Life in the Atmosphere
by Anthony Wilson
Genre: YA, Coming of Age
Jahlil Adams is just a regular teenager. In fact, you could say that he is “super regular” with his glasses, comic books, and cheap fashion sense. He doesn’t want popularity. He doesn’t want a pretty girlfriend. He wants to just be who he is. Well that and not to be bullied by Max Maniac.
Yet, everything changes once Mr. Malachi gave Jahlil a necklace that he didn’t even want.
After that, everything was not the same. In fact, Jahlil began to realize that there was much more to who he was. There was much more to who Mr. Malachi was. There was much more to his existence. The lid of limitations was lifted from Jahlil’s life.
Now, all that mattered was the limitations that the sky had to offer.
Finally, the elevator made it to the third floor. As soon as the door opened, I
swiftly took myself to room 308 to see my best friend. What I saw had me in a minor
form of ease. She was alive. She also had her head wrapped and her leg extended in the
air. It must have been broken. Both of her parents were present, which was also a relief
Mrs. Thompson was a professionally stunning looking woman. Since she did
work in Chicago in a high-rise building, that much did not come off as a surprise. Mr.
Thompson was a pretty tall and charming man that was an executive for the city. He was
also clean cut and well managed. I saw why Trisha was so upbeat and graceful: she got it
from her parents.
"Hey, Jahlil! Glad you made it. These are my parents."
"Hello, Mr. Adams. We've heard so much about you," Mr. Thompson said as he
extended his hand like any gentleman should. I shook his hand and noticed the firmness
of his grip. I exchanged greetings with him. Her mom, however, gave me a big hug. I
guess they were both impressed with me for some apparent reason.
"Well, I made it. How are you doing, Trisha? What did the doctor say?"
"He said that I was going to be okay. My leg is broken, though. This sucks. I
planned on going to the Valentine's Day dance. Now I can't go."
I looked at her perplexed and said "Sure, you can go. If you are in a wheelchair,
I'll just push you around and spin you like a top."
Being amused by my smug comments, Trisha laughed and said, "Boy, must you
always be silly?"
"You need to smile, girl. You are still alive after being hit by a car. Your survival is
a blessing within itself. Now, you can worry about being dolled up for the Valentine's
Her mom, feeling the need to say something, stated that "Personally, I think she
should still go. She needs to have fun and relax. She needs to be around her friends like
you and Khadija. You know Khadija, don't you?"
"How can I not?" I noted with a hint of sarcasm. "She is forever making the most
hilarious statements ever."
"Yeah, that little girl gets it from her momma. Her mom is the same way:
intellectually sassy. That's why I like her so much."
"I know one thing, my good people," Mr. Thompson noted, "I am hungry. We are
about to go get something to eat. You want me to bring any of you all anything?"
"No, I'm not hungry. Are you hungry, Mr. Malachi?"
"No, sir," Mr. Malachi said. "I ate a healthy lunch today. I'll be good until later on
"Well, you all keep an eye on my daughter while we are gone. You know she is
liable to do anything," Mr. Thompson said with a smile.
"Daddy, you know I'm not like that! I am a good girl. I stay out of trouble and do
my work. Like you taught me."
"This is true. Well, you all, we will be right back. Take care of her, now." And just
like that, The Thompsons were out the door.
Meanwhile, I pulled up a chair and sat next to Trisha while she was laid up
looking all broken up. I played with her hair and saw that she had a scar on the top of
her head. "Does this hurt up here?"
"Not like it used to earlier today. It felt much worse then. But don't touch it. I
don't want it to hurt again."
Laughing, I said, "I'll make sure I won't".
In the meantime, Mr. Malachi was rubbing his hands together while he looked
out the window. I had no clue as to what he was looking at, or why he was looking for
that matter. But I did notice a glow emanating from his palms. It was similar to that
same glow that I would always see coming from this crazy necklace. I could not be sure if
I was seeing this or having another Bushwick Bill moment. But I did understand that I
was going to have to ask him about this later on.
Only problem was this: the end of the weirdness I would bear witness to did not
come with a definite time.
