"Hello, Sky Nolan, and what is the honour we must hold to be graced by your presence?" Shane slurred, putting down his bottle of Smirnoff's. Yes, he was drunk. No, he didn't care. This was a night that was made to celebrate, being the end of term. Every other school kid was getting rip roaring drunk, anyway.
"Honour? Per-lease, she gave up that right the day she walked to the Dark Side," Karmen quipped, biting into a cherry. "Hey, who wants to see me tie a knot in the stem?"
"Karmen, you whore!" Jax laughed, gently smacking her friend on the arm. There was no doubt that all of them were highly intoxicated. "We should dance. I've heard their gonna stick Dirrty on soon, and you know us girls, we can totally kick it, oh yeah!"
"The song that was released in 2001," Karmen whispered softly. "In November. She never got to hear it. She would've loved it."
"Oh stop talking about Mel in this simpering way. She's dead, Shay took her away from us. And he suffered the consequences," Sky said.
"Shay is at peace with it now, and you know it," Jax slammed down her own bottle, her eyes flashing at Sky. "Mel forgave him."
"She was never here!"
"YES. SHE. WAS," Jax yelled, Shane's hand instantly going on her arm to stop her from punching her ex best friend. "We all felt her. Even YOU did, you just denied it. You can't handle the fact that Mel is happy now, because that means we can all move on from her death and be happy ourselves. She's in Heaven, she's an angel for fuck's sake! She's HAPPY!"
"Don't bother with them Sky, they're not worth it," her boyfriend glared at them wrapping his muscular arm around her shoulders. He looked like the ultimate Eminem style gangster. He was a human who had been taken over by the Powers of Darkness - and had taken an angels friend with him.
"Shane, can we talk? You know, privately?" Sky interrupted the conversation, smiling at him sweetly in a very non-Sky like way.
"Fine, but if I collapse in the middle of the conversation, just sling my head over a dumpster," Shane laughed, hiccupping slightly at the end of a sentence.
"Just be careful," Karmen whispered in his ear as she gave him a hug. "Remember what Sky is like now."
The two drew apart, sharing a private, uplifting smile, and he was pulled away from his friends.
They were in a dark back alley, in the middle of the pouring rain. Stray cats were picking through the garbage, and once in awhile the sound of police sirens could be heard in the distance. It smelled of rotting food and animal.
"Sky, where are you taking me?" Shane complained, sitting down on a crate, as he rested his head in his hands."Okay, Shane, I'll get a few things straight," Sky said in a more darker tone. "One - I never liked you to begin with. Two - you piss me off good and proper. Three - you had NO right to kiss her on her head at her funeral. Four - the belief you and them hold that Mel is in Heaven is wrong. Wrong wrong WRONG."
"Sky, is everything alright?" Shane asked, his drunk mind being able to concentrate for a moment. "You sound pretty...off."
"Nothing is alright, Shane." Sky had this manic look in her eye, as if it wasn't her talking, but a demon who had possessed her. "You want to join Mel in this so called afterlife? Well let me help you out."
The click of a cocking gun made Shane stand up, fear in his eyes. Even through the alcohol, he knew what they were planning. "Sky, please don't do this-"
"I just have to point and fire, baby, it will be over soon," Sky's boyfriend grinned evilly, his hand as steady as a rock. It didn't take two guesses to know he had done this before, and he was very much okay about it.
"Say hi to Mel for me," Sky said sarcastically, tapping her boyfriend on the shoulder. "Do it, baby."
One fire. One sound. One bullet.
One moment of death.
Time seemed to slow down as he fell backwards, his back hitting the cold, wet bitumen. But it didn't feel as cold, in felt it fact warm. He realised that was his blood.
As the red liquid pooled out of his body, diluted by the rain, he saw Sky and her boyfriend grinning over him, watching the life drain out of his eyes.
A streak of lightning crashed above them, as if the demons and Dark Lord's of the Universe were mocking his death. They won. Mel's last, and only, boyfriend on Earth was dead.
The blackness surrounded him, and he took his final breath.
She was walking along the sands of the Heavenly beach, humming her new favourite song. She had found the CD in the mall, and had found one particular tune so addictive.
"Would you be my bad boy, be my man, be my weekend lover, but don't be my friend," she sang, a smile on her face as she soaked in the suns rays.
Tomorrow was the beginning of a new term at the Angel Academy, just after summer holidays. She had gotten a brilliant tan, and she didn't mind showing it off. In her very small denim shorts, summery floral tank top that was showing a lot of cleavage, and multi-coloured flip flops, she wasn't turning only a few heads.
Giggling, she waved to a few boys who called out flattering names to her. They were playing beach volleyball, although it differed from the kind she saw on Earth. They were using their angelic wings to make it interesting - a few rounds in flight.
Her eyes scanned the shoreline, looking at all of those deliciously hunky guys. Okay, yeah, she was dating Mike. Well, was it really dating? He never made it official. So did that mean she was allowed to look at all the other perfect angelic specimens?
