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As you may think when seeing the word Christmas, that the story to come would be a happy and joyful one about the holidays and spending Christmas with family and friends. Well this isn't one of those stories. On the christmas of the year 2010 was one of the most tragic days to me and my grief stricken family, the day i was found murdered. My body was found by my little brother. He found me while he was digging in his sandbox. How do i know? Because I'm Lacey King and I was murdered Christmas day.
. You can say it "came to him" in a dream. I told him exactly where to find me. You see, kids under the age of eight,i found out, can "see spirits," until they eventually grow out of it and stop beliving in them altogether. I prayed to that he would never stop beliving so that we could talk everyday and I would be able to watch him and my other siblings grow up. I knew what
I was praying for and I knew,eventually, that I would have to cross over when I had no more unfinished business.
Heaven is a tricky place. Everyone's Heaven is a little different. They make their heaven based on what their most comfortable place is. They also make up images of the people they most love, we all know they aren't real, but we get so used to them being there they become real to us and make up our everyday life. Life in Heaven is just like life on Earth. We have towns and grocery stores and all that other good stuff that make up cities. Our daily routine is the same every day. If we have "unfinished business" we board a train that takes us through the shield between life and death.
We get exactly 12 hours everyday, from when our real families wake up to the time they go to bed. Then the bus will pick us up and take us back. I rode that bus many a time. I finally had to stop riding when my family back on earth figured out who my killer was, and had him locked up, but lets go back to the time before I had died. I was in ninth grade and had a pretty good life. School was going great, and I had some pretty awsome friends if I say so myself. We did everything together. Went to the mall, went bowling, to the movies etc., and it wasnt all that bad. I, and two of my other bestie's had just made the bowling team. We went bowling every two days since we were instructed to go to the bowling alley and practice as much as we can. At first, we thought being on the bowling team would be fun and easy and basically we were just going to goof off. Then all three of us got this spark that pushed us to do better and thats when we made the team.
So after we made the team, we decided to go ahead and look for all those cute bowling accessories, hopefully all at a good price since it can get very expensive. At school I was getting all A's. I also was very skilled at writing and a lot of other subjects. Not to brag, but I have always been one of the most successful at writing stories. It's always been my passion.
A couple weeks before my death I decided to, as always, go to the soup kitchen and help feed the poor and the homeless. It had always been one of my passions to help the less fortunate, also to help rescue animals but that's a different story. Anyways, when I went to the kitchen that day I noticed this lonesome man sitting by himself, I proceeded to walk over, but then I promptly turned around when I saw that Kathleen, one of the other workers, had sat down and started to visit with the poor guy.
My job at the kitchen was helping serve the food. It was a pretty fun job and you got to know people that you once might have thought were scary or freaks just because they were homeless or had a certain look to them, With these people there was so much more to their stories. This one woman in her late 50's I met last week was one of the most fascinating people I had ever met. The story of her life inspired me to write a story about her and use the money I made from that to help her with food and clothing. She was as kind-hearted as you could get. She had greying hair, and from being homeless, had many deep wrinkles from all the stress, at least thats what she told me anyway. I personally think it was just her getting old but I never told her that.
Another one of my favorite people was a stumpy old man that always talked while waving his cane around. The volunteers that worked with me was constantly having to tell him that he should'nt wave it around seeing as how he could wack someone upside their heads. Her words not mine! I loved sitting and talking with him for hours about how he was in WWII (World War Two). He always made the stories intresting, like adding how the bloody it was while in battle, just so I would'nt lose focus on the point he somehow eventually got to.
After work at the kitchen, i would usually go home and make myself a snack, but this day was different. As I was leaving the kitchen, this new guy came up to me just as I was getting into the car. I had seen him around school, but he was considered one of the "populars," so I never talked or even approached him, his name was Chris Watson. As he strode up, I studied him. He had the "pretty boy swag" the kind that all the cute guys had, so I knew he probably thought he was hot stuff. Also the way he flipped his hair to one side, and how intense his eyes were took me by suprise. When he approached me and started to speak, I couldnt find any words to say back. Finally i responded with a simple "Hello."
"I didnt know you volunteered here"
"I've been volunteering here for about a year now." I said non-chalantly.
"I just figured I would stop by. I've seen you around school before but never thought I would be talking to you." he said with a cute smile, he has one of those smiles with dimples that made me fall for him even more.
"Well, I better go now, I have to help my mom with dinner." he said as he started walking down the sidewalk.
