My Guardian Angel

A tuft of my hair is lying on my bed sheet. Had this been the case an year ago, I would have thrown a tantrum, purchased the most expensive hair care products and spend the entire evening dressing my hair, but now everything has changed.

I don't care or am not even least bothered when I see my hair falling because it had to happen one day and that day is here.

Hi I am Aqua Cooper. You might be wondering what sort of a name 'Aqua' is. Well it's because I have the eyes of the lightest blue colour. To be true I never liked them. But they are the only attractive feature in my pale bony heart shaped face and especially when I tie my strawberry blonde hair in a pony tail, they shimmer like tiny blue orbs. Actually they are beautiful. But how does it matter now? It's all going to end.

I am obstinate and I am an egoist. I hate pretence and arrogance. I am a very difficult person and I am a diehard animal lover. Moreover I have my guardian angel.

SHOCKED?

I don't blame you guys because even I was dazed when I first confronted the fact. It's just that whenever I am in pain, I am distraught, I need strength, I have lost hope, and He comes. Not figuratively but yes, in my dreams.

xxx

It started when I was five years old. It so happened that I had gone to this carnival with my parents. Being the stubborn person as always, I paved my way to the swings leaving my gullible parents behind.

Only when it got dark and I was surrounded by strangers that I realised, I was lost. I searched the entire carnival but to no avail. I was tired and scared. I wanted to rest in my mother's lap. I was famished and thirsty and to my supreme horror I was sobbing uncontrollably.

My legs had given up on me. I spotted an empty stall and dragged myself till there. Sweaty and covered with dirt I slipped into deep slumber. It was then when I saw myself in a pretty pink frock standing by an oak tree.

My throat was soar with crying and the hiccups were unstoppable. And then he came. From behind the tree, blocking the sun. For an instance it seemed like a halo around his head. He moved towards me and I could now see his eyes.

They were of the darkest blue, darker than the depths of see. Like an endless tunnel. They were full of knowledge and experience. Before I could let my eyes wander on his face, he shifted towards his left side suddenly, exposing me to the bright glare of the sun.

Blinded for a second, I closed my eyes and the moment I opened them, I was in his lap. He smelled of rosewood and mahogany. Of ancient woods and archaic seas. He was cradling me and telling me that I would be safe, that my parents would find me.

And at that very moment a bird squeaked loudly which sounded like my mom shouting. And well the instant I opened my eyes, it was my mom. She was crying and thanking God. She hugged me and wiped my dirty face, and all the while I couldn't help but think of the man in that white shirt.

xxx

Being a 13 year old and flunking in an exam is a terrible thing, and that's what happened to me. My parents had expected a lot out of me and I had let them down. I was depressed and felt that my life had no meaning to it.

I was a worthless student who hadn't been able to compete with the other kids. I was the only failure in my entire class and it felt like shit. My cheek was smeared with tears and after being smacked by my mom for my lack of interest in studies, I went up to my room. I sat on my study table trying to prepare for my upcoming algebra's test.

After an hour or so a sudden wave of dizziness swept over me and I could feel myself falling in the abyss. On opening my eyes I found myself sitting under the same oak tree. I felt a presence behind me and suddenly a pair of hands covered my eyes. His touch was that of a cool breeze, it felt like the moonlight was bathing your entire body.

"I know you by touch and fragrance, but not by name."

"Name hardly matters. They are given just to identify a person out of many. But here there are just the two of us. I don't need a name to acknowledge you and I think that a name should be allotted to an individual on the basis of some vital characteristic of the person and not in a random way. Which I think is the trend these days. And by characteristics I don't mean anything physical, but the inner values. I will call you Ethen."

"What does that mean?" I asked bewildered.

"Means that you have the ability and the potential to make the impossible, possible."

"What do I call you? I hardly know you?"

"You'll come to know one day, my friend. And Ethen, let me tell you something, failures are what makes a person strong. They ground a person; teach him the importance of success. So that when you earn success, you'll know how to respect it. Many a times success instils vain pride in us, we deceive our friends, break ties with our family just because success has blinded us. In the brightness of success we forget that darkness looms ahead. Where there is day, it's always followed by a night. Learn from this failure and you'll never fail again."

The sudden singing of the bird brought me out of the trance. It wasn't the bird but my mobile's ring tone.

After switching it off I sat down to study with a renewed vigour and let me tell all of you, the algebra paper was the toughest in the history of our school but I scored full marks in it. Since then I have been in the top three students.

xxx

I was 18 and had gone through a terrible break up. The so called love of my life had left me for some bitch and I was broken. I had cried the whole day and my eyes didn't have the stamina to shed more tears. I could actually feel my heart break. It was a dreadful feeling and I planned to sleep it off.

The moment I drifted in my land of dreams, he came. He was again wearing that white shirt which tightened around his muscles. I was standing by the oak tree when he encircled me from behind, his arms firmly wrapped around my waist.

My breath stopped for a moment because the feeling was exquisite. Our relation had grown. He was no more my protector or friend, but now he was my companion. His chest was broad and brawny. I could feel his rhythmic beating of heart and his hot breath on my neck. He smelled of eternal sunshine and spring, smelled of love and affection.

He nibbled at my ears and whispered in that husky tone of his-

" Ethen, this is the reality and not that boy friend of yours. The person who breaks your heart is never worth of possessing it. He helped you comprehend that you deserve better than him. You should be grateful to him for the essential lesson that he taught you. He made you learn how to get over a broken heart.

In your life you meet people, in fact it's obligatory for you to meet people to hurt you, inflict pain on you, love you, betray you so that in the end you emerge as a beautiful person."

