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?


4. 4

Kai smiled fondly at me. "So Raina," he started. "Tell me about yourself."
 I tilted my head back. "I'm Raina," I laughed. "What else is there to tell?" 
Kai drummed his fingers on the edge of the pool. "Your parents' names? What school you go to?" He then winced, at the insensitive questions. "Oh, I'm sorry..."
Tears briefly filled my eyes. I blinked them back. "It doesn't matter. None of that is a part of me now."
Kai kicked his heels in the water. "It is, Raina. And don't 'But I'm dead' me, because it's all still a part of you". He tapped my head. "It's all still in your head."
 I pondered on the thought for a second. Kai was right. All that stuff...It still defined me, even if it wasn't in my life anymore. "Okay. My Mum’s name was...is…Anna."
"And your father...?" 
A chill slowly shivered down my spine. "He died."
Kai grinned. "That's great!"
My mouth dropped open.  "How on Earth is it a good thing?"
 Kai shook his head. "You'll be able to see him again!"
Once again, Kai's crazy logic was somehow accurate. "I suppose so, yeah!" I beamed, happy about the revelation. "Wait, how do I know whether he's in Heaven or in Hell?" I wondered aloud. 
"Questions, questions," he said, rolling his eyes. "Just be happy about this, yeah?"
 I nodded."I am, I am."
He paused, seemingly trying to debate whether to ask me his next question. "Do you remember how you...died?" The sentence reminding me of my untimely death should have been a punch in my stomach. Yet it wasn't. I was coming to terms with the fact, somehow. "I don't remember," I sighed.
 "You don't remember?" Kai said, raising his eyebrow. 
"No." I closed my eyes, not to dry out tears, but because the scene of the shadows was reeling in my mind again.
 "Describe it," Kai murmured. 
"There are two shadows."
"What sizes?"
I focused on them both. "One must be myself, so that's medium height."
"What about the other one?" Kai inquired. 
"Tall. About six foot?"
"Keep going," Kai persisted. 
"The large figure has long, long hair. To their waist."
 "Any indications it's a female?"
 "There's no indication it isn't." My breath caught in my throat. "There's a knife. And it's..." I choked, unable to finish my sentence. And it stabbed me in the chest. It went deeper, deeper, into my flesh. The pain. The pain that couldn't be undone, be mended. "Wake up, Raina!" Kai shook my shoulders. I opened my eyes. I was trembling. 
Kai embraced me. "You did well." He brushed my tangled hair off my forehead. "You did much better than I did the first time."
 I searched his face. "Kai...How did you..." I trailed off, frightened by the concept.
 "How did I die?" he finished.
 "Have you ever been to the top off a cliff? One that towers above the sea?"
I furrowed my brow, trying to think. "Not that I can remember."
"I hiked up one of those one day." He laughed weakly. "Took me the entire morning." Kai exhaled sadly. "I was depressed. All of my life was a mess, at least in my eyes. What was it worth?" The question was rhetorical, so I kept quiet. "So I made my decision in a second, whilst up there. I ran to the edge of the cliff and jumped," he bluntly said.
 "Oh, Kai..." I embraced him tightly. 
"That's why my neck’s on the line. You see, you can't go to Heaven if you commit suicide. But I was a devout Christian, so they can't send me to Hell either." He splashed against the waterfall. "So I'm going through the exact same trials you've just started. Only I'm near the end."
I crumpled slightly. "So you'll be leaving soon?" My voice thickened. 
Kai ruffled my hair. "I'll hang on as long as I can."
 "Kai, what have I told you about that?" I grumbled. I turned to him and smiled though. "But I'm glad you want to stay with me."
 "You liven this place up a bit." He smirked. "Not by much though."
 I grabbed his arm, and swiftly shoved him underneath the water, me being the one in hysterics, for once. He surfaced from underneath the water. "Oh, I'm so getting you for that," he growled. I leapt out of the water and ran. Kai pursued my every move. I nimbly made my way through the temple, darting over the chunks of rock. We were both doubling over in fits of giggles. "I'm going to get a stitch," I gasped, leaning against a wall. It was uncomfortable and lumpy, but I needed to catch my breath. Desperately. Kai stopped beside me. "I suppose a time out is legit." He made a T sign with his arms, in the manner of a seven year old. We stood completely still for a couple of second them I shifted slightly to find a conifer area to lean in. My shoulder blades pressed against something smooth, yet with jagged edges. Kai almost tumbled to the ground, but regained his posture. The wall was caving in. "Kai, we've gotta get out of here!" I cried, panicking, running towards the circular hole we'd entered in. He followed suit, gripping my hand when he caught up with me. But the instant we'd started running was the instant the wall stopped moving, which was also the instant a ray of light shone into the temple, and a glowing figure appeared before us. And that was the figure of...

