I’ve always wondered what it would be like to die. I’d imagined that it would all be quite boring, after I got over the shock and the fright, and the adventure of trying to get out of the darkness, but it wasn’t, not really.
In all honesty, it was actually quite fun. I got to relive my life; at the funny parts, cry at the sad parts, and hit the little girl, Laura, in the orphanage when she annoyed me, which she did quite a lot, for reasons nobody really managed to force out of her. She was autistic, and I suppose I shouldn’t think of her how I do, but she was annoying, everyone knew it.
The orphanage was even duller than the first time I was there, unfortunately, and I was glad when I saw myself moving to the Academy, finally free of that dump.
My first day was probably one of the best days of my life – apart from Mackayla Burton, but that was a minor issue at the time – and everything else paled in comparison. I just couldn’t seem to get over the excitement of being … Free. I made it my duty to make the most of every second I spent there, and I did so with pride.
I miss it now, as I cross the white expanse to the small desk across the room, where a boy sits slumped on his hand, snoring. “Hello?” He doesn’t answer, apart from a snore, which I decide to take as a grunt of ‘hello’. “I’m kind of new to this whole death thing. Mind showing me about?” When he still continues his snoring, I spy a jug of ice cold water out the corner of my eye, and feel a mischevious smiel curve on my lips.
“Wakey, wakey!” I shout, watching the water trickle out slowly, then all at once, a gushing waterfall caused by me and a very expensive looking jug.
“What the hell was that for?" the boy – who looks like he should be called James - exclaims, reaching up as if to slap me, then thinking better of it.
“I didn't think angels swore," I say snidely, presuming this was some kind of Heaven. It did seem like the only possible explanation. "And I did try to be nice about it.” I twiddle my thumbs, waiting for James to speak. “Mind showing me where to go?” He responds with a blank face. “I’m kind of new around here, James, so I’d appreciate it if, you know …”
He grunts something which sounds like ‘no’, and leaves me, presumably to find a map or something. I’m not sure what he’s getting, but I might as well wait for it. I’ve got a lot of time to kill, now I’m dead.
Come to think of it, I don’t know a lot. I don’t know why I died, or how I died – the ‘life movie’ forgot to show me that crucial detail, and instead filled it with homework. Ugh. I think I was alone when I died, but that’s just a guess. Nobody bothers to tell me anything about my life, not even at the orphanage. I should really stop calling it that – ‘care home’ Lucy always used to tell me – but I’m just being truthful, and if they don’t like that then they can put it … Somewhere else.
“Right then; name?” James enquires dully, flicking through a ring binder.
“Cerise De Wan,” I inform him monotonously. It’s a shame I’m dead; I at least wanted to have changed my name first.
“Oh, yeah. Return to below.”
I glare at him. Unless I’m seriously thick – which I don’t think I am, considering I was in top set Mathematics at my old school – ‘below’ is just another word for Hell, and I don’t really want to go there. “Care to explain?” I drawl, trying to make myself look like someone he might fall for.
“You’re not dead.”