Today’s story comes from Megan O. at Epiphany School. A very interesting fallen-angel story, with wonderful realistic details – grounding a story focused on the Extraordinary in the context of the Ordinary, reminding the reader that even everyday occurrences can signify larger and stranger things. Very well done, Megan!
Why She Lives
She lives, because I died.
Some people would think that was heroic, what it really was still scares me today even though it is in my past. It was a trip to Hell. Literally. It made me who I am today. I died that day for her but I came back. I know what you’re thinking, “He’s a vampire!” I am not though. I do not have fangs, instead I have wings. Now you are thinking I am an angel. You are correct-partly. I am an angel, just not one from the light. I am from the darkness. Let me take you back to the last few days of my life, as a human that is.
I used to be the basketball player at my high school and as captain I had to be at every practice. I was a Lion from Galileo High School in San Francisco. I remember this day clearly for two reasons. First because it was the day I met Stacey, and second it was the day before my death. I was playing scrimmage with my team mates on our school basketball court, when I felt a sharp pain in my chest. The pain was so intense and sharp I had to get Coach’s attention to substitute someone in for me. Coach blew the whistle and sent in Trey Dogg for my place. When I came out I sat in the chair next to Coach breathing in quick gasps. Coach knew something was terribly wrong because I never came out of a game for any issue. Once I feel and broke my ankle but there was only 5 minutes left so I pulled my strength together and toughed it out for the rest of the game.
“Are you alright Ethan?” Coach said with concern.
“I don’t know,” I said between gasps.
“Do you feel any pain?” Coach asked.
“Yeah in my chest,” I felt like I was about to be cut off of oxygen.
In my peripheral fog of my vision I saw Stacey, a very studious student who helped in the school office a lot, walk in.
“Hey Coach Simmons I have this note for you from the office,” Stacey said before she saw me doubled over in pain. “Is he alright?”
“No he isn’t. Could you escort him to the nurse please?
“Sure, anything for you Coach! Okay Ethan, can you walk?
She actually sounds genuinely concerned. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have talked to her before but it was usually just a casual hello. She sounded like a close friend that was scared I was going to pass out. She was very pretty with long blonde hair that went to the small of her back with beautiful blue eyes that seemed as deep as the ocean. She was also a very good size, not to skinny but not fat at all.
“I think so,” I said to her after a few breaths. Man, she must think I am drooling over her because of how long it took me to respond to her. As soon as I looked into her eyes I felt a sudden numb over the pain I felt a few seconds ago. “Actually I feel better now; I think Stacey is my medicine!” Wow what a cheap attempt at a flirt, I thought.
“You should at least see the nurse,” said Coach.
“Should I still help him there now.” then locked her gaze on me, “He seems just fine now.” She looked at him with a look that he could not read, before it was quickly gone.
“Just so we know he will get there without passing out or anything,” Coach said.
“Come on then Ethan,” Stacey said while trying not to look him in the eye.
“I am just fine Coach! Really-” Then I saw the seriousness in Coaches eyes.
“If any pain occurs in the chest is always good to get it checked out, just let the nurse check then you can come right back. We still have and hour and a half of practice.”
“Alright Coach,” I said feeling a sudden spurt of excitement at the thought of being alone with Stacey.
Stacey walked two feet away from me while we walked out of the gym. Well, this was officially awkward. What to say, what to say. Oh, I got it! I fell in to step with her, while we walked to the nurse’s office, to attempt and start a conversation.
“So, why do you work in the office so much?” Dang it, that sounded like I was judging her. I looked at her out of the corner of my eye and found her watching me. When I locked me eyes on her she looked away blushing. It seems like my good looks never fail to prevail. My black hair and dark brown eyes that were almost black always seemed to be my good traits, including my toned body.
She cleared her throat, “I want to learn how an internship would be before I start one.”
“Oh, well that’s cool.” Another awkward silence lay between us.
“How long have you played basketball?” For once he was truly surprised. He had never heard or seen Stacey start a conversation with him or anyone else. Besides her friends of course, she was not a complete loner!
“Ah, since I was four years old, my Dad said I caught on to basketball quickly. I have always felt it was my calling. I might want to do it in college and maybe get into the NBA if I can qualify.” I’m babbling! Why are you so nervous all of a sudden, he asked himself in his head.
“Well that’s cool too!” Was she mocking me for my lame attempt at conversation before?
“Yeah, what sports do you play?”
“I am on the girl’s Varsity basketball team, and in fall o play volleyball. I also play baseball in the spring.” She said all this with a matter-of-fact voice.
“Don’t you mean softball? I mean not to be sexist but don’t girls play softball?” Did I gear her wrong or does she really play baseball with the guys, I wondered.
“No I play softball. I have tried out for softball but the coaches always say I am too good and put me in baseball with all the guys.” So I didn’t have a hearing problem.
“Wow, that’s cool.” I had nothing else to say but I did have a question. I felt this connection to her so I wanted to see if it was for real. “I was wondering would you like to, ah, go to the movies with me tomorrow?”
Stacey blushed again. I couldn’t stop myself from noticing when she blushes it makes her look more beautiful. “I would like that,” she said. She pulled a crumbled piece of paper out of her jeans pocket and wrote down her address then handed it to me.
“I will pick you up on Friday at 7, see you then,” I said quickly before I walked into the nurse’s office.
The next day after school I was in my closet and couldn’t figure out what to wear. On any other date I would wear a pair of jeans and a t shirt, but for this date it felt different. When I looked into Stacey’s eyes yesterday, it felt like we knew each other so well already. It felt like she was already my girlfriend, and it didn’t seem like we would ever stop liking each other. I went with a blue plaid shirt and a pair of jeans.