That would be the one and only encounter I would have with a cute guy like that, seeing as my death was only weeks away and I didnt have any cute really close guy friends. Christmas vacation started in about a week and a half. I was so excited I couldnt wait. I had planned all these things for Christmas break. Like going over to my best friend Demi's house. We hung out with eachother almost everyday. You know when a person is your best friend when you dont get tired or annoyed with them even after 3 straight days of being with eachother.
We had been best friends since kindergarten. We did practically did everything together. Get our nails done, makeovers, and all the other stuff best girl buds to together. Demi and I were on Student Council. We planned all the parades and dances together.
"So you actually talked to him?"
"Ya, he just walked right up to me and we just started talking."
"OMG, I wish I could've been there, he is SO cute!!" Demi was about to have a heart attack since she had had a crush on Chris since like the second grade. That when he transfered from Topeka. I always wandered what it was like up in Topeka, what all they had to offer, and what their mall was like.
"He told me he had always wanted to come up and talk to me, but he could never find me alone so we could talk."
"Thats so amazing, so are you going to talk to him alone?"
"I hope on Monday I can meet him in the library. I just have to get his number so I can text him. I'll message him on Facebook."
"Ok, I'll talk to you later. My mom is griping at me to clean my room. Text me!" and she hung up the phone.
I sat on my bed thinking on how I was going to word my message to Chris. I had thought about it a lot when I found the perfect way to ask him. Here was how my message went.
The other day you walked up to me at the kitchen. I was wandering since you said you had always wanted to talk to me, so could I have your number and I'll text you about hanging out sometime.
I know this maybe wasnt the exact way to word it, but it was the only thing I had thought up in two hours time. I was so anxious I checked my email every 5 minutes. Ok, some of you might think I was a little desperate. This was basically a once in a lifetime chance, since he was ultimately the hottest guy in highschool.
So back to the mystery of my murder. I just thought I would sum you up on how my life was going. Well, it was now 6:00 a.m. and I had made my way to the train. There were always different people everyday. I seemed to be the only regular rider. Here are three things you should know about the people here in Heaven.
They never looked like they did when they died. (example: you would never know if a person was shot because when they get to Heaven, they show themselves as they would have looked when they were alive, or they show what they looked like at the happiest time in their life. So if a person died old, they could make themselves look a lot younger.)
Things are not always as they seem. Since we are "ghosts" or "spirits", we can walk through walls and all that junk. So we may think we are talking to other "ghosts" but we are really just talking to air.
The most important thing to know about Heaven is if you miss the bus back you are stuck on Earth for 5 years or until you have no more unfinished business. ( I never missed the bus back. I always got back just as the doors were closing but thats only because I wanted to see my family a little longer).
I miss them so much. I also miss my friends a lot. I mean I guess I have versions of them here in Heaven but its just not the same. You dont get the same loving feeling you did back on Earth. Also all the cute guys here weren't as loving as they were back on Earth.
Here's a little bit about my family. I have, well had you could say, 5 brothers and sisters. Three sisters and two brothers. Two of my sisters were actually my half sisters. We lived in a duplex on one of the busiest streets in the city. It was also one of the main roads that ran through Hutchinson. My dad lived in Texas, and I had a stepdad. He started living with us after my mom met him in a Yahoo chat room. We told her he looked okay, and they went out on a date. Eventually he moved down from Salina and moved in with us. It has been three or so years.
Now I will tell you about that Christmas Eve night, because thats when the gruesome murder took place. Christmas Eve night I decided to go spend some time at Demi's house. Her parents had gone to do some last minute shopping and she called me the moment they left. When I got there, her breath stunk of her parent's wine. I told her she had had to much to drink but she told me you could never drink to much on Christmas.
Later on, we had been in her room for about an hour before we heard what sounded like a door shutting and opening. I asked her what it could be.
" Its probably just my parents bringing everything in, I wouldnt worry about it." with that she started to drift into sleep.
"Well, im going to go find out, I'll be back." I proceeded to head up stairs.
As soon as I got up there, I heard what sounded like muffled whipering coming from the other room. Also the smell of alocohol hit my nose and made me cringe. I had never smelled that much alcohol in my life and I never knew it had that strong a smell. I figured it must have been dumped. I started to tip-toe through the hallway and the light under the office door caught my eye. The only person that ever went in there was Demi's brother Landon. He was a computer geek and barely ever took his eyes off the thing, so I wandered why it was on. As far as I knew, he was at his grandma's for the night and would be back tomorrow.
