Return to Contents
Fantasticoe 2001 -  10th Anniversary Issue

MIRACLES

Amber Shannan

Jonathan waited in the lingering room sipping a dark brew that, if nothing else, smelt like coffee. The taste was bitterly bland and made his tongue prickle with burnt taste buds. He stretched the muscles in his neck, it had been a long week and he was thankful to be getting a trainee to help him with the next patient. That is if the boy would ever show up.

The thought occurred to Jonathan to go in search of the lost student, but instead he patiently settled into the deep brown recliner and waited. Anyway, he wouldn't know where to begin looking; he had never had a novice before. Every man in his line of work had to go through extensive training so they wouldn't have any questions later. Jonathan just couldn't comprehend why the staff had insisted he take the boy under his wing. As questions perplexed his mind, Jonathan's tan lips took another sip of scalding hot liquid.

Suddenly the stainless steel double-doors flung open creating a bang, which rippled in echoes throughout the sterile room. A young man stood in the doorway, startled by his own dramatic entrance. His eyes twinkled with confusion and wonder.

Jonathan hid his amused smirk and approached the youth.

"You must be Gabriel," Jonathan greeted extending his strong, middle-aged hand. "I'm Jonathan."

"Hello," he mumbled, as his gaze wandered about the room. "Where… Where am I?"

"No one informed you?" Jonathan asked puzzled, his warm, brown eyes glowing with evidence of his gentle disposition.

"A guy named Peter gave me this and told me to find room number 1999," he spoke shakily, as he pointed to a "My Name is Gabriel" tag on his chest.

Jonathan snorted and with a swift movement swiped the tag off of the boy's breast pocket.

"You're in room 1999," Jonathan stated casually.

"Am I in a hospital?" Gabriel pressed, rubbing his head in awe.

"No," he dismissed the boy's curiosity and sized him up. He should do well in the field. Gabriel was of an average height- 5'9'' if Jonathan were making a wager. His arms were built well and his chest was broad, but he wasn't bulky by any means. Golden locks of hair fell upon his forehead. His eyes contained a startling blue blaze that touched even the deepest part of Jonathan. The intensity Gabriel possessed made Jonathan imagine that the boy was special. Maybe his gift would explain the mystery plaguing Jonathan's mind… Why would they put a rookie into the field?

"If we aren't in a hospital, what is that smell?" Gabriel asked, his fine features scrunching with discomfort.

"Formaldehyde," Jonathan replied as he took a whiff of the overwhelming substance that filtered through the air. "It keeps us preserved in these quarters."

"Preserved?"

"I'll explain that later," Jonathan said as he became anxious. He clutched Gabriel's arm and began to drag him towards the #1999 and #2000 divider. "No more questions now! We have work to do!"

Gabriel followed; his young eyes took in everything as the two walked down the brightly lighted corridor. The star shaped twinkles that lit when he stepped upon them and the never-ending ceiling that was vaulted so high it seemed never-ending mesmerized him. He inhaled the refreshing sweet smell of… What was that smell?… Cotton candy? His eyes swirled like the clouds that danced past the towering windows.

Jonathan sighed as he looked at his apprentice. He was so young... Too young for a job like this. He couldn't be more than eighteen.

"Have you read the case study?" Jonathan asked, breaking the awkwardness of silence and the pitter-patter of slippers.

"Case study?" Gabriel gulped, nervous by his unprepared state.

Jonathan came to an abrupt haul to draw a deep breath. He almost lost his cool and Jonathan never lost patience. He considered running to find Peter so that he could remind him of what his responsibilities were, but there just wasn't time for that.

"Peter should have told you," Jonathan said through unclenching teeth. "No worries. I'll update you myself. Her name is Julia Rolman and she has undergone deep emotional trauma. We fear she is at the deepest point of depression- suicide is possible, danger probable.

"I thought that you said we weren't in a hospital?" Gabriel spat becoming frustrated.

"We aren't."

Gabriel had had enough. "You aren't making sense! If you are a therapist then evidently we are in fact in a hospital… not that has anything to do with me. Why are you telling me all this?"

Jonathan frowned. The kid didn't have a clue where he was. Why hadn't he gone through training?

