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I’ve been dead for about a year now. You’d think I’d be filled with sadness and remorse that I didn’t get to live my life past fifteen. That’s how it was the first few weeks in Heaven, but not so much anymore. I wasn’t sure what was happening and I knew I was just dreaming. After about a month, though—after talking with God—I realized I wasn’t dreaming at all and that I had died in a car crash where the driver was drunk, as was I.
Heaven isn’t bad. I’ve got my own home that I share with my friend Holly, who died in a car accident just like me. I can see God whenever I’d like, and I’m even allowed to go down to Earth every once in a while. I’ve been twice, and both times I’ve visited my family. Holly tells me that I should go somewhere fun for a change.
Mom and Dad are trying to act like nothing happened, even though I know they’re both depressed. They’re just trying to hide their sadness from Evan, who’s the worst. He lives in constant guilt that he let this happen to me, his precious little sister. I guess he doesn’t realize that it wasn’t his fault—it was mine. I shouldn’t have gotten in that car.
“You haven’t been to Earth in a while,” Holly mentions to me one day. “I’m going this afternoon.”
“Where?” I ask.
“Paris. I’ve always wanted to go to the Louvre Museum.”
“Well, you can surely go now!” I joke. Holly stares at me blankly. She doesn’t really find my Heaven jokes funny. I thought it was funny.
I think it’s summer in California, where my family lives. Every summer, we go to our beach house in Sparks Beach and take a break from our busy lives, except they didn’t go there last year because I had just died…
That’s it! My family is in Sparks Beach. If I go down to Earth, maybe I’ll see Evan, and maybe he’ll be happy again.
I practically fly to God’s house and burst into his office. Walking out is a little girl, about seven years old in Earth time, who has obviously been weeping. Her face is perfect, which means she’s only been in Heaven for a little while. When you first enter Heaven, you are made perfect—rid of all your imperfections. You become more human-like over time.
“Katherine, I believe we just spoke yesterday,” God smiles at me as I enter his office.
“I need,” I tell him, out of breath, “to go to Earth.”
“I need to visit my family in Sparks Beach.”
“Your family’s there for the summer,” He supposed.
I nod. He smiles and tells me that I can go, but only for a week. I have to finish my monthly services.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I exclaim as I leave.
He smiles. “You know what to do.”
I go down to the Earth Transport Portals—ETP—and find an open one. There aren’t many angels on Earth today, which is good. If there are too many, the humans will begin to get suspicious. As I step into a portal, I feel air moving at light speed past me. I feel like I’m going to throw up and my head feels like it weighs a hundred pounds. I hate this part of the trip.
The feeling lasts about two minutes, then everything goes dark and I feel myself on a hard surface. I’m here. When angels get transported to Earth, they are out of energy and fall into a deep sleep. I don’t remember much until I totally black out.
I wake up and it’s sunny. I’m laying in the sand and facing the ocean. Oh, how I wish I could actually feel the soft sand in my hands or the cool water splashing my feet, but all of that is lost now that I’m an angel.
I look around and figure out that I’m at Sparks Beach’s public beach. My family never comes here because it’s too crowded, but our beach house isn’t far from here. I stand up and head East. There aren’t many sunbathers here, and the sun is pretty low in the sky, so I’m guessing it’s the morning.
After trudging about a mile in the sand that I can’t even enjoy, I see our house. It looks the same, but it looks like Mom has repainted the outside. It looks nice. I climb the steps from the ocean to the home and go through the closed front door—another privilege when you are an angel. In the kitchen stands Mom and Dad. Mom’s making bacon and if I were human, I’d probably be waking up and smelling it right now. Dad is reading the paper at the kitchen table.
“Smells good, dear,” My father comments happily. When I hear his voice, I almost break down in tears. I miss them all so much and even though I’m here, I’m really not. They’ll never know I’m actually here. I’m just an invisible dead girl.
I’m guessing Evan is probably upstairs in his room playing his guitar—he liked to spend his Sunday mornings doing that, and I’d always get mad at him. Now, I would actually like to hear him playing. I go upstairs and before I get to Evan’s room, I take a peek at mine. It still looks about the same. My Daisy perfume is still sitting on the dresser, half empty, and my walls are still the obnoxious pink that I begged my mom to repaint, but she never got a chance to. I look in the drawer of songs I wrote on Evan’s guitar when he wasn’t home. I smile at all the stupid love songs I wrote when I was twelve, as if I knew anything about love.
“Mom, is breakfast ready?” A deep voice startles me. It’s Evan. I hear his door opening.
I quickly go through my bedroom door so I can see him. He’s walking down the stairs, pausing when he gets to the bottom to sigh.
He looks the same, but older. The last time I saw him, he was on his way to Columbia University in New York City. I guess he’s not taking any summer classes. He looks up the stairs and realizes that his songs are still left out on his bed. He hates when people read his songs and doesn’t want to risk the chance of Mom or Dad finding them. He rushes upstairs and puts his songs safely back in a box under his bed.
I guess I forgot to tell you that angels can read minds, not in that creepy superhero way, but in a subtle way. We can only read thoughts that have to do with people that we love. So I couldn’t go up to a random man on the street and see if he’s thinking about that woman that walked by, which I’m kind of glad for.
Evan has facial hair now and he looks like he hasn’t shaved in weeks. His hair is messed up and his normally bright blue eyes seem hollow and sad. I feel bad for him, and I wish there was something I could do. God forbids us to interact with the humans, saying that it’s not good for two reasons. One, because you lose tons of energy, and the only way to get it back is to fall into a deep sleep again. Two, because the humans will get scared and think we’re ghosts and not believe in us.
I want so badly to somehow tell Evan that it’s not his fault, that everything is okay. As they eat breakfast, I sit watching my family. There’s still an empty seat at the table, where I should be. I walk over and sit in my chair and smile. They don’t know I’m here, but it’s nice to feel at home again.
“I think I’m going to go to the beach today,” Evan tells my parents, so quietly it’s almost a whisper. Mom and Dad look at each other, surprised by what he said. All summer, Evan has been quiet and spends most of his time in his room alone.
My Dad clears his throat. “That would be great, son.”
Evan finishes eating and throws his trash away. He gets dressed and sits in his room for a while, just thinking.
I know I’m not supposed to do this, but I have to get through to my brother. God will be dissapointed in me, but it has to be done. Evan has a calendar on the wall with inspirational notes on each month. I know that April has the note, Everything is going to be alright. I summon all of my strength and knock down the calender from the wall, making sure that it falls open on April.
Evan is startled and wonders why the calender fell off the wall, but goes to pick it up anyway. I’m silently praying that he’ll realize what month it’s on. April is the month I died.
He looks at the calender for some time, staring at the quote next to a picture of a cement garden angel. Tears form in his eyes, but they’re a mixture of happiness and sadness. He doesn’t know how to feel.
I know that God will be angry with me that I did this, and I can feel my energy fading and the world is starting to become dim through my eyes, but I’ve decided to go back to Heaven anyway. One day on Earth was enough for me. The last thing I see is Evan hanging the calendar back on the wall and smiling slightly. I find myself smiling too, because we both know that everything is going to be alright.