The clue in
Sunday school teachers teach little kids that everyone has one special reason why they’re born, and once they’ve completed that task, whether big or small, ‘Heavenly Father’ or I like to call him ‘Boss Man’ will bring you back ‘home’ to heaven.
Well I am going to call ******** on every last one of those Sunday School teachers. Why you may I ask? Because I know better. The Boss Man works in many different ways, and most Sunday school teachers want to make it seem like they know what’s really going on upstairs. They try to put a cheery outcome on someone’s death. “Oh they completed what they were sent to do… blah… blah… blah.” Now I’m not saying that everyone has more than one reason to live. That’s not what I am saying in the slightest. Some just have one reason, some have more than one and die on accident, yes that happens, and then there’s some that just, for lack of better words, drift.
‘Drifters’ are born to ensure that those ‘jobs’ are getting done. We have no definite purpose aside from assisting and ensuring destinies are met. Sometimes we’re that friend that persuades you to try harder. Or we’re that spectator that pushes you to run faster and forget the pain. Or even that stranger that gives random words of encouragement.
Notice I said we when referring to the drifters. Yup you guessed it I am one of the ‘chosen few’ as the Boss man puts it. He tells us in our sleep who we’re to help then sometimes we wake up in a new body, new town, even a new country. Now some of you may ask what happens to the bodies after we leave them. -sigh- Well I read a book once that was pretty accurate, it’s called Father Dark by Steve Case. Great book just we don’t turn into giant evil fighting gargoyle demons. No we are a still small voice that pushes people back to their individual path.
But in the book Micah is sent to Philadelphia with a false past to help ‘clean up’ the town. That’s where the similarities stop though. Instead Boss Man decides that little Suzy in Miami needs an encouraging friend to help her continue her dream of becoming a world famous author, so he sends someone like me. Sends me with a past of utter ********* and points me in the direction of little Suzy. Once she’s convinced that her writing is worth its weight in gold he pulls me out of the body and sends me to a new one almost instantaneously.
And the family I was with wakes up to find their ‘little girl’ has died in her sleep. Normally my body is implanted with what I call a ‘kill switch’ like cancers or something to the same extent to explain the sudden death. But nonetheless the body is dead and soulless.
But it’s still on to the next ‘charge’ I call them. No time to mourn the loss of any friends I may or may not have had, just on to the next life with new charges. And that’s what a drifter does.
We do match Father Dark in one other aspect, we keep our eyes. Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t be blind or need glasses, but it means that I get to keep my sapphire blue and gold eyes with each change. The gold is the only way we can tell another Drifter from the charges.
Rarely do we run into one another, Boss Man tries to ensure that, but sometimes on occasion we bump into each other. We’re instructed not to get too attached to anyone because we know that we’ll be leaving on a whim, but try telling a 16 year old high school girl not to fall for the star quarterback. Doesn’t always work to plan and those are the shifts from life to life that to me are the hardest.
Well how rude of me, I’m dumping all of this **** on you and I haven’t even mentioned my name.
I’m Eve, no not the Eve from the Garden of Eden and ****, just Eve. I am, this time, 16 years old, 5’9”, have short black hair, and a pretty good body aside from my kill switch that is. This time I have stage 4 lung cancer and I have to wheel around an oxygen tank. But it’s not so bad, I live just outside of Los Angeles, California with the Hollow family, which including me has two boys and three other girls. Only one of the boys and technically myself are ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’s’ natural kids, the others were adopted since we all look so much alike aside from my eyes of course. I go to Erinville High School and it is my Junior year. And let me tell you having stage 4 cancer at anytime sucks, but even more so when you’re in high school.
So enough about me and onto my mission. Boss Man told me that my charge’s name was Brantley which caught me off guard because normally he matches girls to girls and guys to guys to help prevent to whole getting too attached thing, but I wasn’t going to question it, guys were easy to deal with anyway.
So I am sitting in English III when the classroom phone rings. Already knowing it’s for me I start packing up my notebook into my backpack that only somewhat hid my oxygen tank. The teacher looks up at me and motions for me to come up to her desk. I lift the handle on my bag and started my way up the aisle when some cheerleader type girl stuck her foot in front of me. I stopped dead in my tracks and smiled, “Please move your foot.”
The girl laughed under her breath but didn’t move. So I stepped over and rolled my bag over her ankle. She winced and shot me a deadly look. “I asked nicely.” I said as innocently as I could before continuing up to the front of the room. I snickered slightly and hid it as I reached the teacher’s desk, “Yes ma’am?” I already knew I was to report to the guidance counselor for and schedule change, but I let the teacher tell me anyway.
I walked through the door to the office of Mr. Gabriel Archer, you guessed it…yes he is Gabriel the Archangel. He always substituted for the first day of any assignment to ensure that we knew all the necessary details we needed, especially since Boss Man kinda tells us jack.
So I wheeled myself in the office and collapsed in the nearest chair completely out of breath. “I…hate…lung…cancer.” I said through gasps of air. Gabriel waited for me to catch my breath and offered me water, “Sorry but it’s the only way you can get through to Brantley.” Gabriel sounded genuinely apologetic. I was Gabriel’s favorite drifter and he always made sure I got the hardest charges because no one else could sway them.
