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Remaining 24 hours
The navigation directed me to fly 120 meters down into the white building with a red cross symbol. I came here so often that I can’t even remember how many times I’ve been here. After flying down 110 meters with full speed, I stopped and closed my wings. Peeking through the floor, I found the girl I needed to guide in less than 24 hours. She was sitting in her bed looking out the window. After awhile she threw herself in the bed which made her spot me. The girl was staring curiously with her innocent hazel color eyes. I took out my black mini size notebook and opened to tomorrow's date.
“Hazel Lin. 13 years old. You’re going to die in 24 hours.”
She blinked her eyes 3 times. She looked confused.
“I’m Sterben, the reaper who is incharge of you,” I continued, “my job is to take the listed dead souls and you’re one of them. But you’re lucky you met me. Because I’m the only reaper in this world that grant wishes for humans. If you sell your remaining time, which would be 24 in your case, I would grant the things you want.”
Why isn’t she scared? As I wondered, I looked at my pocket watch to check the time.
“Hey did you not listen to what I just said? Or are you denying the fact that you’ll die soon? Now you only have 23 hours and 54 minutes left!”
“Ummm... Sometimes the nurses comes this time to check if I’m still awake. Can you come a bit later?”
“What? What I’m saying is that I’ll grant your wishes if you give me your time as the cost for your wish! Seriously do you speak a different language?” I calmed myself down, “I’ll give you some examples since you don’t know how good of a deal this is. One human gave me 23 hours so he could change is ex-girlfriend’s mind and go on a last date for his remaining hour. There was another human who never won any bets in his life and his family abandoned him for his huge debts. He gave me 20 hours in exchange of becoming the king of casinos for 4 hours. Every grant has its own weight of time. But...”
“I’ll give you all my time. Just kill that guy for me!”
“There are things that I cannot grant you like killing another human. Plus you have to know that the harder the wish is to grant, the more it would cost. And I will not tell you if your wish goes over the time your left with. So, Hazel Lin how are you going to use your remaining 23 hours and 47 minutes?”
Hazel, with her eyes closed, was thinking carefully of what she wanted. Even though her time was ticking by, she didn’t care and continued thinking. After awhile, she opened her eyes and answered, “desserts for lunch?”
As soon as it became lunch time, Hazel’s eyes sparkled with awe and happiness because of a stupid piece of chocolate cake in front of her. She chewed it carefully without a small crum falling off of her plate. Everyone around her were eating their lunch with joy.
“Hey, do you actually know that wish only cost 2 minutes and your spent 2 hours waiting and 10 minutes eating the 2 minute worth piece of cake? Your wish is too small! I told you you’ll die soon why don’t you use your time wisely?!” I raged with the biggest voice I had. However, Hazel was not listening. She asked the nurse to place herself in her wheelchair to go out of her room. Walking through the hallways, she sat down next to an old guy who had 12 more months to live according to my reaper’s eyes.
“Granting wishes in exchange of time? What a funny story you made,” the old guy chuckled, “well, I would love to see my grandchild and son for just even an hour… They are too busy with their own work that I can’t call them to come see me…”
Hazel whispered, “make grandpa’s grandchild and son come here to see him,” and winked in the direction I was.
“Cost, 3 hours.”
The clock’s hand moved with a bigger change than the dessert but I still wasn’t happy with the small cost. Soon, a guy with flowers in one arm and a 5-year-old girl on his other arm walked toward where Hazel and the old guy was sitting. The old guy had tears drizzling down his cheeks and a big smile.
“Don’t you want to see your parent? Why do you use your time for others?!” I was scolding her for her stupid wish.
Hazel stopped her wheelchair and looked up, “Should I also use 2 hours to meet my parent? Ummm… Actually no… They’re too busy…”
A ball came flying from the right and went through my body bouncing off the wall and again passed my stomach. I looked to the right to see who did this ridiculous thing to the most awesome reaper in the world.
“Sorry Hazel, the boys can’t go outside because it’s raining heavily right now... I’m trying keep them quiet and not play with the balls, but you know how the boys love to play soccer.”
“Sterben, stop the rain outside,” Hazel made another request that did nothing good for herself.
“Cost, 6 hours.”
The bright sun shining down the window with its brightness showed that the rain stopped outside and the three boys yelled with joy while hurrying down the stairs. Hazel, looking at the boys outside starting to play soccer seemed a bit sad. To cheer her up a bit, I asked, “aren’t you going out?”
“I would love to go outside to have a walk but I don’t want the nurses cleaning up my muddy wheel when I come back. You’re cheering me up, right? Thanks,” she smiled brightly like the sun shining down the field.
When we got back to the room, I check the time and Hazel had approximately 9 hours left. She had no tomorrow and I have a feeling that she would regret the time she spent today.
“This is the first time I ever saw a human with no greed! Are you stupid? Or are you acting nice so maybe you could end up becoming an angel in heaven? I don’t understand why you’re wasting your precious time for others?!”
Hazel chuckled, “I’m just happy that I could do something for the hospital family. Sterben, aren’t you doing to same thing being nice to people if you’re granting my wishes before I die?”
I opened my black wings and smiled evilly. “A reaper helping for happiness? I just want human’s time Hazel. Don’t be mistaken.”
“Why do you want time?” She was getting ready to go to bed. She moved into her bed with her pink blanket pulled towards her neck.
“Why? Because I want to revive as a human! If I gather a certain amount to time, I will escape and live the life I want with the human shape I want! I can only collect 24 hours from each human and thanks to you I now only need 8 hours more till 100 years! Wait, shouldn’t you be worried with your left time?!”
Hazel’s eyes changed a bit. She looked more serious.
“Sterben, can I make my last wish?”
“What is it?”
As soon as the her last wish was granted, Hazel ran up the stairs and wondered all around.
“Look Sterben! I’m running!”
My pocket watch was ticking quicker and quicker and stopped the fast tempo.
“Give my body some time.”
“Cost, 9 hours.”
Hazel collapsed at the place she was dancing.
“Are you happy now? Now you have 2 minutes left till you die. That was the best wish I’ve granted from you and the lames out of others. ”
“I couldn’t think of a bigger wish than this. I knew that you could use my time wiser than I do. Now you can become a human right?”
“Why are you a fool till the very end? Why are you wishes for others not yourself? Do you actually want to live? What I’m asking is your wish!”
Tears dropped to the floor, Hazel raged, “I want to go to school. I want to play with my friends. I want to know more outside! But I can’t do anything with this body! Thank you for helping me help others.” She closed her eyes. Her time was up.
The pocket watch glowed and indicated 100 years and 1 hours. I looked at the cold body next to me. I hesitated. Should I wait for another chance? After hours of hesitation, I dropped the watch to Hazel’s body.
“I’ll grant your last wish.”