! Gabe awoke from deep sleep in a cold sweat.
! He had had another nightmare, the same one that has been plaguing him for the past few days. Running his fingers through his sand-colored hair, he tried to calm himself down.
! "Man, why do I keep dreaming like that…" he muttered to no one in particular. A soft red light caused him to shift his head to look at his digital alarm clock resting on his bedside table. 3:45 AM. He moaned as he turned over and tried to get back to sleep. While shifting around, a sharp pain shot up his back to his shoulder blades. A grunt of discomfort left his lips as he braced himself for the uncomfortable sensation and waited for it to subside. He had taken medication like Advil to Tylenol to try and dull the pain, but to no avail. Soon the discomfort passed and he was finally able to try and drift off to sleep once more. Just before he succumbed to sleep, He thought about the day ahead.His written driver's test was a mere ten hours away. The pain from his back was
! now turned into a queasy stomach.
! "This is going to be an interesting day..."
! "MR HELLER!!!"
! The harsh voice rouse Gabe. He snorted and shot his head up, a piece of paper stuck to the side of his face from the drool he had been depositing on it. Realizing the intruding paper was stuck, he snatched it off his face and blinked. He looked around and saw his classmates as they started to snicker. Finally, his gaze fell upon the squat, round woman that stood next to his desk, a look of venomous rage narrowing her bespectacled eyes.
! "Now that I have your attention, perhaps you would like to answer my question..." She spat, anger seething in her words. Gabe blinked again.
! "...Could...you ask it again?" He asked sheepishly. The woman sighed.
! "Mr Heller, if you wish to pass my class, I suggest you sleep on your own time and pay attention!" She turned and walked towards the front of the class. Gabe's face reddened as he heard the snickers transform into suppressed laughter. He sat up and looked down at his notebook. Instead of taking notes, he spent most of his time doodling during lectures. He loved to draw. Some of the pieces were just crude drawings, while some were actually pretty elaborate art of people, buildings, whatever caught his fancy.
! "Now," his teacher, Mrs. Gerald barked, causing Gabe to jump in his seat. "I asked what industrial innovation helped to speed up the process of making iron turn into steel?" She looked around the room to find only one hand in the air. "Ah yes, Miss Swann."
! Janet Swann stood up promptly and answered," The Bessemer Process, This process was developed by a British manufacturer named Henry Bessemer and the American iron-worker William Kelly around 1850. This technique involved injecting air into molten iron to remove the carbon and transform it into steel. By 1880, manufacturers were using the new method to produce more than 90 percent of the nation's steel"
! "Well done Miss Swann, couldn't have said it better myself!" Mrs. Gerald praised.
! Gabe watched Janet turn a slight shade of red. It looked good since the redness of her cheeks blended well with her carrot top curls. She wasn't very tall, but was in very good shape. Janet slowly sat down and stole a glance back at Gabe, who in turn changed from pink to a beet red. They wouldn't admit it to a soul, but deep down, they liked each other.
! "Mr Heller, why don't you answer this. Which industrial inventor improved the incandescent light bulb in Menlo Park, New Jersey?" Mrs Gerald asked, her happy face turning back to a stony look towards Gabe's direction. Gabe racked his brain.
! "Uh...George Washington..." He started. Seeing her face start to contort, he added. "Carver?"
! The rest of the class couldn't take it anymore. Save for Janet, they erupted into raucous laughter. Gabe sunk low into his seat, desperately trying to shrink to the size of a mouse. "THAT WILL BE QUITE ENOUGH!" Mrs Gerald shouted, causing the class to settle down. She turned another angry gaze at Gabe. "I want to see you after class, Mr Heller..."
! The bell rang for next period. Gabe remained in his seat as the rest of the class scrambled out the door to their next classes. When the last of them left and the room was quiet, Mrs Gerald closed the door and stalked towards her prey.
! 'Here it comes' Gabe braced himself.
! She sat down in the desk in front of him and removed her glasses. Without the glass she could stare Gabe in the eye with her piercing cobalt eyes.
! "Gabriel, I grow tired of you slacking from your work. You never hand in your homework on time, your projects are far from amusing, and you never take this class seriously." She then looked at his notebook. "Not to mention you never write a single note down. All you do is doodle. Doodling is not relevant to history at all." And with that, she snatched the notebook from his desk. Gabe watched in horror as she ripped his drawings to shreds and threw them on the ground.
! "You will thank me for this later, now hurry up or you will be late for your next class, chop chop!" Gabe sat stunned. Then slowly, he gathered his school work that hadn't been shredded and hurried out the door.
! To Gabe's surprise, Janet was waiting outside the door, leaning on the wall. He wiped the tears that were welling up in his eyes.
! 'Great, the girl I like is waiting for me and I'm crying...' He thought bitterly.
! "So what happened?" Janet asked, a concerned look on her face. Gabe just stared at her with lifeless eyes, not finding the words to answer her. He looked at her and realized how pretty she was. Her naturally curly hair grew down to her shoulders and perfectly shaped her face. She had warm, sparkling blue eyes and thin lips.
