Hey Hi my lovelies! As the title says, this is chapter 2 of a serial story. So be sure to check out chapter 1 before reading on! Enjoy.
After spending forty-five minutes at the wake, Alice had had enough. She knew it was selfish, but she hated hearing everyone tell her how close they and Saph were because she knew they were lying. How? Because Saph had never mentioned them to her and Saph could talk. What seemed to make it even worse is that since leaving the church Alice had seen no sign of Saph. She was beginning to wonder if perhaps being in such a spiritual place on such a challenging day had gotten to her. She took a breath before smiling a polite goodbye to an engaged Mrs Wilson and making her break for the door.
“Not leaving without saying hello, are you?” A familiar voice said, capturing her before she could escape. Alice spun around to find Saph’s brother stood with his hands on his hips.
“Of course, not Bobby. I just …” Alice trailed off. Her eyes seemed to be skirting around the room in a desperate frenzy to avoid looking at him, desperate not to become overwhelmed with guilt.
“You just … didn’t know if it would be awkward.” He asked.
Alice smiled pathetically. As she looked at him she couldn’t help but realise how handsome he looked in a suit. His muscles seemed so defined through his shirt and his jacket made him look like a spy. Alice stopped herself. This was Saph’s brother, surely these thoughts were breaking the girl code.
“Listen, Alice. What happened between the two of us was a mistake. I mean, you are beautiful and smart and funny, but we were both in a bad place. Right?”
Alice nodded in agreement as she listened to, what felt like, a rejection speech. As he finished, he placed a warm hand on Alice’s upper arm and smiled at her before one of his uncles drew him into conversation. The words stuck to Alice’s mind like glue. You see, Alice had never had feelings for Bobby, he had always been Saph’s annoying older brother and he wasn’t her type. He was captain of the football team and he slept with more girls in a week than most guys in the entirety of high school. He was a true stereotypical jock but after seven years of not having seen him, she couldn’t help but noticed how much he had changed.
Alice’s mind came back to her body as she realised that she was stood in the way of the door. For a moment she considered leaving again but then something came over her, a wave of longing to be close to Saph again. Capturing Mrs Wilsons attentions, Alice gestured towards the stairs to get her permission to visit Saph’s room and with a smile she agreed. It felt strange for Alice to walk up the stairs of the house. It reminded her of being young and care free. It reminded her of teen sleepovers and prank calling the boys they’d liked and gossiping about who was dating who. As she walked across the landing the nostalgia turned to flashbacks. An image of Alice sitting on the bathtub holding back Saph’s hair as she was sick in the sink and another image of some random guy throwing a plant out of the window at one of Saph’s parties. As Alice came to Saph’s door she stopped. She wondered how Saph would have felt about her invading her privacy like this, but then she also didn’t know if she could resist.
“I’ve been standing here trying to decide if I should go in for the last half an hour.” Alice turned to see Saph’s high school sweetheart sat against the wall opposite her door. Damon Lewis hadn’t aged a day since graduation. He was still the same old golden geek.
“I’ve just got her voice in my head yelling at me. How dare you burst in here like you own the place.” Alice replied, sliding down the door next to him.
“Tell me about it. I knocked.” He laughed. It is strange how you can go years without seeing someone but as soon as you are back together it feels as if nothing has changed. “How are you holding up?”
Alice hesitated to answer the question. Damon was the first person to ask her about how she was doing, and, in all honesty, Alice wasn’t sure how to respond. Her best friend was dead and she was certain she had seen Saph’s ghost at church so ‘good’ wasn’t going to cut it. But then again, Alice also couldn’t tell Damon any of that. They were close in high school but not show him her inner crazy close. Alice smiled a moment before settling on the only answer she thought even mildly suitable. “eh.”
He smiled back at her, his eyes connecting to hers. For a moment Alice’s stomach flipped. Being back, surrounded by these people again had taken her back to high school and she was back to feeling like a giddy teenager with a crush on her best friend’s boyfriend.
“I wouldn’t do that you know.” It was Saph. It was one hundred percent her. “I’m in my room, ditch Damon so we can talk.”
Alice smiled at how familiar those words were. Over the years, whenever Saph had a situation, which really did seem to be every other week, she would tell Alice to ditch whatever she was doing. Coolly Alice told Damon that she was going in and hinted that she wanted to do it alone and thankfully he got the message. Smiling kindly, he trotted off back downstairs.
“Oh god you are the whore.” Saph said as Alice walked into her room. Everything was exactly how it had been when we were teens. The posters on the wall were the same and the CD’s were in the same order, meanwhile Saph was sat, on her bed cross legged waiting for Alice as she always used to do.
“Pardon.” Alice said, realised what she had said.
“I mean firstly you and Bobby. What I’d been dead a week and you were already in bed with my brother and now, at my funeral, you’re thinking about banging my ex. How low can you scoop Al?”
