Chapter 1

21/05/2011 21:32

Isabella opened her eyes and looked around. She was standing in a beautiful pavilion covered with vines and and beautiful white and yellow flowers. Around the pavilion was a wide field with grasses, flowers and trees everywhere. The people were happily dancing and singing and running around the field. She also saw a well and beside it was a very big tree. Suddenly, she saw a white rabbit hopping towards her. She bent her knees as she looked at the rabbit. It had violet eyes.. Just like her.

"I have been waiting for you." The rabbit talked.

Isabella's eyes widened. "You.. You can talk?!"

"Yes, I do. And I can sing too!" The rabbit said, grinning at her.

Isabella got confused. The last thing she can remembered was she was being burned by the townspeople. "Where am I? Is this.. heaven?"

"No, this isn't heaven. Well.. Things are really complicated here. Come on, let's talk about everything as I show you around." The rabbit smiled at her as it hopped away.

She stared at the rabbit for a moment.

"Come on, follow me!" The rabbit smiled.

Isabella then followed the rabbit.

"You can ask God anything you want here. Delicious food, beautiful dresses, everything. Well, you can only wish for good things, though." The rabbit said.

Isabella looked around. "What is that?" Isabella said as she pointed the well.

"A well."

"I know, but what is it for?"

"That tree beside it is the path to heaven, and the well.. It would show you everything that you wanted to see in the human world. But, you could only ask the well to show you one thing. Just one. So you better choose wisely." The rabbit said.

"What is this place?" Isabella said as she looked around. "I am dead now, am I right?" Isabella said as she looked at the rabbit.

"Yes, you are dead now. But you are not yet in heaven, you are not ready to go yet." The rabbit said.

"Wh-why?" Isabella stopped walking. It would have been better for her if she was already in heaven. She would not be in pain anymore if she was in heaven, never.

"As I have said, you are not ready yet. You still have to accomplish something for you to get to heaven."

"And.. What do I have to accomplish?"

"You have to forget and move on." The rabbit looked into Isabella's eyes.

By the rabbit's last words, she felt deep pain in her chest. She closed her eyes as she cried. 

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"You useless child! You never memorized the notes! You never matched up to my expectations! You always failed me!" Isabella's father paddled the back of her legs as he scolded her.

Isabella just cried, and said nothing. She wasn't allowed to answer back. She can never answer back.

"You only cared about your dancing and singing foolishness! You never wanted to play the piano! You never memorize your notes, because you were too focused on other things!" Isabella's father paddled her legs harder, even though they were already sore and bleeding.

"If you still didn't memorize the notes of the piano piece tomorrow, I am going to stitch your mouth up and paddle you even more!" Isabella's father stopped and walked outside her room. She cried silently. Her legs ached really bad, but the pain was nothing compared to what she feels inside her heart. Her father has only given her the piano piece yesterday, and it was impossible for her to memorize it within one day. She just didn't understand why her father acted like that towards her.

Isabella's mother slowly opened the door and came inside Isabella's room. She hugged Isabella as she cried. "I can't even stop your father from hurting you.. I'm sorry.."

Isabella cried as her mother hugged her.

"Georgia!" Isabella's father shouted.

"C-coming!" Her mother answered. "Go to sleep now.. I'll treat your wounds tomorrow.. Good night.." Isabella's mother kissed her forehead and she rushed downstairs.

Isabella tried to lay down on her bed. She can't even sleep on her back. Her legs were aching, real bad. She closed her eyes and tried to sleep, but the pain on her legs kept her awake. She then heard his father and mother shouting at each other. She stood up and walked towards her door and put her ears against it.

"She deserves to be beaten because she didn't memorize the piano piece that I gave her!" Her father shouted.

"But you gave the piano piece just yesterday, it's impossible to memorize it in one day!" Isabella's mother shouted back.

"When I was her age, I can memorize a piano piece that my father gave me in just one day!"

"Being a pianist is not her passion! She loves singing and dancing! She's different from you!"

"She's different from me, because she is not my child!"

Isabella can't continue listening to them anymore. She has heard enough. Isabella has now understood why her father disliked her so much. Isabella laid down on her bed again, crying as she closed her eyes. 

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Isabella opened her eyes, she was still standing in this unknown place, with a talking rabbit infront of her. "Please.. Please do say that this is already heaven.." She said.

"I am sorry, but this really isn't heaven.." The rabbit answered.

"Then.. What is this place? Where am I?" Isabella didn't understand. She was already dead, but she wasn't in heaven, and she was sure that hell wouldn't be this beautiful.

"You are in between." The rabbit said.

"In between? What do you mean?" Isabella said.

"In between. You are already dead, but not yet ready to be in heaven. You are in between heaven and the human world. People who are 'in between' are those who have left their bodies in the human world but are already destined to be in heaven or those people who had an unfinished task in the human world and has to go back.. Or people who still hasn't accomplished the things that they have to do in the human world. In your case, you still haven't learned how to forget, forgive and move on." The rabbit explained.

