z
  • Home

Young Writers Society



Helping Jaclyn

by niteowl


She thought I had been perfect, that I had been wonderful. She wanted to be just like me. But she forgot how it ended.

I was Junior Miss America. I'd had it all. A wonderful family, a perfect boyfriend, tons of friends, straight A's, big blonde curls, and perfect white teeth. In short, I was Salbrook's Sweetheart.

For some reason, I wanted something more. I went to college and got introduced to beer, parties, and guys. Not that I hadn't seen these things before, but I was a lot more sheltered in a little town like Salbrook. Here, nothing held me back, and I let it all out.

New Year's Eve, my sophomore year. Me, my boyfriend, and some friends of ours went to a huge party at some hot nightclub. I don't remember the name. I drunk God-only-knows how mahy drinks before I passed out on the dance floor. The EMS came and rushed me to the hospital.

On 4:37 AM on January 1, 2007, I was pronounced dead. I was only 19 years old.

Back in Salbrook, the papers ran that Emilie Madden was hit by a drunk driver. Even after death, they would not stain my high-school legacy.

God said you're too bad for Heaven. Satan said you're too good for Hell. But God gave me a chance. He said if I could take a still-living lost soul and bring him/her up to heaven, I could come in, too. Satan said if I led that lost soul to Hell, I'd be in. You can guess which one I'm going after.

So now I'm an in-between, not good or bad enough for either place. I think I know where I can find a lost soul. I go back home.

My mom is hosting guests after my funeral. She is too busy weeping not for me, but for her little sweetheart. The one that college, guys, and booze killed. She and Dad are the only ones in that room who know the truth. She cannot see me. She is deeply religious, never swore, never drank too much, went to church every Sunday, and she always prayed and made us pray with her. She was definitely headed to Heaven. Only lost souls can see us in-betweens.

My dad squeezes her hand, trying to comfort her. A freak car accident rendered him paralyzed from the waist down and unable to speak. He couldn't see me either. He had always been a good husband and father, working hard to support his family, yet somehow finding time to eat dinner with us, play with me and Jaclyn, and of course, attend church with us. He was a shoo-in for Heaven too.

In fact, most of the people here, over 100 of them, are shoo-ins for Heaven. None of them should be able to see me. Except for one. {i}Where is she?{/i} I thought. {i}Surely Mom and Dad wouldn't let her skip my funeral.{/i}

Being a ghost significantly increases your senses. Thus I heard the faint sound of tears coming from her room, despite all the chatter. I went straight upstairs to the first room on the left. Jaclyn's room.

Jaclyn is now 17 and a senior in high school. She has a B average, a nice boyfriend, some good friends she's hung out with since kindergarten, mousy brown hair that's all over the place, and her teeth aren't quite perfect. She didn't win Junior Miss Salbrook, let alone Junior Miss America. She stares in the mirror, face red from sobbing. It's only then that I notice what's in her hand. Sleeping pills. She's going to down the whole bottle and never wake up. And it's all because of me, at least how our parents compare us. I heard it all the time before I left for college and this summer.

"Emilie passed her driving test on the first try."

"Emilie got straght A's"

"Emilie was the first Salbrook High Homcoming AND Prom Queen in the same year."

"Emilie looked so beautiful in this dress."

"Emilie was a size 4. Why do you have to be a size 10?"

Looking back, it was quite obvious why she held that pill bottle. She could never be as good as me, so why bother living?

Just as she was about to put those pills in her mouth, I snatched them from her hand. She looked around confused, then she saw me and gasped.

"Jaclyn, can you hear me?" I asked.

"What...Emilie? How? I can hear you, but if you're here, then who just got buried?"

"Me. I'm a..."

"Ah! You're a ghost?"

"Yes and Jackie, there's something I need to tell you."

"Am I hallucinating? Dreaming?"

"No, you're not. Jackie, listen to me. You don't want to take all these pills."

"Why not?"

"Jaclyn, look at you! You're only 17, you've got your whole life ahead of you. Do you really want to end it now?"

She just stared at me for a moment, as if in disbelief. "What's the point of living if I can never be you? It's all about you; it always has been. Emilie this, Emilie that. Emilie, Emilie, Emilie! And you know what, I bet if I got run over by a drunk driver, Mom and Dad would be happy that I finally did something just like you!"

"Jackie, there's something else you need to know. Mom and Dad will never tell you the truth about me. They won't even tell themselves the truth about my death. They don't want to believe it."

"The truth? You have dark, dirty secrets?"

