She lies there on an old, ragged couch, in a smoke-filled room. Angry music plays from a cheap stereo, and empty bottles litter the floor. Her friends are all too consumed in their drug-induced state to notice the dying girl on the couch, but I do. The needle lies a few inches away from her, but the rubber cord is still tied around her arm. Her face is gaunt and her blood shot eyes hold unshed tears, but a quiet beauty is still present in her face. Her body looks broken from the position in which she lays, her left hand is reaching out for a savior. As much as I have tried to protect this child, any divine intervention at this point is just too late. The heroin is in her system, drowning out all the pain she ever felt, and all the life she had yet to live. I watch as the last bit of light left in her hazel eyes vanish, unseen to everyone in the slum. She was mine to watch over, and I had failed. I had known all of the struggles she had endured; I watched as her father stole into her room late at night and took away her innocence, and I watched her own mother shun her out of jealousy and hate because of it. It was I who listened to her plead with God each night, who heard her pray for change. Though God answers prayers, he just doesn’t always say yes, and sometimes that silence is the final word to the lost and lonely in this world. After a while, she just stopped praying, and the track marks in her right arm map out the path she chose instead. I curse myself for failing her. I curse her for taking a road that I could only follow her down for so long. What is the point of being a Guardian Angel if I can’t intervene when no one else will? When I can’t love her as no one else did? I had tried to show her the life she would have, that it was her destiny to overcome the evils of her youth, but she found her answers in the demons of addiction, and I could do nothing about it. As I watch her eyes close, I curse the God I serve. How could He let such a beautiful creature with so much potential burnout like a dying fire? With Annemarie’s last breath, I hang my head to cry, only to remember that Angels cannot cry.
April 22, 2010