Angel’s Truth

Short Stories

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I’m going to tell you a story. It may seem far-fetched, but believe me, it’s true. It’s about a girl. A girl named Ellie Lane and how she brought me back to life.

 

Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder where my life will lead me. One night about 6 months ago, I was lying in my bed and thinking just that. I thought about all the bad choices I made that year. For example, in year 10, as a naïve 15 year old, I got involved with the wrong crowd, the drinking and smoking type of people. I was so influenced by them and I eventually dropped out of school. In my head I knew what I was doing was wrong but I wanted to be part of a group or belong to something so I ignored my good nature.

 

That morning, Dylan and the rest of the gang were in the shed, which was an abandoned shack down the road near the park. We were drinking our beer and smoking pot when suddenly there was a knock on the roller door. We don’t usually get visitors so understandably we were rather wary. All of us quickly threw stuff around to remove evidence of our illegality. Then Dylan, the leader of our gang, shushed us and went to open the door. We were stunned to see who was on the other side.

 

It was Ellie Lane, a girl we all knew from school. She had her long dark brown hair out and her bangs all messed up. She stood there looking at us while we just stood there staring at her with dumbfounded expressions. The awkward silence lasted for a good ten seconds. Then Ellie ducked under Dylan’s arm he was using to hold up the roller door and walked straight in. She then walked up to our tattered couch, brushed off some cigarette butts and sat down. We were all utterly speechless. Dylan broke the silence by saying (rather rudely),

“What a’ya doing’ here?”

All she said in reply was,
“I’m just here to help”

Thinking back, that’s all she did, she just helped, but so much that we will never even begin to be able to thank her.

 

She sat down with us for two hours and explained how we were wasting our lives by sitting around drinking and smoking when life is short and how we have the potential to be amazing people who do amazing things. When she finished her lecture, we again just stared at her in complete silence for about five seconds. Then she asked us how we were going to be those people. We continued to stare at her with blank expressions. She then she rolled her eyes and gave a half laugh, half sigh. She told us we were going to go back to school and explained how it would benefit us. She told that we were going to graduate next year and the majority of the boys scoffed at that thought but I was intent on seeing how she was going to follows it through. After trying to help everyone she stood up and headed back towards the roller door, lifted it up and turned towards us and cheerfully said,

“See you at eight o’clock tomorrow boys”

Then walked out and let the roller door close behind her. For the nth time we were silent. Dylan again broke the silence by turning the television on and then everyone continued to go on with their drinking and smoking until we were all asleep, scattered around the shed.

 

I lay awake that night thinking about what she said and how much I wished I could do what she asked but how I just couldn’t. I couldn’t because I was scared that I wouldn’t fit in and I would let people down – let Ellie down. I thought about it for a long time and then fell into a restless sleep.

 

I was awoken by knocking on the roller door. It was still dark and I had a really bad hangover. I got up into a sitting position and heard the knocking again. Nobody stirred so I carefully got up and groggily stumbled over to the door to open it.

There she was again. Her long hair tied into a neat ponytail and her bangs sitting neatly on her forehead. She had her school shirt on and was wearing a skirt and black shoes. She was carrying her school bag but also had a large garbage bag with her. She enthusiastically greeted me and searched the walls for the light switch. They flickered on and I snapped my hand up to cover my eyes. The boys start to wake up which was accompanied with cursing directed to the person who turned the lights on. Multiple groans echoed the room when the culprit was identified. When everyone was up she opened the garbage bag and threw everyone a school, shirt and told us to change. At first we resisted but she gave us a look that for some reason changed our minds. While we changed, Ellie tried to clean the room but gave up when she saw behind the couch. Ehen we were finished getting ready, she proceeded us out the door and walk us to school happily chatting away to us.

 

At school she showed us around, introduced us to people and directed us to our classes. At the end of the day she walked us home urging us to do our homework and said goodbye. We all talked about our day at school and for some reason, one by one – I don’t know who started first – we began our homework.

Early next morning, Ellie was back again but we ready, waiting for her this time. This routine continued for the next few months during which we became close with Ellie and couldn’t remember a time when she was not there and we didn’t go to school. Some of us, including my self had even started enjoying going to school.

 

One day, Ellie didn’t show up in the morning and we assumed something important must have come up so we walked to school without her expecting to meet her there. She didn’t come to school that day and or for the next week. We were worried and tried asking a few people about her nobody seemed to know or were unwilling to talk about it.
That Friday as we gathered for an assembly in the school gym, the principal, Mr. Roberts, a normally cheerful man, walked in looking very serious and grim. As Mr. Roberts tapped on the microphone the hall went quiet and he began to as speak.

