When Raina falls to a death clouded with mystery and horror, one which not even The Elders can figure out, she is placed into Purgatory. As the mystery unveils, as well as the secrets of the place between Heaven and Hell, she learns that at every corner a sea of possibilities awaits. But will she be able to realise the correct ones, or will she stay in Purgatory for eternity?


16. 16

My eyes opened again. I was back. Back in Guardian’s room. Back in Heaven, or at least that's where I figured the Elder Corridor was designated. Back to my reality. Guardian looked at my bag expectantly, then dropped his shoulders in disappointment when he realised how empty it was. "Raina! What was the point of the mission?" he sighed, drumming his fingers on the sheets, despite the fact it made no sound. 
"To get objects that could be to do with the murder." I felt as though I was a school child being disciplined by the teacher.
 "And how many objects did you collect?"
I shifted on the bed awkwardly, proving myself up. "Um two. One of them being a tester." My gaze dropped sheepishly to the floor. 
"Did you pick up any useful information, at least?" he questioned, clearly exasperated by the fact I had failed the 'mission'.
 "I was bullied both emotionally and physically." My statement came out harsh and blunt, more so than I had intended. 
"I'm sorry to hear that." Guardian bowed his head, his sadness visible.
 "It's fine, don't worry." I tucked a stray strand of tousled bed-hair behind my ear.
 "But I just don't understand why that happened to you, you're so nice...as cliche as that sounds." He grinned weakly.
 "They...the girls, though there was just one who was the main bully...They thought I was trying to get with one of their boyfriends. Well." I paused for a moment. "It sounded as though the guy they were talking about was one of their boyfriends." 
At this overload of information, Guardian tilted his head upright immediately. "Catch any names?" His voice was full of eagerness. 
"Not of the girls, but the guy in question was called Mark, they said." I smiled, slightly happy there had been some good information from the dream/flashback/vision thingy. 
"Do you remember anything about this...Mark?" Guardian was now completely upright.
He slumped again. I chortled. "But..."
 "They said I'd been tutoring him, though I don't remember doing so. But then again, I don't remember that much from my past full stop."
 Guardian reached for the bag, and started to unzip it. "We might as well see whether the one item you got is the slightest bit useful, I suppose." When he pulled out the phone, he groaned. "This isn't going to work. Whose phone is it, anyway?" I took the phone off him, and pressed the on button. The home screen starting loading up. 
I handed it back to him, a smug smile plastered on my face. "It's the main bully's. And how long have you been up here? Surely if you know what a phone is, you should know how to start one up." 
He rolled his eyes, and started tapping some buttons. After just a few seconds, he reluctantly handed it back to me. "I'll leave the techy stuff to you". 
My smug smile grew wider. I opened up the text messages tab. It seemed like the most obvious place to look. Sure enough, there were text messages from many different people. Her name popped up on the user tab. "I've got her name!" I squealed. Guardian swiftly grabbed a pen and paper from the vanity table, and nodded to me. "Ocean Wood," I read. 
Guardian didn't write it down. Instead, he threw his head back, and laughed. "Seriously?" he spluttered. 
I was scrolling through her texts. "Seems like it. Makes sense considering her Dad is a footballer".
 Guardian shuffled forward, to read off the phone. "Where does it say that?"
 I pointed to her status. "Shopping. Sooo glad Daddy's a footballer." I quoted the text with a snobby tone to my voice. 
This made Guardian laugh even more. "When did she set that status update?"
 My eyes widened as I read when she'd done the update. She'd set it...Today. "Today?" I whispered. "How on Earth..." 
Guardian took the phone back off me. "So it is". His voice shook. "How is that possible?". The question was rhetorical, so I didn't respond. The silence was filing the room again, so I opened my mouth to speak. But just then, the phone buzzed, and a message popped up on the screen. 
'Her body has been found. Ur dead.'
I gasped, and turned to Guardian. He seemed to be equally shocked. "Do you think they're talking about...my body?" My voice barely came out as a whisper. Guardian started flicking through her texts expertly. "I thought you couldn't work the phone?" I asked suspiciously. 
He shrugged, and continued scanning through. His shoulders slumped again. Further and further, until he was practically a heap on the bed. "Raina..." he started. I could see that his body was trembling.
"What is it?" I asked, even though I suspected what he was going to say next. 
"I think...I think we've found your murder." 
I took a deep, shaky breath in. "Who was it?" 
"Them. Those girls. They...They..." A tear fell down onto the bed. Guardian’s jaw was damp with tears. 
"They killed me," I finished. Up until the point Guardian started crying, I had been perfectly composed. Too composed, actually. But when that tear dropped onto the duvet, something just snapped in me. All the sadness for my family, and my life, and my death since I'd died just hit me. I rested my head into Guardians shoulder, and just sobbed my heart, and my heartbreak, out.

