I am the sunlight pouring through your curtains, I am the moonlight shining on the river, and I am the air you breathe. My name? It doesn’t matter on this side, but when I was alive my name was Cali, Cali Good. I guess I should start at the beginning so you aren’t confused right? I just turned 18 and so did my best friend the week before, Kal a guy who is a grade above me in school would turn three days after my accident, it was his house where everything happened. I stood in my room brushing my long thick black hair for the fifth time that night, I hated my hair since I was little. Snap! My brush broke and now it was tangled in my hair. I was struggling with it as my best friend Kay came in my room. She took one look at me and came over to help me untangle the brush.
“How do you always manage this?” I shrugged my shoulders as she calmly removed the brush. “I swear Cali, you need a haircut.” I pulled my hair away and cuddled it like it was a baby.
“Uh no, this the only hair I have, do you know how long it took to get it this long.” She laughed and sat on the bed tossing the brush in trash can scoring perfectly. I sat next to her and laid back and looked up at my poster filled ceiling and sighed happily. Kay wasn’t just my best friend she was like a sister and people always asked us if we were or not. I wished we were, I mean I’m not an only child I have an older brother but he’s always working so I never get to see him. Right now he was in his room asleep so that wouldn’t work. Downstairs the door shut and I could tell that Mrs. Jebbs had showed up to help my parents clean the house. My house was big it had one of those big fancy staircases and a landing at the top where you can look down to the parlor. My parents were rich which meant that I too, was very rich. Pulling me back to my room Kay had pushed my shoulder lightly.
“Come on, we’ll be late.” Standing up I helped her stand and then I glanced in my mirror once more checking until Kay dragged me out the door. Walking down the stairs I always felt like a queen, and I could picture it until I stopped in front of Mrs. Jebbs daughter Amanda. Amanda was dating my brother which was weird because he was 19 and she was 17 and however he had time to see her was hard to believe. Amanda looked at me and smiled then asking,
“Oh hi Cali, are you going to Kal’s early birthday?” I smiled but deep down I hated her. I nodded and stepped around her and walked into the kitchen, “Can I get a ride from you two?” I looked at Kay and rolled my eyes who stifled a laugh so Amanda wouldn’t get offended and since her mother expected me to be good and kind to her I acted like she didn’t bother me. Honestly she was pretty, in the right light. Her hair was blonde almost silver and her eyes were a strange deep blue color. She had freckles across her nose which were small but seemed to agree with her small round face and thin lips. Grabbing a piece of chocolate cake for myself and Kay I shut the fridge. If there was one thing my mom was good at it was making cake. Walking back into the parlor I noticed and sighed with relief Amanda wasn’t in the room. I ate the cake and walked upstairs to tell my brother I was leaving. His door was cracked open as if someone had gone in there or peaked in. I looked in and saw brother curled around on his bed, his computer screen was left on to one of his partially written stories. He always wanted to be writer when he was young. Now he was a mechanic at some big power company which worked him all day and I hated how they did that too him. Moving to go back downstairs I noticed the bathroom door opening and heard rustling from the medicine cabinet. Opening the door wider I saw Amanda getting into my brothers medicine.
“Amanda, what are you doing?” I was surprised that she was doing this. She stood and dropped my brothers insulin needle on the floor.
“I um have the same medicine and take the same amount he does.. I asked him he said it was fine.” I rolled my eyes and turned and walked down the stairs “Well hurry cause we’re leaving now.” I headed out to the car and waited for Kay and Amanda. I sat in the front when it dawned on me that I didn’t get Kal a present but now it was too late and we were already on our way to Kal’s. Amanda sat in the back and hummed to herself until Kay turned up the radio that kept Amanda quiet the rest of the ride there. Kal’s house is a big three story apartment with his living space being the third floor with a balcony looking over the beach and a hot tub and pool in the back of the apartment buildings. Kal wasn’t just one of your average california boys, sure he was tall and tan, with black hair and really deep piercing sea green eyes. But he wasn’t built like a male model, he was kind of scrawny, but he was still hot. Kal turned 18 in three days but he wasn’t going to be in town, he was leaving tomorrow afternoon after all the people had cleared out. But for now there was confetti and glitter strewn across the floor and the couches, even the bedrooms had confetti in them.
“Must have been Kal’s girlfriends surprise.” said Kay kicking glitter and confetti with her shoe.
