A Future Gained

Chapter Four

he following day I had a spring in my step I felt so good. "What are you so happy about?"

"As if you didn't know. Thanks again, Michael. Sorry for being such a pain."

"Heh! Don't start making my job easy? If my job was easy I wouldn't have one."

"Thanks anyway, no matter what you say. I think Rose will look after her new brother. I wouldn't like to be the one that stopped her," I said laughing. I was gone before he could reply. I went to bug Rose at school. This was going to be fun.

I found the school and went looking for Rose. I found her and jumped on her desk. She shrieked (LOUD) and yelped as her butt hit the floor. "I'm gonna kill you," she said, before she remembered where she was. All I could do was giggle hard. My ears were ringing and my throat was sore. I got out of there as quick as I could disappear. I can't remember when I laughed so much.

I went back to the park not thinking anything. Michael appeared as usual from nowhere. "You can't do that. She's really mad at you." Right or wrong, he stood there with a frown that would make the devil himself behave, but he couldn't hold it and gave an innocent grin.

"That's what a brother would do. Especially if they're younger. I'll have to watch her later for getting revenge," I said laughing . . . if I only knew then what I know now.

After walking and getting footsore (giggle), I decided to face the consequences and went back to see Rose. I sneaked round the back of the house and waited for the inevitable. Tiny at least would be glad to see me. I was stroking Tiny when she came outside.

"What are you doing here?"

"Getting my punishment out of the way." I couldn't help but laugh again. That got her mad again. I went over to her and kissed her on the cheek.

"Crawling isn't going to help you." Then she started laughing. "If you could feel anything I'd really get you." Then she went quiet. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that."

"I went over and tried to hug her. Of course I couldn't, but I think she liked the thought. "Ghost or not, you don't get rid of me that easy," I said, which got me a smile. "Your new brother will do that because he's small and knows he can without getting in trouble."

"How do you know I'll get a brother?"

"I just know. I asked them for help, I know they'll get you a new brother. I never met your brother, but I know that he was good, because that's what his sister is. I know you'll look after him like your brother looked after you."

"Thanks. You're pretty cool yourself. I bet your parents were proud of you?" I changed the subject.

"So what you wanna do now?" Before she could answer, her mom came out and told her dinner was ready. "Go! See you later. Okay?" She nodded and went indoors.

I walked to the bottom of the garden. Tiny had to follow. I sat down under a big oak tree. Tiny came and sat beside me, nuzzling my hand with his nose. "Okay, boy," I said, then stroked his head. I sat there dreaming I suppose. At least I think ghosts can dream.

"Only because you're different," came a reply

"Michael, how do you do that?" Then giggled to myself. Rose came down to where I was sitting, her dad in tow. I got up, not thinking. Rose giggled.

"David, you can come here any time you want. Rose was telling me you said you were going to stick around; not like I could stop you." We all laughed.

"Thank you, Sir, I'll stick around as long as I can."

"He said thanks, Dad."

He looked at Rose, "Rose says you're as weird as Craig, her brother, was."

"Weird? Thanks." Rose laughed, then told her dad what I'd said.

"We all get called weird, son, take my word for it. When you become an adult you'll still get called some choice names. Sorry, son."

"It's okay, Sir, I like being a ghost, I can't get in trouble or smacked." Then laughed. Rose told him what I said with a scowl on her face. Her dad just laughed.

"I heard what you did at school." Laughing again, he said, "But please don't do it too often." Still laughing. You could see Rose was not best pleased. "You guys be good," he said as he was walking away.

"Your dad's cool."

"You think so?" She said again, scowling. I gave her a kiss that changed her mood. "Typical male, kiss and make up." I was sure that it was the other way around.

"I'll be back later, okay?" She nodded and I was gone. I went back to the park to think. "Michael."

"What can I do for you?" He said.

"Whatever happens to me, will you look after Rose and her family?" He nodded and was gone. Strange, I thought. I stayed around the park for the rest of the evening and most of the night, then took a walk round Vancouver. What's the point of getting to know a place if there's nothing you can do but look. I think I know this place better than where I used to live, which got me to thinking about mom and dad again.

Morning seemed to drag on forever. I suppose even ghosts get bored. Come the afternoon I was shattered, I suppose boredom does that to you. I went back to Rose's house and sat talking to the dog. Can a ghost go crazy as well? Sometime later Rose came home. After taking her things inside, she came to see if I was round the back. Normally Tiny would go to greet her, but he just lay there with his head on my legs. "Well, I suppose I know where I stand, don't I?" She said with a smile.

"Rose, you know that eventually I'm gonna have to go away, don't you? I like it here but they might send me somewhere else. I've gotten to like you a lot and I know it's gonna be hard when I have to go. I like you, Rose, and I don't want to hurt you. You know that, right?"

"I like you too, David, but why do you have to go?"

"Michael, please help me here." Michael was at my side in a flash.

"David, you'll have to think of a way to tell her without revealing anything. Why you're dead she can't know. You kids do some stupid things."

"You're only a kid yourself. In fact, I'm older than you. Well, I was older than you."

Looking at Rose, "I'll never know if or when I'll have to go, but it's going to hurt both of us. I don't want to hurt you, Rose, I really like you. The closer we get the harder it'll be if I have to go."

"I think I understand, but if you go, I'm really going to miss you."

"I'm gonna miss you too. Wherever I am, I'll look out for you, I promise."

"You and Craig would have hit it off big time. He looked after me, so I know he would've looked after you too. If you ever see Craig, tell him I love him." Forgetting herself, she came over to give a hug.