Alice stuttered a moment. She wanted to explain to her that she wasn’t using her best friend’s death like that. She wanted Saph to know that she hadn’t just forgotten about her. Alice needed Saph to know that what happened between Bobby and her was a mistake, a grief and vodka fuelled mistake and, as weird as it sounded, sleeping with Saph’s brother was just Alice’s messed up way of feeling close to her friend again.
“Close your mouth Al, I’m messing with you.” Saph smiled, tapping her bed and gesturing for Alice to sit with her. “By the way, Damon’s gay.” She laughed.
“No freaking way!” Alice said. Her voice had reached a new pitch. For a while Alice and Saph chatted about anything and everything and for a while Alice seemed to have forgotten that Saph was dead. It was just like old times. Al and Saph, Saph and Al.
“So,” Saph concluded, “I guess we better talk about how this guardian angel thing works.”
Alice laughed again at the insanity of Saphron’s words but then gestured for her to go on. “So, what happens is this – you have to sign on the dotted line and ta da! I get given a body.”
“What.” Alice said, both confused and amused.
“Look, I don’t steal a body … that would be weird. See, god has this sort of stock room of bodies. No. That sounds creepy. I just mean, they’re like suits. As soon as you agree to let me be your guide then I go upstairs pick my outfit and god drops me right back down here with a sweet condo and a proper set up. So, what do you say.”
“um, yes. Yes. YES. YES!” Alice exclaimed.
“Right then, I guess I’ll see you in a few days then – now do me a favour, go home and shower. Your mascara is down your cheeks and you look a mess.” Saph said before disappearing.
With that Alice turned and walked out of Saph’s room. It felt weird to know that in a few days she was going to have her best friend back in her life. It felt even weirder to think that she was going to be in a different body, in her own apartment. The fact she was an angel was a little weird too but that one was further down on Alice’s list of crazy shit. As Alice left the room, a confused and worried looking Damon had returned and was once again sat on the floor. His eyes looked as if he had seen a ghost. After a moment of looking at Alice concerned he got up from the floor and peered around the open door into Saph’s room. Alice’s heart thudded in her chest as she wondered if Damon had heard or seen Saph too. What if she had been designated to the both of them? The old gang could be back together again.
“Were you in there alone?” He asked.
“Yes why?” Alice replied. With that, just as quickly as she had left Saph was stood beside Alice again. Alice briefly glanced at her trying to make it seem natural. But Saph wasn’t in a different body, and Damon didn’t seem to notice her arrival.
“Shit. Sorry girl should have thought to have warned you. He only heard your side of that conversation. With me being dead and all. So all he really heard was your bit. You know: yes, Yes, YES, YES!” She said.
Alice’s mouth dropped open and her cheeks burnt red in embarrassment. Without muttering a word, she spun quickly on the spot and scurried off down the stairs. “My god you’re an awful guardian angel.” she muttered.
As Alice reached the bottom of the staircase her eyes fixated on the door. She couldn’t be sure how loud she had been and was even less sure of if anyone other than Damon had heard her unfortunate one-sided conversation. All Alice wanted was to get out and get home. Like a woman on a mission she began to dart through the clusters of people, avoiding eye contact with the people she had once known, and setting my sights on escaping through the door. She was almost there, and the end was in sight when a tray of food slid in front of her. As she looked up Alice saw Mrs Wilson stood, with Bobby by her side.
“You cannot leave without trying Roberts famous sausage.” Mrs Wilson insisted. Alice could almost hear Saph’s dirty laugh but this time it was in her head. Alice’s eyes grew wide as she looked panicked towards Bobby.
“Mum, its fine. She doesn’t want any food.” Bobby said trying to save both himself and Alice from the uncomfortable situation.
“No. I insist Alice. Try the sausage.” She said, moving the tray closer. “I really don’t see what the big deal is, everyone else has had some of Roberts sausage.”
“I bet they have.” Damon muttered. It seemed as if he had followed Alice down the stairs, to check that she was okay.
“Oh, go on. You loved his sausage when you were kids.” Mrs Wilson pestered.
“Mrs Wilson, I for one would love to try Bobby’s sausage.” Damon said. Taking one from the tray and making eye contact with Alice as he chewed it.
“Grow up.” Alice muttered. As she spoke she noticed both Bobby and Mrs Wilson staring at her and she decided there was only one thing she could do. She had to take a sausage. Quickly she took one off the plate and began to chow down on it. her eyes attached to a bit of fluff on the floor as she tried not to make eye contact with anyone else in the room.
“Now don’t you feel better.” Mrs Wilson said, handing Alice her coat from the pile in the corner. Alice smiled at Mrs Wilson and smiled a small smile at Bobby before rushing out of the door.
“Crap.” Alice exclaimed as she walked towards her car. “ I just realised how screwed I am to have Saph as my guardian angel.”