! "She just," He stammered finally,"uh...lectured me and...tore up my drawings..." He watched as her blue eyes widened in shock.
! "You shouldn't have to take that! She has no right to destroy your property," She flared. Gabe sighed.
! "It's alright, I'll just start over. It's no problem," Gabe tried to smile, but it didn't process. Some of his favorite sketches were in the now shredded notebook, including some of Janet.
! Janet was not convinced. He tried again and gave her a reassuring smile. "Don't worry about me. If we don't hurry, we'll be late for class." Janet nodded and ran down the hall, her curls bouncing as she went. Gabe stared after her. Then the bell rang.
! "Oh great...just what I needed..." He muttered as he ran through the hall.
! Gabe was glad the day was over, although he wasn't too happy with himself. He had failed his driver test miserably and made himself look like a fool. As Gabe closed his locker with a snap, Janet appeared at his shoulder.
! "Oh, hi Jan," Gabe started nerveously.
! "Want to walk home with me?" She asked, startling Gabe. "Uh, sure why not?"
! They both walked out the front door together and headed towards her house. For most of the trip though, they were silent. Then...
! "I still don't think Mrs Gerald should be able to do that..." Janet spoke up. "It's alright Jan, don't worry about it!" he retorted. "No it's not. You obviously are flustered inside and it kills me that you keep that buried down!"
! Gabe stopped walking and looked at Janet. She also halted and looked at him, her face turning a deep crimson. "Oh...you know what I mean..." she trailed off.
! "Aww, ain't this precious. Two love birds walkin' home~" A sinister voice sounded, making the two jump. They turned to see a group of less than appealing punks had been trailing the two all the way from school. The voice was owned by the thug in front, Jerry Fenton. They all had smirks on their grease ball faces. Jerry was the worst of them, his stringy, messy black hair fell to one side of his face, covering his left eye.The face that was visible was full of acne and had horrible red eyes, He was deathly skinny with very pale skin. Gabe's muscles tightened. This was the last thing he needed.
! "What do you want Jerry..." Gabe asked, loathing the site of the bully. "We just wanted to make sure Miss Swann made it home alright, that's all," Jerry snickered, acting innocent. His gang took his lead and began to snicker as well.
! "Well I'm doing just fine gentlemen, so thank you for your consideration," Janet said, fearful, but trying to act strong.
! "She's fine, see? Now take your playmates and hit the road..." Gabe breathed. Suddenly the pain in his back came back, causing him to wince.
! "Now now, we can't have that attitude can we boys?" Jerry seethed. His gang just continued to snicker, some starting to crack their knuckles. Still wincing from the pain in his back, Gabe shot back.
! "I said get out of here!"
! He then regretted his words. Maybe trying to act tough in front of Janet was not a wise decision. Before Gabe could react, one of Jerry's thugs had grabbed him from behind and held him in place. Jerry stalked closer. "You think you can tell me what to do Heller? Well...let me show you what I think about that!" Jerry sucker punched Gabe. He choked a gasp of pain, one coming from his stomach as well as the pain in his back which felt like was on fire.
! "DON'T HURT HIM!" Janet screamed.
! Gabe was semiconcious as he heared Jerry come closer. His stomach also felt like it was on fire with his back feeling like a mini explosion now. Jerry chuckled as he grabbed Gabe by his shirt collar.
! "You will learn respect you basta..."
! He never finished his sentence. He released Gabe and backed off. Gabe screamed in pain and then everything went black.
! He thought he was dead.
! Gabe awoke to find himself in a completely white room. He stared around, confused. The last thing he remembered before the pain took hold, he was being pummeled by Jerry. "Where...am I ?" Gabe asked to himself. A soft chuckle startled Gabe, who turned around and found the owner of the voice.
! "You were always a little out there, weren't you, Gabriel?" The voice belonged to a man in a white suit and black tie. He had blonde hair that was well combed and parted to the side. He had a very warm face with a very big smile.
! "Who are you?" Gabe asked. The man just smiled and walked towards Gabe slowly. "My name is Mike, how could you forget your friend? It's only been a millenia, " The man said as he chuckled again. "Why... Where is this place?" Gabe stammered.
! Mike just looked at him,"we are in a place nestled snuggly in the far reaches of your mind," he said as if this was a natural occurrence. Gabe reeled. They were in his head? Ho could this be possible?! Mike chuckled again and snapped his fingers. Out of thin air, a long, slender back cane appeared. Mike took the cane by one end and brought it crashing down on the floor, causing it to echo around the room. Suddenly, the white walls started to melt away. Gabe stood astonished. Mike just smirked.
! "What are you doing?!" Gabe shouted, confused.
! "You are a special person, did you know that Gabe?" Mike questioned, approaching him slowly. Gabe backed away, this guy was seriously creeping him out. "Special? I've never been called that," Gabe mumbled. Mike stopped his advance.
! "You have been endowed with special powers, Gabriel. Powers that no normal mortal can possess or even hope to comprehend. You are steadily realizing your abilities....
! You...are an Angel..."