Another Life

"Do you believe there's life after death?"

16-year-old, Cecilia Woods only wanted to live her life normally like everyone else. However, she is unable to do so because of the tragic accident which happened to her 2 years ago. She had lost both of her parents - even her life. Miraculously, she revived and was granted special abilities which allows her to see and hear things that normal people can't. We're not the only ones living in this world and Cecilia knows it. With her abilities, it's now her task to banish the Unwanted Souls and prevent the darkness from devouring the world.

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4. Beware

"Explain"

      Aunt Meg stood in front of me with her arms crossed. "I was just tired." I tried to make up an excuse. She's always worried about me for some reason, I know that's a good thing but sometimes, she's suffocating me; excessive worrying wasn't necessary. 

      "I promised your mom that I'd look after you. Was it something serious? Did you hit your head? Were you tired because you didn't ate?" she shot a million question directly at me. 

      I stood up and gave her a hug instead, which surprised her since I've never done anything like this before. Slowly, she began to calm down and she let out a sigh. "I'm probably just overreacting. Sorry for that, Cecilia," she said.

"It's cool. I'm used to seeing people overreact." I shrugged.

"But, seriously, you know how I much I hate worrying. Receiving these kinds calls from people telling me that you've been admitted to the infirmary or the clinic or hospital.. gives me a bad feeling," she gently stroked my hair. "Just, don't do anything to scare me, 'kay?" she lifted my chin.

"I'll try."

 

      I lay down onto my soft and comfy bed. I grabbed a pillow and curled myself into a blanket. Today wasn't really half bad, aside being chased by those horrid creatures - I'm alive and that's good news. Plus, I've a new friend. Even so, I'll try to not get too attached to her since I wouldn't want to endanger her life. Gently, I closed my eyes; I doubt this friendship won't last long but since it hasn't ended, I might as well experience it to the fullest. Mom used to say to me, "It's important to be nice but it's also nice to be important." Aside Aunt Meg, who else thinks I'm important? Of course, nobody does. I never liked being in the center of attention. I hate facebook, I don't tweet or read people's blogs - I'm happy with the way I am. "Don't even bother trying to become friends with me," I remembered saying that during my first day at my first school when we started moving. This time, it's different. Being lonely is no longer fun. I've changed a lot and being in this condition now, even mom would think it's unacceptable. "Learn to live, love and have fun." I locked my gaze at a picture frame placed on top of the drawer. Mom and dad, us.. We were so happy back then. 

      "If you're watching me now, mom. I promise I'll try my best to fit in. Wherever you are, oh and tell dad I love him. I miss you both so much," I whispered. 

 

      Meanwhile... (in someplace unknown and unaware of its existence by humans*)

A woman stood facing the window with her hands behind her back. Her dark grey eyes gazing into the hollow sky and slowly, she turned away. Her skin was whiter than the winter snow, her silky hair partly tousled, her body's tall and lean; she eyed on the boy kneeling before her. She walked carefully down the narrow stairs, plucking a dying rose with her long skinny fingers. 

      "Have you found her yet?" her voice was icy.

"Yes, I have," the boy replied, keeping his head down. "Splendid," she sounded pleased with his response. She began circling the boy, studying every detail.

"Somehow, I admire that girl. I'm surprised that she had managed escape her own death."

      She plucked the last petal and seconds before the petal hits the ground, it turned into dust. "Sadly, we have to kill her," her smile was devious. "But.. she opposes no threat to us," the boy snapped his head towards the woman. She instantly paused and began to laugh. The boy kept his head down again, facing the ground. She approached the boy and lifted his chin. The boy stared into her dark grey eyes; those similar eyes to his. 

      "You know what to do," her voice echoed inside the room. The boy was reluctant - he didn't wanted to betray her trust but somehow, he felt that this was too much to bear. No.. I don't want this. I don't want to kill her.. he thought to himself, but he had no other choice. "I'll get it over with."

