360° quest

Maia slept soundly and peacefully. Like she was floating. Her body felt warm and her heart was free. She hasn't felt this kind of happiness in so long. All around her was warm radiating light. It shone brightly yet fell gently. Warming her skin to the bones. The sky was blue with clouds colored gold and white. She looked down and her body was glowing.

Maia heard a man's voice. "Hey ol' lassie. A'rr ye alright t'ere? Ol' on t'ere lassie!" He was holding Maia's cold hands. The rain pouring down with all its might. Maia was lying there, broken and bloody. The truck gave the buff driver light to see where Maia bled. Dark red liquid spilled and tainted the hard road.

The driver was calling at her to stay with him, yet it felt far and dream like. As if she were in another world. Watching the scene, staring at the body, not knowing how to react, Maia was looking down from a cloud. The dark night looked even darker compared to the warm and calming place Maia was at.

She saw the things happening when she was hit by the truck.

"Oi! I need an ambu'ance 'ere right now! We got an emergency!" He screamed into his old looking telephone. And while he told the hospital his exact location, Riche knelt by Maia. If ever the driver took any notice of the glowing angel, he never showed it.

Riche was knelt in prayer. Whispering the words, delivering to God. Asking to guide and protect Maia. He opened his eyes, full of resolve. And he began to weep.

Beautiful shinning teardrops. Everyone of them so perfect and glowing with radiance. All fell and entered into the body of Maia. She glowed, though it was invisible to mortals. Maia felt the power coming from her body. She knew now. This was not her world. She did not belong here. And she watched as her soul kissed the body of Maia, and it was taken up by an angel different from Riche.

Maia looked around and tried calling out to Riche. "Riche. Are you here?" and a voice called out. "My daughter…." And trailed off. It sounded familiar, yet it did not. Like a long forgotten dream she had once. She knew it was a voice she trusted. A voice she loved. It was kind and filled her body with happiness. Her soul lifted and she found her body flying higher into the clouds.

The voice was indescribable! So strong and gentle. Always showing love and hope. Each not full of faith and yet filled with hidden pain. Maia wanted to ease his suffering and lift his burdens, but she knew that she couldn't do anything to help. A part of her knew she could have done something. But something in the voice scarred her. Her body trembled with terror, though she commanded her body to stop.

Her mind was ready, yet her heart was not.

Her vision blurred for a while, and when the clouds cleared she saw herself in front of a beautiful gate. It was pinkish and out shone the beauty of the place. Maia knew she was meant to enter trough there, but she wasn't in her time. There was an old man who looked at a long scroll. Hard and determined, his eyes shone with such faith. He looked at Maia and shooed her away. Maia stuck her tongue out; she knew she would return. Just not now.

God called her and she was transported into another place. And the voice said again. "My daughter Maia. Why have you called my name." Maia called again. "My Lord. I did not mean to offend you. To hurt you in any other way." Hot tears fell from her eyes and fell to the clouds. She fell on her knees and wept. Maia did not realize.

Her heart begged and pleaded for her God. She needed Him. But He did not need her. Every part of her body yearned for the love she has missed out all these years. She could just weep there, forever and ever. Knowing she would not be able to enter heaven. Ever. For all the blasphemy she has done, she deserved punishment far worse than hell.

But God commanded His daughter to rise. "Rise Maia. Dry your tears." And Maia stood and looked to the voice. "I know of your agony. I see your suffering. I know of your pain. I feel your hatred. But do not loose Hope. I am here with you. Always." And Maia knew that he smiled. Even if she couldn't see his face. His words brought joy to her heart. "Am I dead?" She asked, a small voice so unlike Maia. "No. You're not." "But I felt the wound. I saw my soul leave my body. I know I'm dead." She whined, Maia touched her side where the blood was lost. The gash was deep and dirty. It showed, but it was cleaner and now looked like a wound. Only bigger.

"No. Riche saved you." He responded, smiling again. "How-" but it was cut when Riche suddenly appeared between God and Maia. "Riche!" Maia ran over to her angel at once. His once bright glow started fading. His white and beautiful face was gray and sad. Riche's hopeful eyes were closed, and his beautiful wings were folded. Its glow gone. "Why?" She wept, trying to give back the tears he has shed for her.

