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Freedom Glow

It?d been a pretty normal school day; I?d already had English II and Algebra II. I was walking down the hall on my way to Biology thinking about all the homework I already had. For English I had a three-page paper to write on the independent reading, IR, book I chose for this quarter, explaining the themes of the book. I had to do questions 1-17 on page 139 in my Algebra II textbook. I also had to lug my Biology textbook home to copy down the vocabulary words in the new unit we started. I detest carrying textbooks home, especially once I had homework in more than two of them because only two of them would fit into my backpack the rest I had to carry in my hands. I know that?s lazy and babyish, but those books are heavy. I turned the corner and was met with a mass of kids, all going to their lockers, to the restrooms, and to their next class. I began pushing my way through trying to make it to the other side of the hall where my Bio class was. I was half way through the sea of students when everybody started screaming and running, everybody except for me and some other kids who didn?t know what was going on. I stood against the wall to avoid getting run down, I still don?t know why I didn?t just follow their lead and run too. But I suppose it was because that nothing remotely terrifying had ever happened in my small, quiet town before and when we were side swiped we didn?t know what to do. Teachers had come out of their classrooms to see what all the commotion was about; over the screams I could hear them shouting to each other and at the kids. Now I heard some more shouting, I couldn?t make out what they were saying but the voices sounded too young to be the teachers, which were still like myself trying to figure out what the heck had gotten into everyone. I could finally hear what the students were shouting.

"Look Jake! I'm tired of you picking on me all the time, so now I'm gonna shut you up once and for all!" I recognized the voice it was Peter Fret and I could only guess he was talking to Jake Connors. Pete was a tall kid with dark brown hair, pale skin, and light blue eyes that were surround by the black rims of his glasses. Jake was a jock, he was tall with sandy-brown colored hair, green eyes, and had football-playing muscle. Jake had been beating up and bullying Pete since 4th grade, everybody knew it but nobody did anything about it. I was one of the many kids that felt sorry for Pete and wished Jake would give it up already but we did nothing to stop it. If only I did something before it came to this. If only.

"Pete, please! Pete, I'm sorry! I'm sorry for everything! Please, don't do this! You don't want to do this!" That was Jake and he sounded scared out of his wits. I now could just barely see Jake's back and Peter's face. He looked angry very angry like all the anger and frustration that had built up since the 4th grade was finally coming out. It scared me. Something bad was going to happen I could feel it but the fear in Jake's voice and the hatred on Pete's face petrified me I couldn't move.

"Oh yes I think I do want to do this!"

"Pete, don't do this please! I'm so sorry Pete! I'm sorry! Just don't do this!" Jake sounded as if he were crying. The hall was becoming more and more empty, so they didn't have to shout as loud as before.

"Peter. Don't do this Peter. Please just calm down and we'll talk this out. It doesn't have to be this way Peter. Think about your family." said Miss Tolly; she was young, pretty, and small. Her hair was long, wavy, red, and her eyes were hazel.

"My family doesn't care, neither do you, and you?re wrong it does have to be this way I'm not gonna let guys like him push me around any more Miss. Tolly!" Yelled Pete his eye's never left Jake. He'd begun to shake or was it me who was shaking; I was so scared out of my mind that I still don't know. But after that I couldn't see very well, I'd started to cry I could feel the warm tears rolling down my face.

"You always have a choice Peter. If you choose to do this you'll be ruining your life forever. You'll never be able to fix it." Miss Tolly tried again.

?My life?s already ruined, it has been since the 4th grade. I choose this!? Then it was too late. There were still quite a few people in the hall. Teachers that were trying to help calm Pete down and kids like me who were frozen with fear. I heard the shots, I heard the screams, I felt the most excruciating pain I've ever felt in my life, I heard my own scream louder than I thought I could possibly scream, the world became distorted, and then it stopped; it all stopped everything was quiet and finally it all went black.



23 years later


?Free? Wake up Free.? I shook my head clearing it of the thoughts that had taken command of my attention.

?What?? I asked my best friend. Abby was sitting next to me. I hadn?t even noticed when she sat down. Abby wasn?t exactly tall but, she wasn?t short either just sort of in between. She had light brown hair that went down to her waist, the length of it always amazed me for she had the longest hair I?d ever seen. Her eyes, ever changing, couldn?t decide if they wanted to be green or brown.