“ I have asked you all to gather here today, to convey some very sad and distressing news. One of our most talented and valued students lost her long fight with leukemia late last night.”

There were confused and shocked faces as the students began whispering. A girl from our grade burst into tears. She obviously knew who it was and I was anxious to find out who it was because I had a bad feeling in my stomach. Mr. Roberts then continued,

“ Ellie Lane was an amazing student who was dedicated to her studies but was also a young woman with a bubbly and joyful personality which rubbed off in those around her. Her aim in life was to change the world one step at a time and to make others appreciate the life that they have. She has been with us, at this school, from kindergarten and stayed until the very end. So would everyone please join me for a minute silence for Ellie Lane the girl with a big heart who will be dearly missed.

He stepped back from the podium and bowed his head, the student body followed. The news hit me so hard, I had to sit down. I felt like I was going to be sick. Dylan bent down and patted my shoulder. I lay my head in my hands.

How could this be happening? Ellie, the angel that came to us and pulled us out of our ditch was taken from Earth and we were left behind.

 

I was pulled out of my dream-like sate by Mr. Roberts calling out my name.

“I would like Dylan Cooper, Bradley Smith, Ryan Murphy, Jacob Stone and Logan Carter to please meet me at my office after the assembly.” He than officially closed the assembly and dismissed everyone. I couldn’t move, I was too shocked to do anything. Dylan grabbed my arm and whispered in my ear.

“Come on Logan, get up, it’s going to be alright.”

 

I got up in a daze and he almost dragged me to Mr. Roberts’s office. There the principal awkwardly greeted us and presented us with an envelope. It had ‘The Boys’ written on it in cursive calligraphy. We were told it was from Ellie and we were sent home for the day. The walk home was quiet and you could feel the grief in the air. When we reached the shed we gathered around to read the letter. It read:

 

Dear Boys,

Sorry,

Sorry for not telling you and sorry you had to find out this way.

I found out I had leukemia when I was ten years old. The doctor said that I might not live until my 18th birthday. So I made it my life mission to show others how amazing the life they have is and how not to waste it.

I wanted to make a change in our community and I figured I could start with you boys.

I know you probably resented me at first but I’m thankful I did this because we became such good friends and I will definitely miss our time together and I hope you will too.

Please keep going to school and I know you will graduate next year.

Stay happy + treasure life,

 

                                                     Ellie Lane

* ~ * ~ *

Sometime I lie awake at night and think about Ellie and everything she did. One person did so much for all of us and we will never be able to thank her properly. Hopefully following in her footsteps is good enough thanks.

 

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“Beautiful Vision”

Short Stories

 

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Everybody has been through the stresses of high school. The burden of peer pressure, constant relationship issues and having to keep up with the latest trends and looking good ALL the time all contribute to these stresses. Most people can’t imagine having to go through all of that as well as being blind. I did and to top it off, my blindness was a sudden and explained phenomenon.

 

It happened five months ago, a week before my school formal. Mum and I were at our local shopping complex looking for the final touches to complete my outfit. We walked into a small, clustered jewelry shop. The florescent lights were starting to hurt my eyes. We were on the hunt for rusty pink, feathered earrings to match my dress. Both of us were wandering gazing for something that matched what I was looking for. I was tired and wouldn’t have minded if I just wore some gold earrings I already had, but Mum insisted I buy something I really liked because it was my last year and I “…deserved it”.  

 

Earlier that day, we were at the food court sitting outside a Mexican place. I remember the details very well; she was wearing a blue t-shirt with a grey throw over and her black jeans. Her natural brown curly hair was tied up into a neat low ponytail though I could see it beginning to unravel. She came and sat down with both our meals and she started eating hers immediately. I remember watching her eat, the way she would always make sure she had every element in the dish on her spoon in each mouthful. She caught me watching her and asked me “what’s up?” I replied by apologizing for asking her to spend so much money on such frivolity. She looked up at me with her large, brown, almond-shaped eyes and said, “Baby, you are worth it and completely deserve it. I love you, always remember that.” My heart began to swell and I thought I was going to cry. I stared at her face, which so closely resembled mine and felt safe and loved. I began look away and as I did I dropped my spoonful of food all over my jeans making a large dark stain. I groaned as she began to hand me napkins holding back her giggles. Back then I really cared what I looked like, so she passed me her throw over so I could hide the mark. She’s always been there for me.  

