Paradise High

Paradise75x99In the previous episode, readers voted for Michael to ask if he could stay, enroll in Paradise High, and live as a human.

Episode 10

Ever been to Park City, Utah when it wasn’t ski season?

Boooooooooooooring!

And during the film festival? Stupid AND boring! If you really want to know the truth (and most people don’t), Heaven, like Park City, can be pretty NON-interesting too, especially compared to life on Earth, with all its human failings and short-comings.

That’s what makes life interesting — the flaws.

Michael was ruminating on these very ruminates as he made his way back to the beach. He was supposed to head back to Heaven, having learned the lessons of Earth. But now he wanted to stay, to really get to know the people here in Paradise Cove, Malibu, and to truly understand what it was to be human.

There was so much Mike still hadn’t experienced; like human love and sex. He’d never ridden a motorcycle or broken a bone. Never smelled a barn or listened to a rock concert live (back home he had listened to Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd — it is HEAVEN, after all.)   

All this stuff, the big stuff, the little stuff, the human life-on-Earth STUFF, Mike had yet to experience, and he just wasn’t ready to leave.

The only human things he did experience were betrayal (B.L.Z.) and heartbreak (Shelly), and, in some way, he was kind of grateful for that… (So add gratitude to the list.)

Being human was to have visceral experiences — the expressing of emotions, and the experience of pain. And it is the endurance of showing emotion and hurting that brings wisdom… at least the opportunity for wisdom. And wisdom, Mike was starting to see, is awesome.

So when he got to the beach (the launch pad back to Heaven) Michael asked God when he could come back and visit.

He did NOT expect what he heard.

“THERE’S NO GOING BACK, MICHAEL,” said God, “YOU HAD YOUR TIME, YOU LEARNED YOUR LESSON. NOW IT’S TIME TO RETURN.”

“But… there’s so much more to do.” Michael cried.

“AH. THANK YOU! DO YOU REALIZE HOW FEW HUMANS UNDERSTAND THAT? MOST WASTE THEIR DAYS LIKE THEY WERE GOING TO LIVE FOREVER. I’M GLAD YOU LEARNED TO APPRECIATE EARTH BEFORE YOU BLEW IT TO SMITHEREENS. NOW… BACK YOU COME! LET’S GO, KID. WE’RE BURNING DAYLIGHT.”

Michael looked around one last time. He saw how beautiful everything was. Everything.

“Is Heaven better than this?” He wondered.

Michael’s mind started to scheme. He wasn’t all-wise like God… but he’d been around the block, and the one thing he knew about the universe is; there’s always hope!

One thing angels understand that most humans don’t is, God can learn and grow — that’s how He stays God. So Michael decided to make a NEW, new deal. It was worth a shot.

“What if I stayed? Became human? Lived here, went to P.H., and helped anyone in need that crosses my path? Why would you NOT allow that?” Michael asked, realizing that God has a soft spot in His heart for the humans.

“YOU UNDERSTAND THAT, IF YOU BECOME HUMAN, YOU CAN NEVER BE AN ANGEL AGAIN. YOU’LL EXPERIENCE PAIN, YOU’LL GROW OLD, AND YOU’LL DIE. JUST LIKE EVERYBODY THERE. ARE YOU QUITE CERTAIN YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE THE PAIN OF INSECURITY, JUST TO GAIN WISDOM?”

One week ago, Michael would’ve said “No way!” He was a Heaven-boy, through and through. But Michael’s not the same 10,000 year old kid he was a week ago, and now his answer was a resounding:

“Yes! I want to stay.”

God fidgeted in his throne. He wasn’t 100% sure Michael knew what he was getting himself into.

“IF YOU’RE THINKING YOU’LL GET A SECOND CHANCE WITH SHELLY, I’LL TELL YOU THIS. I WON’T INTERVENE. I GAVE HER A BRAIN AND A MOM. IT’S UP TO HER — THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES.”

“I accept that.”

As soon as Michael spoke those words, a great and mighty wind swept across the Pacific onto the beach, creating a tornado of sand that blew back Michael’s clothes and hair.

Then, as abruptly as it began, the wind stopped. Michael stood there, eyes closed. He knew he was different. He could feel it.

He was human. 

There were many things to work out. How would he earn a living? Would he continue to live in the trailer with Gabe and B.L.Z.? How will he pursue Shelly (which was really THE question, wasn’t it?)

He just stood there, smiling… free. Then FLASH! Mike opened his eyes. A group of elderly women were gawking at him — one held a camera, having just taken his photo.

“Can I help you?” asked Mike.

“You can and you have,” said the old woman with the camera as she and her elderly friends giggled and dispersed.

Michael just stood there, watching them go, wagging his head at the kookiness of it all. But then, everything made sense.

“Oh no.”

Michael looked down. Only then did he realize he was nude.

“God.” Michael lamented, “You can’t trust Him.

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