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The Dark Angel
“Todd,” I said one day “Who are you?”
He lifted his head and smiled; gleaming white teeth assaulted my eyes, and said, “You’ll see Massie, you’ll see.” He proceeded to walk ahead of me.
I could not figure out what intrigued me about him. I was drawn to him, everyone was. Todd did not like the attention, he shied away from it. He never got close to anyone at school, but was the most popular kid. Every girl wanted to date him, every boy envied him. He did not play sports, or party. He never came to social events, either. You see why I was curious?
I got into English, there sat Todd, in the back of the class, right next to my desk. “Hey,” I said nonchalantly to him.
He looked at me; his grey eyes had a strange, dark glow to them. “Hello.” He said through slightly clenched teeth.
“Todd, is something wrong? You look agitated.” My voice had a worried edge to it.
He glowered in my direction, “I’m fine, Massie! Quit worrying about me!” Then He got up suddenly and left class.
Mrs. Della walked over and asked if something was wrong, “No,” I smiled, “I think he mentioned having the stomach flu, Mrs. Della.”
“Isn’t that odd, it’s not the time for the stomach flu. Oh well, I hope he feels better.”
Mrs. Della continued on with our lesson, we were still analyzing “Incident in a Rose Garden.” Right now is when the master first met Death. I like how the poet portrayed Death as a nice, friendly person.
As soon as the bell rang I ran out to find Cassie. I told her how Todd shouted at me. “That’s weird, and you didn’t even do anything. I tell you, that kid may be gorgeous but I know he has to have mental problems or something.”
I nodded in agreement and went on to my last period.
When I finally arrived home, I checked email. I had an unread message from my sister in New York, and I had one from an email address I have never seen.
Massie, I would like to apologize for my unnecessary and rude behavior today in class. Soon enough you’ll know why I get upset so easily. You’ll get some, extremely upsetting news tonight, stay strong for your friend’s sake.
I re-read the message three times to make sure I understood everything he had written. Stay strong for your friend’s sake. Those words unsettled me and made me very anxious. I called Cassie, but didn’t tell her what Todd had written me, but I told her I had a very bad feeling and for her not to go anywhere. “Okay, okay, I promise. I won’t go anywhere tonight. I’ll tell Chris we can’t hang out tonight. Love you, bye.” I hung up with her, and lay down and went to sleep.
I heard my front door shut, and my mom talking worriedly on the phone with someone. I sat up slowly, and then walked down my stairs to talk to my mother. “Okay, goodbye, Carol.” Said my mother, and shut her phone quickly.
“Mom, what time is it?” I asked.
“Oh, about six, honey, have you talked to Cassie.” I could tell she was busying her hands by making dinner.
I went and stood by the stove, “I talked to her right after school, what’s going on?”
“Massie, you know Cassie’s boyfriend?”
“Chris? Yeah, Mom I’ve known him since second grade, why?” I was starting to get worried.
“Honey, he wrecked his car about an hour ago, and…He didn’t make it.” My mom walked over and hugged me.
I felt numb, like all the feeling in my body left me. All I could think about is how I had told Cassie not to hang out with Chris tonight, how she promised me she wouldn’t. I pushed away from my mom, and ran and grabbed my cell phone. I dialed Cassie’s number. She picked up on the fifth ring.
“Cassie? Cassie!?” My voice had risen into hysterics.
“Massie, what am I going to do? He’s gone! And it’s my fault, I told him to go hang out with Johnny! I told him to leave?” After that I could not understand what she was saying, I just heard her crying, and retching on the other end of the phone.
Soft, delicate tears were running down my face, Stay strong for your friend’s sake. The words echoed through my head. “Cassie, calm down, shhhh?” I was just trying to calm her down enough so that she would not vomit.
“Massie, what am I going to do?” She asked.
“You’re going to stay strong, for his family’s sake, and also yours.” I said, soothingly.
Finally, I hung up with her.
The next day at school, of course, Cassie stayed home. I walked to English by myself. When I arrived, there sat Todd, in his dark clothes, staring off into space. I sat down next to him, and quickly fired off questions. “You better tell me everything; otherwise I’m going to get really annoyed. Who or what are you? You’re something…”
Todd shook his hair, it was a really annoying habit, and stared at me with those deep, grey eyes. “Massie, I promise, soon enough, you’ll know who I am. Chris knew, and we ended up being really good buddies.” He smiled at me, but it was a cold smile.
“You knew nothing about Chris!” I shrieked, for some reason his smile put me on the defensive.
“Massie, in the end, most everybody becomes friends with me.” He smirked.
I glowered at him, I felt like punching him, like slapping him in the face. Deep down, though, I knew that’s not what I really wanted. I wanted Chris back, and for Cassie to be okay and go back to normal.
It was the last day to study “Incident in a Rose Garden”. Today, we were analyzing Death. An inappropriate topic for the day, but I did not complain, I just went along with it. Mrs. Della asked Todd’s opinion on Death. “I find Death in the story, a friendly guy. One everyone would probably want to be friends with. It’s not his fault he’s Death. He probably didn’t want to be Death in the first place, but he is. So he’s probably making the best of it.”
I found it strange how he kept slipping the word “probably” in the speech. I didn’t think much of it. Mrs. Della then asked for my judgment on Death. “Mrs. Della, I don’t feel comfortable with answering this question, you know, under these conditions.”
“I understand, Massie.” And she went on to the next person.
Todd leaned over, and quietly talked in my ear. “After school, meet me in the forest behind your house. I’ll tell you who I am.”
My first instinct was to shout “NO!” in his face, although, my curiosity was so strong that I had to agree to meet him. “Fine, I’ll meet you there right after school. You better tell me everything, Todd.”
He shook his hair, and nodded, “I will.” But when he said this, he looked so sad, like he could start crying right then and there.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, concerned.
“You’ll find out, Massie, you’ll find out.” Just then the bell rang, and he vanished out the class room door.
I got home at three-thirty; I hurried and threw on an old pair of jeans, and a T-Shirt. I wrote my mom a note:
Mom, I’m going to go take a walk in the woods, to clear my head. I’ll be back by five. I love you.
I ran out my door, and ran headfirst into the thick, darkness of the woods. I walked for a while, twenty minutes I would guess, till I heard another pair of feet behind me. “Hi,” said Todd’s soft, smooth voice.
“Hi,” I said “Okay, tell me everything.”
Todd looked nervous, he was shaking, “C’mon,” I laughed “It can’t be that bad.”
“Massie, you how, the poem we’re reading in English, the poet personifies…Death?” He said.
“Well, yeah, what does this have to do with you? C’mon I have to get back home.” I was starting to get impatient.
“Well?” He started.
I waited. He never spoke; he just stared at the ground.
“Fine, Todd, I have to get home.” I stared backtracking from where I had come. I had always been known as the clumsy girl in my classes, I tripped over little things or even my own feet. I did not see that fallen branch. I slipped right over it, and fell.
My head hit something exceedingly hard, a rock. I also felt an unnatural stabbing sensation in my arm, and leg. I presumed swiftly that I had broken them, both. “Todd!” I yelled “Help, please, I think I broke my arm and leg.”
I was feeling faint; I almost was letting my slip away to my outrageous thoughts. The thoughts were of me dying, out here in the forest, alone. Todd was here. “Todd, help me, please!” I cried.
I heard soft footsteps behind me. They were in no hurry, as I thought a normal person’s reaction would be. I found his face, above my own, and it had a look that was a mixture of sadness, and relief. Todd leaned down, and whispered into my ear, like he did in class today.
“Massie, I can now let you in on my, little secret.” He laughed, “I. Am. Death.”
Then, my world went black.