"Why did you do this! You take Marcus! You take my mother! You take my Life from me! Why are you so unfair!" She screamed to the voice in the clouds. The light turned dim for a while, but it return and he spoke again. "I am sorry Maia. I did not mean for your life to turn like this." Maia broke down and sobbed again. Holding the fading body of Riche.

"When angels cry, it is to save the person he or she loves the most. Their tears were meant to save them. Riche loves you Maia. He truly does. He gave his eternal life for your last chance to live. It is a very honorable act. And shows the love and faith he has in you." Maia looked up to the invisible God. "I will give him his tears again. He shows how much love a person can have for another. And I will give you your second chance at life." Maia's tears stopped and she looked up, unbelieving.

"No. Please God. Let her live in Heaven." Riche stood up. "She deserves to enter paradise." He looked up determined. "No Riche. If she is judged now, Peter will not permit her entry. She needs to fulfill her destiny. You of all Angels must know this." God said with a stern and unmoving voice. Riche looked down, defeated. He held a small bottle from around his neck and replied. "Yes, Father."

"STOP!" She held up her hand. And Riche looked at her. "What?" he asked her. "What is this 'destiny' you're talking about?" She asked, air quotes around destiny. "I don't have a destiny. My destiny is to die and live eternally in hell. I know it! You know it and certainly God (who knows everything) KNOWS IT!" She told them again. Riche just started laughing and holding back tears.

But God was patient and told her the story. "Maia. I may know everything. I know the things you think about, even your heart doesn't know. I know the number of hairs on your head, and the exact time you were born. But I cannot dictate the future. I help in shaping it. I am nature. But I cannot control what was meant to be. I decide what may happen. And I can change futures. Yet I cannot change the truth."

By this time, Maia's head was spinning. She couldn't get everything he was saying all at once. "You are not ready to enter heaven. And I know that. You need to fix all the past mistakes you have done. You will have 360 days to live. If you cannot complete your task by the end of the given days….. I am sorry. I cannot control the devil.

"In this life, evil has spread too much. Covering the hearts of all those who wish to do good. All things evil; Violence, hatred, jealousy, lust, people who turn against each other, all of these has come from the devil. Darkening the hearts of those with kindness and compassion. Good is not something common anymore. More and more kids are suffering the same way you are now, Maia." Maia looked up, searching through the clouds. Her eyes prying and scattering the clouds. Just to let her soul see a peek of his face.

"While you are able to see even just a small part of heaven, there are people dying and hurting from the daggers of the devil. I want you to ease their sufferings and give them a glimpse of heaven." God told her. "Collect 360 tears from the hearts of people whom you've touched. And both of us will collect them in this small vial. For 360 days you will be judged. You're entry to Heaven depends on all your actions and thoughts." Riche told her, smiling while giving the small triangular shaped bottle strung on a necklace chain. Maia held it in her hands, looking at it from every angle. And kept it in her pocket.

"WHOA! Hold on just one second! I don't know how to make people cry! I can punch them hard 'till they bleed and cry for their mommys! BUT! NOT THIS Shi-" Her curse words were stopped by Riche's hand to her mouth. He gave a stern dagger look, Maia took a deep breath. "Fine." She gave a pout and crossed her arms. "I can't make people cry! I don't know how to! Especially if its to touch their hearts!" she whined and looked up to the clouds. God laughed at Maia and Riche. His laugh was so gentle and jolly. Maia's heart skipped a beat.

"Riche will be there to guide and guard you. And I will always be with you. No matter what." A warm invisible hand seemed to grab Maia and hug her tight. Just like that, it was settled.

Right before Maia left the God for the Earth below, she whispered in her heart. I'm so sorry God. God smiled down on her "You're forgiven." Thank you. And Maia smiled too, silently in her heart.

"How little is your faith Maia. I truly love you. Your mother did, she still does. And so does your brother. When Earth and Sky crumbles and all life ceases to exist. Faith, Hope and Love abide, and the greatest of these is Love. Please do not lock them in your heart. Give me the key to your Love and I will set them free." He called out and a gush of wind gave Maia a renewed hope to fulfill her duty.

She looked down at the dog tag around her neck. And read its inscription:

When Earth and Sky crumbles and all life ceases to exist. Faith, Hope and Love abide, and the greatest of these is Love.