"Uh-huh. You see, in college, I drank, I smoked, I slept around. Every wild party in the area, I was there. Every place there was booze and hot guys, I was there. Any place I could get as drunk as I pleased, I was there." Jaclyn didn't say anything. Her mouth just hung wide open.

"Which leads to how I died. I didn't get hit by a drunk driver. In fact, I {i}was{/i} the drunk driver on more than one occasion. Anyway, here's how it really went down. I was at a nightclub and passed out on the dance floor. They tried to save me, but it was too late." Jaclyn just stared at me, mouth wide open.

"Trust me, Jackie, you don't want to be like me. You still have so much time left in this world. Make the most of it. Don't be like me, be yourself. I'm no role model."

Jackie nodded. The tears poured down even faster now. She tried to hug me, but her arms went right through me.

"Thank you, Emilie." she whispered between sobs.

"You're very welcome, Jackie. I must leave you now, but promise me something. Promise that a) you'll never tell anyone about my coming here. They'll think you're crazy and b) that you live your life to the fullest. Not for me, for yourself. Promise?"

She nodded. "Cross my heart, hope to die, sticka needle through my eye." she said. "Bye, Emilie. Good luck in heaven." And with that, I flew out the window, my job here done.

Word Count:1199 Words


Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
319 Reviews

Points: 9100
Reviews: 319

Donate
Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:15 am
Jashael wrote a review...



Hi! Thanks for reviewing my song Strangers on the Streets. I want to give back the favor. : )

A few nitcpiks:

"mahy" is "many".

When trying to use BBcode, you should use brackets. =)

Where is she?

I bet if I got run over by a drunk driver, Mom and Dad would be happy that I finally did something just like you!


Okay, that got me! Quite an emotional boom!

I think it's better if you used numbers here:

Promise that a) you'll never tell anyone about my coming here. They'll think you're crazy and b) that you live your life to the fullest.


...promise me two things: one, you'll never tell...

"Cross my heart, hope to die, sticka needle through my eye<comma>" she said.


I got confused at the switch of tenses here. Pick one for the story.

He couldn't see me either. He had always been a good husband and father, working hard to support his family, yet somehow finding time to eat dinner with us, play with me and Jaclyn, and of course, attend church with us. He was a shoo-in for Heaven too.


I suggest you use the word "seventeen" instead of 17.

Overall

I really like the way I was caught of guard when I first learned that the POV was a ghost. It was a bit abrupt, but the good kind of abrupt because it wasn't at all confusing.

I would agree with the rest of the comments: you can still flesh this out.

For example, here you can expand a bit more:

She is too busy weeping not for me, but for her little sweetheart. The one that college, guys, and booze killed.


...not for me - <explain creatively, like, the real me, blah, blah> - but for her little sweetheart, the one that...

In the dialogue, too.

The truth? You have dark, dirty secrets?


This seemed unrealistic for me. It was like her sister knew exactly what she was about to say. It could have a been a little...

The truth? What truth?

Jaclyn, I - you see...

ANyway, you're a really good writer. I enjoyed reading this story! =D It is sad, though, that no one can be really good enough to get into heaven; rather it's a gift

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the GIFT of the Creator — NOT by works, so that no one can boast.

and because of this wonderful gift (which you may take if you choose), we can all live life to the fullest.


Blessings!




User avatar
1258 Reviews

Points: 6090
Reviews: 1258

Donate
Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:47 pm
Sam wrote a review...



Yes, it was very well written. My only question would be, if this girl Emillie was supposed to be dead, would the sister be just a little more freaked out if she saw her back (as a ghost?) she seems kind of on autopilot, you can't really tell what Stephanie is feeling. :D That is my only critique. Great job on this piece!




User avatar
38 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 38

Donate
Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:35 pm
marching_gurl89 says...



niteowl that was a great a piece. The first sentence drew me in. You could devolp it a little bit more.




Random avatar

Points: 890
Reviews: 37

Donate
Fri Dec 24, 2004 7:31 am
mim says...



i agree with nate - make this longer and develop more fully and it could defineitly (sp?) become something even more dramatic, not sure if that's the word but I'll stick to it. Hehe. Well done niteowl. mim x




User avatar
425 Reviews

Points: 11417
Reviews: 425

Donate
Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:20 pm
Nate wrote a review...



I like the idea of the story and you develop it pretty well, but it needs more fleshing out. This is actually something that could easily be ten, twenty pages.

Just one quick thing; get rid of the "in short" in "In short, I was Salbrook's Sweetheart. "

What I really liked was your beginning; it got my attention and drew me into the story right away. It really does come as a shock when you find out Emile's status.





You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend.
— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein