Getting to the hospital was like being in a dark room with a strobe light. On. Strapped down to the gurney, in the back of an ambulance. Off, on. Being rolled in through the parking lot. A doctor, his white coat flying up behind him in the wind, like angel wings. Off, on. An I.V., pinching the skin on the inside of my elbow. Off.
Theres nothing but darkness, all-consuming emptiness. No noises to help you find your way out. No obstruction to lead you away. No up or down, left or right. No comfort or danger, worries or pleasures. Parayzing. You begin to wonder if you even exist at all. Then when you begin to lose you mind- a sort of epiphany happens and what you have been trying to find opens in front of you- a way out.
No words can explain what happens next. Black fades to gray, gray fades to brown and suddenly- before you know it I'm sitting in a little cafe. A mug sits in front of me, steaming. I look up, sitting across from me is a man. He has long, chocolate-brown hair, pulled back into a short ponytail at the nape of his neck. He is wearing a worn leather jacket with faded blue jeans. Piercing violet eyes, stare back at me, and thin lips move, forming words.
"The iced-blueberry scones are amazing, you'll like them." I don't know what I expected him to say, but it wasn't that. It seemed so normal, so anti-climatic. I'm surprised. I can feel my mouth drop open, my tongue struggling for the right words to say, but it doesn't come out, instead;
"Who are you?"
The man leans back in his chair, surprised, his hand wrapped around his own steaming coffee mug.
"So let me guess, Sleeping Beauty finally came out of her stupor," he says, leaning forward now, across the table. Then, when I don't say anything, "It's about time."
I just blink at him, "What do you mean?"
He sighs impatiently, and gets up, "Its not safe to talk here. Follow me."
He weaves himself through the small but cramped wrought-iron tables to the outside street without checking to see if I'm following him. I don't move from my seat. How can I know to trust him? There's only one way to find out. Getting up I take a few steps before looking back at our table. Steam still wafts from each of them. I feel wrong for leaving the cups there, its like walking away from an unfinished painting or throwing the book away before you read the ending. Incomplete. It feel's incomplete. Then I remember there's someone I'm supposed to be following and begin to panic. Hurrying outside I turn this way and that, until I spot the retreating back of my leather clad friend.
"Wait!" I yell, catching up to him, "Where are you taking me?"
He doesn't answer right away. Instead just trains his eyes ahead and keeps walking, his strides long and purposeful. I'm so focused on him that at first I don't notice the initial changes. Wooden boards begin to replace pieces of concrete in the ground, growing more and more regular the farther we walk. Buildings start to chip away leaving blocks of unperturbed blue. Suddenly the city street ends completely and we're standing on a dock. I look behind us. Nothing but open ocean, no evidence we just came from the city.
"Who are you?"
"If I told you would you believe me?" He asks raising one eyebrow in doubtfully. He already thinks I won't believe him.
"Of course I'll believe you." Inwardly I shrug noncommittally, how bad could his answer really be?
He hesitates before answering the war of whether or not to tell me playing on his face, "Well, I'm your guardian angel." Dead serious. Not a crack of a smile, he just crosses his arms and watches my face, no doubt enjoying the skittering of emotion that now plays across my face. Confusion. Disbelief. Fear. I settle on anger.
This guy has to be kidding me. My Guardian Angel? To even accept that statement is like saying I believe in God. Which I don't. Rolling my eyes, I scoff.
"You're not serious, " I say, "This is a dream. You're not real. Watch, after this is done I'm going to wake up."
He doesn't smile, all he does is ask, "Do you really believe that?"
Suddenly my anger diffuses and I feel really, really tired. I don't even know why I'm arguing with this guy.
"There's no such thing as Guardian Angels."
"Well, that's technically true, considering that we aren't actually called Guardian Angels. You know them as Guardian Angels, but the correct term is 'Watcher'. I'm a Watcher."