When I got to Stacey’s house my first thought was “Is this the wrong house.” It was a modern home but right next to the beach and was five stories high. Then I saw standing with no shoes out side her door, Stacey, and knew I was at the right place. I was also struck by how beautiful she looked. She was wearing a yellow thigh length dress that showed how slim she was.
She got into my Lamborghini Murcielago and I complimented on how she looked all the way to the theater a few blocks from where she lives. The whole car ride she kept repeating thanks, complimenting me, and a whole lot of blushing. When we got to the theatre I saw only one guy leaning against the theatre wall in complete black clothes. I noticed Stacey stiffen in her seat when she saw where I was looking. She got out of the car swiftly and went to confront the guy, and I followed right behind her. I didn’t know what was going on but when I saw the fear in Stacey’s eyes I felt a sudden urge to protect her. I pulled her behind me and faced the guy making her scared.
“Whatever you want from her you have to go through me to get it.” I said this with a little bit of uncertainty cause this guy looked stronger than me with his biceps bulging through the sleeves of his hoodie.
“Who is he?” The guy asked Stacey completely ignoring me.
“I am right here! I can answer for myself,” I practically yelled.
“This is Ethan, my date tonight,” Stacey said quietly.
“Who is he?” I asked
“His name is…Daniel.”
“Well didn’t you remember you had a date with hell tonight?” he said this like he was a servant from this dumb kid that thinks he is so bad he call himself hell. “Say goodbye so we can leave.” What does he mean by ‘a date with hell’ anyways? Is hell a kid who Stacey had a date with but ditched for me? He couldn’t even come to get her himself? He has to use someone else?
“She is not going anywhere but the movies with me tonight so go tell Hell she won’t be there tonight.
He laughed in my face after I was done. Why would he laugh?
“He doesn’t know who you are, does he?” he asked Stacey. “Well I guess I will tell him myself!” Stacey here was a bad girl a long time ago so she had to…leave, let’s say, from where she was staying before. The High Power didn’t think she deserved to live in this area so she was sent to a lower place. She was a good girl when she got there so we let her come back for awhile, but today is when she gets the final notice if she can stay here forever.” While Daniel was telling me all this, Stacey stood as still as a statue.
“Who is this ‘Higher Power,” I asked with obvious quotation marks in it.
“He is the creator of all human kind,” Daniel spit out like it was poison.
“You can’t say it, can you,” Stacey said provokingly.
“You can’t either!” roared Daniel.
“God, God, God, God, God, God!” Stacey chanted over and over again. “I haven’t been one for long so I can still say it.”
They started to argue, but I didn’t pay attention to either of them, I was too deep into thought. What does God have to do with this, I wondered. “Someone tell me what is going on,” I yelled at them.
Daniel looked at Stacey pointedly. Stacey sighs. “I used to be an angel of the light but I did some bad things and I was cast down to earth but God thought the punishment was not good enough for me, so he sent me to hell. The devil sent me up because I was annoying him by being good to the others down there, and today is the day I have to go back to see if I can stay on Earth forever.” I was waiting for her to say this was all a prank my friends set up to get at me, but she didn’t.
“She has not been very good thou, so I doubt she will ever return.”
“You’re kidding me right?” I asked Stacey.
“Sadly, no.” she said this like she was sad she brought me into this.
“Well you’re not going back then!” I saw the look of surprise on Stacey’s face because of how easily I had taken it. “He can’t take you against your will!”
“Oh, he can. And I can’t do anything about it.” She looked so miserable about this, and I felt the law I was born upon come surge me. The law was to treat all women with respect no matter what, and never lay a hand on women.
“Is there anyway I can go in her place,” I asked. I saw the surprise on both of there faces this time. “There has to be a way.”
“There is no way that I am letting you take my place in hell.” She said it like that was the final verdict. I guess she didn’t know me well. I am a fighter.
“Please tell me if there is a way,” I asked Daniel, completely ignoring Stacey’s demand.
“You are willing to give up your whole life for this girl?” Daniel said this with surprise.
“Of course I would. Were you never taught to respect all women?”
“Then you can go, but you will have to give up your life for her and become a dark angel.” He said.
“I thought you said the Devil was going to tell her if she could stay!” I yelled.
“First of all,” Daniel said calmly, “the devil won’t tell her if she can stay, his council will. And secondly by her record there will probably be no chance for her to return.” He said and it sounded like one thing he wasn’t telling us. I did not care thou, because whatever the risk is I will do it for her.
“I did not agree and I believe both of us have to before this exchange can happen!” Stacey said.
“Actually all you need is someone willing to take your place, and they can decide.” Daniel said.
“I am that person and I am willing to go,” I said with as much confidence as I had in me from all of my body.
“Then let us go then. And may He,” by the way he said it you could tell he meant God, “Crash and burn under the control of Satan!”
That day Stacey took my humanity, and she gave me her dark wings. Before I could get them I had to experience death first. That is what Daniel did not tell Stacey and I that day when I took her place. It was a painful experience, because I had to burn to die, but I would do it a million times over for Stacey. One thing she does not know is that I was sent to destroy the Earth with all my other dark brothers. We will succeed, not that I want to destroy my old home, but because I am not strong enough to take on all the other dark angels to save my home place.
She lives, and if I can save her even more than I did by taking her place, she will live forever. I will forever stay by her side, but hidden in the shadows.