Based on a few songs and real life experiences. Not only did I base this story on things in my...
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If I Die Young
3: 30 in the morning, and I was woken up by cold air. Gripping my bedsheets tightly around me, I slowly opened my eyes and saw what I at first presumed was fog. Rubbing my eyes, I was able to make out a blurred figure standing at my bedside - Jane. Her head was down; her bangs covered her eye and eye-patch. I groaned and propped myself up using my elbow. "What do you want?" I yawned, half awake. She looked down at me with a pathetic expression.
"I can't sleep...legit...I haven't slept since the I was on the train, and you have no idea how exhausted I am, dammit!" she cried. I gazed at her questioningly.
"And what do you want me to do about it?" Don't get me wrong, I felt sorry for her, but why come to me with a problem like that? I soon found out.
"Let me sleep with you..." she pleaded in a quiet voice. My eyes widened in surprise; I was wide awake at that point. Us - in the same bed?? That'd be like letting a stray cat sleep with me!
Narrowing my brows, I asked, "Hold on...what would that change?" If she couldn't sleep on the couch, what made her think she'd be able to fall asleep in my bed? She was silent.
She eventually replied, "I just wanna try..since the last place I slept was leaning 'gainst ya." She was absolutely pitiful. I rolled my eyes and moved over, making space for her. Hesitantly, she got into the bed and laid beneath the covers. Much to my own amazement, the blanket did not go through her. At this state, she was neither a solid nor gaseous being. The cold air emanating from her began to disappear as well. She appeared calm when I watched her eye lids close. Shortly after, she miraculously fell asleep like a regular mortal.
For the next two hours, I wasn't able to sleep; not that I wasn't tired, I simply chose not to. Instead, I watched Jane rest peacefully with her nose nuzzled into my armpit. While she slept, I noted how untidy her black hair really was, how obvious the bags under her eyes were, and how worn out her little tomboy outfit had become. There wasn't a hint of sarcasm on her lips, nor pained look in her eyes - I started to wonder if Jane could only be truly happy in dreamstate. The thought of it, like everything else about her, bothered me.
Once I finished examining her features and ended thinking about everything that revolved around her that bothered me, I glanced over her shoulder to view my alarm clock on the bedside table. It would be going off in a matter of minutes, and the first rays of sunlight were already calling to me from under my curtains. Outside, the everyday sounds of suburbia were beginning to come to life. Even though Jane would be able to sleep through the noise, she'd probably have to get up once I got out of bed. This also meant I'd have to wear the fake frown and empty eyes that had become my habit with her. It hurt us both.
Knowing she couldn't hear me, I allowed a weak sigh to escape my mouth. In my mind, I prayed for patience with her and to somehow manage to be more gentle with her. Things could not go on the way they were. Unfortunately, that pride of mine would have to be something I needed to get rid of first. But I decided to let the depressing feelings wait until later; I wished to be content. However, I regretted making the wish when I unwittingly closed my eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
My eyes shot wide open, and I found myself face to face with the ghost girl who was on-top of me - too close! Shoving her off of me and onto the floor, I sat up and checked my alarm clock : 1 in the afternoon! Not only was school over in an hour, I was going to be late to a meeting in Hoboken which I had nothing prepared for in less than 2 hours! "Why didn't it ring?!" I yelled as I sped out of my bed towards the closet.
Rubbing her head, Jane answered, "It woke me up, and I was still tired, so I shut it off."
Stopping in my tracks, I looked back at her in disbelief and shouted, "Are you kidding?!?! Jane, you just messed up my schedule for the entire day - thanks a lot!" Just when I was ready to give her a chance, she gets on my last nerve. As if she had any consideration for anyone else's responsibilities!
Frozen, she spluttered, "But Bailey...I...I didn't mean to.." I was losing my temper, my control; that's why I continued to knock her down.
"Ever since you've showed up at my house - in my life-, you've been nothing but a nuisance!" Simply saying that made me aware that I was letting anger get the best of me. Didn't I tell myself I'd try to be more gentle and patient with her only a few hours ago? Even so, it was too late to take back what I said. She sat down on the ground, unsure of what to say.