 

It happened in the middle of the pokey jewelry store. I was absent-mindedly roaming the aisles, running my fingers gently along the displays when I started feeling dizzy and my vision became unclear and slightly blurred. Mum called me over enthusiastically, pointing at an object in her hand, indicating she had found something. I looked up and could barely see her but I hurriedly rushed over to her. She pointed to the pair of earrings that she found. I tried to focus on them to get a good look but I just couldn’t, my vision remained hazy. I shut my eyes tightly and when I opened them again all I could see was black.  A spasm of blinking came over me but my vision never came back. The panic set in then, I felt nauseous, disoriented and bewildered. I grabbed onto the display shelf to steady my self and I felt mum’s hands on my waist catch me. I recognised the sound of metal hitting polished marble floor. Mum immediately asked what was wrong and I felt her breath hot on my face as she spoke and I could hear the alarm in her voice. I remember trying to explain to her what was wrong but I think I didn’t know how. She took hold on my arms and gently guided me out of the shop. I felt the air become thinner and then the cool breeze as we left the mall. All I remember was the terror and distress coming over me, her comforting words tickling my ears and the gentle stroking of her thumb on my arm.

We arrived at the car and I reached out to the touch the smooth, cold metal. She tenderly guided me into the car and buckled me up like you would for a small child. I felt the door shut then a few seconds later I felt the car lower as she entered from the other side. I heard her rummaging through her bag then the jingle of her keys as she fitted them into the ignition. I felt the car come to life and heard the hum of the engine. She sighed deeply and heavily and I felt the car start travelling backwards. I felt numb. I lay my head back and shut my eyes.

All I recall next was a string of doctors. Their cold, robotic voices telling me things I couldn’t comprehend and didn’t want to hear. “…permanent and incurable…” “…no cure…exceptionally rare…” I felt as if the life I had known for seventeen years had come crashing down. I had to learn everything all over again, even the basics. I lost all my freedoms; everything I once used now was useless and insignificant. All I felt like doing was curling up in my bed, in the foetal position, and waking up when it was over. And to top it off I missed the formal.

I didn’t want to carry on, what was there to do. I was useless. I sat at home and stared at the back of my eyelids. I saw black with white and yellow dots. It looked like the night sky, like someone had turned the sun off and I was in permanent night. If I pressed the heel of my hand against of my eyes until bright patterns would flash across my eyes and opened my eyes, I would sometimes see a bright light, which reminded me of being flashed in the face with a torch. It was the closest thing I had to ‘seeing’.

 

School was hard. Navigating around was difficult at first; I had to be guided around by someone. The stairs made it extra problematic. I was given all new texts books, exactly the same as before, but in braille. The raised bumps, which corresponded to letters, numbers and symbols, helped me ‘read’. The disease helped me realize who my real friends were. The endless whispers as I walked past began to drive me crazy. I know no one meant to leave; I must be odd being friends with a blind girl. But Eric stayed.

 

He came to visit me when I was going through my ‘loner’ phase. I was lying on my bed facing the ceiling feeling hollow. I felt air brush past my face and rustle some papers on my desk. The smell of soap, lemon and cardamom swept past my nose. I sat up and faced in the direction I knew the door would be. I could feel his presence there. It was silent for a few moments and I felt a tear roll down my cheek. I felt him come nearer and put his hand on my cheek. He wiped the tear away with his thumb. His touch was smooth on my face. The sensation was reassuring. He sat on the bed beside me and put both arms around me and held me tightly, gently stroking my hair. I lay my head on his chest and I could hear the constant thump of his heart against my ear. It was a steadying sound. In that moment I felt safe and loved. We stayed like that for what felt like an eternity; I would have liked to be there for forever.  

 

After being back at school for a few weeks, my friends decided to throw a party for me because I missed the formal.  Mum and Eric helped me choose what I was going to wear; we ended up going with my formal dress. I could hear the joy and excitement in Mums’ voice, which made me glad. I went and got ready with the help of Mum. She did my hair and makeup and I had all faith in her to make sure I looked nice. When I came out to show Eric it was silent. I was worried, did I look that bad? I felt mum leave my side and then I felt his hands slide around my waist, He smelled of soap, leather and cloves. I felt the cool, smooth material of his jacket and his hot breath on my face. I put my arms around his neck and felt the minute hairs at the nape. Next I knew we were chest-to-chest then his lips were on mine. He kissed me tenderly and lovingly. The kiss; hard, but soft; fiery but cool; a split second but also forever, felt like home. In that one kiss, it felt like we breathed our souls and our love into each other. Mum interrupted our embrace when she put her hand on my shoulder. I reluctantly slipped out of his grasp as she pulled me towards her. She applied more lip-gloss on me then heaved me into a hug. I could feel her face wet against mine.