"It's okay," Guardian mumbled into my hair. He was saying the right words, doing the right things. Yet it seemed nothing could console me. I had days’ worth of tears spilling out of my eyes. For a few moments, he simply patted my back awkwardly. But then, he gently took my own shoulders, and pulled me back. I could feel his eyes burning into mine, even though I could not see them. "Listen. I know it hurts. I had to go through all this myself, you know." I looked at him, confused. "YOU went through all this? But you're..." He sighed wearily. "Guardian," he finished for me. "Yes, I'm Guardian. I know. Even so, I had to go through all the trials and all of that. They never did find my murderer, though." My mind cast forward to something that was said when I first arrived up in the clouds.

"How did you die?". 
My stomach dropped at the word 'die'. It terrified me. Nevertheless, I tried to remember. "I don't know," I whispered. 
Guardian stiffened beside me. "I've only ever known one case where a death has not appeared..." he muttered, his eyes widening. 
Stephen grimaced. "Yes. That was the only one. Up until now."

"You," I whispered. "You were the other one." Guardian nodded weakly. "How..."
 "I never found out," he murmured sadly. 
"That must be awful, not knowing...Oh, I'm so sorry, Guardian." I fell back onto him, embracing him tightly. This time, it was me saying the right words, and doing the right things. But I didn't know what else to do, if I was honest. Guardian’s usual awkward grip was now holding onto me, like he was holding onto life. We didn't say anything for a few minutes or so. We didn't need to. The silence was almost...Comforting. Eventually, he pulled away from me, and turned his back to me, rubbing underneath his veil. Clearly rubbing his eyes. Clearly not wanting me to see what he looked like. At least, that's why I figured he'd turned around. "Guardian...?" I started, my voice trailing off. 
"Hm? What is it now?" 
I drummed my fingertips on the mattress. It was clear I'd picked up Kai's annoying habit. "Why do you wear that veil?" 
"Guardian reasons," he grumbled. 
I laughed. "Guardian reasons? What are you, a robot?" 
I put on another accent. This time, it was a robot accent. "Guardian veil. Guardian bossy. Guardian friend Raina." 
He smirked. "No, I mean that Guardian is like my Heaven name. What parent would name their child Guardian?" After processing what I'd said, he pouted. "And what do you mean I'm bossy?"
"Ah, never mind," I grinned, turning my attention back to the text message. My smile fell a little. "Shall we reply, or..." Guardian started to nod. Then, he stopped himself. Then, his smile grew. "We don't need to." 
"What do you mean?" I frowned. 
"We've got your murderer. We've got your case cracked. We've got your cause of death. Which means..."
I caught on pretty quickly. "I can go to Heaven?" 
"If all goes according to plan, yes." He chucked the phone in the air, then caught it. His lips upturned even more. "Seems like you struck lucky by getting this, Raina!" With that sentence said, he quickly ran to the door, and opened it. Guardian went straight through the archway, and down the corridor. I stared after him, bewildered at his speed. He came back a few moments later. "Come on!" he grinned, grabbing my hand, towing me along with him, out of his room, out of the corridor, and out into the transportation area. The portal I'd noticed about a day ago was where we'd stopped at. We trod carefully onto the circle. The purple glow surrounded our ankles.
 "So this is how aliens are made," I joked. At any other time, Guardian probably would have sighed at my terrible joke. But he was happy. Happy for me. Happy. It was odd, how hostile he'd been when I'd first arrived, and how much I’d disliked him. Yet here we were, as very good companions. "I remember when we first met." 
He cocked his head towards me, intrigued. "Oh, yes?" 
"Yeah. You were so moody, you know. Completely different to how you really are." I punched him playfully on the arm. "You're a very good actor." 
Guardian’s smile disappeared. "You think so? I don't think so..."
I nodded. "Yeah, I do think so. How did you get so good at it?"
He sighed again. "I had to keep a lot hidden about myself, Raina." 
My smile also dropped. "You mean you've lied a lot?" I folded my arms. 
"Yes, I'm afraid." He clearly saw the sour expression on my face "But I promise that I have never lied to you, Raina. I've kept stuff hidden, yes. But I haven't ever lied to you." 
My stiff posture fell. I looked at him with curious eyes. "Why not lie..." I realised he had gone. He'd dissipated into the purple glow. I figured he couldn't hear me. So I kept my question, but not wanting dropping it completely. There wasn't any reason why he didn't lie to me, like he said he did to everyone else. Was there?

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