“I didn’t know Kal had a girlfriend,” I looked at Kay I knew she had liked Kal for about a year and a half now since his little brother died in a crash and she knew that I had liked his younger brother. “it must be weird seeing him with someone else Kay.” She shrugged and took off her shoes and then replaced the sad look with a big fake smile that I only knew was fake and she went innto the living room. I sighed and followed because that was the only thing that I could do. The party started off kind of slow with everyone just milling around, telling Kal happy birthday, and then it really got going with music and dancing until Kal was tired of dancing and suggested that we all go to the pool and hot tub. Everyone went and had fun, we played in the pool until we all looked like raisens and the neighbors were claiming to call the police. I walked next to Kal on the way to the elevators.
“Great party Kal!” I exclaimed I was happy that I came and got out of the house. I had known Kall for three years. I met him the first day of freshman year when I bumped into him and dropped all of my books and his. He was nice enough to help me pick them up and yeah he was cute but his brother was in my second hour and I admediatly started a crush on his brother. Kal sighed, which pulled me back to where we were.
“I suppose, it sucks though.” He looked older and tired, I had watched change after his brothers death. He became more like a man and less geeky. Sighing I went and sat down on the couch everyone had started to clear out except that it was only midnight. Laying back against Kay I started falling asleep. Amanda chatted nervously with Kal which began to annoy me so I stood and went out to the balcony and stared out over the ocean and the beach. The moon was so full and bright and the stars sparkled and glimmered. For the first time tonight I was really happy and content. I remember looking down at the sidewalk and then I realized that it was getting a lot closer and then red and black covered my eyes.
The next moring I sat up my head pounding. I heard my parents down stairs my mom sounded frantic as I heard my dad asking loudly
“Who is it?” a whisper from my mom and then my dad was quiet for a long long time I could hear him pull out a chair and sit down heavily. I climbed from my bed and dizzienes swept over me black swarmed my vision and I quickly grabbed my bedside table. After a second my vision cleared and I could stand without holding on to things. I walked down the stairs calling out to my parents, when I gort to the kitchen I realized they were both crying.
“Mom? Momma what happend?” She didn’t respond she only cried louder and harder. I walked over and hugged her and looked at my dad “Did something happen to Jeff?” He didn’t answer me either feeling a sudden wave of sickness I pushed away from my mom and ran back upstairs throwing my brothers door open I saw he was fast asleep in bed. Chairs scraped the floor and my parents climbed the stairs and sat on my brothers bed.
“Jeff wake up we have to talk.” said my mom shaking his shoulder lightly
“About what? What is going on mom?” I asked, the sick feeling coming back up. Jeff sat up and looked at our parents.
“What?” He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and sat all the way up and then the next thing that my parents said knocked the air out of me.
“We have to go to the hospital.. your sister..” My mom stopped talking and broke out in tears I looked wide eyed at them. My dad hugged her and my brother now had full realization that something was really wrong.
“What happend to her?” He was stumbling out of bed and throwing on clothes. My dad stood and grabbed his arm.
“Jeff, your sister she had an accident last night, the doctors said she commited suicide..” I stumbled backwards and went into the bathroom. This was just some kind of sick joke right? I could see my reflection I couldn’t be dead I was right here. My parents and brother were thumping down the stairs and out the door, I ran out and down and caught the door before it closed. “I’m right here you guys!” I yelled at them, they didn’t stop moving to the car. My brother opened the door and I climbed in and then my dad started the car. The drive to the hospital was slow and scary. My mom in the front seat crying my dad and brother sat silently. Arriving at the hospital we all climbed out and rushed into the hospital, the smell of antiseptic and bleach stung my nose making me lightheaded. I knew it must have been a joke that smell always made me sick. Getting to the main desk my parents asked for the doctor that called them in the receptionist told them to wait. Pacing for ten minutes I watched the emotions play over their faces, after ten minutes the elevater the made a ding and I realized that the man who stepped from it wasn’t a doctor, he was a corener. I realized that it was serious. I was dead.
