Chapter III – My Guardian Angel
(what happened to cherubs?)
Of course, I tried to pretend it was all a dream when I woke up the next morning, but unfortunately failed. It was all crystal clear in my mind, the sharp edges of clarity almost painful. Beth was going to live; my fate was yet undetermined, and there was an Angel sleeping on my roof (if Angels even sleep). During the restless night following our conversation, I had heard the subtle noises of folding wings and clicking tiles right above me, so I guessed he had returned and was either sleeping up there or doing his sentry thing. I hadn’t bothered to offer the Angel a blanket or a cup of tea, which could be seen as bad manners, but considering he happened to be bare-foot all the time, it thus seemed he had no real objections to lack of comfort or a little cold. Not to mention that said Angel might be my eventual killer. I didn’t know how long Angels had to stay with their charges before the ‘thing’ happened, but it couldn’t really be any longer than a month.
Stuffing some toast in my mouth, I glared at the ugly, granny-used-to-own-me table cloth before me and scowled. The kitchen suddenly seemed too small to hold my turbulent emotions, and I stood, my chair sliding harshly against tile as I pushed it away. I scraped the remains of my breakfast into the bin and stood in silence for a long moment, the house asleep around me. My father was at work already, my mother the same, but my sister and the cat slept silently upstairs. Said sister had only a part-time job, and was as lazy as I was moody. Which was very. Some say it’s the red hair, but I say it’s environmental; you try growing up with spoilt-little-princess as a big sister and Mr & Mrs Perfect as parents and not coming out of it with major temperamental issues.
Brow furrowed, I glared up at the clock and decided it was time to leave for school lest I get another detention. Yes, I may die at any given moment, but I still have to go to school. Some things are even worse than death.
I closed the front door behind me and squinted up at the blinding sun, wishing dearly that it would rain or at least get a little cloudier. This much sun would have been relaxing and enjoyable anywhere but here. In Evechurch, any elongated amount of sunshine was oppressing and stifling.
Hand shielding my eyes, I started to walk, only to pause at the sound of wings beating the dry summer air behind me. Feathers shimmering brightly in the sun, my guardian Angel landed gracefully on the sidewalk, bare feet silent as they met the asphalt. I blinked away the awe in my eyes before the Angel could catch it, and turned back to my walking. I couldn’t help but gaze wide-eyed whenever I saw him, and for good reason.
He was stunning, simple as, looking about my age, sixteen or seventeen, with an odd agelessness about him which made me wonder how old he really was. He may look like a late-teen magazine model, but I bet he’s as old, if not older, than the pyramids, I thought with a shiver. Obviously Angels kept better than big blocks of sandstone… I looked up as a shadow crossed my face, and my slight scowl eased at the sight of clouds drifting lazily over the endless expanse of the sky.
You may think I’m acting rather blasé for someone so close to death and the apparent dealer of it, but when you know for sure that there’s something on the other side, the prospect doesn’t scare you so much. I just wanted to know exactly what it was that was waiting for me when I crossed over. Too bad the only being I could hope to get answers from wasn’t playing ball. “Must be nice to have wings,” I sighed, eyeing his over-sized wings enviously, the pure white tips nearly brushing the ground. What I would do for a pair, I thought dreamily. “Is it easier to fly than it is to walk?” I asked. No answer, and I realised with a shock that I didn’t even know his name. How rude of me to not ask Angel who his name is, I thought blandly. “What’s your name?” I asked, tone innocent. “I’m Sonia, as you probably already know. Grey eyed, red haired, slightly lanky teen with a bad temper,” I added to lighten the mood a little.
He didn’t answer, and I scowled. “Don’t you ever talk other than to ask people questions?” I muttered, suddenly realising I must look pretty weird, arguing with myself. No one was around though, so I gathered I was pretty safe.
“No,” he said, and I almost stopped walking at the apparent show of humour.
“Shock ‘n’ horror,” I said with a smirk when I glanced behind me to see a subtle tinge of amusement in his perfect features. An Angel with a sense of humour. What next?
Despite his apparent willingness to banter, he didn’t offer me his name, however, and we walked in comparative silence for the next ten minutes, the sun shining through the growing clouds at small intervals to shine blindingly on his feathers. The nameless Angel remained a few steps behind and beside me, always watching and aware; never dropping his guard. I imagined this was what it felt like to have a price on your head.