"No! Get out of my house! Get out of my life! Don't you dare show yourself to me again! Can't go to Heaven? You can fall to Hell for all I care!" No..no..STOP IT! I heard a voice cry out from inside of me. It was my inner child - the one that loved Jane Doe, the one that hated what her older-self had become. Suddenly, I felt as if the room was spinning. I was overreacting - every word I threw at Jane was a lie! Overwhelmed by memories, good and bad, of her and I all at once, I wanted to scream.
Then it stopped almost as quickly as it started. The room no longer felt like it was spinning, the pressure that weighed down on me had passed - there was silence. I saw her still on the floor, cringing as if my own hand had slapped her right across the face. I watched, heart pounding, as her eye began to water. Next, she scurried past me and raced out of the room. I stood there, pondering what to do. Go after her! my conscience demanded. I did. As fast as I could, I spun around and followed her. On my way, I tripped down my marble staircase, causing me to slide into the living room where I discovered her.
She sobbed in a corner, her blury body disintegrating to the ground like snow; the lower half of her form was no longer visible. I opened my mouth to call out to her but was interupted by an ear-splitting crack of thunder coming from outside. Looking to the window, I saw angel tears...no...rain falling from the sky in thick sheets. It was an inconvenience, but I tried to ignore it.
"Jane!" I picked myself up off the floor and rushed over to her, planting myself in front of her. She kept her head down and covered her face with her hands.
"I'm...I'm sorry!" she apologized, choking on her tears, "I know ya hate me...but you'll never have to deal with me again."
I desperately tore her hands away from her face. Surprisingly, my grip did not phase through her; it was like touching a living human. Staring into her watery eye, I told her, yelling over the sound of thunder, "I don't hate you! I didn't mean anything of what I said! I need to have you in my world! You're my best friend! More than that: you're practically my sister!" Her crying ceased as she looked back at me in astonishment, and outside, the thunder became a soft rumble. Her expression was fearful as she anticipated me to go on.
Near panting, I exhaled heavily and placed my hands on her shoulders. "This isn't right. This should've never happened - any of this. I shouldn't've pushed you away. This is all my fault," I explained truthfully. "I figured it out: the real reason I couldn't accept our friendship is because I knew you'd leave, and I can't let that happen." I then took a step back from her. Everything I said that time was true, despite the fact it was selfish. She didn't speak, but that was when I noticed something odd - the lower half of her form was returning.
"You're not going to Heaven...?" I prompted.
"When I told you I couldn't go until you said we was friends. In reality, I can go whenever I want if I just look for the light. I hoped maybe though...you did care about me deep down," she clarified. I'm not sure what came over me, but after she said that, I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her into a tight embrace. Welcoming the hug, she buried her face into my chest and let a few more tears fall.
'When I was little, my mother always used to tell me that when it rains, it means the angels are crying.' Running my fingers through her coarse hair, I noticed what was seconds ago a raging storm had turned into a light drizzle. After carefully examining the change along with Jane's mood, I leaned close to her ear and whispered, "It's time I set you free; you've been through so much and deserve to rest in peace."
She gazed up at me and wearily asked, "You won't forget me right?"
"Of course not," I assured her with a soft smile. Seeing me smile made her face light up.
"Well then...can I be your guardian angel?" Jane ventured. I allowed a playful expression dance across my own face.
"I'd be insulted if you weren't," I giggled. It felt like forever since I had seen her that excited, and seeing her happy made my cold heart happy as well. However, a minute later she pulled away from my embrace and grinned warmly at me.
"I s'pose it's time for me to go now," she said.
"Heh, suppose so," I agreed. I knew I'd miss her, but this would be for the best. Like they say, if you love something, set it free; it was my turn to do so. She waved and at and I waved back.
Next, something glorious happened. Right before my eyes, Jane slowy turned into something that appeared to be sparkling ashes, that ascended like mist up, through the ceiling, and to the Heavens.
I was so captivated by the sight, I didn't even know I was crying until after she was gone.