Mr. Smith climbed a tree and sat its thick and secure lower branches. Children's laughter echoed from the nearby playground. He was slightly confused, since for the past few weeks he hadn't gotten any word of the next client he was going to represent. Perhaps Judge Othniel had thought he had earned a little vacation time, but after all of the non-stop second chances Smith was help making to come true, vacation time seemed out of the ordinary. It was one of the traits that confused Mr. Smith the most. Judge Othniel never exactly was predictable. As well, Mr. Smith had not heard from Alicia since the day of the prom. Mr. Smith could only hope that she was doing alright.
Mr. Smith opened one eye and saw Alicia sitting a few feet away from him, balancing uneasily on the branches.
"Hey Alicia, I was just wondering where you've been." Mr. Smith said. "You holding up alright?"
"Yeah, yeah." Alicia said honestly. "Judge Othniel was just putting me through some test. Guiding some souls to a second chance, all by myself."
"How did that go?"
"It went well. Not that anybody remembers, but it went well."
Mr. Smith held back a chuckle, but he couldn't help smiling. "So, why are you here now?"
"I'm about to represent my next client."
"Really?" Mr. Smith couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy. "So Othniel gives you the clients now, without telling me? I guess I'm not longer the senior executive of this department. Then again, it always has been somewhat of a one person job."
Alicia looked a little uneasy. Suddenly, her face lit up. "Judge Othniel!"
The pair jumped down from the tree. Smith hadn't even noticed the Judge approach. "What's the deal Judge Othniel?" Smith tried to say in a joking mood. "I train this girl to be a partner, and I'm getting replaced?"
Judge Othniel chuckled. "A partner? When did I ever say Alicia was going to be your partner?"
"What?" Confusion swam around in Mr. Smith's mind. He looked over to Alicia. "But I thought…"
"It's true." Alicia confessed. "Judge Othniel never said that you were training me to be a partner."
"Miss Cheung, what can you tell me about your latest client?"
"That there should be no hesitation needed in deciding my clients' fate." There was a little twinkle in the girl's eye. "Your honour, my client has spent countless millions of hours helping misguided souls in regaining second chances at life. His only reward for doing all of this work is the satisfaction and knowledge that he has encountered on the job. Perhaps one would argue that my client deserves a life sentence up in heaven, but I believe that he wishes to encounter a much humbler fate: to earn a second chance at life."
Only slowly was Mr. Smith starting to make sense of what was unfolding before him. Tears welled up in his eyes, and his heart almost burst with happiness. He could only stare at Alicia. "Is it….is this really happening?"
Alicia's own eyes began glistening. "You've earned your wings Mr. Smith. You can fly home."
Smith could barely believe it. After so long of helping others and hoping his own second chance, it had come. He had spent an eternity waiting for this moment. And now, when it had finally come, Mr. Smith found himself reluctant to leave.
All this time Judge Othniel had observed the reactions of Mr. Smith. Slowly, he took of his glasses. "Yes Miss Cheung, I believe you are right. In this case, there need be no hesitation in deciding. Mr. Smith shall have a second chance."
"Oh thank you your honour." Mr. Smith stepped over and gave a warm hug to a surprised Judge Othniel. A second later the floodgates opened. He released his grip and blindly found his way over to Alicia. "I've only known you for a couple of weeks, and already I feel like I'm going to miss you so much."
Alicia smiled and gave him a hug, tears streaming down her face. "You did teach me a lot, and don't worry, I'm sure I can always talk the legendary Mr. Jones if I need any extra help."
"And for the record, I'm hoping, or rather, I'm pretty sure that you will forget me in three days." Alicia added, releasing herself from the hug.
A wave of sadness washed over Mr. Smith. He didn't want to forget all the people that he had encountered along the way, and especially not Alicia or Judge Othniel. Yet, he knew it was part of the package of obtaining his second chance. And he still wanted that second chance more than anything else in the world.
"Mr. Smith and Miss Cheung, are we ready to proceed?"
The couple laughed and wiped away their tears. "I think so, Your Honour." Smith replied. He rested his eyes on the Judge. At that moment, the two men's met, and Mr. Smith found himself feeling closer to the Judge than ever before. The judge's own eyes started to glisten as he beamed at Mr. Smith, just like a father who couldn't be more proud of his son. A father who was unwilling, but knew it was necessary to let go.
"Mr. Smith," Judge Othniel finally began. "You will have three days, and three days only, to rediscover your past life and change your biggest regret, and in short have a second chance. No one will recognize you…"
Mr. Smith cast a sidelong glance at Alicia. She smiled at him and mouthed the words "I'll be there."
Mr. Smith took a deep breath. He was ready. He had died ready and waiting for this moment.
"…you are a free agent in the universe, with the blessing of God Almighty and His Court."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Well, that's it! My first completed fanfic! A huge, huge thank you goes out to all the people that reviewed and also motivated me to finish this story. Hopefully my other fanfics to come will also be worthy for a read, but who knows? Just wanted to say thanks one more time to everyone who read this. Until next time!