Your Guardian Angel

With my pigheadedness, I ignored the warnings I had been given; if my life was going to end soon it might as well be worth it! Over the roar of the engine, my thoughts screamed at me to turn the car around and go back the way I came. Life wasn't meant to be spent mourning over someone who has passed on, as everyone informed me. Of course I knew this, but I couldn't seem to grasp that major fact of life. With a long sigh, I flipped the key and braced myself for the arctic wind outside. I stepped out of the car and shivered, it was freezing! Maybe I didn't wear enough layers, should I have had an extra coat ready to throw on? Most likely, yet another mistake I had made.

Marvelous fall colors graced the forest on the other side of the harvested corn field; autumn was so beautiful here. I tried not to pay any attention to my feet, only to the wall of hues in front of me. Brilliant reds, magnificent ambers, stunning oranges, and striking golds that flanked the trees; the sun gilded the valley in sunshine. Underneath my feet, I crunched on already fallen leaves that were swept over the ground. This was taking forever. Ugh, I needed to go faster. Wind blew and my chocolate brown hair got in my face. It annoyed me; if I lived maybe I would go and get it cut short. Instead of worrying over the important stuff, I chose to fret over smaller things. I liked that much better, the stress was less.

Humming, I was almost to the end of the field. I guess I was quicker than I thought. As I came to the first tree, I stopped and prepared myself by breathing. That was the key to success: remaining calm. A small path that was pretty much deserted told me where I should go. The sun was on my back and cast a shadow of me on the ground as I trotted along. This was anything but a merry little stroll; even though it might look that way from the outside. On either side of me, elms and birches lined the narrow strip of dirt. It caused me to smile, this was meant for only me. No one else knew this path was here, if they did they might discover Joel's resting place.

Aw...Joel. My sweet, loveable, caring Joel. How I missed him. My tears did nothing to bring him back, but thankfully I had at least one trick up my sleeve. Well, around my neck anyway. More wind assaulted my body, I think it was trying to blow me over completely. Ha, it didn't work. I kept going strong and didn't stop just because some stupid people wanted me to. Some ways up ahead I could see the fork in the path; I knew which way to take. 'Left, always left,' I could remember his voice crystal clear, even now. My fingers where tapping against my side as I hastily took a sharp left. The trees already grew denser; it was darker. That was what I wanted, protection and cover. As I went deeper, there were more shadows. It was no problem, I could still see fine.

The chain around my neck began to heat up, causing me to get warmer. A plus I had forgotten about. I saw a break in the trees to my left and broke into a dead run towards it. Once I was through, I was in the place I dreamt about. It was a small circle of open land, with only three things keeping it from being totally desolate. In the middle of the clearing, a huge beech stood tall; some ways out in front of it there was a wooden bench. Directly underneath the tree's multi-hued leaves was the exact thing my heart yearned for. Joel's granite gravestone, even for far away I could see the carved lettering signifying his name, date of birth, and the cursed day he was taken away from me.

Unlike the rest of the forest, the sun hit perfectly here, illuminating every detail in glossy sunshine. I loved this place, the only place where I could be truly close to him. Despite what you may think, I'm not going to commit suicide. Well, at least not by my own hand. I knelt in front of his gravestone and traced his name with my numb fingers. Joel Blackburn. He was missed dearly, I wished every waking moment of every day he was still here. Slipping off the chain from around my neck, I carefully put it in the heart carved at the bottom. Dead roses that I had forgotten to clean out had collected there, I took my hand and swiftly swept them away. Both of my hands then covered the gleaming silver chain as I murmured the silent prayer that I had been skillfully taught. Only, it was good for three times before death. This was my third time. I expected to die, which I wasn't very afraid of. How could death be so bad when I could spend it with Joel?

The wind picked up and that was my cue to move back. Actually, I landed on my butt right beside the bench. How wonderful. I prepared myself for what was going to happen next by digging my nails into the heels of my hands and biting down on my lip a little too hard. A great clap rung through the crisp air and there was a shudder in the earth. Some people might have mistaken it as an earthquake. Behind the gray stone, a little light shone, only about as wide as a pinprick. I waited and held my breath. It widened and he came forward to greet me. Instead of a ghost, Joel came through full-bodied and whole. He was just as gorgeous as the day he left me and the last time I had seen him. There were a few exceptions to him now, though, but trust me I wasn't bothered by the changes.

We had always been the exact same height, five foot five, and that hadn't changed. Though you'd think I would have grown since then. He was thin and very petite for a guy, it never bothered me. My eyes took in his still black hair clinging to his face, only now with white steaks in some places. That was new, but also very welcome. Hugely innocent light blue eyes found me and his smile reminded me once again just how much of an angel he was. Even though he was buried in a suit, that wasn't what he was wearing now. Along with dark blue skinny jeans, he wore his favorite band tee. It was perfect for him in every way. Maybe you could pick out your own clothes in heaven.

Without really thinking, I sprang up and sort of pounced on him. His laugh was musical as he caught me in his arms. "Nyx!" he squealed in my ear before twirling me around, "I missed you so much!"

For some stupid reason, we both started laughing together and couldn't seem to stop. Until he set me down on the bench and I laid my head on his chest. "This is the final time," he noted and I nodded my head. "I just couldn't move on, I love you too much." Joel moved both of his hands so they covered my face; did his black fingerless gloves just appear there?

"I know, but how many times-"

"Don't you even start! Let's have this be a good visit instead of a fighting one. Okay?" I sat back up and gazed into his eyes.