“Now Eve, Brantley is no ordinary charge as you’ll soon find out. I am switching you into his English, Mythology, and Engineering classes…” He started typing quickly and I interrupted his ‘mission briefing’ with a giggle. “What’s so funny Eve?” He glanced at me over the rim of his glasses.
I tried to stifle my wheezing laughter, “Gabe I have freaking stage 4 lung cancer, I can’t be in Engineering….safety hazard.” I motioned toward the tank and the oxygen tubes under my nose.
He laughed a little and shook his head in disbelief, “Right Eevee, well how about….hmmm. let’s see…how about his Ceramics class?” I nodded and did a little happy dance thinking of the last time I had worked with clay. The printer came to life and printed out my new schedule. Gabriel handed it over to me and sighed, “Brantley isn’t going to be easy Eevee, that’s why I sent you in, unfortunately Boss Man didn’t even tell me what his purpose is. So good luck and remember I’m only a text message away.” Then he hugged me tight before ushering me out of the office.
Not two seconds later my phone buzzed. I reached into my pocket and a text read on the screen, ‘Good luck Eevee.’ with a little angel emoji. I saved the number with a smile on my face and placed my phone back into my pocket. I looked down at my schedule with growing anticipation.
Period 1: Trigonometry-Mr. Cast Rm. 410
Period 2: Ceramics-Ms. Penny Rm. 525
Period 3: Mythology-Mr. Gaelic Rm. 428
Period 4: English Lit.-Mrs. Webber Rm. 536
Period 5: Home Economics-SSgt. Grate Rm. 628
Period 6: Student Assistant-Mr. Archer Rm. 638
I laughed at the fact that Home Ec. was taught by a Staff Sergeant, “That class should be very interesting.” I reached down, grabbed the handle of my bag, and made my way down to my new Mythology class. I knocked on the door and a man, I presume Mr. Gaelic, waves me in. I open the door and walked up to Mr. Gaelic and handed him my schedule. He examined it for a moment and then laughs, “Well class we’ve got a new Grecian, everyone this is Eve Hollow.”
Everyone smiled and waved, all the smiles seemed pretty genuine, so I smiled back. “Well the only spot I have open is next to Lord Brantley of Sparta.” Mr. Gaelic gestured toward the only empty seat in the room. Grabbing the handle of my bag again, I started my way down the aisle toward the seat in the back of the room, everyone was courteous enough to move their stuff out of the way of my tank, and I made it through easily to my seat.
As I reached the desk Brantley stood up and pulled out my chair, “M’Lady may I be of assistance?” He asked in a true Southern gentleman accent.
I laughed slightly embarrassed, shook my head, and in my best Southern Belle accent I said, “No thank you kind sir, but I assure you many thanks.”
As he sat down the lights flickered through his eyes and that unmistakable gold fleck shone plain as day. I gasped slightly and that got his attention, “Are you alright?” He looked straight into my eyes and just as I thought that golden fleck was staring me right in the face.
I nodded my head signaling that I was ok on the outside but on the inside I was anything but. “There must be some mistake…” I thought frightened. “Drifters have no purpose aside from helping others find theirs. How am I supposed to help him?”
Mr. Gaelic was happily explaining the legend of the founding of Athens while my head was reeling. I didn’t know what to do and I was so deep in thought I didn’t even hear Brantley talking to me until I saw his hand wave in front of my face. “Hey Earth to Eve, anyone home?” He said half whispering.
I shook my head scattering my thoughts and looked at Brantley with a smile to match his own, “Yeah…sorry zoned out.”
He laughed and his smile reached his eyes making them seem to sparkle, “It’s cool, I was just wondering if I could see your schedule?”
I fished it out of my pocket and his eyes bugged, “Well I guess we’ll be seeing quite a bit of one another won’t we?” He handed me back my schedule and I nodded as I tried to pay attention to Mr. Gaelic. I always loved the story behind the city of Athens. It wasn’t far from the truth either, Poseidon and Athena did fight over the city, gifting the inhabitants with the olive trees and the salt springs. It had been beautiful.
Class went on and I was actually a little disappointed when the bell rang ending that hour. Instead of asking Brantley if I could walk with him to the lunch room I hung back and tried to gather my thoughts. After still not solving anything I gave up and decided I’d ask Gabriel during sixth period. I glanced down at my schedule and below the list of classes was a note.
It read, “Nice eyes Eve. I’ll save you a seat in English. ~ Brantley.” I smiled a little bit and I forgot all of my worries as I finished packing up my stuff. Mr. Gaelic came up to me and startled me a little. “I didn’t mean to startle you but I need you to choose an ancient city state to be the lady of. Like Brantley is of Sparta.”
He seemed to be ashamed of startling me, so I smiled to show I was fine and I nodded, “Ok can I be Eve the Lady of Athens?”
Mr. Gaelic’s face lit up, “Of course you can, I knew you were a true Grecian when I saw you Eve. That’s all I needed, I look forward to seeing you in my class tomorrow.” Then he walked back up to his computer and started typing quickly and I headed out toward the nearest bench so I could eat my food in peace trying to figure out what I could do about this situation. ‘What if Boss Man is letting Brantley be a normal person…maybe he is testing me. What if he’s finally letting me have a normal life…like actually be able to fall in love with someone?’ After that a smile was permanently plastered on my face for the rest of lunch.