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Rubies and sapphires, emeralds and pearls,
All the elves laugh as they twist and turn
Water and fire, earth and air,
The mermaids laugh gaily as they twist their hair
All the children laugh as they frolic and play
An angel has earned their wings today
But I myself am young and small
I’m sad to say I have no wings at all
I sang my song as I looked down at the gentle baby. It had been a long time since I had sang this little twiddle, but then again it had been a long time since I had gotten an assignment. I was supposed to watch over this child, this little baby girl, until she grew up not to need a guardian angel anymore. I was in for the time of my life because I was eternally sixteen and still didn’t have my wings.
A random angel does not earn their wings every time a bell rings. That would only put heaven in an uproar for all the good and deserving angels who had to stare at an angel close to joining Satan with a pair of beautiful, bright, golden wings. I thought I was a deserving angel, but apparently not since I was still a “bareback”, the term so lovingly used towards us angels with no wings. An angel had to protect a child until the angel was no longer needed. The problem was I was always discovered or something happened to the child that I got before I could earn my wings. The closest one ever was a boy named Christopher. He was so close to being able to be alone….and then that freak hurricane hit and completely wiped him out. Heaven was so devastated that it had happened, and Saint Paul was never the same around me again. Now I had this child, and if I didn’t make this happen, I was sure to never get my wings and be considered a demon.
This baby interested me more than ever. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen, even prettier than some of the angel babies. Her skin was as smooth as pearls, her hair was blonde wisp of clouds, and her eyes were as blue as the sea. Indeed she was a pretty baby, and pretty babies always grew up to be a ton of trouble. I definitely had my work cut out for me……
You see, right before I died, this was the girl I was going to hit. I was driving sort of recklessly, and I wasn’t paying attention, and we both got ran off the road. Unfortunately, luck didn’t favor on me like it did her. She had gotten to continue life, and I had to sit in heaven. There was so much I had wanted to do, but because of her living, I wasn’t able to. I was sad in heaven, a thing unheard of, but then Satan told me of a way I could live. If, when the time was right, I became earthly and killed her instead of me, I would switch with her, and she would go to heaven to be miserable, and I could roam earth free as a bird. Of course, I could probably forget about heaven again, but when you can go back to earth again from all the eternal happiness, what would you think I would do? So I plotted, and I got ready and watched her like a hawk for just the right moment. Either I would help her and get my wings, or I would kill her and become alive again.
The girl grew up to be even more beautiful than ever. Her hair grew long and curly like the mermaids in my twiddle, her body grew tall and stately like a laurel tree, and her eyes grew even lovelier. I was extremely pleased and displeased. She was pretty, so no low self esteem, but the fact that she was pretty might give her too big a head. I wished I had known this when I was still alive and young like she was. I had been dead for three years, and the reason I died was from getting to big a head and that stupid car crash to get to a fashion show. I just hoped she wouldn’t end up like me……..
The girl was about four when she got in her first dilemma. She was about to start preschool, and she had looked at herself in the mirror for the first time and, just as I feared, discovered she was pretty. As she pranced into the class with her head up high, and all the parents ohhing and ahhing at her, I was just sure I was going to have to save her from vanity. But to my surprise, she said thank you to all the people who called her pretty and even curtsied when her teacher said that she was so cute. Man. Her parents had raised her to have a kind heart and look past the mirror. I was not going to get my wings from vanity, it seemed. I started plotting just which angle to hit her at.
The girl continued to grow up and got in another dilemma when she was ten. She was having a hard time making friends on account that everyone was jealous that she was so pretty. I was sure that I was going to have to get her some friends by showing her by some miracle that she could make a friend. But to my surprise (again) and utter dismay, she had learned from her sisters and brothers how to push past jealously and cruelty in other people and touch something in their heart. By the end of the school year she was the most popular girl in her grade, and she didn’t need help once. I growled as I watched her smiling and laughing, surrounded by many people, while I was watching over her and able to do absolutely nothing. I could have sworn through that whole year that I heard Satan and a few demons snicker at me from below, and I felt myself growing exceedingly angry at this girl. Why did she not have the same problems I had had to deal with? I kept my tongue and continued to watch over her, really, REALLY, eager to help. Didn’t she know that I was going to take her life if I didn’t?
The girl become so lovely at age sixteen that I thought she was an angel stuck on earth. She was superb in everything she did, and she was starting to get really deep into her relationship with God. I was starting to get really annoyed that she had not needed my assistance in anything yet. Then she ran into another dilemma: she got her first boyfriend. I just knew it was all downhill from here, for I had had plenty of trouble with boys. But as usual, she excelled, setting boundaries very early and keeping the relationship as pure as snow. I felt jealously coursing through my body, a feeling an angel should not feel. I was convinced that I was a demon, and just as I was about to join Satan, God’s voice rang down to me.
“My child, are you really this weak to just give up now?” God called I hung my head in shame.
“She doesn’t need me, God,” I said mournfully, “Why am I here anyway?” God sighed, and I felt his warm embrace.
“Fagin, you are a lovely angel,” God said, “You have a kind heart, and I think you could really well if you would just get past one thing.” I looked up.
“What?” I asked earnestly.
“Your past and desire to be human again,” God answered, “You cling to your human life too much. You need to let go, and I think this will help you. Good luck.”
“Wait!” I cried after him, but it was too late. I looked back at the girl again and gasped. She was in her car driving along the highway when a car came straight at her. I identified the driver and gasped again: it was me. I remembered that I had died in the crash, and the other person had walked away free to live. This is what I had been planning for, just for a time like this.
“You have another chance to live,” Satan whispered in my ear, “But the girl has to die in your place. Hit her now. You know you want to. Isn’t that what you’ve been doing while you’ve been watching her?” I turned around but he was gone. I felt my heavenly body disappear, and I was back in the car. I quickly thought of how to kill her quickly so I could go back to living again. I grinned as I shifted the gear to just the angle to kill her quickly and instantly. Then I remembered what God said, and I saw how happy she was, and I knew I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I quickly swerved out the way and screamed as I ran off the road and landed in a river. I tried to get out the car but water was flooding in too fast. I prayed a silent prayer as the water closed in over me.
“You’re safe to live, little girl,” I said as I looked up to the sky, “I am not so lucky. Live your life well; I sure wish I had.”
I woke up floating up once again to the familiar whiteness of heaven. I felt myself back in my heavenly body, so I knew I was dead. God smiled as I came to the pearly gates.
“You chose well,” God said as he held up a pair of wings. I gasped and clapped my hands. I never knew when this day was coming. I slowly walked up to God and smiled as he attached the wings to my back with a single touch.
“I’m no longer a bareback,” I said breathlessly. God laughed and showed me a vision of the past. I saw the outline of small wings; they were golden and large, but I was too foolish to see them.
“You never were a bareback,” God said, “I just opened your eyes so you could see what I see in you. I smiled and gave God a big hug.
“You make a great father,” I said as I let go.
“You make a better guardian angel than human anyway,” God said as he pointed down to earth. The girl was pulling my body out the car and crying as she realized I was dead.
“Oh, so now she wants some help?” I said jokingly. God gave me a shove, and I flew with my wings instead of falling for the first time. Then again, maybe it was my heart that was flying, not the wings.