The Magic of Stars

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Chapter 18

Ace then gets on the floor and brings one knee up. “I know that we are too young to get married, but I love you Stella Mailloux. With all my heart. So this is a ring that I got for you. It’s so that you promise to only be with me until we are married. Never to date anyone else. Do you promise?”

I gasp. The ring has a real diamond and it’s beautiful. “Yes,” I whisper. “Yes, of course.”

He puts it on my ring finger with care and then we take a picture together with my new camera, my smile big and exactly like my mom’s.

We hop into the car holding hands and try not to let go as we put on our seatbelts. The driver was just finishing up his food and dumped the trash in a bag he had on the side of the passenger door. I have a question forming slowly, but the driver looks exhausted.

“You two play and bicker like an old married couple. Do us all a favor and marry each other already before some of us lose our minds.”

Wow, that man was rude. I didn’t say anything as he pulled forward and turned out into the busy street. He drove fast as if he didn’t want Ace and I to be in the car any longer than necessary. We almost rammed into the car in front of us when they slowed for a traffic light and I was about to scream, but when I saw Ace’s face as if he was going to die, I was laughing too hard to scream. He gave me a hard look, but I was able to see the humor behind his eyes.

“Haha, very funny,” he says, about to tickle me again. And before being put back into the kicking position where I might help the driver get into an accident, I try to ease out of it instead.

“Wait, I have a question,” I say eyeing the back of our drivers’ seat, wondering if he was also laughing or at least smiling. He was looking at us from the inside rear view mirror, but I was only able to see his eyes.

“Ok?”

“Alright. So did you pee your pants when we almost crashed?” I ask as politely as I could.

I hear the driver snickering in the front and I turn to look at Ace as soon as he play pushes me and I fall on my side. I’m laughing so hard that tears come out of my eyes and Ace is shaking his head back and forth, annoyed. That’s the first time in a long while that I laughed that hard and I was almost shocked that I did laugh that hard. Especially since I was laughing at a very stupid thing.

The driver turns very sharp and scares me half to death, but Ace seems like he’s fine and that it’ll be okay so I let it go and decide not to yell at the driver that he’s freaking crazy. I only take a deep breath and try to calm my racing thoughts with the fact that . . . damn, we almost hit a car. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore.

“You crazy ass driver! Watch what you’re doing before you get us all killed!” I scream at him with my pointer finger jabbing at his shoulder.

“Stella! Calm down, it’s alright. We’re safe now, aren’t we?”

“Not for long,” I mumble under my breath.

He hears it and starts laughing. “This is why I love you. You’re so fucking stubborn.”

I loosen my stiff muscles and laugh with him. “Hey. I want to say a joke”

“Okay, sure.”

“Alright, but it’s a long joke.”

“No problem. Go for it,” he says, getting comfortable.

“So . . . A bus carrying many people crashed on an icy road, burst into flames, and everyone died. Upon arrival in Heaven, God said, "Since you all died in the most horrible way, I will grant you each one wish before I let you into Heaven." The first woman, being a person always concerned with her looks, comes up to God and says, “I wish to be beautiful.” God grants her wish. The next man doesn’t know what to wish for so he wishes for the same thing. At this point, the man at the back of the starts to laugh. The next couple, seeing how utterly wondrous the two have become, make their wish to become beautiful also, and the man at the end laughs even louder. One after another, the people wish for the same thing. The closer God gets to the end of the line, the harder the man laughs. When God finally gets to the end of the line, he says, “What do you wish for, my son?” The man says, “Make them all ugly again!”

I hear Ace mumbling to himself and when I look at his face, he’s smiling brightly and I can tell that I put him in a happier mood. He’s about to say something when he gets interrupted by our driver. He is no longer looking at us and he is no longer smiling either. I don’t know how it happened or why, but all of a sudden, it was like my brain knew something bad was going to happen. Like it could see the future and it wanted to protect you, but didn’t know how. That was when everything went into slow motion.

I screamed and grabbed Ace’s hand. He was screaming my name and I didn’t know why I should be afraid or why the car was flying around in circles. I just knew that I had to get to Ace because he was important and I had to save him, no matter what.

What they say in the movies and books is right. Your life really does flash before you and you see everything you’ve accomplished and everything that happened. Some happy memories dug at me behind my eyes and some sad made my eyes close. Ace was screaming so loud that there was no other sound that made it past my ears. His scream would never leave me for as long as I lived, which didn’t seem very long.

I thought of dad and how he wasn’t going to make it through another death of his family, but then I also thought that maybe my death would bring him out of it and that maybe, just maybe, he would start acting like a real father and treat Jack like he was worth something. Because I know that he loves Jack with all his heart. His heart was just covered with unending sadness and misery right now, but that could change.

And lastly, Jack. Jack means everything to me and I know that he’s going to have a hard time with me being dead and all, but there really wasn’t much else I could do. It’s not like I can help him get through my death, because that would mean climbing out of my grave like in that Micheal Jackson song, and dancing my to the house to tell him that he’s okay and that he can make it through this. Honestly, he would be way too freaked out to see me more than anything and might not hear a word I say.

I don’t want to leave Ace, but what choice do I have? He’s screaming and now that I’m paying attention to myself, I’m screaming. The driver must be screaming because his mouth is open and I see the mirror in front of him fogging up because of his warm breath hitting it.

My last thought ended with me thinking about the mirror fogging up because of our drivers breath. And then everything went dark and I felt myself being sucked out of existence.

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