I was glad of the fact that the next morning was a Saturday; our conversation, concealed beneath the aphotic depths of the night, had caused me temporary aphasia. When I awoke at eight-thirty, I made a few intelligible sounds as I sat up and saw Gabriel, his bare chest beginning to reveal itself from below the duvet. I shivered, before leaning forward and gently lifting his folded arms from the duvet and tugging it so that it covered him completely. I placed his arms down again, feeling a little warmer, and kissed his cheek, before reclining to snatch another hour of sleep.
I felt a glimmer of warmth on my forehead when my eyes snapped open a second time. I took in Gabriel's face as he placed his hand on my cheek.
"Good morning, Sleeping Beauty." I smiled, and sat up, scanning the clock on my bedside table:
The aphasia wore off and I managed to speak.
"Good morning, Gabriel. Did you sleep well?"
"Yes, I did, thank you. I had a dream last night, one that I've had repeatedly for some time."
"Do you want to tell me about it?" His face contorted as he thought, then replied.
"I was sitting by the road, wrapped in a blanket, my eyes staring into the flames which emanated from my parent's car. I looked up, and saw another figure huddled by the road, also wearing a blanket. The figure lifted its head to face me, with a tearstained face. It was you, Ayla." He paused a moment, as I held his hand tightly. He continued, his voice a little lower than normal, "Our eyes met and, among the wreckage of the cars, we both rose, and dropped our blankets. You turned to fold it when I noticed something on your back; you were wearing one of those dressy tops... you know, the ones that have a hole in the back?” I nodded in understanding, and Gabriel continued, “There were two stumps that I could see, that looked a little raw, as though they had been cut and rubbed with salt to clean the wound. Then you turned to face me again, and we met in the middle of the road. We embraced; I placed my hands on the pair of growths and kissed you. As I did so, something trembled within my grasp, and I had to move my hands from the stumps to your waist." He paused.
"Go on," I encouraged him, clutching his hand more tightly.
"You sprouted wings. As I broke away, you smiled, radiating a seraphic brilliancy. Then, I heard screeching tyres, and I saw flashing headlights. The car was about to hit us when you grabbed my waist, unfurled your beautiful, alabaster wings, and ascended to the skies." He stopped, emitted a short, breathy laugh and announced, "I must be going crazy." Then he did something that I'd never seen him do before; a solitary tear rolled down his left cheek.
"Gabriel, you are not crazy. How can you be, when you are the one which keeps me sane? In your dream, I only grew wings because of you. You have filled the void within me, given me the strength I lost when my father died. I can only hope that I've been helping you in the same way."
"Helped me? Ayla, you give me a reason to keep on living. I've found myself again. You peeled away all of the memories that held me back, prevented me from making something of myself. You have returned my favour, it seems. You have made me complete." We embraced; I kissed his neck, he kissed my cheek, and rose from my bed, happy in the knowledge of the other's importance. Suddenly, Gabriel hoisted me up, and placed me on his shoulders. I shrieked girlishly, repeating the words,
"Put me down!" as a breathless incantation. Gabriel ducked as I opened my bedroom door and stepped through, before rising up and replying,
"My wingless angel, don't be afraid of flight."