?You really got to stop coming here Free.? Abby said eyeing me worriedly. We were at the World Pool, a pool of water where you only had to think about someone to see them on earth, which was somewhere in the station though even with a map I would never be able to tell where exactly. I?d been keeping an eye on my family and friends since I arrived in Heaven. I?ve even checked on Peter Fret before. Miss Tolly had been right, Pete ruined his life that day and he was never going be able fix it. Today I?d been watching everyone; the entire world and what I saw broke my heart. Everything was so bad down there; I found it unbelievable. In the last 23 years, the world had become corrupted, greedy, and cruel but the sad thing was it had all started to go down hill long before I even existed.

?I know, but I can?t help it this is the only way we know what going on in the world.?

?But, why do you want to know? Its always bad, you might as well get a newspaper every morning.? Abby said sounding as if she had a profound dislike of newspapers, which she did. I don?t know the whole story; death was still an unpleasant topic - even when you are dead - so no one talked about it much. This is what I do know: Abby died of some sort of illness-she never gave me any details-and when her death was put in the newspaper they got some things wrong, I have a strong suspension that it was her name which is Abigail Liza Fletcher. At least she didn?t have to share the front page with 6 other people; I?ve never been one for the limelight. The front page had pictures one of Pete in cuffs being lead out of the school, one for each of us that was killed, and one of each of the two kids that were injured. One of the kids, Joey Ashes, that lived was paralyzed from the waist down, from being shot in the spine; the other, Alex Sims, was the luckiest out of all of us, he had to stay in the hospital for awhile of course, but he wasn?t seriously hurt. The ones beside my self that died were Jake Connors, Maria Tolly, Candy Turner, and Zack Summers.
When we arrived in Heaven, we didn?t really realize what had happened it seemed like a dream at first I mean it looked like home, like Earth only it was brighter, sunnier, warmer, and everything was purer. Like the air it was fresher than it had ever been on Earth. I think one of the reasons we didn?t realize that we were in heaven was that we didn?t go through a big, golden gate and there wasn?t a sign that said, ?now entering Heaven?. We just woke up and we were just there, in the middle of a town that looked a lot like the one we were from, at first. After we looked at it a bit we noticed differences.
?What the?? said Jake.
?Where are we?? asked Miss Tolly.
?W-what happened?? Zack stammered.
?How did we get here?? Candy whispered.
?Are? we? dead?? I squeaked quietly to myself, I couldn?t get the last few tense moments in the school out of my head.
We were all still standing around, looking around wide-eyed, and staying together when a woman walked up to us.

