They killed my parents, then me. Where are my parents? Are they here?”
“No,” she said. “But you are. And you’re here for a reason.”
“Yeah,” I said. “Because the guy killed me. Are you dead too?”
“Hmm,” the girl said thoughtfully. “Many would argue yes, many would argue no. Now, do you have any more questions?”
“Where am I?” That was the question I was most interested in.
The girl’s face looked calm but her eyes looked impatient and had a little annoyance in them. She was quiet for a moment. “In the clouds,” she said finally.
“Clouds? So... I am dead. This is... heaven?”
The girl laughed. “No, this is not heaven,” she clarified. This girl was beginning to get on my nerves.
“Okay,” I said. I decided to try a new angle. “Why am I here?”
“You’re here because the Council must have chosen you. They saw potential in you, so they decided to give you a second chance. That’s what they usually do. What year did you die in?”
I thought back. It was 1911. Surely it was still 1911.
“1911. What’s going on back home?” I asked.
The girl smiled again. “I don’t know. 1911. That was one hundred years ago. This year is 2011.”
Whoa. What did she just say? One hundred years ago?! No. No. That’s not possible.
“Come on. You’re wasting time with questions. Let me take you home.” she said, holding her arm out. More confused than ever, I took it. Dizziness, then I was in another white room. But. I saw... angels? People with huge, fluffy white wings. Some were actually bowling. Bowling. They were all so beautiful.
“Now,” the girl said. She was standing right next to me. “Let’s go into my office,” a second later and I was sitting down in a chair, with the girl sitting in front of me at a desk. I looked around. Another white room, except with stuff in it. There were what looked like camera screens on the wall behind her. Each one showed something different. One showed the room they were just in, with the angels. Another showed the real world. Or, what looked like the real world. She hadn’t been there in one hundred years, according to this girl.
The girl leaned forward on her desk. “My name is Miya Evans. I’m a part of the Council. Yes, you did die one hundred years ago from being murdered. Unfortunately, your murderer did not get punished for what he did to you. Well, at least not in life. He’s most likely getting punished now. Your parents are not here. They are... somewhere else. Surely you have something special about you, because the Council chose you. You’re being given a second chance, Janessa.”
Whoa. How did she know my name?
My name is Janessa Kohler. How she knew it, was beyond me. She probably knew everything, because she knew how I died, about my murderer, about where my parents are...
“Second chance how? What do you mean? Are those angels out there?” I asked.
“Yes,” Miya said. “They’re all just like you.” She paused a moment before moving on. “You will soon become a guardian angel.” I gasped. “You will be assigned someone. And you will have to look after that someone. It is your job to make sure absolutely nothing happens to that person. Do you understand?”
I was beyond words now. So I just nodded.
Miya leaned back in her chair, approval on her face.
“Um,” I began. “How do I make sure that nothing happens to that person?” I asked.
“Well,” Miya said, chuckling. “You’ll of course be released to the real world.”
My jaw dropped.
“But don’t get carried away. Your job is to make sure nothing happens to this person. If something does, you had your second chance. Now, you will be given wings. Like the angels you saw out there.” Miya explained.
“But if I have wings, how will I fit in in the real world? I know I haven’t been around for a hundred years, but I’m sure people don’t have wings now.” I protested.
“No,” Miya agreed. “They don’t. You just have to learn how to control them. How to let them out, how to dig them deep under your skin, where only scars will remain.”
“That sounds painful. Deep under my skin?” I asked.
“It’s not,” Miya said. “You’ll see. Come.” Miya rose from her desk.
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