"I'm not a therapist, Gabriel. This isn't a hospital and this has everything to do with you. We are Julia's guardian angels. We must prevent her untimely end."

Gabriel stood for a moment as Jonathan waited for his objection. Instead of yelling as Jonathan had presumed, Gabriel did and about-face and started to strut off down the narrow hall.

"Gabriel?"

"Stay away from me! I don't know what you are smokin', but I am no angel!"

"Gabriel, wait I know you are confused. Please let me explain!"

Gabriel stopped and moved his heart shape lips, although no sound came out. He was utterly stunned. His body felt numb despite the fact that he was wavering uncontrollably.

"Gabriel, is that your real name?"

"What?" he asked, absolutely exasperated.

"I'm proving that you are indeed an angel. Now is Gabriel your real name? Do you have a last name? What is your father's name?"

Gabriel closed his eyes and fought the madness. His mind felt achy, but he tried to think of his past. Gabriel… Gabriel what? Father… Who is my father?… What? No! I must have a last name!!!

Jonathan could see the boy's fear come to life upon his gentle face. He remembered the feeling of nothingness. A memory of everything in life, except identity and all the glories that came with it. No friends, no family… No you.

"When you become a guardian angel you forget everything about your private life. You don't remember your name, those you loved- those who loved you. All of that just vanishes from your mind. All the reminders go to. Look at your body. You won't find one scar to remind you of a careless moment on Earth. Nothing in your life is strong enough to last, once you take on being someone else's protector."

"Why would an angel need formaldehyde? If we don't have bodies why do we need to be preserved? Where are the wings? The halos?"

"Easy Gabriel. It's okay. Halo's are only for officials, they are kind of like crowns for our kind. We don't need wings. We get from one place to another by means of necessity not desire. Wings would hinder our mindset. As for preservation, that is a little more complex. In Heaven we aren't in our human form, but when we return to Earth it is easier for us to function if we are as the humans are. To reacquire our old human form, at least in spirit, we need to go through a preservation process, which will allow our souls to maintain a human form while on Earth. Otherwise, we would get down there and while trying to help someone, we would go back to a metamorphosis that our soul desired. Don't worry though… The preservation process is only a small one, which requires nothing more than a fifteen minute time period in the lingering room. No big deal, right?"

"This is bogus!"

"Gabriel, I don't blame you for being perplexed and cynical. I was once in the very state that you are in now, but you will learn to adapt as I have. Even if you can't believe right now, there is a young woman down there that needs our help! We are running out of time."

Gabriel didn't want to listen. "So what, there is no Heaven like humans know it. It is just like "bang" your dead, go save somebody?"

"No Gabriel. There is a Heaven, a place so majestic words can't describe and when you are there you remember your life and loved ones -- you all live on for eternity. For some reason someone thought that you had a power for this job, please help me -- then you can retire to Heaven if that is what you want."

"This has to be a dream."

"If it is easier for you accept this as a dream then so be it, but please… Will you help me save Julia?"

***

Julia's swollen eyelids fluttered open; the sun pierced her sober gaze. The comforting numbness that had eased her in dreams was abruptly attacked by reality. Her heart ached with loneliness and desperation. The room was full of light, but Julia's eyes wouldn't focus. She had no desire to see all the things around her, all the things she loved so dearly. The blurred images seemed to spin around creating a tunnel of empty dreams and hopes of a life that could never be. Any image that became clear was a memory-- a picture from homecoming, her prom corsage, her hope chest that overflowed with ticket stubs, pictures, poems, broken dreams.

Julia sobbed upon the bed unable to control the overpowering maudlin she felt. Her body shook without control and her trembling heart screamed from with in deafening her thoughts. Painful energy surged through her veins making even her fingertips ache.

"Please God," she whimpered. "Don't take him, give him back. Take me instead. Dear Lord, don't' take him away!"
 
 

***

Gabriel watched from the window staring at the girl who was experiencing all the passionate feelings that were slowly slipping away from him.

She was beautiful, Gabriel thought, evidently his heart had yet to forget attraction. Her auburn hair was matted due to her helpless condition, but was nevertheless elegant. The redness clouding her eyes couldn't begin to hide her green twinkles that dimmed with each shallow breath she took. Why was she so distraught? She has everything, but this seems to be worst than just a poor little rich girl. Why can't I ease her pain?

