Thursday, January 16, 2014

Deja vu all over again...

Danielle changed the station on the radio again. She swore every song on every station was some sort of power ballad about being strong after a break up. What she really wanted was a dance song. Something light and poppy. She tried one more time and as the chorus to "I Will Survive" came blasting out at her she yelled out loud.

"Seriously?? Every song? What the heck is going on?"

"I'm trying to get you to listen."

Danielle screamed a little and turned to look at the woman sitting in her previously empty passenger seat. 

"Eyes on the road, Danielle, we don't want to wreck the car."

"What the fuck? Who are you? Where did you come from? How do you know my name? Oh shit, did I fall asleep? Am I dreaming right now?"

"And this is part of our problem. You are asking a lot of questions without giving me any time to answer them. Don't you think one at a time would work better?"

"Our problem?"

"Okay, that's as good as any place to start. Yes, our problem. You, Danielle, are our problem. Specifically you don't listen."

Danielle had gone back to staring at her passenger instead of the road so she didn't notice she had drifted in to on coming traffic.

"And you don't pay attention." With a deep sigh and flick of her wrist Danielle's passenger moved the car back in to its own lane before an accident could happen.

"Oh holy crap! Are you my guardian angel? Is that what this is?"

"Not technically no. I am a Guide. Specifically I am your Guide's supervisor, and the past three Guides before him. This life line is my responsibility. And I'd like to move you along. But you really aren't making it easy for me."

"Whoa, okay, wait, what do you mean Guide? And life lines? And if we are going to keep talking, I go by Diamond now."

"Of course you do. And stop it."

Danielle looked over at the woman again, "Stop it?"

"Yes, stop it. Nobody takes you seriously with that name. Especially when they learn you have a perfectly good one and are choosing not to use it. Diamond? Seriously?"

"Yes, Diamond. I've had a hard life but all of the pressure has made me shine."

The woman rolled her eyes and sighed again. "Okay look, Danielle, we don't normally do this so consider yourself a special case and pay close attention. You need to learn your lessons so you can move on."

"What lessons? Move on where?"

"The lessons you are supposed to get from this life line. Look, most people get it in two or three go rounds. Sometimes it might take a fourth if it's a particularly tricky lesson, but were are working on your tenth here. Ten times, Danielle. And the life line you had before this one? It took you 12, though I am starting to think Michaela passed you along just to get rid of you. Do you know what the leading cause of early retirement is among Guides, Danielle? You. You burn out your Guides because you pay no attention to their hints and suggestions. When every song on the radio is about being fine after a break up then you need to pay attention to the fact that you should be breaking up with someone and you will be fine. Do you get it? When you drop a book three times and each time it opens to the same passage, read the passage!"

"Oh! Are you talking about reincarnation? Like past lives? So I've had like 22 past lives?"

"Not exactly. You've had three lives. With multiple attempts. Your first life didn't take that long, but to be fair most everyone gets through the first one in one try. You took three, but still not the worst. It wasn't until that second go round that we started to sense we had a problem brewing. Michaela brought you to the attention of our supervisors on your sixth try. The lesson wasn't complicated but it was almost like you were refusing to learn it. Kind of like this time."

"Oh, so it's like school? If you don't pass you don't move on? You just repeat the grade?"

"Yes, it's like that. Which would make you the equivalent of about a 30 year old first grader."

"Hey! That's not nice."

"It's not. But it's not inaccurate either. Look, this lesson is simple. You need to learn how to be okay on your own. With no boyfriend. No girlfriend. Just you. We've tried over and over to get you to this place. And you keep dating the wrong people and never letting them go. Let them go, Danielle."

"That's not fair, I've been without a boyfriend before. And I've never had a girlfriend so you obviously haven't been supervising very well."

"Not this time around. We tried girlfriends a few cycles ago. Thought maybe if we gave you some strong female role models it might help. It didn't. You got obsessive just the same. We almost had a second Melissa Etheridge on our hands. Too bad you don't sing. Anyway, you need to get this lesson done so you can move on. You really do have incredible lives to live. But you have to make it to them."

"Wait, so you already know what my next life is going to be? If it's in the future how is that possible? Actually how is living the same life over and over possible? Time moves on, right?"

"Time moves on. And time moves back. And time stands still. Time is a lot more complicated than you understand. You won't even be exposed to that until life 13 or 14. For now we just need you to be able to exist on your own. Be happy by yourself."

