In this life, one must make a series of choices and live up to the circumstances and consequences. That is just the endless cycle of which we venture, constantly faced with decisions.
Now I can't say that I'm perfect and that I've made all the right choices- or that I've even come close. Trust me, Fate has been kind to me, and that isn't an understatement. When my time came… I fought it with all I could, and now look at me…
But I'm getting ahead of myself. This all must be very confusing. Perhaps I should start from the beginning and maybe then you'll understand me. Pay close attention, because it's a rather odd story. Remember keep an open mind…
You'll need it.
The sun crept up behind my black curtains, slowly illuminating my small apartment. I groggily opened my eyes, rubbing the sleep out of them as I looked over at my alarm clock.
Oh crap! I'm late!
I darted out of bed, running straight to the bathroom to get ready. I didn't know what had happened. My alarm didn't go off… ughh this is just great! I start in half an hour and it's at least a 20 minute walk to the office…
I hastily brushed my hair back and put on my skirt and shirt. Since I worked in the accounting department of a big corporation, dresses and skirts were required of us.
I quickly bolted into my kitchen, grabbing my water bottle and a snack for breakfast before rushing out the door.
I hurriedly walked through the streets of New York at a steady pace, sipping my water and looking out at the busy traffic. I guess it's a good thing I don't own a car… I took out my phone to look at the time. 7:52. Not too bad, I just need to-
I was hit with a force that sent me staggering toward the edge of the street, almost into the flow of traffic. I just barely caught myself, balancing on my toes trying to avoid falling into the path of the moving cars. Horns blared as I was finally able to lean forward and step away from the curb. Fear coursed through me as I watched my water bottle roll into the street, instantly crushed by an incoming car. It left a dark wet stain on the road.
That could have been me…Holy crap, I almost died.
"I'm sooooo sorry!!" I looked up to see a girl surging towards me, her blond curls bouncing. There was a rather good-looking guy with strawberry blonde hair following close behind her. She stood in front of my, catching her breath before continuing, "Are you okay? Are you hurt??"
I took in her concerned expression, nodding slowly. With a shaky breath I struggled to reply. "I'm…" I glanced at my smashed water bottle in the street, "I'm fine," though it sounded more like I was trying to convince myself than her.
The gorgeous guy who now stood beside her looked at me worriedly, before turning to the girl.
"I told you not to let that horse off of its leash! It almost killed her." I look at them, puzzled.
"Horse?" I murmured. The girl simply rolled her eyes and looked at me.
"My dog, Viper. He's pretty big… I'm so sorry again for him jumping at you like that!" She whistled loudly and a big mastiff came running up to us. She calmly reattached the leash as the dog regarded me warily, then she extended her hand for me to shake.
"I'm Angel, by the way."
I stared down at the dog. So that was what ran into me…
"Uh, I'm Autumn, and it's okay. I guess I just lost my water bottle," I tried to joke, but my laugh came out feebly, as I was still shaken by my 'near-death experience.' I peeked back down at her dog, "I'll have to agree with your friend here- maybe it's just best to keep him on a leash," I gave her a light smile.
She winced "Of course- and hey, let us make it up to you. I can buy you a coffee to replace that," she pointed to the water stain on the pavement. I considered it for a moment, before the fair haired man with her pulled out a pocket watch to check the time. That's odd... Who uses a pocket watch...?
THE TIME!! It's got to be past eight o'clock already! Crap!
I smiled at the girl and nodded, "Thank you, that's kind, but it's okay. Now if you excuse me, I'm a little late to work."
She smiled brightly and stepped aside; the boy shook his head impatiently and started walking the other way, dragging the girl behind. I waved, shouldered my bag, and started speed walking my way to the office. Five minutes later I arrived, certain I was late now.
I got to my desk out of breath and sweaty, damn I'm out of shape. I poked my tummy blaming it for my shortness of breath. Maya, the receptionist at the firm (who also happened to be my best friend), walked up to me, smirking.
"Tsk Tsk Autumn. Tardiness is not a trait one wishes to acquire while working here," she laughed.
I rolled my eyes, putting my bag in my desk drawer.
"Whatever, Maya, I need some coffee. It's way too early for this."
She smiled and followed me to the Break Room where some coffee was brewing. Grabbing a couple of napkins, I patted the sweat off of my forehead. She leaned against the counter, "So what happened that made you late?"