I slowly opened the door. As I peeked around, I saw what looked like a old man in a black suit. I thought it was Demi's grandpa but only then did I realize that the man was mostly transparent. The old man turned and was looking at me straight on. His face was twisted and blood red. The moment I caught his eye I knew exactly who he was. He was one of the men from the soup kitchen, a regular that would sit in the corner. I would find him talking to himself going on about how there were people coming after him, and how he had to get away. I never thought he would end up like this.
As I started to ask him why he was there, he suddenly vanished. At that moment I thought I heard someone walking around in the kitchen. I just blew it off since I had been hearing things all day. Slowly I crept into the office, making sure not to let the door slam shut. I shifted my weight with every step until I was in front of the computer. The message on the screen would be one that would haunt me until the day I died. It read, YOURE NEXT LACEY. To my astonishment I had completly backed myself into the wall, but my biggest surprise was in that moment instead of backing into the wall I actually went through it.
I came back through the wall and crept back downstairs. It was then that it dawned on me. I had walked through the wall. It kind of stunned me at the moment, but I blew it off a dream, and I was sure I would wake up any second.I silently stalked downstairs until I found the cold metal handle of Demi's door. It opened with a creeking sound and I went over to lay down on the bed. The moment I took the plunge, I suddenly felt cold dirt through my shirt and in between my toes.
The cold realization hit me like a cold splash of water on my face. I was a ghost (or at least thats what i decided to call myself). Thats when I saw it. The warm light tunnel that was expanding out in front of me. I thought I saw what looked like my great great grandma staring back at me at the end of the tunnel. I was scared to go forward, but even if I tried my body wouldnt take me as far as half an inch. It was like I had cement stuck around my feet. I was frozen in place and I was starting to panic.
When I made my decision to turn back, and do directly to my house, my feet suddenly came loose and I made my home. The moment I walked through my bedroom door, I had quite a shock. In the middle of my room was this tall, mascular, tan man standing in the middle of my rug wearing a white cloth draped around his body. I know what your thinking, obviously he is an angel, thats what I thought until he turned around and there were no wings. All he had was this little gold bag that fell to his side.
"Hello, I am your spirit guide, Matthew."
"Umm... Hi?.. I'm Lacey King."
"I know who you are, I have been watching you for a while now. I'm not trying to creep you out or anything, but now that your dead..."
"Wait, so what your saying is that your like my stalker, and what do you mean I'm dead??"
"Well, I wouldnt exactly say stalker, I was like your protector for the past couple of months. You never say me until now because your deceased," he said with this look of compassion on his face, "Since your death, you can now see all the other spirits around you. I have been trying to get you a ticket back to Heaven, but it seems like we might hsve to wait until tomorrow before we are able to load the bus."
"The bus?, I didnt see a bus anywhere."
"You passed it on your way here. Its right outside, but we cant get on without a ticket."
"Can we get one tomorrow?"
"Well I will have to get to the line early, but I'm sure we can get at least one ticket for you and I will just fly back. Since you barely know anything as of now, you will just have to ride with all the other new spirits."
The thought of meeting dead people didnt particularly excite me. I mean I know that I was dead but still, it would probably freak you out to if you had just died and didnt even know it until someone happened to tell you.
The next day I was greeted by my spirit guide. I met him outside on the front walkway, where we then proceeded to board the hunk of metal that was sitting in the middle of the street. I made my way aboard and then I saw them. All the spirits that Matthew had mentioned. I decided to head to the back of the bus on the off chance that no one would try to talk to me. Well that dream went out the door as soon as I sat down. This dirty-blonde girl about my age was sitting in the seat right next to me. She slowly turned and was going on about her old life to this elderly woman who didnt seem to harbor much interest in the story. The girl must have sensed it and turned to me. Apparently, looking out the window and staring into space didnt stop her from proceeding with her story where she had left off.
"So anyway, I was walking home and this dog jumped out of nowhere..."
"...and started barking at me, and I got startled so then I jumped..."
"...and that dumb dog ran right into me."
"Hello?" I had been saying this for about five minutes yet I still couldnt get a response to know she had even heard me. I finally decided to tap her on the shoulder, thats when she stopped talking and looked at me. She gave me the look, the look that said "you just interupted me." I looked at her for about 30 seconds before I realized she was waiting for me to talk.
"Hi, Im Lacey. Whats your name?"
