Young adult fiction (YA) is a category of fiction published for readers in their youth. YA books are catered towards children from 12 to 18 years of age. While the genre is targeted to teenagers, approximately half of YA readers are adults. This ended up being longer than expected. There is so much more but decided that if it’s received well then I’ll post the rest later.
Did you know that we are all born to an assigned guardian angel? They guide us through life and protect us from harm. I once thought that this was all bull since people die, wars occurred, savagery, and so forth but there is a whole world of guardian angels and laws that we are not privy to. Here’s what I have learned. We have guardian angels because there is evil that is always trying to turn us, it’s always there. It’s like a huge cosmic game of chess where humanity is the board and the angels and demons are the pieces moved by God and the Devil. Our angels are not measured in successes they are measured by how we leave this world. They are not allowed to show themselves to us or intervene physically. They are also not allowed to fall in love with a mortal.The consequences of all of their actions and failures are both beautiful and brutal.
I just turned 16 when my mother surprised me with a used car the morning of my birthday. I know it was hard for her to make a large purchase being a single mom and working two jobs. ‘You can now drive to school, work, and all your volunteer projects. Happy birthday Blyss.’
‘Mom, this is too much. I can’t take this.’ I said through quivering lips.
‘Blyss, I know you were saving for a car, you maintain a 3.89 GPA for secretly hoping for a scholarship, you volunteer for everything, you go to work, and you help take care of your little brother. You need all the help you can get as you start to prepare to be an adult. Honey, it’s ok. You’re not the only one that has been saving. Now, it’s a good solid car I had your uncles look it over. Take the key and get to school.’ She kissed me on the forehead and I jumped in the car when she leaned down, ‘You may want to run in and put some clothes on and run a brush your hair.’
The day I turned 16 is the day that my life changed. I went to school, work, helped with my brother like I did for the past 3 years. I was a good daughter and citizen in my small town and loved my baby brother. Then I met Jasper. He was one of the high school guys that all the girls drooled over. I didn’t bother because I thought he didn’t even know my name considering I was a goody-goody.
‘Blyss?’ My mouth dropped open at the sound of his voice. He grinned this devilish grin knowing that he had me at that moment. Would you like to go out for coffee sometime? I need help with some trig homework. You can tutor, I can try to impress you with everything I don’t know, drink coffee and maybe go see a movie?’ I startled because my body was trying to tell me that it was my turn to speak. ‘I can tutor you but only for an hour. I have to go and volunteer at the animal shelter. They’re getting in a litter of puppies.’
‘Oh, ok. I can settle for that.’ He said but with this evil glint in his eyes.
We didn’t go to the coffee shop and instead I decided on the library. He didn’t even have his books. He looked over at my work and not following along on his own paper.
‘You’re not going to learn anything watching me do trigonometry. I’m sorry but my time is precious and I can’t afford to waste it on someone that doesn’t even want to try. I closed my book and started packing my bag when he gently grabbed my arm, ‘You’re wrong. I learned a lot by watching you. You’re careful about how you hold your pencil because it looks like you’ve got a broken nail down to the quick. You bite your lip when you’re nervous. Your red curly hair looks like fire in the light.’ I looked at his dark blue eyes and felt uneasy. Why was I feeling uneasy? I should be flattered and in awe of this beautiful guy that is taking interest in me.
‘I know you have to volunteer tonight but do you think afterward you would like to hang out? There is a party on the lake at my buddy’s house.’ I should’ve said yes but instead something in my soul told me not to and that it was a bad idea.
‘I’m sorry, I can’t. I have to take care of my little brother.’ I finished packing my bag and told him,
‘If you’re serious about getting help with your math grade meet me here tomorrow before school with your book and paper.’ I left, rather quickly not giving him the chance to say anything back to me.
I went to school the next morning and not surprising to me, Jasper was a no-show. The rest of the day was great. I made A’s in all my returned grades and just felt happy. I picked my brother up, took him to his afterschool program, and headed to work. I loved waitressing. I had regular customers that became like family. I had the occasional rude but it was few and far between and it was normally a regular having a bad day. I would get those customers a piece of ‘Grandma Whits’ famous triple chocolate cake paid for by my tips and listen to their problems. It’s amazing what a piece of cake and a friendly ear can do for a person. I had to work until close today because our other waitress was sick. I just got done with all my closing duties, Merle was getting his grill shut down and a group of boys walked in. I didn’t recognize any of them.
‘Hi guys, sorry we’re closed.’ I said gesturing to the empty dining area.
‘Your lights are on and the sign says open,’ said what must be the leader. I looked over at my shoulder towards Merle who could feel my uneasiness. Something told me to go back to the kitchen. ‘I’ll be right back,’ I said excusing myself to escape to the kitchen. I don’t know what Merle said but the boys left.
‘I’ll be walking you to your car tonight.’ Merle told me. I knew that there was no arguing with him and as he walked me out those boys were waiting by there car which was parked next to mine. How did Merle know?