I quickly recounted what had just happened on the street with the girl and the man. She nodded thoughtfully as I related to her my 'almost death.'
"Hmmm…" she said, looking thoughtful, "So was the guy cute?"
I smacked her playfully, "Seriously?! Out of all that, the guy is what you think about?" I rolled my eyes and grabbed the pot of coffee, pouring some in my foam cup.
"He was good looking though…" I smiled, shrugging. She laughed and gave a little clap.
Just then, the door flew open and a very handsome man walked in. He was sharply dressed in an expensive-looking black suit. His black hair arranged nicely, dark brown eyes landing on me as he strode forward with so much confidence that it took me by surprise.
I know I've seen him before…somewhere…
"Excuse me, I didn't mean to interrupt," He said, speaking lightly.
"Good Morning, Henry" Maya smiled nicely. He nodded politely but kept his eyes on me. Oh yeah- Henry! The newest Attorney at the firm, very successful for his age, youngest attorney in our office.
"You're Autumn, right?" He said, "I think we met briefly back when I first started, at a company meeting."
I nodded lightly, not quite remembering,"Yes… umm it's nice to see you again."
He nodded, "I'm going to be very blunt, Autumn," He straightened his suit,
"I know this is very sudden, but I was wondering if you had plans tonight?"
I blushed, definitely surprised. Tonight? Dang, so soon! Okay Autumn, act cool.
"That depends…" I grinned coyly.
"Oh really?" he said, smirking.
"Yes," I stated, "Why are you asking?" I sipped my coffee while looking at him steadily.
His answer was immediate," I'd like take you out somewhere."
I tried to keep my appearance indifferent, giving him my best demure smile. It had been a while since I went out on a date- especially with someone as good looking as him.
"When?" I asked blatantly.
He smiled at me broadly, "Tonight, right after work."
I nodded, agreeing,"Great, I'll meet you at your desk at six."
He smiled at me once again and gave Maya a curt nod before leaving without another word. Maya squealed, clapping happily.
"Finally! Autumn has a date!"
I rolled my eyes, walking out of the break room and mentally prepared myself for the day. A pile of papers was placed on my desk. I sighed and thought of my date after work, the possibilities getting me through my day.
I smoothed my hair over and the clock struck six. My palms were sweaty as I waited for Henry. The last of the employees were clocking out for the day, so I entered my time and followed suit.
Someone cleared their throat behind me, and I turned to see Henry standing there looking at the time teasingly. I smirked and got my things, did he have a pocket watch too? Hmm... Must be a 'thing' now.
We walked out of the building. He even held the door- very nice. Although I could have gotten it myself, it was a nice gesture… he seems like a real gentleman.
We made small talk while walking a couple blocks before stopping in front of a fairly busy-looking bar. This is way too crowded…
Henry looked around before turning back to me, "Do you mind if we go somewhere A little more private?" He asked.
I swallowed nervously, nodding, "That sounds fine."
He motioned towards a bar down the street and we switched, heading in that direction. Things seemed to be going fairly well. So far, he was polite and kind, and somewhat quiet but he made an effort. He held the door open for me again as we walked into the cozy bar. Low lights hung about, creating a casual and laid-back environment. We sat down at a booth in the back. He smiled a dashing smile at me as the waitress came up- a beautiful girl with pale light skin and bright hazel green eyes.
"Hey guys, my name's Samantha. And I'll be serving you this fine and starry evening" She smiled, "Anyway, the bartender is trying out a new drink and we want to see if people will like it," She looked at us happily, "Mind trying it out so I can give him some feed back? It's pretty sweet..." she looked at me, "but not too sweet," She finished, looking at Henry who just smirked. He nodded.
"Okay we'll give it a go," he said, "Do you mind?"
I smiled politely, "Not at all!"
He grinned, "We'll take two," he told Samantha as I turned to look out the window. She left to go get our drinks.
"So… Autumn ?" Henry asked as I looked up at him, taking my phone out of my purse in case someone called.
"Tell me about yourself," he prompted. I began to tell him about where I when to school and college, etc. He nodded, listening intently as I continued. Soon Samantha came back with some foamy blood red drink and put one in front of each of us. I looked at it carefully; his looked like it was made first. I looked back at Henry's. Yup- mine's definitely more fizzy and foamy.
Samantha lingered around our booth, "I like to see the customer's reactions,. Most respond well!" she smiled, "They love it."
