Do you believe in angels? I've asked myself this question so many times, I fear I've lost the meaning of it. Of course there are angels, what else could he be? He isn't anything evil, at least most of the time...

I really think that's what he is. Jeremiah. An angel.

He wasn't always an angel, of course. He was that boy across the street ever since I could remember. You know, that kid you know is there, but hardly ever makes an appearance? The one whose name you know, and maybe the overall look of him, but that's it?

He'd always been there as far as I could tell. I'd see him around school sometimes, and we'd maybe nod to each other in passing as time went on, but other than that, we didn't know one another.

When I stopped seeing him around school, I thought that perhaps he'd switched courses and he just was never in the same places I was at the same time. But then I saw less and less of him outside, and saw more of him staring out the window as I walked to school than I did anywhere else. But I didn't think much of it.

That all changed, as it always seems to. It was the week after my 17th birthday. My mom had gotten off the phone with Mrs. Watson down the street (our neighborhood blabber-mouth) and was shaking her head slowly from side to side. I glanced up at her from the cup of tea I'd been nursing for the past five minutes, attempting to make headway on my math homework. Ha.

"What is it?" I asked, when she leaned against the counter and heaved a sigh. She looked at me as though she'd never seen me in her life.

"Oh," she said, and twiddled her thumbs. My mother is terrible at hiding things. I put down my tea and stared at her.


"Hmm?" She looked back up at me and made a "harumph" noise. "Well if you really want to know, go get that apple pie out of the pantry." Never one to turn down pie, I bolted into the pantry and retrieved it. Beaming, I stood before my mother, the dessert in hand.

"Can I eat it now?"

"No," she said, and my face fell. "What you can do, is take it over to the Pierce's house across the street. Lisa is feeling a little under the weather." There was a twinkle in her eye though, and I smirked.

"Sure thing, Mom." Stopping to grab my coat (it was the middle of October) I headed out the door with the pie in hand.

Hesitantly, I stared ahead at the large house across the street. It was a lovely house, a Victorian with a wrap-around porch with a porch-swing. (Oh, how I'd longed to swing on that... swing.) I jumped a little when I realized that Jeremiah was sitting in his window seat and staring out at me. I almost lost the pie, but recovered as he got up and walked deeper into his house.

Gaining courage (honestly, it had nothing to do with the fact that he wasn't looking at me anymore) I walked across the street and, for the first time without the company of my parents, opened the gate and walked into the yard.

I took my time; Jeremiah was no where in sight, and it was a beautiful yard. Lisa Pierce, Jeremiah's mother, was out here almost every other day working and toiling to make her garden perfect.

Finally, I managed to make it onto the porch enough to ring the doorbell. Instantly, I felt the urge to bolt. Unfortunately, Mrs. Pierce opened the door and I managed to turn my fleeting moment of panicked escape into a pirouette. The pie survived, but I suffered a major embarrassing blow. She blinked at me, startled, and I smiled, trying to pretend that I wasn't practicing ballet on her porch with an apple pie.

"Hello Mrs. Pierce, I'm Danielle Shepherd from across the street," I blurted, trying to distract her. It worked, because she blinked a little faster.

"Why hello Danielle. It's a shame we haven't met before this." A look came over her face. "A little odd, now that I think about it."

"Yeah." I shuffled my feet. Awkward. Then she bounced and ushered me in with a light flush on her cheeks.

"Please, come in. My manners flew out the door." I smiled. Old people. Not that she was really that old, of course. She had long brown hair that fell to her back, and bright green eyes that twinkled like my mother's. She was very pretty, and seemed younger than she had moments ago.

"Oh, here," I said, and belatedly handed her the pie. She smiled, and waved a hand to her left, into a sitting room.

"Please, have a seat, I'll just put this away." And then she tottered off into the kitchen.

After realizing that she wanted me to stay, I blanched for a moment, then walked into the sitting room with a dry mouth. And there he was.

He was back in the window seat, looking thoughtfully at me. For all that I'd seen him occasionally, I don't think I'd ever been as close to him as I was then. He wasn't anything out of the ordinary, or exceedingly handsome or anything that might have made me nervous. I just was.

He straightened, and gave me a small, disarming smile. All I had time to think was that his eyes were more beautiful than his mother's, when he spoke.

"Hey," he said, and waved like a little child. I smiled and waved back. He wasn't a child by any means. He was a year older than me, and I knew that he'd once been on the swim team. So suffice it to say that he filled his shirt out nicely. His hair was a dark blond and fell straight to his shoulders, almost exactly like mine, with little bits of bangs dangling in front of his eyes. He blew these away, and pointed at the couch opposite him.

"What kind of pie?" he asked as I sat down.

"Apple," I said, pouting. I liked apple. He laughed.

"You can have some if you want."