 

 

      Days had passed since I've entered BranchWood Academy.. a lot had happened. I've made some new friends but we're not actually close, and the friendship bond between me and Lucie grew stronger; even Cillian. I'm no longer known as the 'new kid'. Slowly, I'm beginning to live my life normally. The Souls still haunts me whether in reality or in my dreams but since I've been busy occupying myself with assignments and projects; I could easily wipe them off my mind. I'm still avoiding them - as much as I could. I even decided to get myself involved in the school curriculum by joining various of sports events. Recently, I broke a record of 29.6 seconds at my first run, only because I was running away from a Soul (but, other people couldn't see it). I was so fast, they thought I was running away from a dog. My academics, on the other hand, was okay. Cillian gladly helped me with my studies and he even organized a study group for us (me and Lucie) at the school library. For once, everything was going so smooth and I've been smiling a lot too. This was simply spectacular.

      "Hey, there's a new ice-cream parlor just opened up yesterday. Wanna go and check it out?" Lucie asked while her fingers are busy combing her hair. She took her hairband and quickly tied her hair back into a ponytail. "You mean, this evening?"

She nodded, "Yeah. Oh hey, you could bring Cillian along too, if you want." 

"Cillian? Why?" 

"Well, y'know, for these past few days, he's always been following you around like a puppy dog. Plus, you guys seemed pretty close. I thought you both were secretly dating, which I wouldn't mind," she shrugged. I tried not to burst out laughing - it's hilarious. Yeah, we've been pretty close lately but we certainly aren't dating (although I badly wanted that to happen.)

      Whenever he's around, I don't feel scared. Whenever he's beside me, those wandering souls won't lay a finger on me. I'm unsure why they won't come near him; is he my protector? Or was it because of something else? I shook my head. It doesn't matter, either he's a blessing or a curse, he's the only safe place I've got. 

"Hello girls," Cillian greeted us with his exceptionally charming smile. He's wearing a grey polo t-shirt with a pair of dark jeans. "I heard someone mentioned the word, 'ice-cream'." Both of us laughed. "Lucie's taking me to a new ice-cream parlor downtown," I said.

"Cool! May I join you guys?" his smile widened.

"Of course."

"Great. Then, we'll meet by the Junes Superstore after school," Lucie seemed happy. "Okay," we both replied at the exact same time.

"Oops I've another class to go to now. Sorry, gotta run," without a minute to waste, Lucie rushed to class, leaving us behind. "See you soon!" I shouted, but I didn't think she heard me.

"Hey," Cillian appeared in front of me.

"What is it?" 

"You don't have any plans for tonight, don't you?" 

I was quite surprised with his question, "Well, not really. Why?" 

"I want to show you something." 

"Oh.. uh, sure."

"Alrighty then," he winked. "So, uh, are you heading to class now?" he asked. "Just a minute." 

"Okay then. I'll be going first. See you in class." A few minutes after that, he left. I packed my textbooks and began to wonder about tonight. What did he wanted to show me?.. Was he planning to take me out on a romantic dinner, perhaps? Oh wait, we're not even dating yet. Or maybe, he wants to. I squealed, this is amazing. 

      Just when I wanted to jump with joy, suddenly, all the windows shattered. Luckily, I managed to duck and rolled myself towards a locker for protection. I clasped my hand over my ears and watched as the grounds were showered by thousands and millions of sharp glass. Once it was over, I slowly stood up. My legs were shaking and to my surprise, the Souls were here; they've surrounded me. There was no wailing or crying, they seemed alarmed somehow. Their hollow bodies floating and circling me, watching me expectantly. Then, one of them spoke. 

"You must stay away.." his hollow voice quivering.

"Stay away? What do you mean?" 

"You'll get hurt.." another spoke.

"Hurt? Who'll hurt me?" I glared at them.

"You must stay away.."

"Who? Tell me who I should stay away from!" I shouted. They began to spin around me, their voices echoed into my ears. 

"Safe yourself.."

"Before it's too late.."

Quickly, I closed my ears and yelled, "Stop! Stop it!" I don't want to listen. Whatever they had to say, I don't want to listen.. at all.

"He's dangerous.. He's one of them..."

 

      When I got into class, everyone stared at me. I was the last one to arrive but thankfully, the teacher was in a good mood. "I'm sorry I'm late." After that, I went to my seat.

      "Where were you?" I heard Cillian's voice. 

What was I supposed to say? Telling him the truth would only freak him out and it will probably change his mind about tonight. So, I decided to lie. "I've had some... girl problems." He nodded as a sign that he understands and doesn't need anymore further information.

