I shudder violently as my soul is forced back into my body. Something isn’t right. In fact, something is very, very wrong. I can’t put my finger on what, but I feel some sort of alarm bell going off in the back of my head. Alice pulls me close and sobs into my shoulder. I wrap an arm around her hesitantly; unnerved by the sensation that something is missing.
The scene around us melts, the demons dissolve and the people of the bus shift, instant cries of “what the hell” and the like. If only they knew. Beth gets out of her seat to check that everyone is okay and sees the two of us on the floor clinging to each other like shipwreck survivors. Alice’s blood stains vaporise slowly receding and I realise she’s beginning to heal herself. Her grey feathery wings are gone, left as little stubs. I wish I could heal them back on for her, but she simply asks me to hold each wing against its stub as she heals it back herself.
I hold the feathery flesh where she asks me to hold it, feeling useless. The flesh knits together with a weird squelching sound that makes me wince a little. I’m glad she can’t see that. When she’s done, we take our seats back and sit in silence for a while. I feel awkward, since my little revelation. Love! How can it be love? I grimace.
‘What’s up?’ she asks, noticing my expression.
‘I... don’t know.’ I change my mind about telling her at the last second. ‘I just feel like something is missing,’ I say in the end to satisfy her curiosity. She snorts and I arch an eyebrow at her unladylike gesture.
‘You were nearly an angel!’ she laughs. I scowl and shove her, making her lose her balance on her seat. She sticks out a hand and stops herself falling. Beth returns to her seat, satisfied everyone is okay, and the bus jerks back into motion.