We find out more about Lilly, Life, and Death.
“What?” she whispered. “I’m not dead,” she said, tears starting to well up in her eyes. Gerard held her close as she sobbed into his chest. He was used to this kind of response from people, and he hated being the one to tell them the bad news.
“How could I have died? I was just walking on campus and then I was just here..” she choked out. He just held her for a minute, knowing he might send her into another fit of tears.
“You were shot.” he said quietly, running his fingers through her hair. “The bullet wasn’t meant for you specifically. It was just some kid who had some big problems, but he’ll be dealt with soon enough.”
“But what about my mom and dad?” she said quietly. “They need me. Who else will watch my brothers or get groceries or all that stuff?”
“I don’t know, baby. They’ll find a way to get through, they’re resilient people.”
She stopped crying for a second and looked up at him. “Wait, how do you know that?”
He threw her a crooked smile. “I hope this doesn’t sound creepy, well, you always said it sounds creepy. I’ve been watching you for a long time, Lilly.” She pause for a minute and looked at him with a blank expression. She sniffed and laughed a little bit and replied “That is creepy. What do you mean I always say it, I’ve never been here before.” She told him.
“Well, Sugar, you have been here before. Actually, this is your tenth time. If you have your frequent visitor card with you, we’ll punch it now and skip this whole thing.”
She tilted her head slightly before saying “I…um…don’t…have a card?”
He chuckled and sighed “They never do. Same old song and dance routine, right babe?” She just stared at him with a worried look on her face.
“S’alright, I didn’t think you’d remember. You never do until about the second or third challenge.” So many questions were running though her head. Why does he keep talking like she had met him before? What challenges? Where is she? Who changed her into these clothes? She tentatively started asking him questions.
“Have we met before?” she asked.
“Yeah, we have.”
“I’ve been dead before?”
“Yes. I watch you each lifetime. I guess you could say I’m your Guardian Angel.”
“That’s all real? Angels, Heaven, God, Satan, and Hell?”
“In a way. Not really what you are thinking though. God is more of a symbolic figure. Everything in this dimension is run by a board of supervisors. They look after the affairs of earth and the people on it, but rarely intervene. “Satan” is pretty much the same, it’s just a committee assigned to punish the evil.”
“So…what is this place? Heaven or Hell?”
“It’s in between. This is where souls come to be tested before they get into heaven.”
“You’ll see, Sugar.”
“But that isn’t fair! Tell me!”
He laughed, “Baby I could never resist you. You are going to have to technically “face your demons” in these tests. Basically the seven deadly sins, except they are all a part of you. You collected them in life, and now you have to fight them after you die. If you win, you go to heaven. If you lose, you go back to earth to try again. I’m here to help you though, you’re a special case baby.”
“Why am I a special case?” She asked, she felt like she had gone through this before.
“Because usually, it takes a person once or twice to go through and get into Heaven. You, on the other hand, have already gone through nine times. Welcome back baby.”
“Nine times? So what about my other lives? What were they like?”
“I don’t like you,” she said wrinkling her nose.
“Yes you do,” he said, grinning.
“Fine.” she said wiping her remaining tears away.
“We should go Sugar, we have a very long way to go.” He said before he pulled away from her and started to walk down the lonely dirt road. She waited for a second, apprehensive to follow him. After a few feet, he turned around and looked her dead in the eye. “Time to go babe, it’s not safe to stay here.” she nodded and jogged to catch up with him, staying by his side. She glanced off into the forest, swearing she saw something move far off in the trees. She shivered and clung to Gerard’s coat sleeve. “They won’t get you while I’m here doll. Don’t worry.”