no angel

May 19 2015

“I never wished for this,” said Jane.

“None of us do,” said the nurse, John, who had been kind in taking care of her sister, who was sleeping.

“That’s not what I mean,” explained Jane, “You’re supposed to be careful what you wish for, but I never wished for this, ever. Not once ever.” It was true; she had never wished her sister would die, not even a little bit.

“I don’t think it works like that,” said John.

“Then nothing makes sense,” she said.

He thought for a moment, following her understandings. “Maybe someone else wished it,” he said. Then he realised he’d said the wrong thing. “Go home and get some rest,” he said, and left the room, closing the door softly behind him.

She looked at her sister, who was dying. Jane could hardly recognise her sister, because she was so weakened by her illness. She could always recognise her eyes, because they were unmistakable. They were a deep sapphire blue, but they were closed now, so she was almost unrecognisable. But when they opened, it wouldn’t be better, because there would be pain in them.

When Jane looked up there was a strange man standing in the window, and she knew straight away he was an angel. He was wearing a white gown, like the hospital gown that her sister was wearing, but beautiful instead of ugly. “You’re an angel,” she said.

“No,” he said, “I’m no angel,” and he smiled. Jane didn’t believe him. “I don’t believe you at all,” she said, “Anyone can tell you’re an angel.” She thought he was the most handsome man she had ever seen.

“Well, that doesn’t matter,” he said, “There’s been a problem. We overheard what you said and checked the wish register. The numbers weren’t adding up, so I’m here to refund your wish. Normally we would just wait for you to come up with something on your own, but the circumstances are kind of unusual.”

Jane didn’t believe him. “What’s unusual about it?” she asked.

He looked a little bit uncomfortable. “We’re not sure you know how to wish. Maybe you were born not knowing how. We can’t explain it. But just try to think of something you really want, more than anything else in the world, and tell me what it is.”

Jane looked at her sister. “Wouldn’t it be good if everything would stay just the way it is now, and never change? And I could just stay here forever. Except only if her pain would go away,” she said.

“That’s very naughty,” said the man, “But I like it.” He pulled his gown over his head and draped it over Jane’s sister, where it first seemed to slip through the covers and to rest on her body as though she were wearing it, and then melted out of visibility.

Jane was shocked by the realisation that he had been naked underneath the gown, and didn’t know where to look. “I told you I’m no angel,” he said, and winked at her.

She could not remember what she had been thinking of, but she noticed that the sky had begun to brighten, and she stood and walked to the window. Outside on the hospital lawn, small honey coloured rabbits hopped and grazed and socialised. “Aren’t they just cute as little buttons,” her sister said. Jane turned and looked at her, and she looked better. There was a glow within her, and her face was comfortable and easy. Jane sat down and they began to talk in the light of the dawn, as the birds said hello to the new day, and neither of them noticed that the time no longer passed.

2 responses so far

  1. Touching and a bit eerie at the same time. Very beautiful writing.

  2. thank you very much. that is so kind of you.

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