"I have been on my own. That's not fair. I've done it lots."

"Really? What did you do when you broke up with Larry?"

"I spent some time searching for myself."

"On Did you think that's where you were? And what did you do when you found Larry's profile?"

Danielle tossed her head and reached for the radio.

"You think ignoring me when I am sitting right here is as easy as ignoring your previous Guides? No, Danielle, not an option. You set up a fake profile and stalked him. You set up dates with him and then were surprised when he wasn't amused to find out his new potential girlfriend was the crazy bitch he just broke up with."


"No, hey. Crazy. You set up a fake account. You pretended to be someone else. You stalked him. Any of that sound sane to you? And what was happening in your life at the time otherwise? Do you remember? You had a job offer. But it would have meant moving. And you couldn't do that if there was still a chance with Larry." 

"He might have been the one."

"He wasn't. You know what would have happened if you had taken that job? If you had moved? You would have spent 6 months alone. All alone in a new city. Getting to know the city and learning that you are fine on your own. Then you would have met  the one and that would have set you on the path to finish this life. Six months, Danielle. That's all we were asking. Six months."

"But I didn't know that! I just knew that I couldn't leave, not right then. He really liked me."

"He really liked the girl you were pretending to be. Not you. Do you understand that? At all?"

"He should have given it one more shot. That's all I'm saying."

Another sigh from the passenger seat, "Fine. Tell me about the guy you are seeing now."

"Oh he's really great."

"Really great? Where is he right now? Didn't you have plans tonight?"

"Well, he had to cancel at the last minute for a work thing."

"A work thing? On a Saturday night? Last minute? And how many of these work things come up like this?"

"A few, sometimes. He's really busy. He has a lot of responsibility."

"He's a teller at a bank."

"But he's moving up."

"Banks close at 1 on Saturdays."

"He is taking on extra responsibility."

"You know he's seeing someone else right? I mean you know this? You have to know this."

"He's just busy."

"I'm telling you. He's seeing someone else. He doesn't even consider you someone he's dating anymore. He only calls you for sex. How are you not getting this?"

"You're just mean. How are you supposed to be a good Guide to anyone when you are just mean?"

"Because you don't listen. Did you know that we use your last life line as a teaching tool for our new Guides? What to do when a soul won't advance. That's all you, baby. And the really sad thing is we have great lines planned for you! Great ones! I know you  could eventually turn out wonderful. You have to. To scrap all of those lines would be a catastrophe. Trying to retrofit all of the others into new lines? The work involved. The back up of waiters."

"What do you mean scrap all of the other lines? You said I have incredible lives to live."

"As of right now you do. Right now they are all still in play. But if you can't make it out of this one we are going to rethink your time lines. There is a spark in there, Danielle, a really great one. You have it. I know it. I've seen it. You've felt it, but ignored it. But if you keep ignoring it. If you keep making the same mistakes we will end your line right now.

It's the greatest catastrophe a Guide can face. Usually it only happens when a life really goes bad. Which sometimes they do. But if you can't learn, if you can't grow? Then there is no point in using the resources on you anymore. We have waiters from time lines that were scrapped that we need to nurture as well."

"Wait, if you scrap me you have others that go as well?"

"Of course. You are all tied to each other. You are all learning lessons. In the early lives you can go in and out of time lines without much difference, but later? When the lessons are harder? Deeper? Then you are with specific people who need you to learn their lessons as much as you need them. If there is no more you then we have to figure out what to do with them. It's all very complicated. So you can see why I'm here. This is your last shot."

"So I have to be alone? I have to break up with Gary and just be alone? That's it? That will fix things?"

"Oh no, it's a little more complicated than that. You are going to have to try harder. Make different choices. Once I'm gone you won't remember meeting me. But what I'm hoping is that this talk will stick with you. That you will hold on to me telling you that great things are coming your way. And that you will know that life is short and you have to learn those lessons. Oh and don't call yourself Diamond."

And with that the woman faded away. Danielle watched her go. But she had been there, she knew she had, and it was important, she would make the changes she needed to. She really would. Starting with breaking up with Gary. As she reached for her cell phone her car drifted once again in to on coming traffic. 


"Eleventh time is the charm?"

"Let's hope so. Cue Danielle's birth in three, two, one....Go get 'em Danielle. I know you can do it."

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