Jonathan watched Gabriel watching Julia. He suspected that trying to make Gabriel comprehend angelhood was going to be almost as difficult as the mission to save Julia.

"What's with her?" Gabriel asked.

"She's depressed," Jonathan said lightly. "She thinks her heart is dying."

"Why?"

"The study just says that she has undergone a great trauma," Jonathan said, watching Gabriel roll his eyes in aggravation and he wished he could give the boy more wisdom. "If you watch her maybe she will tell you her story?"
"What, like by using telepathy?"

The corners of Jonathan's pink mouth drew into an upward crease. "No Gabriel, we aren't that powerful."

He looked to Julia to find a clue of his own. "Look Gabe, her clothes. She is dressed all in black. Possibly she is mourning."

Gabriel stared at the crumbled mass of beauty and studied her state. Her porcelain skin was blotchy from tearstains and was certainly adorn with blackness. His heart ached for her, a sensation he wanted to go away.

"If all my other emotions are slipping away, why does my heart throb so to look at her like that?"

"That too will go away. You will learn think like a doctor often does. You won't see the patient as a person; Julia is an assignment," Jonathan said covering up his own uncertainty; the boy should have lost all sentiment at the time of his crossover into Heaven.
 
 

***



Her pillow was wet and miserable and she was much the same. It had been a long day of phone calls that her mother ran frantically to answer, but not one of those calls were from the Tweedys'; not one from the hospital. She felt so cut off from the rest of the world in a seclusion of madness. At times she could do nothing but sob or scream into her pillow just to rid her body of the throbbing, which returned as soon as she drew a breath. She wanted to run until her lungs bursted, she wanted to flee so fast that time flew backwards and her misery would dissolve. She wanted him -- She needed a miracle. If only she could give her life, God might spare his.

"I'm so sorry God," she said meekly over and over until the sound became vociferous. "Please don't take him away. Please, please… Let the pain end!"

Her body fell to the hard wood floor and yet she pleaded, pounding her fist for emphasis. Her mother's footsteps could be heard galloping up the steps before she tried the knob to Julia's door.

"Julia honey let me in," a sweet voice cooed with nervous hesitation in each syllable.

Unable to resist comfort, Julia's distorted posture crawled to the door and turned the latch.

"Mommy," she wailed her throat stinging from strain. "He can't die. God needs to let me die instead!"

"Julia, don't talk like that now," her mom sniveled. "I need you, I love you. Don't say things like that. Please darling, don't think like that."

Even in the reassurance of her mother's arms couldn't ease her pain or anguish.

"I need him, Mommy. I need him so. It is all my fault."

"Pray for a miracle Julia, don't give up."

Julia continued to weep mercilessly into her mother's shoulder. Her body quaked for a long time before it gave into exhaustion. Julia's mother laid her daughter's head on the damp pillow and watched her gently inhale. When she knew her baby girl was really asleep she sat on the edge of the bed and sobbed tears of her own.
 
 

***



Julia awoke to the sound of the muffled ringing of the phone. She fought with the drapes of night to locate the hidden cordless that was safely waiting under her pillow. Reaching the phone her heart began to pound violently in her ears; she was almost too afraid to answer.

"Hello?" She whispered, breathless from anticipation.

The other voice was stifled by Julia's own frantic mind. She shook her head to clear her ears so that she could comprehend the last part of the message.

"They're disassembling life support tomorrow- they think he is brain dead! They say my brother is brain dead and it is all your fault!"

Julia recognized the voice as Lydia's. She couldn't hold back her sobs.

"Lydia," she choked. "I am so sorry. I would trade places if I could… I am just so sorry-"

"Sorry doesn't do much, does it? He's dying and it is all your fault!"

Lydia slammed down her receiver -- leaving Julia nothing but the dull buzz of silence. The pain that everyone said would go away seemed to worsen every moment that went by. She sat up in the darkness and cried invisible tears. Her shaky hands felt numb as she gently pulled her hair out of her face. Her small ring finger grazed her skin and in doing so made Julia aware of the cold chain that encircled her neck.

