I never believed in angels until I met him, an angel who fell. Though he’s not with me anymore I still think about him everyday. He helped me see the light in the day again. I owe him a debt I can never repay.
A little girl maybe ten cries over a gravestone. Tears seep through her palms and onto the marble. The gravestone says two names.
In Loving Memory of David and Grace Willow.
Loving Mother and Loving Father
The dream is interrupted by a steady beep. I wake up to smell medicine. Looking around I see a white room with white titles. Wires are connected to my arms and hooked up to machines.
My body is weak like always when I end up in these places. It’s a hospital. With the little strength I have tears come out of my eyes and down my cheeks. I failed again.
“Don’t cry.” I hear a voice say out of nowhere and look around. A man my age walks to me. He wears normal clothes. He doesn’t work here. Who is he?
“Who are you?” Where are the nurse? How can they let a random stranger into my room.
“My name is Lukas Light. Just call me Luke.”
“Why are you in my room? I don’t know you.”
“I don’t know you either but that’s okay.” He grabs a clipboard from by me bed. “Raven Willow. Nice to meet you Raven.” He flips a page and flinches. He flips the board over to me so I can see it. “Eight times you were in here all for the same thing. Suicide. Why?”
“I shouldn’t have to tell you that.”
A nurse comes in and ask me how I’m doing. I shrug her off and she helps me sit up. I find it strange that she didn’t mention anything about the guy she didn’t even look at him.
“Hey do you see him.” I point to where he stands.
“Are you sure you’re okay. You’re hallucinating.” She says concerned.
“Yeah I must. I’m fine now though, I don’t see him anymore.”
She leaves reluctantly. “I’m a ghost.” He burst out when she closes the door.
“Yeah I got that when she didn’t see you. I may be suicidal but I’m not crazy.”
“I’m shocked usually people freak out when they learn I’m a ghost.”
“I’m too tired to deal with you. You could be a zombie for all I care about. Now leave.”
“No.” He says walking over and sitting on the edge of my bed.
“I’m a ghost and I’m stuck in this world right now. I thought I might as well have some fun and you just so happened to be my target.”
“I already hate you.” I snicker.
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll see you in a two weeks.” He disappears in thin air. I thought he would leave me alone but I was surely mistaken. In two weeks he came back around.
“Get out of my house you freeloader.”
“But your house is so nice. Please just let me stay here for a week.” He begs.
“Whatever. You’re giving me a headache. Stay if you like.” I go to my kitchen and open my medicine cabinet. He whistle behinds me.
“These are all prescribed. One, two, three.”
“There are only twenty.” I burst out picking a bottle and pouring out three tablets, washing them down with water. “I’m going to bed get comfortable.”
With her being asleep I take the advantage to rummage around in her apartment. I find a box closed with nails and wrapped ten times with sharp wire stored in the attic. I put my hand through the wood and take out photos or a small kid with their parents. Then photos of the kid alone and the parents together, alone and when they were younger.
I take the photos and hang them on the hallway walls. Next I go in her cabinet and take out all her pills. Most of these are for anti-depressions. I didn’t know there were so many different kinds.
I wake up. I didn’t have a dream. It’s good I have medicine. I open my door and my heart races. I start to breath heavily and fall to the ground. I close my eyes tightly as tears burn out. I cover my ears with my hands. No I don’t want to hear the voices.
“Come on Raven.” A vision of my Dad’s hand extended out to me comes to mind.
I open my eyes not wanting to see it and come face to face with their pictures and the girl that died.
No matter what I do, close my eyes or keep them open their always here. I scream scraping my throat and burning my lung.
Hands grab my arms and push me down. I land on the ground with a thud. “Look at me and only me.” Luke shouts at me. “Breath. In and out. In and out.”
I do as I’m told and my body stops shaking. My breath even outs. “Don’t scream.” He says shakily. A tear falls onto my face and he puts his head into the crook of my neck.
I didn’t know ghost could cry.
It’s been five days since my panic attack. My apartment actually looks like someone lives there. Pictures hang on the walls of my childhood. I threw out my medicine and blades. I even painted the walls. I smile remember how Luke helped me make my house look like me. I still never told him my story and he never told me his but that’s what made me accept his advice more than others because he wasn’t trying to force me to tell him.
I thought he was kind of annoying at first though. I never thought he would show me to not be scared of the dark but to embrace it. We would talk for hours and I would never get bored. When I would burst into tears or have an attack he would be there telling me to breath or whispering things like it’s okay or look at me. He even told me to express myself in an artistic way. I didn’t think I would be good at drawing.
I look down at my sleeve tattoos filled with flowers. They cover up my scars. No they don’t cover up my scars, the scars will always be there, no they just show how much that I grew.