He then turned me around and pressed my back against the trunk. I closed my eyes in silent anticipation. Our lower parts of the body were in close proximity and the body heat had become unbearable.

It had been so long. Seemed like an eternity. I had grown up to give him a part of me and now was the time. I felt his lips on mine; he was sucking my lower lip while his hands were massaging my back. My knees had gone week and I fell in his strong arms.

He held me tightly against him and I couldn't help but fall in love with this man. The entire world started revolving and the chirping of birds became too prominent. It was coming from everywhere and then I realised that it was my crappy alarm clock that was ticking.

The dream had been glorious and I could still feel the butterflies in my stomach. It was then that I realised that I had gotten over my heart break. I had not only forgotten it but also forgiven the bastard...err...my guy.

Call it whatever you wish to. My obsession or my belief in the supernatural, but I knew that I was being looked after, cared for. I was never the same person. I had found my lost confidence. I had lost that stubborn streak in me.

I actually had undergone metamorphosis and it felt great. Though it meant that I won't get to meet my angel because he only surfaced when I was emotionally weak.

xxx

I am 25 now.

I worked in an ad agency and I was pretty content with my life until the day I vomited blood in the sink.

That day and now, it's been one year. And I tell you it's been hell of a year. After being diagnosed with an advanced stage of lung cancer, I have undergone three major chemotherapies. I have lost my entire glow, and I am just a mass of flesh.

Lately I was at my parent's house where mom was taking care of me. My body was full of holes made by injections and I had blisters deep down till my food pipe which made eating anything impossible. Lying down for a year had given me bed sores on which little maggots were thriving. I could feel those wriggling on my back but I was helpless.

The pain had numbed my entire body. But that pain was not the one bothering me, it was the pain of deceit and of being abandoned. My so called guardian angel had not even once come up to me. He had left me in this immense pain to fend for myself. I felt cheated and the sheer isolation made me lose hope.

The final calling came the day, when my kidney burst in my body. I could actually feel its walls tearing apart. Doctors had to come and insert a tonne tubes in my vagina to extract my urine and excreta. I couldn't take it anymore and so one day I called my mom and asked her to let me go.

I wanted to end it all and I was quite desperate. Instead of watching my other organs giving up on me, I thought I should seek the easier way out. It's called Euthanasia or mercy killing. My parents were quite apprehensive in the start but on seeing my misery they had acquiesced to my request.

So here I am today, in the hospital. Lying on the white bed, surrounded by white walls. There's a window by my bed and I can see a desolate oak tree. A bird is sitting there, lost in her own world. Seems to be lonely, well then who isn't?

My parents have bid me farewell. It was hard to say the final goodbye but this was my decision and I'll stand with it.

My eyes are tightly shut. To be true, I am scared. Scared of what awaits me after death. Afraid of facing the unknown. I am on the brink of unwrapping the greatest mysteries of life and I am terrified.

I still have time, I can still jump off the bed and live for a month or so but something prevents me from doing so. It's the PAIN. The despair. Feeling your own body parts dejecting you is a terrible experience. When you know that something inside you is rebelling against you, you lose the spirit to fight.

I just heard the door creak. I think my doctor is here. An indescribable feeling grips me. It's a bittersweet experience. My zest for life equals my want of death. I want to be with my loved ones but this thing, this monster inside me is not letting me do so.

I don't have the courage to see my death approaching me. I can't face it. I am petrified. This doctor is by my bedside. What would he be like? I don't have the guts to look at him, to see the person who'll be gifting me death. Should I hate him or love him.

Ahhh! Damn this confusion.

I can hear the syringe suck in the liquid which would relieve me. The cold metal of the syringe touches my skin and I can feel the goose bumps popping up. It does not pain because I am used to being injected hundred times a day. I can feel the liquid flow through my veins, rejuvenating me.

And then I feel it. Feel his lips touching my eye lids and he smells of autumn and dried leaves and it's then I realise, he has come.

It's him. Here, with me, in person.

I can see him. I had never seen him because he always came from behind or my eyes were shut, I had to see him, just once. I try raising my eye lids, but death has laid its fist on them. I struggle hard. Something is slipping from my hands.

Noooo...!

This couldn't happen. I had to see him. I am trying to open my eyes. I manage to peek through my eye lashes. He's in white. It's a white doctor's lab coat. With all my will power I manage to move my gaze up. Something catches my attention. It's his badge. Something is written on it; Got to be his name. I strain my eyes to read the letters.

It says 'SERAPH'. And like a lightening it strikes me.

He had been always there when I had lost hope. I had given up on life. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I still had hope because of the chemotherapies and all. It's when in the end I gave up the zeal to live, he came to show me the way, to rescue me, to give me the strength.

He had never left me; he was waiting for me to fall so that he can catch me. And this time he didn't find me like always, but it was me who approached him, me who reached him.

He had said that one day I'll know his name which will reflect him as a person, and today I knew. It was SERAPH. It means 'an angel'.

The oak tree outside the window is the one which I always dreamt off and the bird who always chirped or sung me back to reality was the string that kept me in the real world, the world of humans, the living world, our world.

Outside the window, I can hear the fluttering of the bird. She has finally flown away. My link to this world has broken. The sun is shining too brightly but then how am I able to see it even with my eyes shut. I smile knowingly as he slips my hand in his. His touch speaks of life after death. I am not scared of what lies ahead because he is here with me. My saviour.

I can feel his breath on my neck. And with my last goodbye to this mortal world, he says-

"WELCOME HOME, ETHEN."