"I'm so sorry," she moaned as she fingered the sapphire heart that teared at the tip of the silver snake chain. "I'm so sorry."

Her body twirled around in the bed and carefully she placed her feet on the floor. They tingled from sleep and the cold floor felt like needles puncturing their flesh. She walked feebly towards her dresser and ran a comb through her tresses. She looked at her reflection and stared deeply into the eyes of the girl she wished she didn't recognize.

"It's all my fault."

Picking up a memento from her countertop, Julia crept out the door.
 
 

***



"Jonathan," Gabriel nudged. "Hey Julia is leaving!"

"Yes Gabriel, I know."

"Where is she going?"

"I don't know. This might be what we are here for."
"Well what am I suppose to do?"

"Save her!"

"Could you be a little more specific? Don't forget I have never done this before!"

"Calmness is essential. We just react to her actions. If someone else puts her in danger we slow them down."

"Like talk to them, pull them away??? What exactly can I do here?"
"If it soothes you then talk to her, but she wont hear you. Touch her gently if you desire for her to know she isn't alone. She won't feel your contact but a sensation of warmth will sooth her pain, at least momentarily. The last case I had was of a man who was so caught up in his day that he forgot to look both ways for traffic and he placed himself in the path of an eighteen wheeler."

"What did you do? Push him out of the way?"

"No… we can't push -- at least we can't push people. I applied the break in the semi's cab to make him slow down and blew the paper out of the case's hand so that he would have to take one step backward in able to retrieve it."

"Did it work?"

"For the most part. He ended up getting his foot ran over by the semi and is in the hospital, but he isn't dead."

"Where did she go?" Gabriel asked turning his attention back to the dark house. "Shouldn't we be inside?… You know in case she tries to hang herself or something."

Before Jonathan had a second in which to respond the front door to the home pushed open gently and Julia stole into the cold January eve. Gabriel followed the girl without instruction and soon found himself in the luxury seat of a silver Jeep. Jonathan sat on the back seat and carefully studied each move that Julia took unsure of what would come. Gabriel tried to follow her motives, but was lost in her beauty and his fear of failure.

Julia felt unsteady, but put all her concentration into being a careful driver. The car backed out of the drive way and onto the highway that seemed to be submitting a hazy vapor that in alliance with her already weak eyes made it nearly impossible for Julia to see where she was going.

She wept with each reminder of the world that had fled a few days before… New Year's Eve. The thought of that night made her sick.

"I'm so sorry!" she said, wincing at the memory.

The saliva spirting in Gabriel's mouth felt hot and ailing. He couldn't watch her anymore so he looked out the passenger window and saw the world walk by. He saw a couple kissing outside that late show at the Cinemax and he imagined himself there- he imagined kissing Julia and telling her that everything would be okay. His imagination seemed so real that for an instant he felt alive and safe.

"It is all my fault. I am so sorry," brought Gabriel out of his daze.

"Where are we going?" Gabriel whispered to Jonathan, unsure of how to use his voice in such situations.

"I am not for sure, but I think she may be heading to the hospital."

"Do you think she is going to be committed?"

"No… I fear that someone close to her has died… Maybe her father. Sometimes a case will return to where the trauma happened as means of pleading for forgiveness."

The words sunk into Gabriel's thick skull that was becoming more patient. The car pulled to a halt in the Intensive Care Unit parking lot and as one door opened a young girl and two angels toppled out of the Jeep.

Julia walked almost as if in a trance. Gabriel and Jonathan both gently placed a hand on her shoulder. She led them down a hall that smelt of peroxide, but reminded Gabriel of the aroma from room 1999.

The hall was dimly lit by a running light, but only one shadow was to be seen dancing upon the floor. Julia led the two seraphs down the vestibule and automatically turned left into room 319.

The room was full of the norms of hospital-hood. Crisp white sheets, a gray chart scribbled upon in the messy handwriting of a doctor, a wrap around curtain, and the irritating beep of a weak heart upon a red screen.

Whether it was the smell, the emotional overload, or the damned noise of the heart monitor Gabriel became to weak to stand. He fell into a chair and gasped for clean air. Jonathan glanced at his condition and gave him a sympathetic smile, but didn't say a word. Moving delicately, Jonathan scanned the paperwork skipping directly to the morbid analysis- Julia's friend was brain dead… Life support was to be disassembled tomorrow at 9:00a.m. He went back to the doorway to watch Julia, as she sat on a chair next to the comatose patient.