Guardian. His shoulders shook with rage. His entire body was shaking, in fact. His aura was throwing cold, bloody daggers directly at Kai. Such an imitating image would have frightened anybody, from anywhere, whether that was Earth or the Heavens. Yet Kai was standing there, looking slightly bored. He certainly didn't seem to be affected. "Kai!" Guardian roared, making the entire temple rumble once more. 
"What?" Kai asked coyly, playing the innocent card. It clearly wasn't washing on Guardian. 
"You know damn well what!" Guardian pointed his gloved finger at Kai. "You broke the rules, that's what you did!"
A look of recognition briefly shone on Kai's face. Then guilt. Then it was back to innocence. "What are you talking about, Guardian?" he smiled, even having the nerve to start tapping a beat on his thigh, which although did look slightly cocky, I recognised as a sign of concentration. Strange. I'd only known him for a day, yet I was picking up on his habits, and lots of other things, very, very quickly.
 "You know what!" Guardian growled. "You helped Raina with the first task." He sniffed, as if I was vermin. I took a nervous step back. Kai tensed his body subconsciously. It took all my strength not to restrain him. Unfortunately, I figured I had to stay on Guardians good side.

Kai managed to calm himself down, however. He took a deep breath, and released his speech with his exhale. "I hardly did anything, Guardian. Raina figured practically all of it out for herself."
Guardian shook his head. "You gave her the book. Finding that was a difficult task." 
 "I gave her a very small hint how to start. And besides, finding the book wasn't that hard, Guardian. It only took me a couple of minutes or so when I did it."
"It's enough!" Guardian bellowed. He looked down at the ground, if a little sheepishly. "It's enough to send you down to Hell with one click of my fingers." Demonstrating the gesture, Guardian rubbed his fingertips together. 
Kai snorted. "As if. With your sorcery skills, you're more likely to send me to the Heavens, standing hand in hand with the Big Cheese himself."  He chuckled at his own quip. 
The fire in Guardians essence was reignited. He grabbed Kai's collar, and pulled him close to his face, on which his mouth was curled into a contorted snarl. "Do not mock me, Kai. You don't want to get on my bad side."
 Kai was breathless from Guardian’s sudden violent outburst. He was visibly scared now. "Guardian, cool down for a second. We won't come to a good conclusion if you're het up." In a split second, Kai crashed onto the ground with a loud, sharp crack. Despite the promise I made myself to not upset Guardian, I knelt down next to Kai, patting his head for any sign of harm. We were immortal now, but I'd felt nausea earlier, so injuries were clearly not out of the ordinary.
 I glared up at Guardian. Surprisingly, his mouth, his only portrayal of emotion as the rest of his face was concealed, was down turned. His head was also bowed down remorsefully. Then to add to the element of surprise, he crouched down next to Kai's quivering body. He rested his hand on Kai's arm, and muttered some illegible words. They sounded Latin. A glow formed around Guardian’s hand, which then transferred onto Kai's arm.
 After a few seconds, Kai lifted his head. "Why did you do that?" he frowned, confused. 
Guardian sighed, and turned his head away. "I shouldn't have thrown you into the floor," he muttered. Then, he stood up, and dusted himself off of invisible dirt. "Take it as an apology."  He spun on his heel, then spun back again. "And I'll let you off the hook this time. Take that as an apology too." Guardians gloved fingers clicked, and the blinding light appeared, and swallowed him whole. He then disappeared, as did the disarray that the temple had turned into on his arrival. 
Kai gulped, and faced me, looking very shaken up. I cupped his right hand into both of mine. "Kai..." He flinched at my touch, and pulled away. He looked solemn, all his childlike spark completely drained out of him. "Don't, Raina." I felt hurt, as if I'd been stabbed with a knife. That knife. THE knife. But I backed away from him anyway, if a little sadly. His so blatant, bitter resistance had left me wounded. "I need to be on my own for a while." I scuffed the floor with my toe. Why was he suddenly so miserable? Guardian had been a little too harsh, but he'd apologised and even healed him. There was no reason whatsoever for him to be like this. Kai walked away from me swiftly, with no hesitation whatsoever, and quickly towards the circular door on the floor. He then opened the latch, and swung his leg down. "Don't come after me," he said, a very sharp edge to his voice. Then, he jumped down, away from the temple, away from me. He then slammed the metal door shut, the loud, blunt sound echoing around the temple. I let out a sob. Once again I was alone. But it weren't just the fact I was alone that was releasing the tears from my eyes. It was the fact that Kai was so distraught. 
And he didn't want me near anywhere him. 

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