"Ugh, that's making my head spin," she murmured out aloud.
"Don't I know it, I only just got here and I don't understand what the fuck is going on," a panicky voice said from behind her. Turning around, she faced the guy who had talked to her.
/It can't be a voice inside his head murmured. She looked older than thirteen, but still had the same facial shape, same hair colour, same beautiful figure - in fact, she looked even more gorgeous than what she did back on earth. She was mature now, not a little tween, but a proper teenager. She even had this glow about her - as if she truly was an angel.
"Mel?" he asked, his voice barely a whisper.
"What? Sorry, I can't hear you over these waves," she giggled, moving closer.
"I'm sorry to bother you, but...is your name Melanie Beeby?" Shane asked, emotion catching in his voice.
Mel stopped. She looked real closely at his face. There was something so familiar about him. His cute nose and dark hair, deep brown eyes.
Moments of earth replayed in her brain. It WAS him, but older!
"Yeah, it is," she whispered, her heart pounding in her chest. "Shane Wells, is...is that...?"
"I can't believe it's really you," his voice cracked, and with tearful smiles on both of their faces, they rushed forward, and embraced each other in one of the tightest hugs they could muster.
"Ohmigosh, I-I never thought you would be here! Oh wait, that sounded really wrong," Mel giggled, drawing back and wiping the tears off her lashes. "So, how was it?"
"How can you be so calm about it? Mel, I'm DEAD," Shane emphasised, his eyes as wide as saucers.
"Oh you poor thing, you're in shock. Um, Shane - I've been here for about four Heavenly years, I think by now death and Afterlife is pretty much second nature for me."
"Well, if you must know," Shane began, quite uncomfortably, "Sky's boyfriend shot me."
That made Mel do a double take. Silence reigned for a few moments, as she processed what he just said. Did he actually say that? "Erm...WHAT?!"
"Can we really not do this here? I arrived about ten minutes ago and I seriously feel ill," he whimpered. This wasn't like Shane, he was usually so daring. Sickness and injury was nothing to him. But currently his new body, which was fuelled with angelic powers, was having a hard time adjusting to his new surroundings.
He didn't need talk of death, he just needed a friend. And food.
Mel grinned as Mo came out from the back rooms. "Hey, Mo! I think we're going to need a few of your world famous blueberry muffins, with possibly two very frothy chocolate milkshakes?"
"Someone's going for a treat today! Coming right up," he smiled, writing it down on a pad. He beckoned her closer to the bench with his finger, before dropping his voice to a whisper. "I assume it's 'medication' for that young boy over there?"
"Yeah. He's new here. Poor thing is having a hard time acclimatising to Heaven," she whispered back. Being only a new angel, he wouldn't have fully tapped into his powers yet, which means he wouldn't be able to mind read, unlike Mel. A few times she had managed to catch him thinking about her ass, which made her blush to the roots of her hair.
"Understood. It's on the house, by the way," Mo winked, before going to whip up the orders in the kitchen.
"So what is this place?" Shane asked, as Mel sat down across the table from him.
"Well, this entire strip is called the Ambrosia District. It's basically the hotspot here for 'delightful cuisine', as one of the guys at the Silver Lychee once said," Mel laughed, her eyes sparkling. For some reason, talking about Heaven made her happier. A few years ago, when she first arrived, being here was the worst thing ever. "But this restaurant is called Guru. It's more the 'in between lessons, getting a quick bite to eat to re-energise' kind of place."
"Lessons?" Shane interrupted, his head feeling like it was spinning. "You mean we learn here?"
"Um, Shaney, you are officially an angel trainee," Mel said, breaking her gaze from his, as she wriggled on her seat uncomfortably. "The Angel Academy is here to train you up to be a bona fide angel. Either a kick-ass warrior, or a healer, depending on your special powers. It sounds très hippie dippie, but you'll pretty much get it after awhile."
"Jax and Karms weren't lying when they said they got this feeling that such a place existed," Shane murmured, looking down at the table. The air around them seem to take on this sad vibe.
"How are they, anyway?" Mel asked, thanking Mo as he brought their food. Taking a sip from her chocolate milkshake, she reclined in her chair, feeling relaxed.
"They're great. In fact, the school is pretty great. Of course you still have the Park Hall kids" - Mel giggled - "but since that time when we put on that performance, everyone has just been feeling so much better. Shay is finally being accepted back into the school, despite what happened and all. In fact, out of all of our friends, the only one who is still fucked up is Sky."
"I know that you guys seriously doubted I was there, but Shaney, I was," Mel smiled sadly, taking a piece of her muffin and putting it in her mouth. For some reason, she didn't really feel that hungry. "I was, really, the one who helped you all get back on track. It was horrible to see Sky walk away, but I've come to that point of realising, it wasn't my fault. If my guardian angel mission worked with Jax and Karms, then it had to be her, not me."