      I looked outside and they were still there. After they've left, everything returned to its original state; the windows were never broken. It was almost like an illusion. However, I don't quite understand the purpose of their warning. Stay away? From what, exactly? I didn't hear the last part because their disembodied voices were hurting my ears. Who would want to hurt me? It doesn't makes sense. Lucie? That's impossible. She couldn't even catch a ball. Cillian? I admit, he could be a bit mysterious sometimes but he wouldn't possibly hurt me. He's sweet and funny, he wouldn't even hurt a fly. They probably meant someone else. Whoever it is, I'll be ready.

 

      "Oh myh God!! Thish tastesh amazisngh!" 

Lucie and Cillian both laughed when they heard me talking with my mouth full. "Cecil, you probably shouldn't talk with ice-cream in your mouth," Lucie advised. I swallowed the ice-cream and I could feel it going down my throat. 

"I've never had an ice-cream like this before!"

"Well, it's an M&M Special. At certain places, these things are really expensive. Since it's their second day after their grand opening yesterday, it comes with a discount," Cillian explained.

"We should get another one," Lucie suggested.

"We definitely should!" I answered excitedly. "You want some more, Cillian?" 

"Naahh, I'm cool. I think I've had enough ice-cream for one day."

 "Okay then. Don't regret it," I teased. "I won't," he chuckled.

 

      By nightfall, Lucie decided to head home. "My mom's worried sick about me. I forgot to tell her that we're going to an ice-cream parlor. I guess I'll be attending a free 'concert' tonight. See ya guys," she said before leaving. It's nice to have a mom; someone to scold you, only because they care. Aunt Meg is the only I have left but nowadays, she's often busy with her job. She just got promoted and that obviously means, more work to do. 

"So, will your aunt be okay.. y'know, if you're late for dinner tonight?" Cillian interrupted my thoughts.

"It's fine. She's coming home late anyways," I flashed him a smile.

"Okay. So, come on."

 

      I decided to follow him. It was a long journey, even my legs are starting to hurt. "Cillian, where are we going?" I'm not sure if he can hear me. He's too far ahead.

We kept walking and walking and walking.. until we've reached a meadow. "Cillian, what are we doing here?He smiled, "Look up."

I slowly turned my head upwards. My eyes widened; above this empty meadow, there were million of stars shining brightly as if they were guarding this place. They were glittering and sparkling so bright, I reached out, they seemed so close. I could almost grab them with my bare hands. I'm amazed by it's beauty. Even diamonds couldn't compare to what I'm seeing now. "Surprised you?" 

"I'm lost with words," I turned to face him. He gave out a short laugh, "I'm glad you like it."

"Like it? I love it!" Tears started rolling down my cheeks. "I've never been so happy.. all this time, I've been such a coward. I've been hiding for so long, I've never realized that the things I've feared were the most loveliest." I watched the grass swaying and felt the cool wind brushed against my skin. "Ever since my parents died, everything changed. I've been lonely.. A lot of things happened to me and I've suffered a lot too. By coming here, I thought I could start over. I just wanted to be happy like everyone else... and thanks to you and Lucie, you both gave me that happiness." I smiled through my tears. This was my emotional breakdown, I've never cried this much; only once during my parents funeral ceremony. 

     Cillian gently wiped my tears with his hand. "Hey, it's okay. Everything will be alright." He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me closer. I buried my head onto his chest and continued sobbing. I never want him to let go, I'm safe in his arms. I want him to always be by my side to tell me that everything would be fine but deep down, I knew it wasn't going to be. Slowly, I detached myself from him, "Sorry. I didn't mean to make your shirt wet."

"It's fine."

I laughed. "Geez, you're fine with everything. How are you always able to stay calm?"

"That's a secret," he whispered. Then, both of us laughed. "Are there anymore secrets you're hiding from us?" 

"Well, not exactly." He shrugged. I poked his shoulder, "Aww c'mon. You can tell me. It's not that serious, isn't it?" I stood beside him, "Won't you tell me?"

He rubbed his shoulder and turned to look at me with a bland smile, "Some secrets are worth dying for."

 

      

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