?Yes Miss Glow the five of you are, unfortunately dead.? She had short gray hair, friendly brown eyes, and had on a maroon business suit.
? I am Mrs. Nell from Retrieval, I will show you around and help you settle in to your new life here in Heaven after you are done getting you affairs in order at Angel Station. Please don?t be afraid to ask any questions. I know that it?s confusing and hard to grasp at first but it is best if you don?t dwell on death, but move on with afterlife. Well now, let?s be on our way.? She turned and began to walk away. We followed behind curious about the answer to the timeless question ?What happens to you after you die??
?How did this happen?? asked Candy
?The five of you, sadly, are victims of a school shooting.? Said Mrs. Nell and she did sound sad.
?But I? I don?t want to be dead.? Candy?s voice cracked as tears began to pool in her eyes.
?Now don?t you worry sweetie everything?s going to be okay. Being dead isn?t as bad as you think; you might even like it.? Mrs. Nell said soothingly and looked back at Candy with a sympathetic look.
?What exactly do you mean by ?getting our affairs in order??? asked Miss Tolly looking confused.
?Well if you have something to tell someone who is still alive, for example: if you need to tell someone where your will is, where some money is hidden, or that you forgive them or that your sorry; things of that sort. You?ll also sort out your information and choose your occupation, where you would like to live or if you wish to contact a loved one who is already here and stay with them you may do that also, you will be introduced to rules, regulations, and the way of Heaven life. Mrs. Nell answered as if she had all of it memorized.
? Occupation? All of us are still in school except for Miss Tolly.? Zack said matter-of-factly. He had the reputation of always stating the obvious.
? I am aware of that Mr. Summers, but you?ll get no older here than you are now so you will be given the choice of continuing your education or to go straight to receiving a occupation. A job gives you purpose, your job will be something you want to do, it is something that makes you happy. Sitting around and doing nothing might sound appealing at first, but you would soon find that you?d much rather have a job.? We were now approaching a large building that looked to be an old train station.
?That?s Angel Station?? I asked staring at the station.
?Yes it is Miss Glow.? Said Mrs. Nell.
?Mrs. Nell um? if this is Heaven then that means everyone here is an angel right?? I asked. The question had just popped into my mind.
? That?s just what the living started to call us a long time ago, but everyone here liked the sound of it so we just went along with It.? answered Mrs. Nell amusement in her voice.
? Well, if you?re all angels then where are your wings and halos??
? That is a stereotype of only one group of us, Angelians. The Angels.?
?But??
?The Angels are the ones who choose the occupation of Angel.?
?Angel is a occupation?? I asked, confused by all the different kinds of angels.
?Yes, but I am not the one to explain it. You?ll learn about all the occupations in Angel Station.? We had reached the bottom of the steps and began going up them.
? This is all my fault.? Jake whispered to him self. I hadn?t realized that until that moment he hadn?t said anything since we were told that this was Heaven. ? I don?t deserve to be in Heaven.?
? Everybody who has more good than evil in their heart no matter how small deserves a place in Heaven and you Mr. Connors have more good in your heart than you know. This isn?t your fault you couldn?t have known that this would happen though it is displeasing that you bullied Mr. Fret so much, but its not surprising any more, now that it has become human nature to bully those smaller than you.? Mrs. Nell said unhappily. We were now at the front doors. Mrs. Nell stopped and turned to look at our small group.

?Any more questions before we go in?? she asked kindly. Miss Tolly looked around at us to see if we were going to say anything.

?I don?t think we do Mrs. Nell, we?re ready.? Miss Tolly said.


?Well then let?s go on in.? Mrs. Nell said and led us through the doors.

?Welcome to Angel Station!? we were greeted as soon as we were in the door. I thought it was big from the outside but it didn?t compare to the inside, if you looked up at the ceiling you?d get dizzy. The place was huge and crowded and loud there were angels everywhere and it seemed like they were all talking.
?Freedom!? I heard someone call. I looked around to see who had yelled. Then I heard others calling, not for me, but for Miss Tolly, Jake, Zack, and Candy.
?Freedom Glow!? I heard my name again then I saw a group of people coming toward us each one calling for one of us. The one that was calling for me was young from the look of him he was probably in his 20s. He was very plain looking average height, brown hair, and brown eyes.
?Those are your Agents,? said Mrs. Nell watching the group progress through the crowd. The group of angels finally managed to make it to us.
?Freedom Glow!? The plain guy was right in front of me and he still had to yell a bit for me to hear him.
?Yes!? I shouted back.
?I?m Chris Trip your Agent, pleased to meet you!? he said and held out his hand. I shook it now that I was looking at him up close I saw that he wasn?t as plain as I though there was brotherly warmth about him. I could tell Chris Trip and I were going to get along fine.

?Come on lets go to my office so we can talk!? Chris yelled and began to lead me through to the back of the station where there
was a flight of stairs.

?Oh, wait!? Chris stopped ?Thanks for bringing them Mrs. Nell!? he shouted over his shoulder. I turn to see Mrs. Nell wave at Chris then start toward another door. I turned back to Chris who had started to walk again. I followed him up the steps down a hall, down another hall and into the last room on the left. Chris?s office was like a normal kind of office. A desk with a chair on each side of it, on the desk there was a computer and a few stacks of papers, and some file cabinets along the wall.

?That?s better? Chris said as he closed the door ?sorry about all that chaos down there. Go ahead and take a seat, Free.? He said as he made his way over to a cabinet, pulled open a drawer and stared to dig through the many files.

?These are the files of all my clients.?

?But I thought you were just my Agent??

?Oh, no I?m an agent to quite a few people.? Chris said distractedly as he continued to search through all the cabinets ?Now I know I had it around here somewh? Hey, here it is!? Chris crowed as he held up the file he?d been looking for in triumph. He sat down on the other side of the desk with the file in front of him. By this time I could only guess that the file was mine.

