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Live or Die

Live or Die

I noticed Alex on the last day of her senior year, I knew this would be a life changing day for her, I just had to wait for the events to occur. It was the day they were all waiting for; it had finally come. The last day of high school was among them and they were only 5 minutes away from walking out those doors for the last time as high school students. The clock ticked as each second went by when finally the loud 'ding' went off and all the seniors ran through the halls screaming with excitement. They were done, all those hours of studying and stressing out have finally paid off and now they could go enjoy their summer, and the rest of their life.

Alex rushed past the underclassmen smiling because she knew that she would never have to return to this school, unlike them.

"Alex! Are you coming to the party tonight?" Shouted a thin girl that seemed to be happier about talking to Alex than she was about getting out of school.

"Of course, it's basically my party." Alex gave one last look at the girl and turned to leave the school.

On her way out she spotted her best friend Stephanie talking to a group of girls. Alex grabbed her arm and pulled her away before Stephanie could say a word.

"What are you doing?" Stephanie stared down Alex. Alex had become pretty popular ever since she became friends with Stephanie last year, but now it seemed like she was using that superiority even against her own best friend.

"We have a party to plan, remember?" Alex dragged Stephanie's arm all the way to the student parking lot. Stephanie rolled her eyes but went along with it anyways because she knew Alex was right.

Around 8 o'clock people started arriving at Stephanie's house. A long canvas table stretched out across her backyard with just about any food you could imagine on it and the DJ was already blaring the beating house music. Inside the house was a bar stacked with colorful bottles which ranged from beer to tequila to just about any drink. Stephanie's parents were out of town for the weekend and she knew there was no better way to celebrate the end of senior year than to get wasted with all her former classmates. New cars arrived every few minutes. As the sun set, the day got darker, the music got louder, and the guests got happier. The party was now in full swing; Alex walked through the flashing lights outside searching for Stephanie when all of sudden group of imbibed guys gathered around her and left her in the middle of the crowd unable to escape. She went along and started dancing with them because she didn't really have a way out and anyways it was a party after all. The rest of the party was just a blur for Alex, she drank, danced, and talked to friends. Finally when it was time to go she said her last goodbyes to the people who were leaving for the summer and got into her car to drive home even though she was barely able to make her way to her car without stumbling all over. She knew it was a bad idea to drive home intoxicated but she figured she did it a countless times before and this time would be no different. Alex got into her car to drive home just like she did last weekend and the weekend before, but this time was different, this time Alex didn't make it home.

*
"Is she gonna be okay?!" Stephanie cried to the nurses at the hospital. Stephanie looked over at her limp best friend lying the on the pristine white sheets. Although Alex had scratches and bruises all over her body she still radiated a certain type of vitality.

Stephanie's thoughts were interrupted by Alex's parents as they rushed into the ER and blankly starred at their child, as if they were not only in shock but mostly disbelief. "What happened?" Alex's father asked while still looking at his daughter.

"I, um, I..." Stephanie didn't know what to say, she was just as surprised and in awe as Alex's parents were but part of her felt a bit guilty. She knew that she could've prevented Alex from getting into her car and driving home, but she didn't do anything. Tears started to roll down Stephanie's already pasty face. "It's all my fault," she broke down into full sobs now, "Alex was at my house and she was drinking, I know I should've stopped her!" Stephanie couldn't deal with this grief so she ran out of the room and left the body alone with just her parents and me.

You’re probably wondering at this point who I am. Well, I am Alex's angel. Everyone gets one right before they die. Sometimes they get to watch the soon to be corpse for a week maybe even a month before they die, not me though. I only knew Alex for a day, but I was about to get to know her a lot better.

Suddenly a nurse came in to take Alex's vitals which weren't getting any better. Her heartbeat was slow and although they didn't want to admit it Alex's parents knew there was little hope in her surviving. Only Alex could've survived if she wanted to, this would be a decision that she would have to make. My job was to guide her to that decision; I decided it was time to introduce myself to Alex.

