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Pen and Paper
Jaster sat quietly in front of his human, C.J. He had been guarding him, invisibly, for the past seventeen years. In fact, fairies have been guarding and protecting their humans since Adam. When a human is born, so is its fairy. When a human dies, his guardian perishes. They live with their souls joined, and as their lives are connected, they die together. However, no living human has the slightest idea that their fairy exists. A fairy has three powers. One, the ability to fly, two, the power to give one wish to their human and three to be capable of showing themselves to their human. The latter is very rare because it’s only when the human is dying and has enough faith that he can handle seeing his fairy. Fairies know everything about their human. Their thoughts, emotions and memories are all shared. They even share personalities and genders.
And now, Jaster had to suffer for something C.J did. Could he possibly understand what it was like to be a fairy in prison? Jaster was not able to fly farther than the cell itself, he had no more wishes to give away and was certainly not able to show himself to C.J. This was all because Jaster, as C.J’s guardian, had to make sacrifices for the mistakes his human made.
C.J stared at the cuffs on his hands, as he made his way to the telephone booth escorted by the police officer. One call, they had said, for maximum five minutes. He didn’t really care. All he could think about was what had happened just a few days ago.
He had lost his temper. Completely.
It all started when his best friend Jasmine ended up in the hospital. C.J was so angry when he found out that a Goth called Melicia had beaten her up.
Jasmine pleaded with him not to do anything. He had promised her that he wouldn’t… but he didn’t respect that now, did he?
It was only hours later that C.J grabbed his keys and drove down to Port Amber. Walking down the street at two in the morning, armed, was very nerve wrecking, but as soon as he entered the trailer park, with a gun in his hand, he didn’t care so much.
C.J knocked on the trailer door and waited for Melicia to come out. She opened the door, half asleep, and then revenge and anger filled his body. The gun went off and seconds later C.J was a murderer. Frightened and shocked, he dropped the gun and raced home.
Terrified by what his mother would say, he locked the door and pulled the covers over him. C.J’s conscience was tormenting him and suddenly…there was a knock on the front door. He heard his mother answer and then murmurs. Soon, he heard sobbing and the crying sound came closer as his bedroom opened. C.J reluctantly got out of his bed to face his mother and the policeman with her.
“Clifford Junior Paxtor, you are under arrest for the murder of Melicia Adamms,” the man said. C.J looked at his mom with a tear-streaked face. She shook her head and left the room weeping.
That was the last time he had seen her.
And now, it had been two days since C.J had been arrested. It was an unbearable punishment to be in jail at seventeen years old.
“Hurry up, son, you’ve got five minutes to make your call,” the officer said to C.J. He dialed his girlfriend’s phone number, Solana. Though he hated Goths, Solana was the only one he had ever cared about.
She picked up.
“Hello?” a wary voice answered.
“Solana, it’s me,” C.J said softly.
“Oh!” She gasped, “Oh my word! Your mother told me what happened! C.J, I can’t believe you could do such a thing!”
“I’m sorry –”
“What were you THINKING? Not only you hurt Melicia’s family, but you hurt me too!”
“How does that affect you?” C.J demanded.
“Benny is my best friend and he REALLY cared for her!”
“Why would he? Isn’t Benny dating Jasmine?”
“Yes, but Melicia was very good friends with him,” Solana’s voice broke into a sob. “I can’t believe you.”
“Solana, I’m regretting it. Believe me.”
“You’re a monster, C.J.”
“I know, and I’m so sorry. I wish I could erase what I did.”
“I can’t be in love with a murderer,” Solana said softly. “I have to go, C.J.”
And the line was dead. He slammed the phone on the receiver and followed the officer back into the cell.
Jaster was angry. He hadn’t talked to Taleah, Solana’s fairy, since last week. Fairies couldn’t talk on the phone without their human hearing them. They had good old pen and paper, invisible to the human eye. But Taleah wouldn’t answer any letters from him. She was probably too hurt to write to him.
“And now, I lost my girlfriend too,” Jaster murmured. “Why couldn’t I have stopped C.J? Why didn’t Melicia’s fairy tell me? She saw him coming with a gun!”
Jaster watched as the police officer unlocked the cell.
“You have a visitor,” the man said to C.J. He watched as C.J jumped up and followed the officer to the communicating glass.
It was Jasmine. There she was, with her fairy Miskira sitting on the teenage girl’s untied converses. She looked like she hadn’t had sleep in a while.
C.J sat on the stool in front of her, cuffed, in his orange jumpsuit, with the speaking glass separating them.
“C.J…” Jasmine murmured.
“What, are you going to tell me how much I messed up too?” C.J snapped.
