As soon as Brody’s name rushed in one ear and out the other, I found myself in his room. I was sitting in his private area in the top corner. He couldn’t see me, of course, as he sat on his bed. Miranda’s voice was the one who called his name.
“See, you’re not even listening to me. Am I invisible to you?” she yelled to him. Brody was staring at the ground, twiddling his thumbs. Miranda’s voice was full of anger. Her back was to me, so I couldn’t see her face.
“Brody you have to stop this. I know she was your sister and I know you loved her, but this has to stop!”
They were fighting about me? What had I done? What had Brody done? None of it made sense to me. Then again, everywhere Damien sent me was confusing. But why did he bring me here?
“Miranda, I’m sorry...” Brody’s voice trailed off and Miranda just shook her head.
“I know you’re sorry Brody,” she began. Just by her voice I could tell her eyes began to water. “But that doesn’t change anything. Being sorry won’t bring Hannah back. Being sorry for yourself won’t make me forgive you for pulling me along all this time. It’s been two months, and I know that may not be a long time but I’ve waited for you, Brody! I’ve waited for you for two months! You know I loved Hannah. She was sweet and kind and outgoing. She had all the traits that I love about you! But I can’t wait anymore. I’m tired of waiting for you!”
Her hands went to her face and I could tell she was wiping her eyes. I didn’t want to see them break. Miranda was the perfect match for my brother. They’d been together for two years. They have so many plans. I didn’t want it to end because of me.
Brody said nothing through Miranda’s speech. I tried to will him to say something, but he stayed silent. I shook my head, bracing myself.
“I’m sorry, Brody. I love you, but I…” her voice cracked, “But I won’t be second best anymore.”
With that, she picked up her handbag from the bed and stomped out of the room. Was door was left open and she ran down the hall.
I sat in my spot for a moment longer, watching Brody. He had to get up. He can’t let her get away. He looked up at the ceiling. For a moment I could have sworn that he was looking at me but he wasn’t. He just stared on.
I was suddenly so angry. Without moving at all, I was in front of him, leaning down so my face was at his level.
“What are you doing Brody?” I whispered, knowing he couldn’t hear me. I looked him in the eye, straight into his eyes, to his soul.
“Go after her.”
He looked straight ahead, a look of determination on his face. Without knowing what was really happening, I was in the hallway as he ran down it. I followed him, not thinking about my actions, out the front door.
“Miranda!” he yelled. She was at her car door, about to sit in the driver’s side. He grabbed her arm and whispered. “Wait.”
She refused to look him in the eye as he spoke. I stood next to them, glancing from one to the other.
“I’m sorry-“. As soon as he said it, she tugged her arm out of his grip and continued to try and sit in the car. He stopped her. “No, this time I mean it, Miranda. I am so sorry for everything I’ve put you through. God, it must have been torture. But I’m also sorry for not seeing what I was putting you through. Hannah, she…” he looked down, trying not to cry, and then looked back up at Miranda, trying to meet her eyes. “She was a huge part of me. She was my only sister. Her being gone, it’s almost killed me,” his voice cracked. She finally looked him in the eye, a tear rolling down her gorgeous cheek.
“There will always be a hole that Hannah left. And I’m sorry that you can’t fill that hole. But I still love you. I’m not asking you to wait for me. I’ll try and be better. I can’t guarantee it but I will focus on you. I’ve already lost Hannah and I will not lose you too.”
He seemed out of breath saying all that. Miranda’s eyes were filled with forgiveness from the moment he told her he loved her. She grabbed his face and kissed him hard, a kiss he returned. I looked away, not to give them privacy but because those two kissing was something I had seem way too many times before. When they pulled a part, tears and smiles between them, she was still holding his face. He pulled a stray hair out of her eyes and sighed.
“Wanna see a movie?” he whispered. Miranda was nodding before he even finished the sentence. She finally let him go and turned to sit in the car.
“No,” he said, pulling on her arm. She frowned and turned to him. “I’ll drive.”