"I am so sorry, baby," she cried. "So, so sorry. I know you must hate me…"

She couldn't stand the thought and began to choke and shake on her sobs.

"I- I am- so so so, sorry!"

"We were having such a perfect day. The picnic in the back of your Jeep after ice-skating, it was all just so romantic. When you said you wanted to leave to go to that party… oh, you know how I get around alcohol. I just hate the stuff…what it does to me; how it makes me act…I just...I… I didn't want to leave our special day."

She took the hand of her friend beside her, and kissed the fingertips lightly.

"When you made me go with you, I already had gotten mad--just for being there. Then… when that girl started hanging on you, I just wanted to piss you off. That is why I drank so much. I downed one after another, and kept hoping you would make me leave… and, you did! Remember you told me "let's go Jewels", but by then the alcohol… I didn't want to leave anymore and when you tried to take my keys. Oh, I was so mad. You ran after me to get in the car, and kept telling me not to drive, but I wouldn't listen. I'm so sorry I didn't listen. I didn't think I was as drunk as I was, or maybe I didn't care. I swear I never thought I would hit that tree. It never occurred to me that you might be hurt. I am so sorry baby. I am so so sorry. Please forgive me."

Her words weren't stable as her bodily floods began to streak down her face and cloud her speech. Unable to say anymore, Julia prayed silently clutching her friend's motionless hand. Exhaustion seemed to overtake her and her head fell upon the fluffy, hospital pillow, gently touching the patient's bandaged head.
 
 

***



Jonathan studied the obnoxiously loud clock. It had been almost two hours since Julia had fallen to sleep. Gabriel had finally become silent. The boy had been making his head hurt with all of his rationality and questions. Why can't we just save that guy and then she won't be so sad--she won't be in danger. Jonathan had long ago stopped thinking like that, but the kid did have a point. Why didn't God just give a miracle, instead of two clueless angels? God works in mysterious ways, was the only response he could come up with.

"Jonathan?" Gabriel whispered, breaking the peace of silence.

Not this again… "Yes Gabriel?"

"Umm, well I think she just woke up," he said, nodding his head towards Julia who was again crying and praying.

After a few minutes she stood. Jonathan took a step forward positioning himself in front of her in a hug. Unaware of the angel in front of her, Julia leaned into Jonathan's spectrum and kissed her love goodbye.

Determination masked her despair as she walked without hesitation toward the door. She was so involved in her rapid steps that she ran straight into another visitor… Lydia.

"You!" she spat, aghast. "Haven't you done enough damage?"

"Lydia," Julia pleaded, as the rest of the Tweedy's joined their daughter. "I am so sorry. I love him too. I didn't want this to happen. Please, forgive me. I am so sorry!"

Lydia opened her mouth to spew out a ramble of curses, but her tear adorn mother spoke first.

"Julia, we really don't care to hear your explanation. The fact is he is going to die, and it is all because of you! My son is dying because you were stupid!"

"Gwen!" Earl Tweedy shouted. "That is enough."

Gabriel watched the scene, seething with anger.

"Jonathan, why don't they leave her alone? It was an accident!"

"I know Gabriel, but understand they are losing their son."

"But--," he stammered, but silenced as Earl spoke up.

"Julia," he said in a flat voice. "You have to forgive them. I know it was an accident; it could have gone either way. I don't condone what you did. I am losing my son too, but I do believe that you are truly sorry. I just--please, for now stay away from our family. Let us mourn in peace, without being reminded how he died."

Earl's eyes bored through her, and for a moment he didn't move. Then, like his daughter and wife, he turned into the hospital room.

Gabriel stepped forward and embraced Julia. She was frozen, her watery eyes transfixed on the floor. Despite the unexpected warm feeling that engaged her body, she was unable to stop shaking with silent tears.
 
 

***



The stab of bitter agony finally awoke Julia from her trance, and her feet began to move. Without hesitation she walked out the hospital door and to her car without care or concern of the uproar she had just caused with the startled nurse who had bumped into her.

