Chapter   Eleven

A few months later....

“Destiny, can I talk to you for a minute?” Denise McLean asked her future daughter-in-law. Amanda, Leighanne, Mandy, and Kristin were helping Destiny with the invitations and the stuff for the wedding reception.

“Of course.” Destiny got up from her seat and walked into the kitchen with Denise. “What’s up?”

“I was going through the list of people that were being sent invitations to the wedding and I noticed that you don’t have anyone from your side of the family coming,” she said. “Don’t you want your family there?”

Destiny looked away. “I don’t have any family. I don’t know where they are.”

“What happened?” Denise asked, concerned.

“I disappeared for a few months,” Destiny said. “When I was finally found, my family had already given up hope of ever seeing me again and left Florida. I don’t know where they are and I’ve chosen not to seek them out. I just felt it was better to let them be.”

“I’m sure your mom and dad, and any brothers or sisters you may have, would love to see you get married,” Denise reasoned. “I’d be devastated if I missed seeing Alex get married.”

“Destiny, I think we should tell my mom the whole story,” AJ said from the doorway.

“Alex, what are you doing here?” Destiny asked, walking over to him. “I thought you were at a meeting.”

“The meeting didn’t take as long as I thought it would,” he explained. He turned to his mom. “Mom, I can totally understand if you won’t accept the story, but it’s the truth.”

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Destiny asked him.

AJ nodded. “Destiny, it doesn’t make sense that your family would just leave like that. But don’t say anything until I get back. I want to get something.”

AJ left. Denise looked at Destiny with confusion on her face while Destiny gave her a look of worry and fear. When AJ returned, he put a box on the table and sat next to Destiny. He grabbed her hand under the table and held onto it tightly.

“Mom,” AJ started. “Destiny wasn’t missing. She was dead.”

“Excuse me?” Denise said in disbelief. “What do you mean she was dead? She’s right here, sitting in front of me. There’s no way she could be dead.”

Destiny kept her head lowered. “It’s true. I was killed early last year by a drunk driver.”

“See, mom, I was walking Panda and Bear in the park when I met Destiny. She was walking Paris. We talked, exchanged numbers, then went our separate ways. All of a sudden I heard her scream and saw her get hit by a car. I was the one who called the ambulance. I was hoping she’d be okay and brought Paris home with me. Then the next day, I was over at Brian’s house with Kevin, and we saw a report on Destiny saying she was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. I went to her funeral with the guys, god’s sake. I was told by her parents that it would be better if I kept Paris, so I did. Then four months later, I got a call from Nick saying I had to come over to Brian’s house as soon as possible. So I did and I saw Destiny there, wearing the exact same thing she was wearing when we met. At first, I couldn’t believe it. But then she told me the reason she came back. Go ahead, Destiny. Tell her.”

Destiny took a deep breath, then looked at AJ’s mom, who was looking like she might faint dead away at any moment.

“What Alex says is true,” Destiny started. “For four months, I was Alex’s guardian angel in Heaven. I looked after him, the rest of the guys, and their families. I watched over Brian during his heart surgery with Kevin’s dad, Jerald, and my grandmother. I wasn’t happy, though. I was never supposed to meet Alex, but he was chosen by my grandmother for me. We met and had an instant connection to one another. But God wasn’t aware of what happened and proceeded to make me his angel. I cried for what was taken away from me almost everyday. Finally, God was convinced that I’d be given a second chance for me to find out if I had a reason to continue living. The first person I looked for was Alex. I knew he was part of the answer, but I didn’t know how big a part he played in my coming back.....”

“No, don’t say anymore,” Denise said. Tears fell down her cheeks. “I can’t listen to any more of this.”

“Mom,” AJ said softly. “Don’t you understand? God gave me and Destiny a second chance. That’s how strong our love is. If He can see that, why can’t you?” Then he slid the box toward Denise. “Here. Destiny didn’t know I had this, but it’s newpaper clippings and things about the accident and about her.”

Denise just looked at the box for a moment. Then she slowly opened it and proceeded to look at the contents inside. Sure enough, there were articles on the accident, on Destiny, obituaries from many newspapers. She read about how Destiny went to Harvard and aspired to become a lawyer, about how the driver of the car had been convicted of manslaugter and was now in prison. Denise read all of this, but her mind refused to believe it, although in her heart she knew she couldn’t argue with evidence like this. After a few more minutes, Denise stood up.

“I need to be alone for a while,” she said.

“Where are you going?” AJ asked her.

“I don’t know. Somewhere.” She looked at Destiny, then at her son, and walked out of the house.

Destiny started crying. AJ gathered her into his arms, trying to calm her down, telling her everything was going to be all right, even though he wasn’t at all sure things would get better.

Chapter Twelve
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