She hesitated but nodded and gave him the keys. I smiled at them, happy about what I had done. There was no way that they were going to end because of me. They were way too perfect for each other to do that.
Distantly, I heard a door slam. When I turned around, I was in Penny’s room. She had tears streaming down her face. Her eyes were all puffy and red and the front of her clothes all muddy. I stared at her with concern as she tore her room apart. She swiped off everything from her duchess and let it hit the floor with a smash. She ripped down all the posters above her bed and let it lie on the ground. She pulled off her corkboard with several pictures of her and me on it and snapped it over her knee. Without thinking twice, she threw it on the ground with the rest of her stuff. She pulled book by book out of her shelf, not even caring that they flew randomly around the room, adding to the piles that were building up. They flew straight through me but I didn’t bother stopping. As she continued to grab stuff and throw it around her room, she screamed at the top of her lungs. It wasn’t words, it was just screams. But at the end of it, she leaned against the back wall next her bed and slid to the ground sobbing. I stood there and looked down. My best friend was being torn apart and all I could do was watch. I kneeled down slowly, my eyes on her. Her knees were up to her chest and she was rocking back and forth, mumbling words I couldn’t hear.
She didn’t budge. She just sat there, staring at the wall, rocking back and forth.
“Penny what happened?”
Once again, she didn’t move. I tried to touch her but she didn’t feel it. I shook my head and sat with my legs crossed next to her. I mumbled things, sweet things, to her as she rocked.
I don’t know how long we were there for. It was probably hours. I sat there for a very long time, not daring to leave her. She was broken. I had to try and fix her. But I couldn’t do anything just yet. So I sat there, telling her stories about what used to be between us. Remembering everything that we did, see, touch. It seemed impossible at the time, but I could have sworn she could hear me. That somewhere in the back of her mind, I was there. Telling her these happy stories. Her mum must have been working late or something because it grew dark without any movement in the house. Eventually, Penny got tired and crawled into her bed. I sat there next to her, stroking her hair and singing to her. I didn’t have anywhere else to be. She lay awake in bed for awhile, staring at the far wall. Sometime after that, her eyes closed and her breathing got steady. When I was sure she was asleep, I stopped stroking her hair. Even if she couldn’t feel it at least I felt like I was doing something.
I leaned down and kissed her on the cheek just as a bright light flashed before my eyes and the sound of a train blew me back.
And then I was in the backseat of a car. Brody and Miranda were in the front, playfully arguing. They had stopped at train tracks and now waited for a train to pass.
“Face it, Brody. The movie sucked! I don’t know how they expected to get money off of that!” Miranda wailed.
Brody just shook his head, keeping his hands on the steering wheel. “I thought it was beautiful.”
Miranda gave him an are-you-serious look. “You’re getting soft in your old age, Oriel. I hated it. What a waste of money!”
That was when the world stopped.
Well, slow down at least. Everything started moving slow. The train was going so slow I could see each trailer like it was going five kilometers an hour. I frowned and looked around. I obviously wasn’t going slow, but everything else was. The end of the train came and the car started to move. Miranda and Brody seemed oblivious to the fact that the car was going really slow. I just sat there, knowing there should be a reason for all of this. The next traffic lights were green so the car began to speed up, as much as it could. There was this distant sound coming from outside the car. It grew louder and louder with every meter the car moved. I looked around.
And then I saw it.
There was a red car going way too fast, even in this slow motion moment. It was about to go through a red light. Brody was already driving past the lights. Too late!
The noise rushed at me along with the car. I just stared at it. The car didn’t stop but in the corner of my eye I could see Miranda slowly shriek as the car came closer and closer. I couldn’t see the driver, the lights were too bright. It was too close now. I screamed.
As soon as the car hit ours, I was pushed back. But it wasn’t to where I thought it was going to be. I was pushed back into Miranda’s car.
“I hated it. What a waste of money!” Miranda said. Again?
I looked around me. The train was still passing. Had I just gone back in time? This time, everything was moving at normal speed. And then I understood.