They were somewhat far away, looking past me. Then his vision refocused and he smiled at me. "You know, I have a surprise for you!" he giggled. That was normal, Joel always giggled. He was hyper like that, not even death could change him too much. Maybe death wasn't so bad, I think I would enjoy it when my time came. However soon that might be.

"Well? Tell me!" I pleaded and pushed out my lower lip. He never could ignore my puppy dog pout.

At first, he seemed hesitant but I was patient. For once, at least. Slowly rising to his feet, a gentle smile graced his face. "You'll like this I think," he murmured and then showed me his surprise. I gasped in awe when he unfolded jet black wings; they stretched far out and he waved them a bit. The only thing that I could think to say was, "Wow," and I was quiet, just inspecting them from afar.

"I know you won't hurt me, well, I don't even know if you can..." he trailed off and then just shrugged, "Do you want to touch them?"

Was he kidding? Was this real? Or was I just really out of it in some mental hospital? Carefully picking my way closer to him, I stopped right in front of Joel. I reached my hand out and brushed one of the feathers. That caused him to chuckle and he motioned for me with his hand to come closer. Both of my hands came up to cradle the tip of his right wing and I saw that it wasn't just black. Like his hair, there were some faint white lines going through. Only instead of looking gray, it actually kept separate. "Your touch feels amazing," his grin was bright.

"When did you get these?" I was a little breathless.

Joel thought for a second before pulling me into his arms again but this time his wings circled around me, too. "I got them on e-bay! No...maybe yesterday, maybe last month. I have no clue, you kind of lose track of time up there," he kissed my nose, "But this isn't the only good news."

There was more good news? And he called it good news? Then it had to be wonderful for me. "Oh my god, you have to tell me!"

"Of course, because it involves you!"

"Wait, I'm going to die?" I guessed and instantly became stiff.

His laugh was light, "No! Geez, someone's morbid today! No, no, no! You're not going to die for a while," he told me and brushed a tendril of hair from my face.

Since I couldn't help it, I raised my eyebrows and waited. "I'm you guardian angel," he breathed and gave a cocky smile. My squeal probably was heard all they way in Japan! This was amazing and I hugged him tighter. "Are you serious?" I couldn't seem to let go of him. If this was true, would I get to see him everyday?

"Why would I kid you?" Joel kissed my lips lightly and moved away. Which was kind of hard seeing that I was still hooked onto him. So, he unclasped my hands from his shirt and leaned in to kiss me once more, "Calm down. Let me tell you what you guardian angel will do for you!" he sounded like some sort of talk show host. It was very comical. "You'll be able to see me, but no one else will. The only way you can talk to me is through your mind, but that's only if you make a conscious effort to do so. So like if you're thinking regularly, I won't be able to hear it. I'll be there to guide you and I'll be with you for a while until you don't need me anymore. Plus, if I don't do a good job, I get reassigned to hell. So I'll be a hell angel!" he didn't sound angry at the hellish part, actually it sounded like he wanted to try it for a while. That scared me.

"As far as I'm concerned, you won't be going to hell anytime soon!" I bounded back over and embraced him again.

His giggle was carefree, "Do you understand everything I told you?" Joel's voice turned serious, "Do you accept me as your angel?"

"Was there anytime in the history of my life that I didn't accept you as my angel?" my tone was just as serious as his.

"Ha ha ha! I told them so! They didn't believe me, I always had faith in you," he whispered and we kissed.

I cuddled into his arms, although he wasn't warm or cold I still wanted to be close to him. It's like he had absolutely no temperature at all; he was just there. Was that a problem? Hell no!

Joel shifted me over a bit and glanced at me, "Want to go for a ride?"

"You mean like in the air?"

"No, on an airplane," he sighed then became giddy, "Of course in the air, silly! Come on!" he had gotten a lot stronger since he died, more muscles. Lifting me up bridal style, he waved his wings for a few seconds before taking off. I threw my arms around his neck, just to make sure I didn't fall. As we got higher and higher, then ground became smaller. It was breathtaking, I never thought I'd fly like this. His face showed no sign of constraint or fear as we rose in the sky; the sun bathed us in it's dusky glory. It was wonderful, if this was what death felt like, I'd love to die right now. I thought better of telling him that. Joel was quick, his wings caused us to rush through the air. My face was numb, but I'm positive a smile was frozen on it. I sneaked a peek up at him and saw his pale eyes looking down at me with a tender expression. Were the tears in my eyes from the wind or just happiness?

"You look beautiful right now," he murmured and sped up at little more before landing back in the clearing. Geez, that was fast. It was less than five minutes and we were back. I wondered how long it would take him to fly over the ocean or something. Who said I needed to travel by plane, now? All you need is your own guardian angel and you're well off on your way! "We need to do that more often," I nuzzled my nose against his and gave him butterfly kisses, "I love you, you know."

"Nyx, I love you more than you can even imagine," he had yet to set me down but now there was no need. Just kind of standing there, we kissed again; how much I missed just being able to do just that.

"Mmm..." I couldn't form a suitable sentence because he had sat down and started kissing my neck, "When do you start?"

"I already did and you're lucky you're my only charge," Joel placed another soft kiss below my ear. The whole world was spinning...it was quite a sight. "Are you alright?" he moved his face in front of mine so our noses were just slightly touching.

Smiling, I said the only thing that I could form in my mind, "Uh-huh," and thrust my lips forward to kiss him. That never got old.