If I tell someone that my best friend is a Grim Reaper, they don’t believe me. It is kind of a funny story the way our friendship started. Grim Reapers are surely not known for their social skills. The good thing is that I am a Fairy. So, where he is stiff and sourly, I am a happy-go-lucky kind of person. Our dispositions complement each other. We met a few months ago and I have fallen a little in love with him, to be honest. Not that he would ever look at me that way. He is such a mysterious person; I am drawn to him for this very reason. Anyhow, where was I? Oh yes, how this story began. Be patient with me as we go, I have a habit of getting distracted at the most inopportune times.
“Sameen, we need your help,” Rebecca’s melodious voice chimed from the outside of my window.
“You can come in, you know,” I shouted my reply hoping that she heard me. My voice isn’t as strong or as beautiful as hers.
“I know but I don’t feel like it. It is such a beautiful day, so sunny, so bright. You must come out and enjoy this unusually warm weather. Who knows how long it will last?” She sang her reply.
“Okay, I will be down in a moment.”
She is such an annoying person, always so chirpy and I am envious of that voice! The thing is that we’re all happy people, Fairies are never grumpy. Sadness and negativity have no place in our realm. It is after all the realm of the Fae; the Fairy Woods as some might call it. Lately, I have been having negative feelings and I have no idea how to deal with them. One thing is for sure, if other fairies find out my little problem, they might just make me leave Fairy Woods and that is something I don’t want to happen. So, I’ve learned to hide my mood and pretend to be as happy as any other Fairy.
“There you are,” Rebecca said giving me a hug. She made me feel like the most important person in her life which is what she does to everyone actually.
“Yep, here I am,” I tried to be as cheerful as I could, “so, what is it that you need help with?”
“Oh, well, you know the old Fairy, Alda, that lives in One?” She asked as if there is a chance that I wouldn’t know her.
Fairy Woods is a small realm compared to other realms of this universe. There aren’t many Fairies left in the world and we all know each other even if we have never talked to each other or socialize in the same circles. These woods have always been our home and we never leave them willingly.
“Of course, I know her. What about it?”
“Well, she is in a mess and wants to talk to you only. She says no other would do.”
“What kind of a mess and why me?”
“Let’s go and find out. I only heard that from someone, who heard it from someone else. I thought we can both find out together.”
That is so like her, always volunteering before even knowing the whole story.
“Lead the way,” I said as I followed her.
Things are always fun in the Fae world. Someone is always causing trouble and someone else is getting into trouble. That in itself is nothing new, but what bothered me about this situation was the fact that she asked to see me. I am no one special. I don’t even like to socialize as much as my fellow Fairies. Then, why me? This is the question that kept revolving around my head as we walked towards One Fairy Woods. Home of the oldest Fairy in this realm.
I stop in my tracks as I see what was happening there. A Grim Reaper was standing outside Alda’s door and she was refusing to go with him. Wow, so it was her time to leave this realm. Well, that never ends well. Contrary to what most people think, Fairies aren’t immortal, unlike Grim Reapers who are. But we do tend to live a very long life. As far as I know, Alda is about two thousand years old. I wondered why the said Fae was causing trouble when she had already lived a long and happy life. She should just leave with the Reaper and be done with this realm. I hear Underworld isn’t all bad.
“That is just great, another one has arrived. Does no one ever mind their own business in this realm?” Poor Grim Reaper, I wondered if it is his first encounter with the Fae. I saw many of them were standing there watching as things unfolded in front of us.
“Finally, you’re here, my dear.” The door to One flew open and Alda came running out.
“Good to see you too,” I said unsure of myself. Honestly, I was a little taken aback by her enthusiasm at seeing me.
“You have to set him straight Sameen. This Grim Reaper has made a silly mistake. It isn’t my time to go, it is yours.”
“Look, old Fairy, I don’t make mistakes,” the Grim Reaper said, clearly annoyed at the insinuation.
“Okay, then tell us what does your tag says?” She asked him.
“It says, right here,” he showed it to us, “1 Fairy Woods.”
“Oh,” I felt as if the land is taken from under my feet. “it is indeed 1 but not One.”
“Excuse me, what’s the difference?”
Well, it has shocked us all, not just him. Apparently, I am the Fairy who must leave with the Grim Reaper and not Alda.
“That is how our existence and thus our homes are marked, some in figures and some in numbers. I suppose no one explained this to you before they gave you this assignment.”
“I am new to this whole Grim Reaper thing,” he admitted. “But how did you know?” He asked Alda.
“I knew it’s not my time to leave this realm. I am One and Sameen is 1, so, I assumed that you have made a mistake,” she said. “Also, I have observed the changes in you, my dear,” that was aimed at me, “when it is our time to leave, we start feeling things we have never felt before. I noticed how withdrawn you had become and I just knew that the Reaper is here for you.”
“Oh, but she is so young,” Rebecca said with tears in her eyes. Everyone else agreed with her.
“Well, let’s be on our way then,” the Reaper looked at me expectantly, “no point in delaying the inevitable and I really don’t want to use my powers against you.”
I couldn’t blame him for his abruptness. He must be feeling irritated with us. It is a fact; everyone knows that Grim Reapers don’t much like Fairies. Probably, because we live long lives and also because we have powers of our own and if we try, we can definitely cause some real trouble for them. We don’t though because we are rule-abiding people. I know, I was younger than most and it was very unexpected but as he said, no point in delaying the inevitable.
“Okay,” I said, “let’s go then.” That’s when I took his hand and we both teleported to the Underworld. I was about to find out what happened to the Fairies who leave their realm. If this was the end I wanted it to be on a happy note.
That’s how I first met Sahir. He is the Grim Reaper I just told you about. I am no longer allowed to go back to my realm. That’s the absolute rule. You leave your mortal body behind when you leave your realm and you can never ever go back there. Mostly, I stay here, in the Underworld but I am allowed to teleport to three other realms, including the realm of humans. I have to say it is the most interesting place. Anyhow, that’s the story for another day.
I am happy once again. In fact, I am happier than ever before. In the Fairy Woods, things had the tendency of getting repetitive. Fairies aren’t known for their originality for a reason. We tend to follow the same patterns over and over again. Here, though I can be as adventurous as I wish to be because there are no rules. Okay, that’s not true. Every place has its rules. The thing is, I am no longer in my mortal body. I am not going to die so I can do whatever I want without fear of getting hurt. It is my first time living somewhere other than Fairy Woods and I am quite excited about it, to tell you the truth.
This is the deal I have made with the boss lady. When mortal souls enter the Underworld, they are here for a brief time only. Then, they move on to who-knows-where. I, however, decided to stay in exchange for working with the Grim Reapers. It’s no hardship really. Grim Reapers aren’t all bad and work is sometimes fun. I like it here and I have come to cherish my friendship with Sahir. The only downside is that now I will never be allowed to move on. Basically, I am stuck here forever and if I ever change my mind I will simply fade away into nothingness as if I never existed in the first place. Anyhow, don’t be sad, I have made my bed and I will gladly lie in it, as long as Sahir is by my side. As far as beginnings go, I think this is a very good one.
© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.
P.S. “That’s Her Story” received an honorable mention in the Ever After Contests (April 2019) at Wattpad.