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Guardian of the Crossworlds
Am I dead? Am I alive? Not even I know.
I used to wander between the two worlds; the world of life and the crossworlds.
What people don't know is that there are many planets, with many people. When the people die, they're supposed to go to the crossworlds, where it's decided where they'll go from there, whether heaven or hell.
I used to be a guardian of the crossworlds. My job was to make sure that no one living found a gateway to the crossworlds, and that no one dead remained in the world of the living. Guardians of the crossworlds are far and few in between, and are immortal. If you kill one of us, we merely are reborn on a different planet. We stay the same age we're born, staying in the same situation: For example, I'm a forever high school student. My main job was to take the living out of the crossworlds, and take the dead to the crossworlds.
Perhaps you noticed my use of past tenses. How I used to be a guardian of the crossworlds, and how I used to wander between the worlds. Well, I broke the law I was supposed to be enforcing.
I might've been just a guardian, but we're allowed to make friends. So, my friends for the time being were Rytha, Getter, and Far. Out of all my lives, these three have been my closest friends. They would always cover for me when I had to do some guardian stuff, but they always expected me to give details afterward.
Cliche, I know, I've heard it before. But I started to develop feelings for Rytha. Guardian/mortal relationships have happened, but, typically, they don't last the eternity as one doesn't die. But Rytha was the first girl I ever cared about. At the time, I had no idea about how she felt about me, but I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to know. Yes, I was scared of rejection. Yes, you may call me a coward. No, you shouldn't interrupt me anymore. I'm trying to tell a story.
That day I'm telling you about started after school. No, not literally. I had finally gathered my courage, if I had any, to approach Rytha and tell that I really, really liked her.
After fighting the crowds, I managed to get to the senior parking lot to find her fighting with the door handle. The car had always given her issues, as it was a piece of junk.
"Need help?" I asked, coming right up beside her.
She looked up. "Oh, hey, Josiah!" she said gratefully. "Yeah, my door's jammed -again."
As I worked to get the door to open, I took a deep breath, ready to tell her. My heart was racing a thousand miles per hour, and it was a little hard to look at her without blushing.
"Josiah?" she said.
"Yes?" I answered, not quite sure what she was going to say.
"My dad's having me go to this party of his, and he keeps hinting about this guy I'll fall head over heels for," she said.
My heart stopped. "What- what kind of party?" I asked, trying to keep my expression mildly interested.
She shrugged. "Just a normal business one where all the business people's families come," she said. She didn't look all that interested.
"Do you have to go?" I asked, a little sympathetic.
"Only if I don't have anything else planned," she said. She gave me a look.
"Oh, well, I hope you have fun anyways," I said, finally opening the stubborn door.
"Oh, well, thanks," she said with an unhappy shrug and getting into the car. "See you."
As she drove off, I could've kicked myself. Why didn't I see that she was actually trying to make it easier for me to admit I liked her?
The next day, I didn't see her come into school at all. Halfway through the school day, I grabbed Getter and asked him where she was.
He shrugged. "Haven't seen her since yesterday."
"I hope she's all right," I muttered, feeling a familiar sensation on the back of my neck. That sensation, which is really hard to describe accurately, tells me that someone dead's walking among the living. (I get a call if someone living wanders though the crossworlds gate.)
I whipped around, looking for the dead person. I didn't see anyone that would be dead, but I did see Rytha rushing towards me.
"Rytha!" I said, relieved. Beside me, Getter looked confused, but I didn't know why, nor did I care.
"Josiah!" she panted, pulling up in front of me. "I need to tell you something."
"Why are you here so late?" I asked.
"Josiah?" Getter asked, still looking confused.
"You remember me telling you about that party yesterday?" she gasped.
"What's the party got to do with anything?" I asked. "Did something happen while you were there?"
"Josiah, are you feeling all right?" Getter asked.
I looked at him, confused.
"Josiah!" Rytha said desperately. "I didn't get to the party. The car failed, and drifted into the next lane. I crashed into someone going to the other."
If my heart had stopped the day before, it was now gone. I know that my face had turned white. "You can't be . . . dead," I said in barely a whisper. But it made sense; Getter couldn't see her, I could, and the sensation that I was feeling was going wild. And because she was here, I had to take her to the crossworlds. The judging in the crossworlds is completely out of my hands, and everyone I've sent to the crossworlds I've never seen again. Meaning, I would never see her again, and there was a possibility that Rytha wouldn't even get to heaven. Wonderful, in my opinion, smart, funny, and all that, and I would never see all that again.
There were tears in her eyes. "I'm scared," she whispered. "What if the judges don't like me?"
That did it. I couldn't just let her face that fear alone.
"Getter, I need you to cover for me," I said in a low voice.
"How long?" he asked casually.
"Eternity," I answered. "Rytha, come with me. I'll make sure no ones sends you to the crossworlds."
We're still running. I know they're after me. All of the other guardians. So, am I dead? Am I alive? Ever since our first encounter with another guardian, my title was stripped from me, because I lead a restless soul away from the crossworlds. Since I am not a guardian, what am I?
I didn't want them to have Rytha, because I'm scared that the judges might think she doesn't deserve heaven. I believe differently. And if I send her to the crossworlds, I'll never see her again.
"The judges judge only with fairness." That's what I was told after my first friends died. "They won't go to hell if the judges see that there is no basis for it." But that's not enough for me.
So now our story is of one trying to avoid the guardians, trying to stay in the world of the living as long as possible.