"It was a school party, about a week before our final graduation. I don't know why she did it, whether she blamed ME or something, but she basically revealed she hated me. And her boyfriend shot me. And she loved it." Pausing, Shane took a long drink of his milkshake, feeling slightly refreshed as the cool liquid went down his throat. "Why did she go, Mel?"
Mel sighed, biting on her lip. "You couldn't see what I was seeing. But there was something...iffy about her. her aura had started to go really black, which is very scary. I think she just tapped into these evil vibes and they perverted her. I tried, I did, but her boyfriend wasn't exactly helping the situation either."
"I wonder if that red rose is still there..." Shane wondered, forgetting for just a moment that Mel was sitting across from him.
Giving him an odd look, she finished off her milkshake, wiping a napkin on her lips. "What?"
"Oh shit," he said, avoiding her gaze as he blushed. "At your funeral, they had you holding this bouquet of pink roses. When I got my chance, I slipped a red rose in with it."
"They had an open casket funeral for me?!" Mel squeaked, rolling her eyes. "That is très gross!"
"It wasn't, actually," Shane said softly, meeting her eyes. "Even in your death, you still looked absolutely beautiful."
Her heart felt like it had stopped, as her cheeks went pink again. Okay, this discussion was pretty weird, but the way he was saying it...it sounded like he still had feelings for her. Did he?
"So, what did I look like?" she asked cheekily.
Shane nearly coughed when he swallowed a bit of his muffin, but he managed to right himself without looking like an idiot. "Well, you were in this white strapless gown that kind of looked like a school prom, it wasn't very expensive but it still looked like this type of wedding dress. You had your hair down, it was kind of cascading onto your shoulders, and this sparkling tiara on your head. They had this flower arrangement of white lily's and roses at the other end of your coffin, and as I already said, you were holding a bouquet of pink roses. They put make up on your face so you didn't actually look dead, but more like sleeping."
"It sounds like it was a lovely funeral," Mel said softly, a sad tone to her voice. How she wish she could've been there. As her family was saying goodbye to her corpse, thinking Melanie Beeby had been snuffed out forever and vanished into nothing, the angel would be standing in the background, grieving her death along with them.
"It was. They played all of your favourite songs, too. And you were buried to one of those popular, heart wrenching, wail-and-throw-yourself-on-the-coffin songs," Shane chuckled at the last bit, swallowing hard. He was trying to hide his emotions.
"Please tell me it was The Rose, I always used to cry when that came on the radio," Mel smiled, twirling the straw around in circles in her glass.
"It was," Shane said simply, the conversation fading off. Sighing, the two sat in silence, contemplating the conversation that had just taken place.
It was sunset, and the two were still walking along the beach, chatting about everything they could think of. Being separated for four years, they had a lot of catching up to do.
"I never thought about you in Heaven, to be honest, until that year we all felt you. I thought you had just gone, into this place of..."
"Zip?" Mel suggested, the two giggling. They had their shoes in one hand, and Shane had his other wrapped around her shoulders, holding her close. Their steps seemed to be in synch.
"Well, yeah. I mean, nobody really thinks about the afterlife, do they? Whether you go to Heaven, or Hell, or sit somewhere in between, waiting to be let into either gates..."
"Hey," Mel interrupted, stopping and pulling him around so that he was facing her. "Let's forget about it, yeah? I mean, we are both here. Sure, we left our old lives behind, and it will be tough to adjust to, boy do I know that. But Shane - you're in Heaven. You have eternity in front of you."
"And I have you, as well," Shane smiled cheekily.
Mel blushed, giggling as she looked down at their feet, trying to hide her red cheeks. When she raised her head again, her eyes seemed to sparkling, like they were dancing to the beat of her emotions. What emotion was it, though? "Of course you have me. You always have," Mel whispered. It was if the last few years in Heaven were non-existent; a certain angel, to be specific.
Her hair was blowing softly in the sea breeze, as the two moved closer to each other, their bodies nearly touching.
"I-I think I want to kiss you," he murmured, moving a piece of her hair away from her eyes.
She linked one hand with his, staring up into his eyes, her breath catching. "I think I want to kiss you back."
Slowly, as if in a movie, they closed their eyes and moved together, their lips touching in a magical moment.
Tingly feelings flowed through Shane and Mel's body, their whole angelic soul feeling more alive than ever before. It had been such a long time since they kissed - in fact, the last day they did was on her thirteenth birthday, the day before she had died.
He coaxed her mouth open, and she didn't resist. They were properly French kissing, his other hand going around her waist, pulling her closer.
It felt like years before they finally broke off, drawing away from their passionate embrace, gazing into each other's eyes.
"Oh Mel," he whispered breathlessly, his heart pounding. "I've waited so long for that."
She felt as if she was melting on the beach, her legs turning to jelly. "So have I, Shane. I've missed you so much."
And with smiles on their faces, they sat down next to each other, watching the golden heavens turn to a celestial blue, twinkling stars appearing in the sky.