"I don't think I'm going yet, so hold that one." I laughed when she rolled her eyes. I didn't get the chance to say goodbye. Michael whisked me away.

Michael stood there tapping his feet on the ground. "Don't do that!" I said. "I'll get you big time and that's a promise." He looked at me, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

"You getting soft in yer old age. All that yuk with Rose."

"So why did you bring me here? Rose can't hear you when you talk, only me."

"The boss wants to see you. As he said that, the usual bright light appeared with me covering my eyes from the intensity.

"What have I done now? I apologised for being selfish."

"In a short while you will be given a choice. But before you're given that choice, you have to be sure that it's right for you. You need to go away and think of everything and all you've done in the last few weeks." I looked at Michael with confusion and concern.

"David, you need to evaluate what you have done up to now. Only you can draw on your experiences as to what has happened since you came here.

"Please consider this carefully, my Son, as this is a choice of lifetime." God was giving 'me' a choice! This must be serious.

I looked both of them in the eyes, then they disappeared. I stood there for what seemed like hours, but probably was only a few minutes. I sat down where I was and thought about and considered what I'd been told. I couldn't go back to my parents, as they knew that I had died and there was no hiding my plot in the cemetery. I thought of the times with Michael, demanding him to do things. Or how at times I treated him. Nah, he deserved that. I walked round town, came back to the park studying what I could have done differently. Maybe he was going to let me be the one who stands over Rose and her family. I know I would look after them without any hesitation. I went back to Rose's still confused. Rose and her parents were sitting at the poolside chatting. I went straight to Rose and sat next to her. Again she jumped the proverbial mile. After falling in the pool, she was about to cuss when she noticed me sitting with a 'not me look'. She got out knowing not to shout as her mother was in one of the loungers. Her dad had a grin on his face that said he knew what had happened.

"I'm going to get you one of these days."

"Not before I get you," I said.

"God is giving me a choice, but I'm not sure what it is. I have to consider what has happened and what I've done since I died. I can only think that since what has happened with you and your family that he will give me the job of looking after you all. Just like a Guardian Angel. I would like that. I don't know how long I have to make this choice." Daddy saw the look on his daughter's face and asked his wife if she would bring some drinks out.

He walked over to where we were sitting and with concern in his voice, asked if everything was alright. Rose looked at me, then her dad and explained what had been said. Her dad went thoughtful. "Whatever happens, David, it was a pleasure having you around. It's a real shame it can't be for longer, but you will be missed I promise you that. From the way you've made Rose feel, you must be a very special boy, and I for one am really going to miss you." He hugged his daughter, then went back to sit down.

I crossed my heart and looked up to the heavens. "I know I not supposed to tell why I died but...." While I was telling Rose what had happened to me I expected to get whisked away, zapped, a fate worse than death. Well maybe not. If I'd ever had a sister she would've been like you. I may never see you again, but I will never forget you. You will always be with me. Forever. Tell your dad thanks. I love you Rose." With that said I was gone.

I went back to my usual haunt still confused. Whatever was going to happen would be life changing. Oh, boy, not again! I walked over to my usual bench and sat down. The night looked like a dream. There was a mist beginning to settle on the lake. The air looked cold. There was an eerie silence. I had been sitting there watching all that nature has in her locker when surprise, surprise Michael dropped in.

"Wherever you have to take me, let me see what nature looks like one more time."

"You have a choice to make first!"

Just then the other half of the duo arrived - sorry couldn't resist. The night became bright as our ruler appeared. Have you thought about what I spoke of?"

"I've thought, I couldn't have done anything different while I was with my parents but I maybe shouldn't have took out on you what I did to myself. If I had to make my own choice it would be to take care of Rose and her family. Please tell me what choices I have?"

"Well, my Son, your choices are simple. I will grant whichever you decide. You can crossover or you can stay?"

"If I crossover I know I'm going to hell, so that isn't a real choice."

"Heaven would be your destination, not Hell my son. Your second choice is a real difficult one," he said with a grin. After what seemed like forever, he continued. "You can, if you wish, become the son of the O'Donnell's and the brother of Rose."

Gob smacked would be an understatement. "You mean I can stay?"

God came over and gently laid his hand across my shoulder. "Yes, my son, you may stay."

Lead me home." I said. "Lead me home."

"Well, if you don't hurry you'll be looking for another family." Michael said gently pushing me.


"You have a lovely baby boy. Oh my! here comes another one."

"Twins?" Mom shouted.

Dad was holding two bundles of joy. He handed me to Rose, who smiled. "Dad, he has the same colour eyes as David." He smiled with a knowing look. Rose looked at me again with a twinkle in her eye.

As far back as I can remember we have made a trip to the cemetery. We always went to the same place. On my twelfth birthday I was told why. My gravestone stood alone in a corner, under an oak tree. I remember it always had flowers of many colours. I read the inscription and was shocked. I felt so lonely. I knelt down and cried. Rose came over and knelt down beside me. "David Thompson was my best friend. He now lives on in my brother Michael O'Donnell."

I love being a son of the O'Donnell's, having a great sister, and brother. I hugged my family as hard as I could and thanked God for the chance I was given.

From that day on I knew I had been given a gift. A second chance. I lost a family and gained a future.

My sister works in E.R. at the local hospital. Mark and me still give mom the run around. My dad with the Irish temperament is a little harder, but we're still working on him.

Remember Final doesn't always mean the end.

The End