Alex awoke to the fluorescent hospital lights. Through her blurred vision she could just barely make out a dull outline of someone peering beside her. "Hello Alex," I said in a meditative voice.

Alex squinted a bit to regain her eyesight, once she could clearly see me she asked, "Who are you?" with a furrowed brow that showed she really was not in the mood to put up with anyone at the moment. Sure she had just been in a car accident but she had enough of her memory to know that I was not a familiar face.

This was always the hardest part, telling the soon to be dead person who I was and that they will mostly likely be deceased within the next few hours. "Alex--"

"How do you know my name?"

"Alex, listen to me." I spoke in a soft tone that made everything sound like it would be okay. I explained to her the whole situation, who I was, and why I was here.

"Ok, very funny!" She rolled over on the bed exposing only her back to me.

"Look, I know it's a hard concept to understand, but you gotta believe me." Alex didn't move. I could tell Alex was smart and that this whole thing would take more than just an explanation so I decided I would have to prove it to her. All of a sudden I levitated up into the air and right through Alex. After much confusion and excitement I finally got Alex to believe who I was.

"Cool I have my own angel! So now what? Do I get like three wishes or something?" Alex asked with raised eyebrows. Her eyes got big with enthusiasm.

With a sigh I said, "Not quite... You see I'm not exactly here for a good reason." I made an effort to look Alex in the eye but wasn't very successful.

As I waited for a response from Alex all I got was a blank stare. "Alex," I took a deep breath and continued this time with definite eye contact, "I'm here because you were on your way home from Stephanie's party and you got in a car crash. Do you remember anything about what happened?"

Alex thought deeply with a subtle look of confusion still on her face. "I remember getting in my car," She shook her head like she was attempting to shake out more memories, "the next I remember is seeing a sudden blur of white and a long ringing of silence. Not the kind of silence you would imagine though, more of a harmonious sound that was so perfect it was as if it was silent, and not the color white you would imagine either, in fact it wasn't even so much a color as it was more of a never-ending bright light." Something suddenly occurred to Alex, she sprang up alarmingly in her bed, "Am I dead?!"

"Not yet, but that's actually what I was about to bring up. I want to give you a choice, a choice I've never offered anyone before but I think you still have potential in the world."

"Okay, so what is it?" She asked.

"In a few minutes your heart is going to stop beating for good. I am going to give you a choice, you can either die like you're supposed to or you can live--"

Before I could finish my sentence Alex cut me off. "Obviously I want to live! Wow, no offense angel but you're like kinda really dumb."

"Well, if you would let me finish my sentence that I was going to offer life to you forever. In other words if you chose to live you will live forever and never die."

"Sounds pretty cool! Okay so I chose the second option, duh."

I knew this was coming. Since the moment I first saw Alex I could tell that she would chose the quick solution and wouldn't actually think things through but if life is what she wants then that's what I'll give her. With a flick of my fingers I gave Alex life and then disappeared.

Time went by and Alex went on to live the happy life she wanted. She went to college, got married, had a nice job, and even had a few kids. She never told anyone about that day in the hospital because she could barely believe it herself; in fact she dismissed the whole thing by telling herself that it was only a dream. Many of her loved ones were dying, her parents, her husband. She assumed she was next, but then she thought back to that day in the hospital and wondered if maybe it wasn't a dream after all, maybe she really would live forever. She convinced herself that this just was not possible and rejected the idea as quickly as she had thought of it. Years later Alex was getting very old, so old that even her grandchildren were old and her children were in their 90's. Alex realized that she really wasn't going to die after all; she could not deal with the pain of having to watch everyone in her life die right before her eyes. "What's the point anymore? I'm old, wrinkly, and alone. If only I had been more alert when I was at that party many years ago or at least listened to that angel!" Alex pondered this whole situation unaware of what to do next. She just wanted to shrivel up like a prune and die but she knew that was not an option for her anymore. She called for the angel to come back and save her every night but never did that angel appear again.

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