Damien wanted me to change it. He wanted me to save them. That’s why he sent me forward in time and then back. He wanted me to change the future. But how?
My mind was rushing.
The final trailer on the train went past.
Think, Hannah! Think!
Brody began driving forward.
I saw the red car on the other street.
Without thinking, I moved myself out in the middle of the road and turned to face Brody and Miranda. I was standing the exact place where their car would crash with the other.
Oh, no it won’t!
I stood there and willed Brody to see me. He had to see me! Just this once he had to see me!
“Brody,” I whispered.
It seemed to be going in slow motion again. I stood there, with my arms out slightly, staring into Brody’s eyes. Brody. Brody!
“BRODY!” I yelled.
Something hit me like a wave. It was like a gust of aura came out of me and hit Brody. Suddenly, the sound of the brakes echoed around me and his car stopped. He stared at me. I stared at him.
I didn’t have enough time to smile because the red car hit me, and with a gust of wind, I was back in the backseat of Miranda’s car.
I breathed deeply to try and calm myself. Miranda’s hands were tightly gripping the dashboard. Brody was looking out the windscreen, looking for someone. Someone who wasn’t there.
“Moron! Can you believe that?” Miranda said, not looking at Brody.
Brody sharply turned to look her. “What? Believe what?” he said breathlessly.
“That moron who just ran a red light. He could have killed us!”
Brody turned back to stare out the windscreen. Slowly, his facial features returned to normal and he shook his head, as if shaking off a thought. “Yeah. What a moron.”
With that, the car began to move forward again.
I smiled and gave myself a pat on the back (metaphorically speaking). I did it! I saved their lives. Before I had a chance to laugh out loud, I was standing a plain white room. A familiar plain white room.
I rolled my eyes and looked around. “Damien? What’s up?”
Damien was nowhere to be seen. I walked over and stood in front of the only mirror in the small room and stared at myself in it. I tugged at my brown hair and frowned at the fact that it was still as silky smooth as it was the day-
A loud thwap! shook the room and I sharply turned. Damien stood there with his long black hair falling front of his face. He wore the same jeans and casual T-shirt he wore when I last saw him only this time he was a rather nice brown jacket over his blue shirt. I looked away and sighed loudly.
“So what am I doing here this time? Did I die again?”
He narrowed his eyes at me. “What, do you think this is a game? This isn’t a game Hannah.”
His voice was so serious he frightened me. What was he so upset about?
“Damien, seriously. What am I doing here?”
He took a few steps towards me. “What are you doing here? You’re here because you defied me. I specifically told you that I would let you roam earth; see your family and your friends if you promised me one thing. What was that one thing, Hannah?”
I hesitated. “Let the world take its natural course.”
“Exactly! And what did you do? You stopped a car accident from happening. A car accident that was a part of the natural plan!”
I was taken aback. “The natural plan?” I stared at him in disgust. How dare he! “Why show me what was about to happen if you didn’t want me to stop it?”
He frowned. “Show you? What are you talking about?”
“When they were waiting behind the train, everything went slow motion and I saw the car hit them. But then, I went back in time to when they were waiting behind the train! If you didn’t want me to save them then why did you-“
I was cut off by the look on his face. It was a look of confusion and anger. I just stared at him, confused and angry as well.
“You… you did show me. Didn’t you?”
He didn’t have to say anything. He just gulped and rubbed his chin. My frown deepened and I was desperate for answers.
“So, if you didn’t show me then how did I know it was going to happen?”
He didn’t answer my question. He just stepped around me like I wasn’t even there and stood in front of the mirror.
“Someone doesn’t want her to die…” he whispered to himself.
“Who doesn’t want who to die?”
Once again, he stayed quiet. My patience wasn’t having any of this.
“Look! Stop ignoring me and tell me what the hell was going on! Who going to die? Who showed me what was going to happen before it did? I have a right to know, Damnit!”
“Hannah!” Damien yelled as he turned to face me abruptly. “This is far beyond anything I can explain to you!”
He looked around and heaved a sigh.
“You were not supposed to be the one who died.”