"I'm Caroline Smith."
"I just got on the bus, what about you? Are you a first time rider?"
"Nope, I get on every day at a.m. I still have unfinished business, so I get on the bus in hopes that one day I will finally just be able to stay in Heaven and get a days rest."
"Sound like that would be tiring. I dont think I would be able to get up at 6 a.m. everyday. So how do you know if you have unfinished business?"
"They send a note the night before to your house and it tells you the bus schedule for the day. Then you get on the bus, and once it goes through all the neighborhoods it heads to the front gates and thats when you show your I.D. and then you get to leave and go and try to clear up all your unfinished business." After saying this she had to take a big breath since she had said all this on one breath. Her face looked like a tomato.
"That sounds like a lot work. How do they choose where you live?"
"They put you in a neighborhood where all the spirits died within the same time period. I died 2 days ago. When did you die?"
"I died yesterday i suppose. It came as a shock to me seeing as I dont even know how I died. I walked into my friends library and ended up walking through the wall. Then I came home. Thats when I met Matthew my spirit guide."
"Wow, that would be terrible not even knowing how you died."
"Tell me about it... It's the worst feeling in the world. One minute you're with your best friend, then the next your walking through walls, and laying in dirt."
"I wander if we will live by eachother. I think we would be good friends." As soon as she said this the bus came to a halt. We glanced out the window and I saw the gates of Heaven. They weren't like I had always been told. I mean they were big and gold and stuff but they kind of looked like the little "hallway" when you board a plane that leads you to the plane. It was like another endless hallway. I eventually saw little roads that broke away from the tunnel and down those roads were houses. They looked like everyday houses, and the house numbers were the dates of when the people had died. Thats what Caroline told me, some people had the same address. I shifted my eyes over to a boy about my age just sitting on the curb. He looked lonley and I figured he didnt have any family up here like me.
As soon as I layed eyes on his address, I got butterflies. We had died on the same day, so that meant we would be roomates. Caroline would be living right across the street from me which was nice since she was the only person I had gotten to know. As the bus slowed my butterflies grew more intense. I slowly crept off the bus and made ascended up the walkway. Caroline hopped off with me and once she knew I was ok on my own she made her way across the street. She turned and winked at me before she shut the door. Me being a curious person, I wandered what she could have meant by it. Was she wishing me luck?, or did she know about my all to sudden crush on my roommate? I guess I would always wander.
The inside of the house was very modern. The living room had one of the largest TV's I had ever seen, also it had some very comfort looking chairs. I sauntered down the hallway and found a door with my name etched in a gold plate hanging by one nail. As I opened the door, I was surprised to see that it was decorated like my old bedroom, down to the very last chip in the paint over by my bed. I sat my stuff down, and thats when the memories started coming in waves. My life, my parents, my siblings. Before I knew it, I realized i was sobbing, my face in my hands. I felt hands on my back and there he was. The guy I had seen earlier. He had dark brown hair and light green eyes. When he spoke, he spoke with a Italian accent. "Excuse me ma'am, but are you okay?, I saw you crying and thought I could help." His voice was so seductive I thought I was going to melt into him any second. "Oh, I'm ok. I was just rememebering my family." It was embarrassing because in the middle of saying that my voice cracked and I sounded like a little kid. I think my face was getting red because he had started to laugh for no reason.
After the awkward encounter with Jace (yep I finally got his name), I had decided to go and visit Caroline at her house. Her room was very girly. I mean pink and purple everywhere, with lots of sparkles and pictures. My room would be considered plain next to hers. She introduced me to her roomates and we went for a walk.. The "neighborhood" as it was called was a very calm and peaceful place, nothing like it was back on Earth. In every neighborhood we had a park, pool, and grocery store. I was freaking out because we didnt have anywhere to shop. I love to shop, and clothes are my favorite thing to collect. "Don't worry, I heard you can take a bus to this little place and all you have to have is proof that you live in our neighborhood and you can go in and buy anything you want." Caroline had started talking to me and I had been daydrreaming because she had to redirect my attention more than once.
"Sorry, I was just thinking about Jace and how fiiiinnnnneeee he is!!"
"Oh My GOSH, you have a crush on JACE??, when were you gonna tell me?"
"Well I like him some what, I mean he is really sweet and stuff and I absolutley loveeee his voice!"
"I think every girl does, my roomates talk about him nonstop, it gets really annoying when all you hear is Jace this, and Jace that."