Her angels followed, stepping on her heels with each wobbly stride she took. Her car door slammed shut. Gabriel reached for a door handle, almost forgetting that he was an angel. He slid into the Jeep without material assistance and placed his bizarrely tingling fingers on her hand.

Jonathan sat on the center divider, instead of in the back seat. His gaze was transfixed on Julia's cold stare. Her speed was climbing higher and higher, until she gradually slowed with her blinker flashing. Jonathan could tell she was having trouble visualizing her location on the road. The golden centerline was covered by masses of ice and snow, and her eyes were failing her with the dizziness of tears.

"Gabriel… I think that this is it. Be prepared."

Gabriel didn't move. He kept his hand on Julia and prayed with all his might that this angelic creature before him could be saved.

Julia's hands left the wheel as her foot eased off accelerator. She frantically reached for her glove box and jerked the door open. Gabriel instinctively took hold of the wheel and held it firm. Jonathan reached down to gently allow pressure on the break.

"Damn!" Julia yelped as the trees flew past her car in a whirlwind of branches and snow. She stopped looking at her surroundings; there was only one thing she wanted to see. She continued to pry at the glove compartment, unaware of Jonathan moving her foot. Finally the little door sprang open and a lone picture was all there was to behold. Julia touched it gingerly and then picked it off the layer of dust it had been blanket on. She went to press it to her lips when the Jeep hit a bump knocking the memory onto the floor, and too Jonathan's attention.

Jonathan glanced down to see the most devastating thing he had ever seen. There trapped in a glossy print of photo paper was a girl he almost didn't recognize. It was Julia who wore a dimpled smile and shone of love, and next to her was a handsome young man looking at her with intense sapphire like eyes. He flipped the photo over, not wanting to be face to face with the melancholy truth and there on the back was scribbled…

Jewels and Gabe Forever

1999

Everything, suddenly made sense as clarity filled Jonathan's quizzical mind. He looked to Gabriel, unsure of what to say. The boy was meticulously studying the road, still steering. Julia looked ahead with a hopeless gaze.

"God I am so sorry," she said full of conviction. "I promise I will make this right! I will tell everyone how bad alcohol is. I won't let them drink anymore… please, I'll do anything--just don't take Gabe away from me."

"What?" Gabriel whispered looking towards Jonathan for answers.

Jonathan couldn't provide any comfort or support. His own mind was shouting the same question, for the first time in an eternity he felt the dull ache of true pain. His eyes blinked back the strange sensation of tears, and then as his eyes refocused he once again was mystified.

"Gabriel?"

"What?"

"Your fading!"

"I'm what…" he gasped as he looked down at his bodiless arm; it was vanishing.

"Jonathan?" He begged, but it was too late he was already gone -- the clock flashed a green 9:00.
 
 

***



The steering wheel suddenly went slack, and Julia realized she wasn't even grasping the leathery helm. She panicked and over reacted. The wheel was turned brutally to the right and the Jeep began to tailspin. Already overwhelmed by a million emotions and the fears that gnawed in her mind, she careless went to hit the brake, but the accelerator was what her foot met. The long pedal was bent to the floor causing the dull odor of exhaust fill the tiny vehicle. Snow and ice spat through the air as the Jeep's Firestone tires left indentations in the frozen ground. Jonathan sprang from his position on the floor of the jeep and took over Gabriel's position. He searched with dedication for someway to avoid the cliff off the side of the curvy road -- the pit of jagged rocks that sparkled with icicle spears, and the glass sheet of water that blanketed the sharpest of these boulders. Jonathan knew it was too late and embraced Julia for the last of it.

The final curve of the road waved goodbye to the two as they fled the icy path into the bleak morning. The car trembled and shook in the air, and a lone scream could be heard right before it descended to shatter the quarry.

"Let there be a miracle," Jonathan whispered as Julia slipped into a motionless slumber.
 
 

***



"Jonathan," Gabriel whispered into an achy darkness. "Jonathan?"

"Oh my God!" someone shrieked.

Gabriel's eyelashes fluttered and his eyes squinted to see the blinding florescent hospital light. "Jonathan?"

"Sweetie," he recognized his mom's voice. "Doctors! It is a miracle."

