Friday, August 5, 2016

Rev. Ron's Realities: If I Stay

It’s time for another addition of Rev. Ron’s Realities!

Hot off the trail of the double inspiration I got from the Christian “found footage” horror film about a haunted porno magazine called The Lock In, I’m back with another story based on one of the films I review.

Not long ago, I watched the young adult drama called If I Stay.  The film tells the tale of a girl named Mia (played by Chloë Grace Moretz) with an incredibly bright future and dating a dude who is on his way to be a mega-star in the world of rock music but the worst happens as she is injured in a car accident and is stuck in ghost form trying to figure out if she should return to her body and her totes awesome life she has ahead of herself or break on through to the other side.  Overall, I found the film to be pretty weak and the privileged, completely devoid of drama (or laughably forced drama) existence that was Mia’s life made it impossible to feel any connection or emotional response to what the story was delivering.  However, it did get me thinking.  What would happen if there was a medium that saw and spoke to ghosts while Mia was wandering the halls of the hospital trying to decide if she should stay…

Let’s get started!

“Oh, Eve—you dumb girl,” the woman in the hospital bed cursed to herself as she mindlessly dips her spoon in the gelatin dessert that was given to her with her dinner.  “You really did it to yourself this time.”

Eve is a young girl with a special gift.  Since she was a child, she could see and speak to ghosts.  Often they just want someone to talk to because the afterlife is lonely and other ghosts can be a bit standoffish but, sometimes, they want more.  Sometimes they want you to solve their unfinished business, stop their significant others from moving on or, even worse, kill the person that murdered them.  Those ones are usually the most persistent and the most aggravating.  In fact, it was a particularly vexing ghost that got her to where she is right now.

Actual ghosts that Eve sees.

She was on her way to work when this unrelenting spirit hitched a ride.  For weeks he’s been screaming about how his business partner had drowned him and how she needs to do the same to him.  Usually she tuned him out but it was just going on too long and when he started to sob and wail, she had enough and began to screech at him about how he needs to get over it and how she won’t murder a man in order to help him.  She was so preoccupied that she didn’t see that the car ahead of her had stopped at the red light.

All things considered, Eve made out okay.  Sure, she busted a couple of ribs, her wrist was broken and she had a nasty gash that was stitched up on her forehead but she walked away with her life and a ghost that decided he wasn’t going to bother her anymore.  However, she was now left with a rising car insurance rate, embarrassment over having to explain to the cops how the accident happened (she knew the officer wouldn’t believe her story of the ghost and she didn’t want to say she was texting so she went with the claim that she started sneezing and just didn’t see the car—she thinks he bought it) and then, of course, there was whatever this whole doctor bill was going to run her.

Eve was about to ignore her issues and take a taste of this jiggling mess on her serving tray when she began to hear the slight whimpering of a young woman coming from outside the room.  She sighed because it wasn’t a living person speaking—and for some reason talking about staying and using the word at such a frequency that Eve could have made a drinking game out of it.  Ghosts had a certain echo to their voice and Eve knew she heard the lamenting of someone who was recently departed or someone having an out-of-body experience—something that wasn’t uncommon in a hospital, as Eve has found out several times in her life.

Slowly, Eve pushes herself out of her bed and walks to the door.  The young girl walks very absentmindedly down the empty hall.  Her face a mask of deep concern as something was clearly weighing on her.  What could possibly be that heavy on such a young woman, Eve wondered to herself.

“What’s the matter, child?” she asked, not concerned if the living heard her since it was so late.

The ghost didn’t stop so Eve repeated herself.  This time the girl ended her mindless stroll and rotated around before asking, “You can see me?”

Eve walked closer to her, “A gift and a curse I’ve had all my life.  I can see the ones that others aren’t able to.  Now, let’s start with your name.”

The girl’s wide eyes, sunken deep with concern, just took in the image of the woman—the living woman—standing in front of her for a long moment.  “My name is Mia.”

Eve smiled, “Mia.  That’s a lovely name.  Now, next question:  What happened, Mia?”

