Hello, and welcome to the first post of the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition, 2014!
This article has been submitted by Arshi Alam for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think this article is a good read, ‘Like’ this article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘comments’ section below.
I opened my eyes to the stark white. I was sitting with my knees pulled up to my chest, rocking myself back and forth on my ankles.
“You have to tell me.” He said, the harshness making me flinch.
“But I did nothing.” I whispered.
Oh yes you did!
He towered above me, shiny shoes clicking against the white marble. I pressed my back towards the wall, noticing for the first time how cold it was in spite of the sunlight streaming in from the big glass windows, which adorned every side of the room. He sighed, before getting down on his knees before me. We were now on the same eye level, his blue piercing my brown. Warmth seeped into his eyes, before he put a hand on my cheek, slowly pushing away a lock of hair. A shot of electricity ran through my body at his touch, my cheeks burning beneath his palm.
“Please, just tell me.” He pleaded.
And suddenly, just like that, something inside me snapped. “Yes! Yes I did it. I killed my uncle and then I threw myself off the roof. How is this so important to you? Why?” I screamed, jumping up. The tears came out then, my body shuddering as I buried my face in my hands. A pair of warm strong arms surrounded me , making my heart beat harder. I was resting my head against a hard chest. A spicy citrus smell assaulted my senses as he hugged me, pushing me closer. My knees were buckling, nobody ever had this effect on me and yet, this man I barely knew made my heart go into overdrive.
“Because I want to help you.” He whispered, sending prickles down my arm.
But did I really deserve his help?
New York City. I knew that much from the Empire State Building piercing the skyline. But where in New York City? I had never been here before. Dingy buildings covered with moss surrounded me as I walked the narrow street. My mind was still spinning. One minute I was hugging him, the next I was walking down a narrow street in a run down part of New York. But why was I here? I was dead, wasn’t I? My Converses crunched along the gravel as I walked searching for a clue. Then I saw him. I would recognise those blue eyes anywhere. He stared at me from the throng of people. Walking up slowly, I stood before his imposing structure. Carefully maintaining a distance, I opened my mouth to ask, but he replied first.
“You need to get what you deserve. ” He said in a monotone. A voice which betrayed how bored he was, or so I thought.
“What do you mean?” I asked, biting my lip.
A smirk formed on those perfect lips. “We cant let that useless cousin of yours destroy so many other lives, can we?” He replied huskily.
How much did he really know?
Slowly he started guiding me down the street, through the people. Which was strange because I was dead. And then it struck me. What was he? I turned, taking care not to look at those hypnotizing blue eyes of his. Sunlight fell on his face, highlighting his aquiline nose and the firm set of his jaw. His hair fell in soft brown waves across his forehead. My breath hitched in my throat. I had never seen someone so beautiful before. Great, I sound like Bella Swan now, the weird chick who’s in love with sparkly fairies. At least she was alive. For a moment, I felt nostalgic.
Remember what he did to you.
I shook my head, as if it would shake out all the memories, when I saw him staring at me, an amused smile etched on his features. I blushed, “What?”
“Nothing.” He said, shoving his hands down his pockets and continuing. I struggled to keep up with his long strides.
“Hey, you never told me who you are.” I panted.
“Peter. Head Angel of the Suicide Section.”
My eyes widened, “Angel? Seriously?” I managed to choke out, before bursting into a helpless giggle.
He looked irritated, brows furrowed in confusion, “What’s so funny?” he asked.
“N… Nothing… its just that… I thought angels wore robes and played harps.”
“In the 18th century, yes. Not anymore.”
“So all Savile Row now, uh?” I snickered.
He tugged at his coat, “Being an angel has its perks.” He grinned, “You look good when you laugh.” That one sentence was enough to make me blush beet-root red again.
“Cant I change?” I whined. “I have been in these clothes since..”, I stopped. I didn’t know since when. How long had it been exactly, since the day I slid a Conversed foot over the parapet, and felt the wind rushing about my ears. The thud, the excruciating pain, that I remember, and the cold, peaceful darkness that followed. There was no light at the end of the tunnel and I was happy for that.
“Five years.” Peter replied, scrolling rapidly through the MS Word document. He cocked his head to the side and nodded, before swiveling around to face me.
“Five years?” I replied, dazed. “You mean five whole years? Like F-I-V-E years?” I did not belive him. I thought I plunged to my death from the tall, shiny tower of Alexander Corp. Ltd. just yesterday. How could it have been five whole years?
” Yes. Are you coming?” He asked, striding out on the black marble that floored the lobby. It, in fact, covered every inch of the building I was standing in. Peter had guided me in here, only to spend an hour and a half flicking through various flies on the shiny black laptop. We were out on the bustling streets of New York and I knew better than to ask him where we were actually headed. Instead, I asked him about the supposed five years I had been dead.
He laughed. “Did you think you were the first case I took up? Hundreds of people die everyday. You are not special.” Those words made me sad. I had hoped I was something special to him. Turned out, I wasn’t. I was just plain, old, boring dead.
Soon, we were standing in front of a pair of huge, iron gates. The sun was welded in gold across the vertical black bars. Those iron gates opened out to a artistically cobbled path, which led to a stately white mansion, resplendent with Grecian columns. A naked cherub fountain stood in front of the huge, wooden doors. To the right of those doors was a corridor at the very end of which stood a room. A room full of books and French windows and a large bloodstain over the champagne colored carpet. I knew because I had killed the person whose blood it was. A soft tap on my shoulder broke my thoughts. Peter gestured around and I realized what he wanted me to see. I was in the very room I was thinking about, not outside anymore.
“How?’ I asked.
“You are dead, remember?”