“I said you were not-“
“I heard what you said but can you explain it please?”
He sighed again and looked everywhere but my face.
“The natural plan was disrupted by something. We don’t know what. We were hoping that by letting you roam earth, some clues would appear, like this one. The natural order was changed and we don’t know how or by whom. But what we do know is that you were not supposed to die. In the order you were still alive to this day.”
It took me a moment to digest this. Someone had changed the natural order, and that was why I died? That sicko that killed me was supposed to kill someone else? Or was he not meant to kill at all?
“In the natural order, it was your brother’s girlfriend that was meant to be murdered. Not you. Somehow, the murderer’s mind was changed and you became the target. We just need to know who changed the order. When we find out whom, they can change it back.”
“Change it back?” I stammered. “Meaning that I would… that I would live?”
Damien nodded his eyes on mine. “Yes. You would live.”
“How does that work?”
“Well, the only being that can change the order is one of us. An Angel. However to change it back, the Angel who changed it must do it him or herself.”
I was silently staring at him. Another question came to mind. “If you find the Angel that did it. And they changed it back, would…”
Damien nodded at me, telling me to continue.
“Would Miranda die?”
Damien’s jaw was taunt. He didn’t have to say anything because I knew the answer. I shook my head and bit my lip to keep back the tears.
“So you did something to the order to try and get it back in place? You tried to kill Miranda?”
Once again, Damien nodded, still eyes on me.
I leaned against the wall and tried to calm my breathing down. The answer was so simple in my mind. Find the Angel and become alive again. But that would mean Miranda dying. Could I live with that? Knowing that I killed the one person Brody loves?
No. I couldn’t.
“Damien, call off the search.”
He frowned, a look of confusion on his face. “What?”
“You heard me. Call off the search. Make a new natural order where Miranda lives a long life with my brother. Don’t try and make it right by killing her or trying to find this Angel. Let them go.”
His back straightened at the same time mine did. “You know what this means,” he said. “You’ll have to cross-over. You’ll have to leave.”
I nodded. I knew that it meant. But I was ready.
Damien was silent for a moment. When I looked at him, I saw that his head was tilted towards me, as if he was seeing me for the first time. Finally, he smiled. It was the first time I had ever seen him smile.
“Okay.” And with that, he walked towards the wall. Before he could get there I told him to stop. He turned to face me.
There was something I needed to do first.
“Take me to him.”
Damien flexed his jaw but he seemed concerned. “Are you sure?”
I nodded. I had never been surer of anything in my entire life.
Suddenly, another gust of wind blew at me and I was standing in an unfamiliar kitchen. I took a deep breath and turned around.
He sat there in the lounge chair watching television. The sound was on low and the curtains closed. His back was straight and he seemed to be staring at the TV like it wasn’t a TV. Like it was just a random box that he recognized.
I took a few steps towards him until I was standing in his way of the TV, not that noticed.
And I stared into his eyes.
The eyes of my murderer.
I stared at him staring at the television. I didn’t dare speak. He was holding a glass of a brownish liquid that looked like scotch. So he was a drinker? Was that why he was crazy?
“You’re sick,” I whispered.
He just stared on, not seeing me. I took a few more steps towards him and frowned.
“You’re SICK!” I yelled. And then I saw it. That one little moment when I could tell he could hear me. He flinched as the words echoed around the room. I stayed focused.
“I know you can hear me you sick son of a b***h! I’m so over being scared!” I circled him chair, keeping my eyes on him as he just stared at the TV, not listening to any of it. “It’s been two months since you cut me up into little pieces and threw me in the river and I’m sick and tired of picking the pieces you made me leave behind! You weren’t meant to kill me but you did and for that you’re gunna get what’s coming to you!”
I stood in front of him now. He looked right through me but he wasn’t looking at my eyes.
“Look at you! You think everything is hunky-dory now, do ya? Well let me tell you something you sick ********! You’re gunna get what’s coming to you and I’m going to be there when it happens, laughing my head off! You hear that?” I was screaming now, desperate.