“You look beautiful, Baby,” she whispered in my ear. I hugged back hard. I had so many things to thank her for and to know she was happy filled me with joy. I wiped away her tears with my finger and as Eric took my hand and led me towards the car I blew a kiss in her direction.

 

We arrived at the party about an hour later. Eric got out of the car and came around to my side to help me out. I could hear the muffled dance music from inside the house and I could feel the thump of the deep bass from the ground. The sound of the music intensified as we neared the house. I felt Eric open the door and I was inundated by the lyrics of a pop song. I recognised the laughs and voices of my friends in the distance. Eric led me towards the source of the dance music. We reached the main party area and I was engulfed with laughter, people and hugs. I was hustled to a sitting area and doted upon for the next hour. I felt different, but in a good way. All night people brought me food and drinks and talked to me until Eric interrupted to pull me towards the dance floor. It felt nice to be admired but the constant questions and queries started to get annoying. I held onto Eric and just let the music envelop me. I let the music take control until the music and my body were one. I felt like it was like it was coming from the deepest part of my soul. A female hand grasped my waist and I heard my friend whisper in my ear,

“You’re shining”.

Her words were soft but with a jubilant tone. They made me feel alive and like a brand new person. I held on to Eric again and he pulled me into a cuddle and kissed my hair. At that moment I realised what I wanted to do with my life.

 

People ask me now what it feels like to dance especially since I am blind. I tell them it feels like a really good conversation.  There’s an exciting chemistry that runs through my body. I am energized and smitten.  I am in love. It feels like I’m free, like I can see with my body. It’s amazing how wonderful I feel once I enter the stage, like I can do no wrong, like nothing bad will happen to me and like God has given me my talent and I should really use it.

After that night at the party, I realised that I am a dancer it was what I was supposed to do. Everybody was very enthusiastic about me getting into dance. Mum found a dance instructor named Marcos. He spoke with a thick French accent that had a lot of body. From the very beginning my ailment didn’t faze him. In our first meeting he came straight up to me, took my hand and laid it on his face. He told me to feel his face so I would know what he ‘looks’ like. He was able to teach me by literally put my body into the correct positions. He taught me specific situations for my feet and showed me where to place my arms. Sometimes he would act as a frame and put his limbs where mine are and show me how to make the movement as if we were one dancer. I learned dance terminology e.g. plié, first position, pirouette, fourth position, chasse, ball change, round kick. I knew what each term meant, and I could execute all of them. Whenever a step in class was announced in class, I knew exactly what was happening. As I progressed Marcos spent more one on one time with me.At one point I was spending full days at a time at the studio. I studied arm movements and specific placement for my feet for all my routines. That was what I wanted to do.

It was harder having to dance within a troupe. In performances and competitions my teammates and I organized how I would find my spot, keep formation, and get to where I needed to go. Most of the time I didn’t have to move far from my spot. I could still do many formations this way, and it helped make the transitions for me easier. If movement were necessary they would communicate with me verbally during practice and rehearsal, telling me where and when to stop or keep going so that for the performance I knew exactly what to do.

I can’t imagine my life without dance. I’m glad my parents didn’t hold back on letting me dance because I am blind. I’m grateful that they never thought I was too fragile, or that dance was too dangerous or too difficult for me. Dance shaped me and gave me the confidence that is a huge part of finding success as a blind woman. I sometimes thank God for making me blind because it helped me find out my true passion and made my life better than I would have expected than if I had complete sight. I am a healthy woman, following my passion, married to the man I love and expecting my first child.

It’s a funny story though. A few days ago, Eric and I were going through baby name books for our child. Out of curiosity we looked up each other’s names. I flipped through the pages running my fingers over the bumps feeling for the name that was so familiar to touch. Enzo…Eoin…Erasmus…Eric.

ERIC: “Eternal Leader”

I told him the meaning and explained at how fitting I found it because he led me into my new life. He continued to search for mine. I heard him scoff and laugh out loud when he found mine. He handed the book over and told me to read it. I scanned the page with my fingers until I found my name. I almost dropped the book when I read the meaning.

DAMALI: “Beautiful Vision”

All I can say is that God works in very mysterious ways.