?Well, before we start you should probably know the rules.? Chris said looking at me warmly with a bright smile. I couldn?t help thinking about how good he was at his job and wonder if people got paid here in Heaven. ? Okay, basically the rules are not to do the things you know not to do.?

?That doesn?t make any sense.? I said frowning in confusion.

?I?ll try to explain. It?s like would you ever break in to a store and steal all the money in the cash register??

?No.?

?See the rules prohibit things that you know not to do.?

?But, I wouldn?t do that anyway. What about other people, who would do that kind of stuff??

?Well when you enter Heaven your soul is cleansed, of the want and need to steal, cheat, lie, and so on, by Heaven?s Light ?

?Heaven?s Light??

?Yeah, you know that light you see shining down when there?s a break in the clouds??

?Yeah.?

?Well that?s Heaven?s Light.?

?But, you said that your soul is cleansed and you turn really good and stuff, but people lie, cheat, and steal everyday. And if you got to cleanse people when they come to Heaven then why are they let into Heaven in the first place? I mean, I thought only good people were allowed in Heaven and I don?t think good people lie, cheat, and steal.?

?Heaven?s Light does cleanse you of those things when you entering Heaven, it doesn?t work on the living because we can only interfere in their lives so much. As for the other thing you?ve heard that no one is perfect, right, well here in Heaven we don?t expect anyone to be perfect in fact we expect them to mess up and something bad, but we can?t not let them in to Heaven just because they made a mistake.? Chris said ?I?ll let you in on a little secret, even in Heaven we?re still not perfect. ?

?Okay I don?t understand the ?only interfere so much? but the other part I get.?

?We, us up here in Heaven, aren?t allowed to interfere in the lives of the living, yeah we can give them miracles, support, hope, and faith. But we can?t change the outcome of anything to serious for example we can?t change who wins a war, I?ve heard people say there are ways to keep someone from dying, I?m not sure it?s true though.?

?Okay I guess I get it.?


?Okay,? Chris said and began read my file. ?Now this here says that your name is Freedom Hope Glow. That?s an interesting name, in a pretty way? Chris added the last part quickly.

?Yeah my parents are a bit odd well, at least my mom is, she is an artist so she has a good reason to be a little strange.? And then for the first time that day I thought about my parents and the fact that I wouldn?t see them again, not until they died. I couldn?t begin to figure out how I was going to get along without my weird, goofy, absent-minded mother who was according to my dad had always been that way. My dad was my mom?s complete opposite in some decisions, where Mom was absent-minded, Dad always thought things through, and where Mom could be unpredictable I could almost always tell what Dad was going to do next. I started to cry and grieve for my lost life one I could never get back.

?Oh my, I?m so sorry I thought? no I should have known, I didn?t realize it until I got here too. But just remember that it isn?t like you?re never going to see them again.? Chris said sympathetically and watched me worriedly. ?We can wait and do this later when you?re feeling better.?

?No go on I?m Fine.? I choked out. The more I thought about my parents and my old life the more if felt like my heart was being torn to shreds. But I thought I might as well get this over with. So we continued confirming things like where I had lived, where I?d went to school, how old I was and so on. Then we got to the real questions.

?So if you could choose any where in the world to live where would it be?? Chris asked. I had calmed down a bit and as soon as he asked I knew the answer. Home, but I knew that wasn?t going to happen so I chose the next best thing.
?The Outer Banks.? Yes, the Outer Banks. It had always been my favorite place to go on vacation, once my parents had saved up enough money to rent a beach house there and that was one of the best vacations I had ever had.
? I chose the beach too.? Chris said with a smile and he wrote something down on a paper he had just pulled out. ?So would that be a beach house??
?Yeah.? I said with my own smile though I?m sure it was a sad one.
?Did you want to continue going to school or would you like a job??
?I?d like a job.? I said. I couldn?t imagine going back to any school now, not after what happened to me.
?And if you could have any job you wanted?? he asked.
?Chris,? I said uncertainly ?I was wondering could I be an angel??








?Of course if that?s what you want.? His smile got wider.
?It is.? This was it, the last step of my life and the first step of my life after death.



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