“You’re gunna die and I’m gunna be the one to do it! You happy? You satisfied? Look at me! I know I’m that voice in the back of your head!” I bent over so that I was about ten centimeters from his face, but I still screamed. “Look at me, you freak! LOOK AT ME!”
The glass of scotch in his hand broke and fell to pieces on the floor. Whatever happened, it took him out of his trance. He cursed and walked over to the kitchen to get a broom. I just stood there, staring at the broken glass. Had I done that? Was it possible for me to do that?
I experimented quickly, closing my eyes and focusing on the room around me, filling it with my anger. When I opened my eyes, the room was flashing with lights. The lights in the room shimmered. The TV screen flashed, randomly changing channels. Gusts of wind came in through the window, pushing the curtains in all directions. My murderer just stared around, a look of fear on his face. That’s it, you sick freak. Feel the fear.
I had adrenaline now. The whole room was twitching and itching. The curtains were pushing things off tables, making loud smashed as it hit the ground. I just stared at him, feeling more anger build inside me. Suddenly, with a burst of aura, the lights exploded, the TV switched off and the wind stopped.
The room was dark and silent for a moment. I just stared at him, waiting to see what he did next. He just moved to sit in his lounge chair and glanced around him, confused but frightened.
I looked at my hands. What else could I do? Can I control anything? Make anyone see me? If I could do all these things maybe, just maybe… I could make him pay.
I clenched my fists and took one step towards him.
“Hannah.” The voice was distant but I knew it was. I replied as calmly as I could.
I felt his usual appearance into the room. I didn’t take my eyes off of my murderer. Damien was right behind me now. He was so close I could almost feel his body from behind. He took my left hand and straightened it out so it wasn’t clenched, but I still kept the right one in a ball.
“Hannah, I know what you’re thinking.”
I shook my head slowly. “It has to be done.”
Damien held my left hand and entwined his fingers in mine. “You will be defying the natural order.”
I shook my head more vigorously this time. “Screw the natural order. It lets him roam free to kill other girls. To murder them like he did me.”
Damien’s voice was calm. “That’s the way it is.” He was stroking my palm, obviously trying to calm me down. I pulled my hand out of his.
“No. It’s wrong.”
Damien sighed. I could feel the breath on the back of my neck. “By killing him, you defy the natural order. Some girls are meant to die at his hand. If you kill him then a new unknown natural order will be put into play and you have no idea how long it takes to create a new one that every Angel agrees with.”
I swallowed, trying to stop my voice from cracking. “How many more girls will he kill?”
Damien hesitated. “We have it as fourteen.”
I snorted in disgust. “Fourteen? We can stop him from doing it, Damien. We can save fourteen lives. Maybe more. A new order will be created anyway where some of those girls can live long and happy lives. This is right, Damien. Let me do this.”
“I can’t,” his voice cracked. “If I let you do this, let you defy the natural order then you won’t be able to cross-over.”
I frowned. “So I’ll just have to roam earth forever?” I thought about it for a moment. Being able to watch Brody and Miranda as they have children together. Being able to watch Penny as she continues on to become a famous actress. I may even be able to help along the way.
“I don’t mind, Damien.”
Damien heaved a frustrated sigh. “What happens when you’ve been here for one hundred years and all of your family has died? What will you do then? Some go insane being here for too long. I won’t let that happen to you.”
I ignored the flattery of his last statement that buzzed through me. “When all my family has died I will watch over their children. And their children’s children. I will be my families very own guardian Angel.” I smiled thinking about how good it would make me feel.
Damien took a deep breath and a step back. I couldn’t feel his heat on my back anymore.
“Very well. But be warned, if you defy the natural order too much in your time on earth, we will hunt you down and banish you.”
“Banish me?” I asked. “Kill the dead?”
There was no answer. When I turned around, he wasn’t there. I took a deep breath, calming myself, and turned back to my murderer. He was in the exact spot I left him in. I looked at my hands one more time and then balled them into fists as I took a few steps over to him.
“Some things just have to be done.”
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