My parents and brother followed him down to the basement where my body was. It was covered by a thin green blanket, something was peaking out from the blanket, it was a black looking towel, sickness washed over me once more when I smelled the blood. The corener pulled the blanket down over my face and I almost dropped. My lips were blue, my black hair looking blacker and heavy. My mom once again began to sob burying her face into my dads chest, my brother was standing by my body and was gently rubbing my hand with his thumb. Tears began to choke me, I sobbed and covered my mouth to stop the vomit from leaving my body. I felt sick, I knew now that this wasn’t a joke. But what I didn’t understand was, how did I die? Appearently my brother wanted to know the same thing, he knew I would never commit suicide and that it was rediculous. He stormed off and as much as I wanted to be with my mom I followed him. He walked out of the hospital and started going towards the beach. Within a couple of seconds Ii knew he was going to Kal’s to see what had happend and I followed. I was still trying to get my breathing back to normal when we arrived at Kal’s. A red splotch was being scrubbed away by a police officer. The wind yet again was ripped away from my lungs as I felt dizzy and I could feel the vomit coming back up so I quickly followed my brother into the building and climbed the stairs to the third floor. The door stood open as police were coming in and out of the house a detective sat in the living room questioning my friends about last night. He was drawing on a piece of paper. Overlooking his shoulder I saw that it was a map of the house and where everyone had been after I left the room and went to stand on the balcony.
The detective began re-questioning my friends. He started off with Kal asking him where he went after I went outside, Kal was impatiant I could see that by the way he kept clenching and unclenching his fists. I knew Kal didn’t like cops because of his brothers accident but he was trying his best to stay calm as he retold the detective where he had gone after I had went out to the balcony, then he moved on to Kay who said that she went into the bathroom and then into the back room and laid down thinking that we were staying the night she fell asleep. Amanda said that she did see Kay lay down and Kal go out on the other balcony to smoke.
“You mean there is another balcony?” The detective looked at my three friends and they all nodded.
“We already told you that, the first time.” Amanda said calmly but she was exhausted. No one had noticed that I was dead until this morning when a cleaning lady for the first floor found me. The detective stood and folded up his notes and began to head out the doors, as he was leaving he noticed orange dust on the floor next to Amanda’s shoes. He knealed and looked closer at it. He stood and walked over to the balcony, sliding open the door he walked out and reached onto the roof, the same orange dust from the floor had came from the roof. He walked back in and sat down.
“The reason why I keep asking, is because I dont believe that Cali commited suicide.”’ There was a long pause as everyone looked around the room and then back at the Detective. “I believe that one of you three murdered her.” There was an audible gasp as my friends stared open mouthed at the Detective.
“And if Cali was here, she would tell us who killed her.” He was right, if I could talk I would turn the tables on that fake angel face. “But sadly the dead cannot talk.” He looked around the room, stood and motioned for the others to follow to the balcony, he stood where I had been the night before. “She was here, someone,” he glanced around “someone climbed onto the roof jumped down and pushed her.” My friends looked at each other. “And the way that Cali landed shows that Cali was facing the murderer cause she landed half on her back and stomach, she broke her arm before she broke her neck.” They all backed up into the living room and sat. Kay began to cry and Kal stood motionless by my brother.
“Amanda Jebbs,” her neck snapped up “You are under arrest for the murder of Cali Good.” I smiled, man this detective was good, I closed my eyes and when I opened them I was standing in a field, before me stood Lucas, Kal’s little brother that I had always liked. He smiled
“Cali, its time to go to the other side.” He reached forward to take my hand
“What about my family? My friends?” I panicked as I thought about them being alone, my dad will never walk me down the aisle, I will never grow old. I wont be there for my brother when he gets married or sick. I will never be alive again. I started to cry, I was so focused on finding my killer that I never thought about everything else or what it was like to be dead.
“I’ll never feel alive again.” I sobbed. Lucas took my hand and held it
“You will be able to feel and you can be anything you want to be, you can help others feel.” I sobbed harder and he held me.
“I want to see my family one last time.” He nodded and when I closed my eyes I was laying next to my mother she had just fallen asleep and there were still fresh on her face, I gently wiped them away. “Mom, dont forget me.” I whispered, she rolled over and I layed on her shoulder drying the tears off her face, her eyes flickered and she whispered “I will never forget you..” Then she fell asleep as I wrapped my arms around her and stayed with her through out the night. In the morning I walked to my brothers room and kissed him softly on the cheek, I moved to my fathers study and hugged him, the last hug he will have from me, but he’ll never feel. I closed my eyes and opened them to be standing in Kay’s room, I kissed her cheek and soft tears rolled down my cheeks. Kay sat up suddenly her face inches from mine, I whispered softly,
“I know you wont forget me, you were my best friend, help my family. Tell everyone my story.” I stood and walked to the window, looking back I could see everyone I ever loved, they were finally at peace and finally I was too.
I was once called Cali Good but that was when I was alive, now I am the sunlight pouring through your curtains, I am the moonlight shining on the river, and I am the air you breathe. I will not be forgotten.