"But.. How can I forgive my father for the dreadful things that he has done to me? How can I forget the man I love who is still in the human world? How can I move on after all the pain that I have suffered from?" Isabella said as she cried.

"That is what you have to do here." The rabbit said.

"Who are you anyway? Why are you saying all of these to me?" Isabella asked.

"I am a spirit trapped inside a rabbit's body. I was a free spirit, and God appointed me to distribute all the new faces that he has created for your generation, but I wasn't able to completely fulfill my duty.

"Years before you were born, I was walking in the woods, and I suddenly saw a woman walking in the woods, alone. I decided to give her a test and see how kind she was, and so I transformed myself into a helpless-looking human with some animal bites and wounds on the body. She ran towards me, and offered her help. She said her house was just near, so she could take me there and treat my wounds. But I refused, and said that I would rather be treated at the woods. So she went back to her house to get all the things that she needed to treat my wounds. When she came back, she treated me and I immediately transformed to my true form. She was flabbergasted at first, but she didn't run away. I asked her a wish that I would grant her, in exchange of her kindness. And she said that she was going to get married, and she wanted to have a child. A beautiful child. A child with a beautiful violet eyes, black hair, pale and soft skin, a child that didn't menstruate and would be able to survive any kind of disease, a child who had the ability to heal others' wounds or sickness. She wanted to conceive a miraculous and perfect child. And the child was you, Isabella." The rabbit explained.

"So.. I am not an illegitimate child of my mother? But why does he hate me?" Isabella asked.

"No, you are not an illegitimate child. Your father just didn't believe your mother when she told him about me, and he thought that she had a lover. You didn't look anything like your father, or your mother. Because you are a superhuman. So he didn't accept you as his child. He loves you, but he hates you too at the same time. He didn't want people to see his child, so he kept you forever." The rabbit said.

"But.. Why didn't he want me to be seen by people?" Isabella asked.

"Because he knew that people won't treat you normally, since your appearance is not like the other people. You had violet eyes. You're extraordinary, something that science can't explain. People would think you're a witch or something unearthly, and he was right. They did think that you're a witch and burned you down."

"And I granted her wish, thinking that God wouldn't be angry if I ever do it, but I was wrong. God said that I shouldn't interfere with all his plans and creations. But instead of taking back the wish that I granted the woman, He trapped me inside the body of a rabbit and made me the the guardian of this place instead. God said that he had other plans for you in the future, and so all of these happened." The rabbit said.

"So God planned to make me suffer and take my life?" Isabella asked, as she raised her voice.

"Everything happens for a reason, Isabella. You would understand everything when the right time comes." The rabbit said.

"When would I be able to understand that? When will be the 'right time' for me?" Isabella said as she cried.

"Only you could answer that, Isabella." The rabbit said as it walked away.

Isabelle didn't know what to do. She didn't know what this 'in between' place is and what its use was. She still didn't understand why this has to happen to her, of all the people in the world. 

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Souls have come and go in the place where Isabella had stayed, a hundred and forty nine years since her death. Still, Isabella hasn't learned how to move on. She tried a lot of times, but she always failed.

The spirit rabbit would often bring her to the well, and show her the human world. The rabbit spirit was free to see anything from the well, and the rabbit spirit felt guilty of what happened to Isabella, so the rabbit spirit often granted what Isabella wanted to see in the human world. Isabella always said that she didn't want to use the well, but the spirit rabbit knew that deep in her heart, she wanted to see the man that she loved. She saw how the man that she loved so much lived after she died. He got married to a woman, had kids, and died at an old age. He was able to move on when Isabella died.

That wasn't the only things that Isabella had seen. She saw how the world has changed, how science and technology has improved, and how the people's language and attitude changed through time. She now knew what the new words meant, and she often used them to communicate to the new souls that arrive in the 'in between'.

The souls in the 'in between' is becoming less even though the world's population has been multiplying in large numbers. The souls would often go straight to hell, or to heaven. Only few people were being sent in the 'in between.'

Isabella looked at the pavilion and she saw that a new soul has arrived.

The spirit rabbit was looking at the well, he was observing another human.

"Rabbit, rabbit, there's a new soul!" Isabella said as she ran towards the pavilion, and the spirit rabbit followed.

Isabella was shocked when she saw the girl. It was like she was staring at a mirror. She had the same nose, same lips, shape of the eyes, hair, everything. They only differed on skin tone and their eye color. The girl had tanned skin and brown eyes.

The girl looked at the rabbit, then at Isabella, curious. "Wh-who are you? Why do you look like me?!"

"I'm the spirit rabbit, the guardian of this place. And she's Isabella. She's also a trapped soul, like you." The rabbit said.

"You can talk?!" The girl said.

"You had the same reaction as her when she arrived here." The rabbit said, smiling at the girl.

The girl was still shocked. She never expected that she would see a talking rabbit.

"Trapped soul?" What do you mean trapped soul? Where the heck am I?" She said.

"You got hit by a speeding car, and your body is still in the human world." The rabbit said.

"Am I dead now?" The girl asked.