"Oh, alright." I squirmed a bit, feeling uncomfortable, and Jeremiah looked as though he wanted to say something, but his mother burst in, as though she'd been waiting for the right moment.

"Here we are!" she said cheerfully, handing us both plates with a piece of pie and some ice cream. Then she ran out as quick as she came in. My mouth full, I glanced up at the doorway.

"Didn't she want any?" I mumbled around a bite of pie. Jeremiah shrugged, looking equally dubious.

We chewed in silence for a bit, a slightly uncomfortable air coming over the room. He kept his head down, and I studied him, wondering exactly why I'd never really gotten to know him.

It seemed he had the same thoughts in mind, for he looked up and squinted at me.

"Danielle, right?"

"Oh, call me Danny," I said, before I could stop myself. He raised an eyebrow and I smiled. Might as well now that I'd gone and said that.


"Yeah, I don't really like Danielle, it sounds too stuffy." It was the truth, but no one but my parents really called me Danny. A few friends did, but not many.

"You're a senior, right?" he asked, and I nodded. He leaned back against the wall, sighing.

"Too bad I missed the end of senior year. I heard it was fun."

I stopped eating. "What? Why did you miss it?"

He looked at me, eyes wide and mouth hanging open a little.

"Oh, uh. Nothing, just got sick." He resumed eating, a light blush on his cheeks.

"So, you aren't going to college?" I asked, just the least bit curious. He blinked, then put his fork down and shrugged.

"I figured I could do that later. No rush." He smiled at me, and I smiled back.

At that point, his face seemed to droop. Guessing that a change of subject was in order, I gestured to the easel at the side of the room.

"Did you paint that?" I asked. He nodded, beaming. It was a painting of a sunset on the beach, with a little sailboat in the background. It wasn't a masterpiece, but it was very good, and I told him so.

"Thanks. There isn't much else to do around here anyway." Before I could comment on his comment, he'd gotten up and taken our plates into the kitchen. I followed.

He put the plates in the sink, then turned and leaned on it, looking at me. I coughed nervously, then sighed.

"Well, I have tons of homework, so I'd better go." I stood there, waiting. He smiled.

"Come over again sometime. It's nice to have someone to talk to," he said. I wanted to ask, 'what about your friends?' but held the question at the look on his face.

"I will," I said instead, and smiled. Then I waved and left, leaving the boy who, unbeknownst to me, had only five months left to live.

I'd like to say that the next month or two that I spent with Jeremiah were awe-inspiring and I became the best of friends with him. But in reality, in didn't work quite that way, though we had become good friends by the end of our time together.

Like I'd said, I had gone to his house whenever I had nothing to do, since every time I went, he looked gloomier and gloomier, as much as he seemed reluctant to show it. I hadn't known why, of course.

It had been something I'd seen one day, walking to school in the middle of December. I passed his house every day, and it had become custom, without either of us saying anything, that he would wave to me in the mornings when I left for school.

I looked into the bay window that seemed to house Jeremiah most of the time, and instead of waving I was stunned to see him coughing forcefully into a handkerchief. And then, to my horror, when he'd finally stopped, blood was slowly leaking from the corner of his mouth.

Not caring much about school at that point, I hadn't hesitated to run into the house and confront him once and for all.

"Jeremiah? Jeremiah are you all right?" I grasped him by the shoulders and forced him to look at me. "Please!"

He sighed, his tongue darting out to lick the blood away. "Oh," was all he said. I shook him a little.

"Oh? That's all you have to say for yourself?!" He coughed a bit, then struggled to stand.

"Danny, please, listen," he pleaded softly. But at that point I was beyond listening, and was pounding on his shoulders, wary of his chest even in my anger.

"Danny!" he all but shouted, and grabbed me, pinning my arms to my sides and wrapping his arms around me. I struggled, but he whispered into my ear, "Shhh, please Danny," and I slowly calmed down, crying into his neck.

"You're not alright, are you?" I gasped, and felt him shake his head.

"No, Danny, I'm not." He pulled me away from him and looked me dead in the face. "I haven't much time left, actually."

"What?" I whispered, and began to shake. He smiled sadly, wiping a tendril of hair off my face.

"I'm sorry, Danny. I'd meant to tell you, but I just couldn't." He blushed. "I didn't want you to leave."

"Why would I leave?" I asked after a moment's hesitation. He gulped, and made a face.

"It's AIDS," he said softly, and I blinked.

"AIDS?" I echoed in disbelief. He hurried to grasp my shoulders and shake his head.

"It's really not what you think. It was a blood transfusion, and they... well, I guess they made a mistake, is all."

"A mistake?" I felt the sudden urge to laugh. "A mistake gave you AIDS? And now you're just going to die?" I shook my head. "Can't you do anything?" Wearily, he flopped down onto the window seat, clutching his legs to his chest, for the first time looking small and frail.