I look at the sky. I never watched the sunset before. It always scared me. I sit outside on a bench. When the sun sets I get up and start to walk. Thunder crackles over head and it starts to rain. I shiver as I only wear a shirt and pants.
“Raven where are you going? It’s raining.” Luke says behind me. He must of saw me leave.
“I’m not stopping so you better follow.” I yell behind me.
We end up at a cemetery. I walk to the two gravestones. I haven’t been here since ten but I can never forget the path. I sit in front of the graves and so does Luke.
“When I was younger we were taking a trip. We were fine but someone was driving this truck and they were drunk. Before my Dad could do anything the truck smashed into our car and flipped it over. They died and I lived.” I laugh running my hands over the names. “I shocked the doctors since I was barely a body. Of course living came with sacrifice. I lost my left lung, broke exactly fifty three bones in my body, and had panic attacks almost everyday either hearing their voices, having dreams about them or the crash, or just a simple memory. I wished when I was younger that I would die everyday. When I healed it was to one foster home to another, no one wanting the broken doll. Until I was eighteen and left on the street. I did have a job luckily, getting an apartment with rats.”
I point to the empty space next to their plots. “When I saved roughly two thousand dollars I spent it right away. See the empty plot next to them. That’s mine. I bought it for my nineteenth birthday present.”
“I’m sorry.” Luke says looking at the plot and not me.
“Why are you apologizing?”
Luke gets up and takes off his shirt. Two jagged lines go down his back. “In 2005 I was an angel of death. I was suppose to bring all three of your souls into heaven. Your parents begged me to let you live. It was against protocol but I let you live. When I went back to heaven I was ripped of my wings and thrown out of heaven.”
“Look at me.” I say softly. He doesn’t move nor does he look at me. “I said look at me!” I yell. He turns his head and I see small tears roll down his face.
I grab his face and put his forehead to mine. “Don’t apologize. I don’t want pity. People have been trying to give me it even since I was ten and I always rejected it. Just thinking that my parents wanted me to live beyond them just gives me another reason to live.” I get up and put my hand out to him.
“Let’s go home before I get sick.” He grabs it and I pull him up.
The sun is setting when I watch as the truck smashes into the smaller car. The smaller car flips and parts fly off of it. I go up to the car and grab a man and woman souls first. The woman and man look at each other. They don’t say anything but stare at each other. That’s understandable they just did die but then they do something strange. The nod and turn towards me.
“Can you do us a favor?” The woman speaks. “You see our little girl in the back. She’s our daughter can you let her live?”
That’s impossible. I know it is. That would be treason. I go to the girls side not considering their word when I slip up. Instead of grabbing her soul through her chest I touch her forehead. Her emotions flow through me body. For the first time since becoming an Angel tears fall onto the ground. I’ve touched people’s foreheads by accidents before but this the first time that I cried.
I turn around from the body and grab the man and woman. “Fine. She’ll live.”
I don’t remember much after that. Not when I came back, the trail, not even when I fell but I remember my wings being pulled off. It didn’t hurt but it made me be able to breath again. I felt human again. Then I remember visiting her in a hospital and she screamed for what seemed like hours. Panicking and in pain. Yeah she was the only one I met that made me cry.
I wake up being shaken by two sets of hands. “It’s time for you to come back. You served your sentence.”
“Okay just give me a second.” I write a note and in between look at the woman and man looking down at Raven with smiles on their face. Snapping a picture I place the camera and letter on her bedside table.
“I’m ready Mrs, Mr Willow.”
I look at my Mom’s grave. Instead of crying I smile. I read the back of her gravestone, She said it was letter from her one and only true love.
Your scars does not mean your weak, your tears does not mean your broken, your panic does not mean you failed, your scars are not your mistakes, you know what they mean to me. They mean you’re strong and that you have grown. You have blossomed like the flowers on your arms.
My Mom was always weird she took chance on me the one girl who has been to multiple homes for my own panic attacks and social anxiety. She had one room just for a single painting. I went in their after her death. It was one whole wall covered, a painting of a guy with black wings that shined. It brought you to tears and you didn’t know why. At the bottom of the painting it had the words My Only True Love and a saying. If you’re scared of the dark then light a match it’s as easy as that. One wall had a girl holding her parents hands with the words Don’t Forget. One wall had a two people looking at each other with the words Look At Me. The last wall has flowers surrounding a girl with black wings that glows like the guys with two set of words I Can’t Imagine Living Without My Battle Scars and My Scars Will Always Be There They Just Show How Much I Grew.
It’s like her life in four pictures. “I hope she’s happy with her love.”
“Can I tell her?” Luke says next to me.
“No.” I say bluntly. He pouts and I smile. “You can tell her when she dies. Let’s not show her the after life till she’s ready.”
“Oh, look who has learned.” Luke smiles giving me a light kiss.
“Whatever.” I lean on his shoulder and we talk watching the sunset for the hundredth time.