"Jahlil. Promise me you won't say anything about what's going to happen right
now?" Mr. Malachi whispered as he gave me a look of refined seriousness that I became
used to from him.
"Yeah. Sure. Whatever you say." I just kept looking at him. I was beginning to
wonder why Trisha hadn't said anything about the glow coming from his hands. She was
just relaxing. And why didn't I see his lips move? Okay, this situation was becoming
more outlandish by the moment.
"Trisha, I want to say a prayer for your better healing and living, if that is alright
with you," Mr. Malachi said.
Trisha, in her positive, yet weak condition, just mustered up with saying "Yeah.
Prayer is okay with me. Whatever can help me."
He walked toward Trisha, holding his left hand up and putting his right hand on
her head. As soon as he started his prayer, I could see the energy transfer from his hands
to her body. At some point, Trisha became engorged in the energy that Mr. Malachi was
giving to her. It only lasted a minute, but once it was done, I was left with my mouth
Not truly understanding what was going on, I walked toward Trisha and saw that
her head wasn't scared anymore. Did Mr. Malachi just heal her of her wounds?
"Trisha, how do you feel?" I asked.
"I don't know why, but I feel a whole lot better. Thank you, Mr. Malachi. I guess
it's true that prayer do work wonders."
Mr. Malachi, with a smile that could break storm clouds, said "It was nothing. It
is just what I was born to do for my people."
Alright, now I was officially consumed with bewilderment. First, it was this
crucifix that was given to me for "protection". Then, it was the fight in the lunchroom
where I did the unthinkable. Now? I just witnessed a man lay hands on someone and
heal them like a firebrand evangelist. This was becoming too much.
"Ready to go, Young Blood?" Mr. Malachi questioned me as I still stood in
"Yeah, sure. Trisha, you gonna be okay?"
"Yeah, Jahlil. I'm so glad that you came to see me. Drive safe and make it home in
one piece. No accidents." Trisha chuckled a little bit and smiled, knowing everything was
going to be okay. I walked over to her and gave her a kiss on the forehead. Rubbing her
hand and looking into her eyes, I knew that she was healed. That alone was both exciting
and scary all in one fell swoop.
As Mr. Malachi and I made it to the elevator, I wanted to wait until it closed
before I started my interrogation. As soon as those doors closed, it was time for me to
get into private eye mode.
"Okay, what just happened in there?" I inquired with all due seriousness and lack
"It was a prayer for her healing."
"Okay. And why do I have to keep it a secret?"
Mr. Malachi, with a look of deep discontent, said "Because people cannot know or
find out what I can do. I will explain this more when the time comes. Trust me." And
just like that, the elevator opened.
Trust him? Really? How was I supposed to do this when he is either keeping
secrets or making supernatural stuff happen out of thin air? It would be more
reasonable to explain to me what was going on. Now, he had me in suspense and I was
finding this quite irritating. I was getting tired of the strange occurrences and secrets.
"But what if I don't trust you?" I said in the most flippant tone as we walked
outside to the car.
"You don't have to, to be honest. But do know one thing, Young Blood: situations
will make themselves become known. All questions will be answered in due time. I know
you are confused right now. That makes sense. But, you can't force the truth to occur.
Sometimes, all you can do is wait. Once it happens, everything else falls into proper
place and perspective." And with that said, Mr. Malachi turned on the radio to listen to
the rest of A Tribe Called Quest.
I just sat there and looked out the window. I didn't have any idea as to what to say
to all the things he said. I did know that sooner or later, I was going to get to the bottom
of this. I wanted the truth. In fact, I deserved the truth because I could handle it.
Well, at least that was what I thought.
Anthony Wilson is a new author that hails from the Midwest. Being that this is his first book, he took the extra care of creating a 1st person perspective from the realities of teenage living in the year 2000. Being that Anthony Wilson is an educator, he wanted to create stories that students in middle (and even high) school could relate to. Also, he wanted to create stories that his teenage daughter would be proud of. When he isn't being a husband, teaching, or writing, Anthony Wilson also maintains his health through physical activity.
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