“Listen to me. I’m not going to hate you or anything, but I just can’t get around the fact that you killed someone,” Jasmine said.
“Do you know how many times I’ve heard that? You can’t even IMAGINE how hard it is to live with a person’s death on your conscience. I’m tormented in the day and in my sleep, I have no rest. My soul tortures me everywhere I go. Even if I died this second, it wouldn’t change the fact that I’d have to pay for what I did,” C.J said. His fists shook as he clenched them through the cuffs with anger. Jasmine glanced at them and turned back to him.
“You promised me you wouldn’t touch her C.J! And now, Benny can’t even sleep. Melicia was one of his best friends. Didn’t you think about how this would affect me?” Jasmine cried, hurt.
C.J punched the table furiously and yelled, “I’m REGRETTING it, Jasmine!”
A police officer grabbed C.J by the arm. Jasmine shook her head.
“A man’s word is a man’s honor, C.J. Benny told me to choose between you and him. I guess that now you know my choice,” she hissed as the officer dragged her best friend away.
Jaster was going crazy. It had been two weeks already since he had been incarcerated. The court had been on Thursday and they had decided that C.J would serve twenty years in prison. Jaster was devastated. Seeing his own human depressed was like a mirror to his own emotions.
In front of the cell, the guards changed shifts. In about an hour, it would be lunchtime. Even Jaster was starving. The miserable fairy stared at the new guard.
Suddenly, he saw something thin and shiny. Like diamond paper! And what else? A diamond eraser and pen! Was this fairy crazy to bring such things to a prison? Jaster sat down quietly. As many thoughts ran through his head, he felt a tap on his shoulder. Jaster turned around and saw the prison-guard fairy. He immediately straightened up. But instead of humiliating him, the fairy whispered in Jaster’s ear.
“Hurry up, Jaster, take this. I don’t have a lot of time. Here’ your chance to erase the mistake you’ve made and rewrite your human’s life.”
Jaster was amazed. “How? How do you even know me?”
The guard fairy shook his head.
“That’s not important. It’s all about faith,” he said as he handed C.J the diamond stationary. “All you have to do is think about your mistake carefully and it will appear on the paper. Erase it and think about everything wisely. Once you’ve rewritten your human’s life, the paper will disappear and what you have written will be set permanently into your human’s life. However, be very careful about what you write because not all of the mistakes you fix will necessarily turn out well. One mistake can change everything. And so does a paper and pen.”
The teenage fairy stood dumbstruck. He took the paper, pen and eraser and hid it quickly.
Jaster didn’t sleep that night. He watched as C.J snored softly.
“C.J,” Jaster murmured, “I can promise you, our lives are about to change. I’ll be the guardian fairy you’ve always needed, no matter how hard it will be to fix things…”
As soon as dawn cracked, Jaster got started on his job. He held the diamond paper and thought about C.J killing Melicia. He thought of how things would be if C.J hadn’t shot Melicia. For one, Solana wouldn’t have broken up with him, Jasmine wouldn’t have said the things she did, and C.J would’ve been able been able to finish his senior year and get a scholarship for basketball.
After about an hour, he erased the mistake. Everything around him disappeared. He saw himself and C.J in a blank, white open space. C.J was still fast asleep. Finally, he wrote down everything he wanted to happen. Slowly, bits and pieces of the rewritten story fell around him. As he wrote the last word, the paper disappeared.
He was now back in C.J’s room, the night of the murder.
C.J grabbed the gun and keys and drove down to Port Amber. He walked into the trailer park full of rage and up to Melicia’s trailer. Suddenly, he felt a déjà vu. He stopped himself and stared at the gun he was holding.
Jaster sighed. “C.J, think about what you’re about to do. Please, don’t mess this up!”
Even though C.J couldn’t hear his fairy, he felt his conscience tugging at him.
C.J clutched the gun and thought about what he was doing.
Finally, he took out the bullets and dropped the gun. As he put the bullets in his pocket, he pulled out a pen and paper. He sighed and wrote:
“A life for a life. You didn’t kill Jasmine, so I won’t kill you. When you see this note and gun, I want you to know that though I didn’t do it, I wanted you to pay. I love her too much so I won’t break her heart in the process of trying to heal my own. I hope you learned from this choice I’ve made so you can think about whose hearts you’re shattering before fixing your own.”
C.J picked up the gun and placed it next to the note on the doorstep. He knocked twice and then quickly walked away. He turned around and saw in the distance, Melicia reading the note and heard a sob.
As Jaster watched his human get into his car, his soul felt light again.
It takes one hand to break somebody’s soul, but it takes a pen and paper to mend a porcelain heart.