His sweet breath fogged the window. Outside, it was raining. The bushes were shaking in the wind, throwing water against the hood of his daddy's car, which ran down the softly vibrating metal and pooled by the tires. The headlights cast a yellow glow on the porch and the window, out of place in their shaking mobility in the silent, premature twilight.
Behind him, mommy and daddy were still fighting. Daddy went through each room of the house, throwing items in a bag. As he progressed, he was screaming things that the little boy did not understand, at the woman who trailed after him. Mommy was crying and begging him not to go. There was a suitcase by the door. Daddy slammed another door. Mommy opened it.
"I'm sorry!" She was screaming between sobs, "It was only a one night stand! It won't happen again! Please don't go! Please!" Her voice was hoarse and hysterical, her eyes wide and wild, hands gesturing and never resting, clawing over the coat Daddy was throwing over his shoulders. Daddy stopped and looked at his small child, curled against the window in a big chair.
He dropped the bag and walked over, then kneeled down to be eye level. "Daddy has to go away for a little while, son." He shifted his gaze to his wife, standing at the door, wringing her hands. He turned back. "I'll be back for you, though. Soon. So, be safe." He kissed the child on the forehead, then turned around and walked back to pick up his bags.
Mommy gripped his arm and wailed, "Please don't go!"
Daddy ripped his arm out of her grasp and backhanded her. She clutched the side of her head and sank to the floor, suddenly silent but for the occasional muffled sob.
The door closed. The car door slammed. The headlights were pulled away from the porch.
The boy stared out the window still, after his father. Now, the headlights of another car passed by the small house, and in their glare the boy saw a figure. He sat up straight quickly, pressing his little face and hands against the window to get a better look. At the end of the yard, near the gate, an angel stood in the rain. His smiling face was pointed up at the grey sky, rain pattering gently on the glorious white wings tucked tightly against his back. He looked toward the window and, catching the eye of the small boy, winked. Then he unfurled his long wings and began to jump from puddle to puddle in the yard. He did this with the brightest joy, such careless, childlike freedom. The small boy smiled and jumped out of his chair. He raced to the front door, stopping only briefly to peer at his wilting mother, then reached up for the high doorknob and ran outside, into the rain that began to fall even more heavily.
The angel, laughing with his very own soundless glee, jumped to another puddle. The boy chased him, hopping into the puddle he had just left, and so on. He laughed, proud of the game he and this angel had created. Down and down the yard they went, spiraling in a pattern of larger and larger puddles, until they were at the sidewalk, jumping puddles that formed in misplaced potholes and the cracks in the concrete. The angel hopped out into the road, into the biggest puddle yet, and the boy followed, leaping from the curb with a wild yell. Two huge lights fell upon him, and the angel hugged him tightly in the rain.
The truck didn't even slow down at the bump it felt in the storm.