A flutter of wings
My room is crowded with pulsing, quivering wings of angels. They surround my bed and look at me. Their eyes are glassy. But they smile serenely.
My mom kisses me goodnight on the forehead, like every night, since I can remember. The door is left ajar. Light from the hallway barely streams in. But my room glows with their soft light.
Murmuring among themselves they gently tell me not to be afraid. He loves me and they will be near. I can feel their hands pass over my head, like adults do when they are saying hello, but with a more reverent manner.
All night I can feel them, watching me sleep. It’s comforting. In the morning only one angel sits and waits. She smiles at me and tells me, she will shadow me all day. I shrug, “okay.”
Jeremy’s birthday party starts with food and games. Everybody brings towels and swimsuits. We play King of the Mountain, Marco polo, and more games I don’t know. Everybody jumps in the pool and starts to push.
The pool is really deep with a fake waterfall and tropical plants. I only learned how to swim last summer and I hang on the side of the pool most of the time. When everybody starts to play water polo the real pushing begins. Kids start jumping for the ball and crash on top of one another, laughing. The angel gazes at me from near the house.
In the middle of pool the ball comes right to me. Before I can jump up to return it, kids from all directions crash on top of me. The water is blurry and bodies move everywhere. I can’t catch my breath. I struggle to come up, but I am sinking. Bodies wiggle and swim away.
I watch my body fall to the bottom of the pool. I feel warm hands around me. The angel has come close and says it’s okay. I can’t remember how I got out of the pool. The water glitters and somebody starts to shout. All the kids get out of the pool. The waterfall makes it difficult to see. A shape lies on the bottom. Someone jumps in and pulls out my body, it’s grey.
The angel holds my hand. Another wipes at my tears. A circle has formed around the body and kids stare and babble like they don’t understand. But they do.
The pool sparkles. I start to shake all over. Suddenly, I am wrapped in light. An angel leans down and whispers we need to go. Golden eyelashes touch my cheek. A fluttering of wings enfold me. A crowd hovers just like last night. I try to see my mom. I can hear her voice. I can hear her crying. A beautiful face looks inside me, without words, I feel safe. An overwhelming love embraces me. I feel a buzzing in my head and it’s peaceful. I drift with the angels like clouds following music that is vaguely familiar.
Author’s Note: I wrote this in memory of a little boy I didn’t know. He saw angels the night before he died. I wanted his story to be remembered here.