"Gabriel!" Earl shouted proudly.

"Dad…" he whispered, finding his voice raspy. "Jonathan."

"Who's Jonathan honey?" Gwen asked, puzzled. They didn't know any Jonathan.

"Julia…" he whispered, before his voice came to life with worry. "Jonathan has to save her!"

"Julia?" Lydia asked. "She was just here, she is fine. She didn't get hurt in the accident."

"NO!" he screamed, yanking his bruised body to a sitting position. "We have to save her! Jonathan and I had to save her! Please, dad! Go find Julia."

"I think he is hallucinating," his mom whined. "Earl, go call Julia's mom."

Earl left the room to go in search of a phone. Gwen proceeded to tell Gabe how worried everyone has been, and how they had given up hope just moments before when they unplugged the life support.

"Mom," Gabriel spat. "I know all about it, trust me. I'll explain in time I promise. Please I need to go find Julia. We were on Old Combine Road. Please, she is in danger. Mom, please."

Gwen watched her son and knew that his ramblings couldn't provide any truth, but he looked at her with huge sad eyes full of sincerity. She was just about to tell Lydia to go and call Aunt Lynn, who lived on Old Combine Road, to see if she had heard anything when Earl busted through the door.

He's eyes were frantic looking, and wrinkles of confusion clouded his shiny forehead.

"It's Julia," he said. "Her mom just told me that she was in severe accident only a few moments ago. They just sent out several ambulances--she went over the cliff."

Gwen began to cry, there is no way anyone could live through that sort of fall. Why was I so mean to her earlier? Why?

Lydia embraced her brother who was ferociously yanking on the cords and needles that punctured his body.

"Son!" Earl said gently. "There is nothing we can do, but pray for another miracle. God already gave us one today--we have you back. Please, calm down lets all just pray."

"Dad," Gabe whispered. "I can't lose her now. Jonathan just has to do something… I can't lose her now!"

Earl didn't understand his son's confession, but joined his hands as Gabriel prayed.
 
 

***



Gabriel stood in the hospital doorway, leaning upon his crutches. It was dark in the cold room. The sound of her strong heart was a blessing, but a lonely one. He wanted her to wake up; he didn't want to be alone anymore. Although he knew he wasn't completely alone. He could feel the warm sensation of a hand upon his back.

"Just keep praying, Jonathan," he whispered.

Jonathan smiled and did as the kid said. He wished he could talk to him… he wouldn't even mind his rationality at a time like this. Ever since, Gabriel had come into his life he had begun to feel things again. It was all bitterly sweet, what was the point of hurting when those you hurt for weren't yours? He didn't mind the pain for Gabe and Julia; something inside of him loved them, but that same love made him want to remember those who loved him… Surely there was someone that once loved him, and maybe that person was waiting for him now. He sighed; I think it is time I retire.

"Jewels?" Gabriel whispered, bringing Jonathan out of his daydream. Both of their eyes twitched and focused on the somber body lying upon the awkward hospital bed.

"Gabriel," she whispered, unable to open her eyes. "I am so sorry. I didn't mean to kill you. I love you. I am so sorry."

"Julia, sweetie, wake up," he nudged her, and kissed her eyelids that fluttered open under his silky touch. "I didn't die… How could I die and leave my angel here?"
Her eyes, glued by sticky tears, forced themselves open.

"Gabriel?"

"Hey angel," he smiled. "It's okay. We are both okay. I love you Julia!"

She began to sob, completely conquered by joy. "I love you, too!"

She giggled and kissed him; he embraced her tightly as to let her know that they would never part, and then ever so gently he whispered, "Thank you Jonathan."


Acknowledgments- I would like to thank everyone in my class for all of their support and gentle criticism. I would also like to thank the class for sharing all of their well-developed and enchanting stories with me; you all are very talented. A special thanks goes out to Anna, Rob, and Jessica who helped me in editing this paper… if I have any mistakes left it's your fault (just kidding). I am extremely grateful to Terry for allowing us all to participate in his class… Oh, and on a final note; thanks to everyone in the computer lab that had to wait for all of my papers to print out… and thank them all for being so "understanding" after I was finished and seeing that I had used all the paper… and ink. Thank you!

Return to Contents

12p