There were instances like this over the next few months along with papers notifying our small town of robberies, assaults, and arson crimes. I soon formed a buddy system at work, took my little brother everywhere and locked every door and window. My mother even became extra protective of us and the house so much that we got our first family dog ever. Oscar was a German Shepard that my uncle gave to us. He was a trained protector for when mom was working the late shift and we were sleeping. My uncle said, ‘It’s the most vulnerable time for the kids and Blyss can’t stay awake 24/7. My mother accepted Oscar who seemed to fit in quite nicely with our little family. My little brother had a permanent sleepover mate because that’s the room that Oscar chooses to sleep in.
I was leaving work one night and the leader of the group of guys approached me. I froze. I could hear a voice in my head telling me to get in the car. ‘GET IN THE CAR NOW!’ it seemed to scream. I felt the force of something heavy on the back of my head as I turned to unlock my car.
‘Blyss. Blyss, I need you to open your eyes. Can you hear me? Blyss? These cloudy words swam around in my head.
‘The ambulance will be here shortly.’ I recognized that voice. It was Merle’s but he sounded less confident than normal. I opened my eyes to see a young man hovering over me.
‘Blyss, don’t move. You were struck in the back of the head and you may have a concussion.’
Of course, I didn’t listen and as I sat up the blinding pain ran down my spine. I cried out and as my body gave into the pain I could feel the strangers hand gently grasp the back of my head to gently rest on the pavement.
I woke up in the hospital with my mother holding my hand.
‘Mom, mom…where’s Caleb? I have to get him to school.’ I tried sitting up in a panic but felt a lesser version of the pain in my head.’
‘Blyss, your brother is fine. Your uncle is taking care of him. Blyss, can you sit up?’
Mom started to raise my hospital bed which I realized was a better way for me to sit up.
‘How are you feeling baby?’
‘I’m ok I guess, what happened?’
‘Do you remember anything from two nights ago?’ She asked.
‘I’ve been out for two days! I have to get to school, and I need to get a hold of the animal shelter. Ugh, mom, I missed my final!’
‘Shh…everything is taken care of Blyss. The shelter as arranged a therapy dog to come and visit you when you wake, the school will allow you to test when you get back, and of course, the diner said to return when you’re ready.’ I relaxed back into the bed.
‘The boy!’ I said out loud in realization.
‘The boy? Oh, you mean Zaq? My mom informed me and all I could think what kind of parents did this boy have to name him that?
My mother explained, ‘Zaq was pulling into the parking lot to change a flat tire when he saw a boy approaching you with a pipe hidden behind his back. He apologized that he couldn’t get to you in time but was able to wrestle the attacker to the ground and detain him until the officers arrived. The boy that hit you was also arrested for other assaults and robberies in town. His friends have all been arrested for their part as well. Zaq is a little small town hero. Would you like to talk to him? He hasn’t left the hospital waiting room wanting to make sure that you were ok.’
‘Mom, that’s a lot to take in but yes, I would like to meet my hero.’ I was more curious than feeling thankful.
Mom disappears just to reappear with this young blonde, green-eyed, somewhat muscular guy that smelled like lavender and chocolate.
‘I’ll leave you two alone.’ and with that, my mom was gone.
‘Hi. Umm…thank you for saving my life?’
‘I didn’t do that. I actually failed to keep you safe. I should’ve told you to have Merle walk you out that night. I’m not allowed to interfere or interact with you but I couldn’t stand to see you fall victim to the true evil and revenge that man had planned for you. I don’t know how to be anything but honest and I don’t know how to…sugar coat things. Is that the correct phrase?’ I nodded that it was.
‘I have been protecting you all your life. We helped guide your mom to the safest car available and Jasper just wanted to have his way with you. We are all so proud that you volunteer and help your mom. I’m your guardian angel Zag short for Tzaphqiel. I just couldn’t leave until I knew you were ok.’
‘I was hit harder in the head than the doctors realized.’ I said but wasn’t panicked for some reason and just rolled my eyes resting my head back on my pillow. In my hazy fog, it made sense. How else had I stayed safe all these years? Learning to walk, ride a bike, drive, there were so many times I could’ve been seriously hurt. Not to mention, my grades and the drive to volunteer and help.
‘There is something I don’t understand. If you’re my guardian angel then how come my mother and I struggle so much? How come you haven’t helped us win the lottery or me a full-blown scholarship or a rich boyfriend.’
His laugh was like a song that I heard as a lullaby when I was little.
‘I’m your guardian angel. I’m here to guide you through life not hand it to you on a materialistic silver platter.’
‘Fair enough. Can you tell me my future?’
‘I’m not a fortune teller.’
‘You physically interfered. Does that mean I’ll get a new angel?’
‘Yes, Blyss. I will be punished and your new angel will continue to guide you through life.’
My heart ached at the word ‘punished’.
‘Wait, punished? You saved me. You should get an angel medal!’ that’s when panic settled in and for some reason, I felt as if I was losing a loved one.
‘Blyss, guarding you was my greatest achievement. I have watched you grow and you made decisions where I didn’t even have to intervene. You are a kind and loving soul. Your new angel will be proud to guard you.