Mia’s bottom lip started to quiver, “There was an accident.  My family and I—I don’t know if they’re okay—I don’t know what’s happening to me—I don’t know what’s going on—"

The older woman held up her hands to calm the girl.  If Mia was alive, she would have put her arms around her but, being a ghost, that wasn’t an option.  Instead, she just raised her hands until Mia calmed down and, eventually, she did.  “You’re in-between now, girl.  Your body is stuck in limbo where it can recover if you return or you can move on to the other side.  But take it from me, child, you don’t want to stay this way.  You’ll find no peace or happiness here.”

“But will I find it if I stay?”

Eve frowned, she thinks she knows what’s bothering the girl.  “Life was pretty hard for you before the accident and you don’t know if it is worth it to stay alive?”

Tears began to well up in Mia’s ghost eyes—it always mystified Eve that ghost literally cried ghost tears.  “I’m just so scared and confused,” Mia mumbled.

“Life at home was hard?”

Mia nodded.  “Yeah, my parents are super cool and everyone loves them.”

Well, that didn’t sound bad, Eve thought.  “Was school tough?”

Mid nodded again, “Yes.  There’s just so much to think about with that.  I play cello and—”

“Oh, and your parents don’t want you to play music,” Eve interrupted.

“Oh no,” Mia began.  “That’s not it at all.  My dad was in a band and both he and mom are very supportive of my music.”

“Then what’s the problem, child?”

Mia sighed a sigh that living people usually sigh, “Well, I’m doing really good with my music and I might get into Julliard.”

Eve’s brow furrowed, “That’s actually really good, Mia.  You should probably stay for that reason alone—”

“But there’s also my boyfriend.”

That’s it, Eve thought.  Her boyfriend doesn’t treat her good and has ruined her self-esteem.  “There will be other boys, girl.  You don’t need him if he can’t treat you good.”

“Oh no, he’s great.  In fact, his band just signed a record deal and they’re going to be very famous.”

“Oh…kay,” Eve replied hesitantly.  So, what was bad in this girl’s life that has her so confused?  “Are you worried that he will leave you for another girl when he gets famous?”

“No,” Mia answered quickly.  “Our love is stupidly mature for our ages and completely ridiculous and unbelievable and the typical fairytale ideals of a young adult novel.”

That was a specific, oddly editorial response, Eve thought.  It kinda sounded like a critical complaint.  “Are you scared you’ll have no one to look after you if you come back?  No family?”

“Well,” Mia thought, “I’m worried my parents aren’t going to make it but my grandpa is really supportive, so I guess not.”

Eve was getting irritated now and she crossed her arms on her chest, “Let me get this straight:  You have no drama at home, no drama with your boyfriend because you’re both too perfect and, aside from you probably losing your family, your future is bright because of your musical talents and you might go to the best musical school in the world?”

Mia shook her head, “I know.  I’m so confused and scared.  Should I stay—”

“FUCK YES, YOU SHOULD!” Eve yelled.  “Are you an idiot, girl?  I saw a ghost yesterday who lost her whole family in a fire, she doesn’t have an education because our economy is so bad that she had to skip college to help pay the bills and now she’s left with no family or home to live in.  Despite this, her ghost didn’t go around crying.  She wasn’t ready to give up and she jumped back in her body and faced her hardships head-on.  Meanwhile, you are standing her mopping because your life is too perfect if you return?  Get the fuck outta here, girl!”

Mia was quiet for a long moment for the scolding from Eve.  The moments started to tick by and it wasn’t long before Eve started to feel bad for yelling at the girl.  She’s young, she told herself.  She doesn’t have the benefit of hindsight yet and doesn’t realize how trying life can be and how hopeful and happy youth really is.  She just needs to understand that she’s going to be okay and she should—”

“So,” Mia interrupted Eve’s thought, “should I stay?”

“I’m done,” Eve said as she threw her hands in the air.  “These damn ghosts, I’ve had enough,” she started to mumble as she walked back into her room.

And there ya have it!  If you watched that boring movie, you would know what Mia decided to do—and now, with this story that I completely made up, I can pretend it was because of her being scolded by the medium Eve.

That's another Rev. Ron’s Realities in the books.  Keep coming back because I have no idea when an idea for another one of these will strike—well, that and the fact that I’m always posting new reviews.


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