I flipped through the brown folder in my hand again. I could now recite the paper, word by word. The instructions were typed out in large, bold letters. I knew what I had to do. Peter had disappeared after handing me the file. For the fiftieth time, I squeezed my eyes and thought about the plush duplex again.
Concentrate. Concentrate hard.
Bright lights hit my eyes and loud music thumped through my ears. I knew I had reached my destination. I opened my eyes to see a huge living room, full of people busy enjoying the party. Red cups and wrappers were strewn all across. I looked around until I caught sight of the blonde boy on the couch. Chase.
Chase shouted over the music. A thin, blonde girl was draped around his arm. I rolled my eyes. The usual. Slowly, I made my way around the red cups, before realizing that I could walk through. The third white door on the red carpeted corridor opened out onto the familiar room. A shiver ran up my spine. The memories were coming back. I shook my head, as if to remove all those nightmares and took up my place on the couch next to the window. I had always loved the view of the city from here. Chase, as my cousin had always invited me to his place. My uncle had never objected to his orphaned niece almost taking up residence in his son’s bachelor pad. Now I knew why. An hour later, the noise faded and the lights dimmed. The party, it seemed, was over.
But mine, had just begun.
A drunk Chase soon showed up in the bedroom, naked in the arms of the equally naked blonde. I smirked.
Its showtime, Chase.
Concentrating hard, I tried putting into effect everything the folder had said. And then, it happened. The dim light illuminating the bedroom flickered. I almost yelped with joy.
I did it. I did it.
One more time, I concentrated again. This time the curtains flew up, distracting Chase from his frenzied love making. “What?” The blonde panted.
“Nothing, I thought…” The vase on the bedstand shattered to the ground, making the two of them jump.
“Ch… Chase… what’s happening?” Blondie stuttered, climbing off the bed and pulling her slinky red dress back on, standing in the very spot where mine were ripped off.
Chase was too shocked to speak. It was then, with extreme concentration did I do what I did. I appeared. Right in the very spot where Chase had forcibly shoved his tongue in my mouth, while Uncle Paul had held my hands. The memories were rushing back to me and my anger was fueling my efforts. A lightbulb shattered. The blonde was long gone. I opened my mouth to speak before remembering the manual explicitly stating I couldn’t. Instead, I picked up one of the many stray lipsticks left behind by his numerous partners and wrote on the mirror,” Remember me, Chase?“
The reply came after a long pause, ” You come back for more, El?”
His comment gave me enough energy to make him fly across the room and pin him to the wall.
You are going to regret everything, Chase Alexander Castillo.
I walked up to him and traced a finger around his neck, drawing blood. I held it up in front of his face and watched his eyes widen.
Now, that scared you, did it?
“Let go!” He screamed, fear leaking through his voice. I took a step back and smirked as he ran out the room. Slowly, determinedly, I followed him. He ran out of his expensive apartment and made his way to the roof. The roof without a wall. It was just a matter of time before the brains spilled out on the concrete pavement below. I saw his dark soul arise, before the ground opened and a hundred dark shadows pulled him inside, his screams echoing in my ears.
“You did it.” Peter said, a smile gracing his face. If I thought his smirks made me lose my breath then his smile could kill me.
“Yeah.” I muttered. I didn’t feel too good about it.
“Are you okay?” He asked softly, and when I looked up, I realized just how close we were standing. I could kiss him just by moving my head forward by half an inch.
“He deserved it.” Peter whispered, tracing a finger down my cheek, ” He shouldn’t have done that to you.”
“I thought you didn’t know.” I replied. Honestly, I just thought he knew I had shot my uncle. Not why. “I thought you didn’t care.” I said, when Peter took a step back and sighed. He walked over to the couch at the end of the waiting room of the Pearly Gates and patted the seat next to him.
“Promise you wont freak out?'” He said, as soon as I was seated. I nodded, confused.
“I am your guardian angel, Ella. I have been looking over you since you were a little girl. I have looked over you when your parents died, when your Uncle Paul took you in, when you plunged to your death.”
I remembered the day I had died. Uncle Paul had tried to force me again. I had pushed me off and run around the large wooden desk knowing where the gun was kept. I was desperate and didn’t really realize what I had done until I saw the blood seeping through his white shirt. The guilt was too much and after two days of lying huddled in a corner of the roof, away from the searching police, I had thrown myself down.
“Why didn’t you stop them?” I whispered.
He didn’t meet my eyes, ” I couldn’t… I couldn’t El… it was beyond my powers. I am sorry, I really am. That had to happen , it was your destiny. I could not stop that but I could help you get justice. You don’t know how helpless I felt when I saw them do that to you.”
He looked up now, meeting my eyes. Those eyes were a darker shade of blue now, swimming with remorse. The initial shock I had felt had still not subsided. My hands were still trembling when he took them in his, “Forgive me?” His voice shook with emotion as he rubbed soothing circles on the back of my hands.
“Why five years?” I asked.
” You needed it. Your powers needed to build up.” Peter replied, hope filling his voice. “Do you forgive…” My lips met his before he could complete that absurd sentence.
“Yes.” I smiled against his lips. ” It wasn’t your fault anyway and thank you for helping me get justice.”
As he wrapped a hand around my waist, pulling me closer, I realized death had given me everything I had ever wanted.
Arshi Alam is a seventeen-year-old CLAT aspirant from Calcutta, the “City of Joy”. She eagerly awaits her Class XII board results, which are due next week. Getting into a law school has been her dream since she was eight, and she refuses to give up on it easily. She likes reading, writing, cooking and absolutely loves eating. She claims she can eat biryani with chilli babycorn at 3 AM. She likes listening to Imagine Dragons and Coldplay. She is also a huge Potterhead and a Sherlockian, and believes Twilight should be banned.