"No, you're not. Your body is sleeping. Your soul is now destined to be in heaven, but your body is left in the human world. And you still have an unfinished task." The rabbit explained.

The girl was still confused. She then looked at Isabella, then around the pavilion. 'Is this all real?'

"Yes, this is all real." The rabbit answered.

"You can read minds too?!" The girl asked.

"Yes." The rabbit laughed. "All of the people here can read each others' minds."

"I'm Isabella. What's your name?" Isabella asked.

"I'm.. I'm Claire. Can you explain this all to me? It's really kinda weird hearing all these stuffs from a rabbit.."

The rabbit giggled. "Alright, I might have to leave you for a moment." The rabbit hopped away.

"Well.. Come, follow me." Isabella led Claire to the field.

"Wow.. This place is beautiful!" Claire said as she looked around.

"It's really nice here, and you can ask God all of the things that you want. But you can only request for good things from him." Isabella said.

"Wow.. Really? How do you do that, then?" Claire asked.

"You just wish for it, then it'll be on your hand right away." Isabella smiled.

"Can I wish for a fried chicken?" Claire asked.

"Well.. although you don't get hungry or bloated when you're here, yes. I guess you can." Isabella said.

"Ohhh.. Alrighty then. Dear God, I wish for delicious fried chicken!" Claire said as she closed her eyes, and when she opened it, she had a plate of fried chicken on her hands. "Wooowww!" Claire said as she sat on the grass. Isabella sat beside her and smiled. "You want some?"

"No, it's yours. You wished for it." Isabella said.

"Come on, just take one drumstick." Claire said.

"Well.. If you insist.." Isabella said as she took one drumstick and bit from it.

"Ahh.. How I wished I could share this with them.." Claire said.

"Who? Your parents?" Isabella asked, curious.

"No.. I meant my friends. I don't have parents.. I'm an orphan. I've been left on an orphanage since I was a kid. No one dared to adopt me, so I stayed and worked for the orphanage." Claire said as she ate her fried chicken..

"Ohh.. I see.." Isabella said.

Claire then put the plate on the grass. "Wait, can you explain why I am here?"

"You're here because you didn't accomplish the things that you had to do in the human world." Isabella said as she put the fried chicken on the plate.

Claire was still confused. "I didn't accomplish something while I'm in the human world?"

"Yes, and it seems that you don't have the chance to go back. The spirit rabbit said that you are now destined to be in heaven."

"But I haven't told Lawrence yet that I love him! And he was leaving now!" Claire said.

"I'm sorry, but the decision and the control is not in my hands.. You have to decide whether you'd go to heaven, or stay here. But it still wouldn't make any difference.. You should just decide to go to heaven." Isabella said.

Claire was upset, so she stood up and ran towards the spirit rabbit. She wanted an explanation from all these.

"Wait!" Isabella said as she stood up and followed Claire.

Claire looked at the water inside the well. She then saw herself in the hospital bed, lying unconscious. "Is that.. me?"

"Yes, that's you. And this guy who's filled with blood on his clothes, he's the one who hit you with his car." The spirit rabbit said and pointed the man.

Isabella looked at the man. "That face.." She said, astounded by what she saw. He looked just like Jacob, the only man that she loved. 'The curls.. the tanned skin.. those beautiful brown eyes.. It can't be..' Isabella then looked at the spirit rabbit.

"That man.. His name is Peter Gene Hernandez. The faces of the generation today were copied from the faces of your generation. I'm sorry I didn't tell you about this, Isabella.. I shouldn't tell you in the first place.." The spirit rabbit said.

"Wait, what is this guy to you, Isabella?" Claire asked.

"He.. He has the face of my first love.." Isabella said.

"Ooohhh.. I see.. Now I understand. So that's why I look like you, too. Wow, what a coincidence.." Claire said.

"Please, take me to the human world." Isabella begged.

"We can't do that.. I'm sorry Isabella.." The spirit rabbit said.

"Wait.. You said my body's still in the human world, and I am technically alive there, and I am destined to be in heaven, so I have to leave the human world even though I have an unfinished business there?" Claire said.

"That is right.." The spirit rabbit answered.

"Then let Isabella take over my body in the human world. I am willing to give up my body, if she could do me a favor and tell Lawrence that I love him. She still has an unaccomplished task in the human world that's why she's here, right?" Claire said.

"Come on rabbit, I haven't even requested anything from you or God yet.. Can't you at least grant my wish even just this once?" Isabella said

"It's impossible.. We can't do that." The rabbit said.

"It's possible." A voice said, and the tree started to shine so bright.

"God?" The rabbit was astounded when he heard the voice.

"We could grant Isabella's wish, and bring her back to the human world using Claire's body. But I will only give her a seven hundred days in the Earth, and Isabella shall be back here after seven hundred days." God said.

"Seven hundred days only?" Claire asked.

"Yes, seven hundred days. After seven hundred days, she has to come back from the human world." God said.

"Take me there, to the human world." Isabella said.

"Drink the water from the well and you will be taken there." God said.

Isabella nodded and breathed deep. She drank the water.