"Don't you think we've tried?" he said softly, and a single tear trailed down his cheek. "We've done everything..." He looked up at me. "I hope you don't think it weak of me, but I just don't want to keep living like this."

Without saying anything, I sat down next to him, and leaned my head on his shoulders.

"I won't leave," I said after a long while, and with a small cry he turned and buried his face into my chest, and wept.

Unfortunately, as his condition got worse, I did have to leave Jeremiah. I could visit from time to time, and it hurt to see him, sick and curled up in bed. He didn't talk much, so I talked instead. I talked about school, about boys, about the friends that were suddenly beginning to leave me. He would nod, sometimes make small comments, but mainly stared at the ceiling, immobile.

I spent every moment I could with him, and even though he didn't respond all the time, I knew he was listening, and that I was giving him comfort.

The worst was when I'd be sitting in his room, and I would watch his face screw up tight, then his faint flush as he would wet his bed, or throw up over himself, or on me. I became used to it, and would help where I could, but eventually I wasn't alone with him, his mother or a doctor keeping watch with me.

I wasn't with him when he died, but his mother called my cell phone the instant he was taken to the hospital, and I watched through a glass window, tears streaming down my face, as he took his last breaths.

He'd turned his head in his last moments, to see me through the window with hazy, clouded eyes, and mouthed "love you". The only thing I regret is that he closed his eyes before I could say the same.

The next few weeks aren't all that fresh in my mind. There was the funeral, and even though he wasn't there anymore, I spent a lot of my time at Jeremiah's house, keeping his mother company. We would both sit in his window seat, clinging to each other without saying anything, because nothing needed to be said. He was gone.

For a while, at least.

Chapter One

I think it was a month or two after he was gone that things began to get ...funky. I'd be sitting in my room, doing homework or something, and my radio would sound fuzzy, or the cd player would start up without my touching it. Things would move as though a wind was blowing, and yet there was nothing to be felt.

I thought nothing of it.

Soon school had ended, and the weird occurrences that happened in my room became more and more frequent. It was unnerving, and was beginning to mess with my mind.

So I went to church. That's when it happened.

I'd been going to church since I was little, but drifted away from it as time went on. But what was happening in my room gave me the excuse to start going again. I talked to the pastor, and he assured me that though it could very well be something, not to worry about it, and pray.

So I did. The only thing I remember before passing out on my bed was Jeremiah's smile, and his shy little wave.

I woke to a faint breeze against my cheek, and the whisper of my name.

"Danny," it said, in a voice I'd been missing for a long time. "Wake up. Please."

When I opened my eyes, he was sitting on the bed next to me, fiddling with his translucent shirt with equally translucent fingers. I gaped at him, blinking.

"Wha?" I blurted. He smiled, and my heart flip-flopped in my chest. Or I had a minor heart-attack, I can't be too sure, since that's when I passed out again.

For a while, I walked around my house pretending he wasn't there. It was really hard, but I managed for the first fifteen minutes or so, until he'd stopped trying to talk and began following me silently. Then he'd try to grab my hand, and it made me almost piss my pants when I felt that breezy coolness pass through me.

"Please," I finally whimpered, sitting on a chair in the kitchen. "Please don't do this to me," I begged, burying my face in my hands. He made a small noise, and it sounded fuzzy.

"I'm really here, Danny. Honest."

"How can you be? You're dead."

"Well, yeah. Can't get around that, can I?" I risked looking up at him, with that stupid little smile he always had for me. "Come on, Danny. You aren't crazy. I'm here, for who knows what reason. But I am here." I stood up, my entire body trembling. When I reached out to touch him and my hand fell right through, I broke down on the floor and cried.

"I'm here, honey I'm here," he whispered, over and over, and I could feel his attempts to try and hold me fail again and again.

"I've missed you," I blurted, and I felt a breeze lift my chin up. His faint eyes were blurred with tears.

"I've missed you, too," he said, and brushed my forehead with cool lips. I wanted to hold him, to clutch him and never let him go like I had before. And yet, now that we both, without saying much of anything, knew what we wanted, we couldn't have it.

After a while I calmed down and sat down on the couch as he shimmered before me.

"How is this possible?" I asked him, only the faintest of quivers detectable in my voice.

"I have no idea how," he said with a small smile, and kneeled down before me. "But I don't plan to let this go to waste, Danny."

"How?" I whispered, not quite sure what I was asking.


"What?" He was grinning at me.

"Look," he said, and held his hand out to me. I paled, and he let out a whoop.

The tips of his fingers were solid. Tangible. Flesh and blood Jeremiah.

My Jeremiah.

...Riiiight. Well, first of all, I have done absolutely zero research on AIDs. I'll probably change it to some other disease or... maybe just leave it at "sick". Who knows. Anyway, this is being posted so that I can get your opinion on whether or not this is a good plot bunny. This can go SO many directions, and I want to know what you think! Please review and let me know! Thanks! -Ariana