My Guardian Angel

I saw him everywhere. He was like my conscience in human form.

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1. My Guardian Angel

 

I couldn’t remember exactly when the flashbacks first started but I knew it was sometime after my father’s tragic death. Hearing voices after a bereavement is perfectly normal, they told me. Especially when it is the death of somebody close. It’s just your brain’s way of dealing with things. But the voices started to multiply and soon I wasn’t sure anymore. If I told anyone, they’d send me away. Hearing voices? Must be a cog missing, somewhere, that’s what they’d say. But what started off as a coping mechanism turned into something much worse. At first I only saw him near where it happened, but then I kept seeing him on motorbikes wherever I went. They said that was normal, too, though. Association, they said.

However, he was turning into much more than my mystery motorbike man. He was starting to appear everywhere I was. By this time I was at high school, I was about 14 or 15 and I was seeing this strange man everywhere. I’m sure you can imagine that at first I was more than slightly freaked out. As I grew used to him, I began to see him as my guardian angel. I believed my father had sent him to look after me on Earth, because he wasn’t able to. It was a sort of unspoken rule that where he went, I had to follow. He didn’t speak, not at first but soon his voice began to enter my head, just like the others’. I didn’t like it when he spoke, though. He made little sense, he didn’t seem to understand me or what I was saying. His conversational skills were almost robotic.

I remember one time, I saw him when I was sitting in Maths. I sit near a window and he was standing outside, about ten feet back, silently staring in. It was mid April and the sun was shining, illuminating his golden hair as if it was a halo. His blue eyes were burning brighter than ever before, they seemed to glare right through me. However his bold features seemed to contrast his pale-white skin. It almost didn’t seem natural; his beauty. It struck me then how lonely he must be. I ran outside, and as I reached him, he turned around in his graceful perfection and slowly walked away. I obediently followed him. There was a strange sort of sadness about him, I thought. I then thought how strange it was that I knew nothing about this man, yet I trusted him with my life.

The school rang my mother, of course. She knew that I was struggling to cope still but she said messing up my education was not going to help matters. I knew this but I wasn’t trying to mess anything up, I was simply trying to find my angel. Of course I didn’t tell her that. I wasn’t stupid! I stayed silent, like my angel. I remember one evening I was in my bedroom. It was early December so it was bitterly cold outside and had been raining all night. It was pitch black except for the glaring streetlights and passing car-headlights reflecting off the rainwater in the road. I thought rain at night was rather beautiful. I was drawing my curtains closed when I saw him. My guardian angel. He seemed to emit light, yet he seemed unaware of this, standing deathly still, watching, waiting.

When I first started seeing him, I convinced myself I was just being paranoid, that we just happened to cross paths out in the big, wide, world. However when he started appearing more often, seemingly waiting for me to notice his fierce gaze, I began to see it as fate, and accept him for what he was – my angel! Meanwhile, my teachers and friends were convinced I’d gone mad. My behaviour was considered ‘erratic’ and my Maths teacher had a ‘talk’ with me, about how I shouldn’t run away from my problems because they will catch up with me eventually. She said I cannot run out of class every time I found the work difficult. I assured her I wouldn’t do it again. How naïve everyone is, I thought. They just don’t understand!

The next day my angel appeared again. It was the weekend and my mother had offered to drive me into town. I had said I was meeting a friend because I had grown tired of her constant ‘worries’ about me hardly speaking to or meeting anyone. We had stopped, waiting at the traffic lights for them to change. He was sitting cross-legged under the traffic lights, facing towards me, and the oncoming traffic. As the lights changed from red to green, I yelled out ‘Stop!’. My mother looked at me with a confused expression on her face.

‘Honey, I can’t. Look, it’s green…’ She revved the engine and moved forward. As we approached him, my heart was pounding so fast I thought was going to beat right out of my chest. He slowly stood, turned around, and walked forward, like a compass signalling the north. My guardian angel was showing me the way. I breathed out in relief. ‘For a moment there, I thought you were going to hit him,’I murmured. My mother looked over at me, worriedly, but then looked away and said nothing. She already thinks I’m mental, I cursed myself. The last thing I wanted was a psychiatric evaluation on top of everything else! It soon turned into a strange habit where I would see him every day. He would appear at random places, and I would follow him. He amazed me so much, he was so perfect.

On that last day I saw him I was walking home from school and he was sitting on a fence surrounding someone’s house in all his model-like perfection. He looked like he was in a painting. With one finger, he slowly beckoned me and I obediently followed him. He led me through the park and towards the bridge. The same bridge above where my father had crashed. The bridge where dozens of bouquets and notes and tributes had been lain, and trampled on by the rush of passers by; and decayed and melted into a mushy mess as a result of the unpredictable elements. He led me to the edge of the bridge and stood, staring below. The rush of traffic below us seemed unreal, as if we were in a different world together, and we were observing this alternative reality from above. He ducked under the railing and sat on the edge, with his long legs dangling. He was still staring, deathly silent. I sat down next to him, so close we were almost touching. I stared into the distance, and he took my hand as we both slowly rose and jumped. I was flying away with my angel.

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