By: J.J. Cheesman
All that I ever was, and all that I ever became or will become, is thanks to Angela. Sweet Angela. The woman who, at one time long since passed was just a girl who came to me. Angela came to me, who at one time, was just a child.
I was crying. There were older boys, much bigger than me. The boys wanted something, a plastic green top that I had brought to school that day as I recall. I was much too small to stop them. They hurt me, minor childish hazing, really. But it was enough for them to take what they wanted. I was so upset I ran into the bathroom and locked myself in a stall. I cried and I cried and I cried. As silly as that top was, to a child with no friends it was everything. But then for a moment my crying was stayed by a knocking on the bathroom door.
When I calmed myself down enough to open it, there stood Angela, and in her hand was that stupid green top. I thanked her with my hesitation at full throttle, but her warm beautiful smile whisked all trepidation away. I told her my name.
She told me her name.
Angela. My god. Angela, from then on would be the very one I wished to not part from that day forward. In a sense I suppose my wish came true.
Time went on, I grew older, as did she. We were about ten years of age I believe, when Valentine’s Day arrived and I was very nervous. My family was very poor, and so while all of the other children brought candy and Valentine’s Day cards to share, I brought nothing store bought and certainly nothing for anyone else. I did bring one gift, one I made myself. Just small piece of folded paper, in which I drew in crayon my best depiction of an angel, who I of course named Angela. Then below the angel were the words, MY SAVIOR. I gave this gift to sweet Angela, afraid of what she would tell me.
“It’s beautiful.” She said, and gave me the biggest hug I had ever gotten.
Angela was my first and only girlfriend. She also became my first and only wife. When I was eighteen, I proposed. I was a little more adept at drawing by then. My proposal came in the form of a painting, Angela once again the main focus as the beautiful angel she was. Her wings wrapped me in a tight embrace, the light she emitted chasing away the darkness around me. The darkness in the form of many bullies. Bullies in the form of many demons, who threatened to take away all that I held dear. Words at the bottom of the painting this time read, WILL YOU BE MY SAVIOR?
After than memory, things get hazy. I made good money with my artwork. Angela was doing well in law school. But then something went wrong….
Leukemia. The word comes to me now, though for some reason the meaning of the word escapes me…
I remember a deep sadness. I remember white walls and bags on polls. I remember long nights with loud beeps. God why is my memory fading so?
I stand, looking at the sleeping form of my Angela now. She looks so peaceful in our bed. For some reason though, I can see myself lying there next to her. Is this a dream? Why does it seem like I’ve been here for so god damned long?
Angela… she lies there with her eyes open, glossy and perfectly still. Why is she sleeping with her eyes open?
Leukemia… I remember now. I remember how she fought so hard, and I remember how tired she became of fighting. I hated seeing her in so much pain. I promised we would go together, she took the first handful of pills, I took the next. I remember that now.
But where then, if I can now look upon the physical forms of my Savior and I, has her soul gone? Why am I alone here in this awful house of false saviors and broken dreams? Is there a hell? Is there a heaven? And if there is a heaven did my broken savior make it there?
Angela… my Angela… I’m so sorry. I don’t know how long I’ve been here, as my memory comes and goes while time marches on. But I do know that I lost faith in you. You became broken, and I no longer saw you as my angel. I saw you as a burden, a ruined reminder of things that were once great. I gave you a way out, and you thought me a hero for it. But I should have held on, encouraged you to be strong while I stood by your side. But I didn’t. When you needed ME to save YOU, I took the fucking cowards way out. Maybe that’s why your soul is gone, and I am forced to stand here unmoving.
I am forced to watch the ruin I created, the broken, horrible and ugly catastrophe that I could have stopped. If only I would have been as strong as you.
I wonder, what will happen when our bodies are discovered? Will I be forced to lay with you in your coffin? Or have they already found us, and this is just a mockery of our death that I am forced to bear witness to for all eternity? I don’t know. But I do know this Sweet Angela, I don’t deserve you as my angel, and I never did.