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An adolescent sat on a fairly elegant white bench in the promenade park of her town. The sun was not yet out, meaning there was no one at the square to point out on the strange sight they’d see; a petite juvenile girl sporting sunglasses and placing her hand atop a sleeping, loyal canine at four-in-the-morning.
The small girl’s name was Tailey. Everyone knew her now. She attended a private school until the sixth grade, when her family had brought her here, to Cavanaugh, to spend the rest of her education.
Her family. She missed them. She preferred to evade all thoughts of them, but it was no use in trying. They were the last memories she’d ever see. That sensation, of finality, was something Tailey despised. She was here because she was supposedly strong. Fear was a childish thing after all Tailey had encounter.
Beside her, an angel was seated. His flowing white robe blew with the wind, the end threads disappearing in the air. His body was almost translucent. Ironically, Tailey could see him perfectly. He was surrounded by blackness, the darkest sky behind the brightest angel.
His face was turned away from Tailey but, really, Tailey knew his face better then her own reflection. The sight of him caused water build up behind her lids, threatening to spill—something they never did anymore. Than again, she was witnessing an angel. Anything was possible.
“Hi, Tail,” he murmured sadly. He, too, missed Tailey, with all his seraph heart.
She whimpered. It was agonizing to look at her late brother. “Please, don’t cry. That’s not why I’m here,” he murmured softly. She locked eye contact with him, daring herself to break it. As if blinking would cause her to wake up from her dream.
“My God, I’m insane,” she blurted out softly—never loud, that wasn’t Tailey.
He smiled her smile, the one that lit his face up like an angel. Except now he really was an angel, and all it did was darken her already black sky.
“Not God, it’s just Oliver,” he teased. She felt dizzy.
“Why can I see you?” she whispered too softly. She reached out to touch his hand but was met with chilled air instead. She pulled back.
“I should start with greetings. Merry Christmas.” He inclined his head toward the white earth. She let out a humourless snicker, guessing what he was referring to.
“We miss you Tailey,” he professed, “Everyday we look down at you. Gramma’s been good, after all these years we worried she wouldn’t make it up there,” he laughed. “She’s so proud of you. Every minute the sun is out she spends awaiting the darkness.”
When he didn’t add, Tailey let his words sink in. Bewildered she cut, “What?” She felt snow fall onto her face but did not bother to wipe it.
“Every night when you dream, you visit the place you think is perfect. You end up with your family,” he shrugged.
Realizing that wasn’t the big question, she shook it off and pressed, “I’m probably schizophrenic, seeing as I’m enjoying talking to a hallucination, so… can you just… explain?” Tailey didn’t like feeling weak when expectations were so high. Being mental—definite point of weakness.
He studied her eyes for a long moment; longer then it really was because of their sibling connection. Twin connection. They had been the closest two people could be. Tailey began to weep for the first time since she lost her cozy life.
“Cry, it’s normal to cry,” he said, gentle but forcefully. Teardrops escaladed down her small cheekbones, catching bits of snow on the fall down.
“I miss you so much. I wish I’d gone with you,” she moaned.
Oliver gasped and remained still. Unmoving he spoke, “Don’t you ever think that. Do you hear me? You’re destiny was to lose us, as it was our destiny to be lost. There is a reason behind everything regardless if you can find one or not. There is a reason for this, Tail.”
She shook her head. “Any dictator who would put innocent people through all of this—“ she gestured with her hands her wet, blind eyes, then to her brother, “—does not deserve any ‘thanks’ or special prayers made out to them. What is the reason for pain? Why must we learn a lesson in general? Why can’t it be perfect without any suffering?”
Oliver anticlimactically smiled at her. “You are small. You are short and tiny and ironically, you are stronger then any steroidal weight-lifter. You have gone through this as experience for the rest of your life. When you do join us, you’ll have fulfilled a purpose, too. And even then, Tailey, if you regret making it through that car accident with only your sight lost, then you’ll finally get your goal. You’ll be with us; you’ll be happy and free. Permanently.”
Oliver waved his arm with a painful smile and glassy eyes. “Every sad story has a happy ending after the last page.”
Tailey closed her eyes. She could feel the air becoming warmer and she understood what it meant, but her eyes stayed closed. It was a lot of emotion—Tailey could barely stay conscious—but already, she felt a tonne of it taken off her shoulders.
She grinned. She couldn’t wait for the night to come.