Henry took a sip of his. He winced, "It's good, I'm just not much of a fruit guy though," he smiled politely at Samantha. I smiled, about to take a sip, when I remembered something and put my drink down. There was visible disappointment in both their faces.
"What's wrong?" Samantha looked at me. I blushed sheepishly…
"This is really embarrassing… but I can't drink. I'm still on antibiotics from an infection I had a couple days ago..." I looked away. Henry frowned, looking annoyed, and Samantha didn't even try to hide her disappointment.
"I'm sorry," I grimaced. Why do they look so upset? It's just a drink.
I shrugged it off.
"It's okay," Samantha smiled weakly,"I'll leave it there in case you change your mind, and I'll bring you some water," She trotted off.
I thanked her, and turned back to Henry who still looked very annoyed.
"Are you okay?" I asked, concerned.
"Fine," he responded coldly. Okay, now he's just being weird…
The rest of the evening went like that; Henry's sudden mood swing startled me. His one word answers and nods of indifference worried me. What the hell is his problem?
He even yawned, looking bored. What an arrogant jerk!
Finally, he suggested we go home and rest up for tomorrow. I nodded and grabbed my bag. He paid the bill and opened the door for me, walking out to the street. He started down the block, calling out that he'd 'see me tomorrow' over his shoulder.
I rolled my eyes at his rudeness and wondered how in the world my date had taken such a bad turn- and all over a drink. I started walking down the block, thinking about arrogant cocky lawyer Henry.
I was almost home when I reached for my phone. Might as well call Maya and tell her what a disaster it was. I rummaged through my bag. What the… damn it! I must have left it at the bar. I turned around and headed back to get it.
After a nice twenty minute argument with the Bar manager about my lost phone, I started on my way back. I had sent Maya a text instead. I was too exhausted to call. Damn Henry. I had just turned my corner when I saw a familiar face. A black mastiff dog sat on the curb in front of my apartment building.
"Viper… what are you doing off of your leash again?" I approached the animal calmly.
Suddenly a white light blinded me, as a loud boom echoed through the street and a fire exploded in the building I was standing near. I gasped as fire and smoke came out of a window… Wait!! That's my window!
I turned as I heard familiar voices down the street.
"Seriously?! She wasn't inside?"
I turned around and saw a familiar faces walking up. There was Samantha from the bar… Henry... And there was Angel from this morning- with that quiet strawberry blonde!
I looked around at them, shocked…
"What is going on?" I asked, bewildered.
Henry looked angry; he threw his hands up in frustration,"Someone is going to have to take the blame for this!"
Viper trotted to Angel, wagging his tail. She looked at the apartment concerned, "I guess luck hasn't favored us today."
Henry shook his head,"Screw luck, who ever messed up should be the one to finish the job. Let's just be done with this." He looked at me, almost… repulsed. This is not the same guy I agreed to go out with…
"What's going on?!" I asked more fervently. Now I was pretty upset- and still confused.
Samantha smiled hollowly, "Sorry, Autumn, but… You're supposed to be dead."
I stared so hard that I began to get lightheaded. The strawberry blond raised an eyebrow at me, and then glanced up at my burning apartment before he spoke.
"What Sammie means, Autumn, is that you've managed to miss every attempt at your scheduled passing today."
"Passing?" I looked narrowed my eyes at him.
"Your Death date," Henry clarified, rolling his eyes. I felt an involuntary shiver go through me at his words.
"Death date…that…that's crazy! I'm going to call the police!" I yelled at them, searching my bag for my phone.
"Someone please stop her before she hurts herself," Henry snapped.
Angel looked down at her dog, "Viper," she said firmly, looking from him to me. She nodded in my direction and he got the hint. He came closer and growled at me, his sharp teeth out.
Angel looked at me apologetically, "Take your hand out of your bag."
I sighed pulling it out, defeated. The blonde guy looked at me, clearly frustrated and annoyed, "Ughh… you humans! It's so infuriating-like you never know when to give up and accept what's right in front of you!"
I straightened my shoulders, "Just who do you think you are?" I countered. But then a thought hit me… did he say… humans? As if he isn't one? I took a step back.
"Or better yet, what are you?" I said to the apparent psycho.
He smirked, "You humans have a number of names for us," he said, "Angels of Death, Grim Reaper, the list goes on."
"What?" I looked at the group, seeing Samantha nod as if agreeing with him.
"Calin is right," she said, "But we prefer to call ourselves something a little more civilized," She paused,