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Stable Ground 13
“You’re scared,” he guessed, probably by my reaction to his silence.
“You’re not real.” I offered back. He shook his head at me.
“I am real. More real than any of my kind are supposed to be. Nobody knows about us for sure, though, so we’re called a myth,”
My first thought to his last sentence was: A: vampire. Or. B: ogre. Neither of these are what I guessed, though.
“Are you a ghost?” I picked my leg up off the bed and let it drop with a small bounce on the mattress.
“Anything?” he asked about my leg. I shrugged, still waiting for an answer. “No I am not a ghost,” he promised.
“But you’re not… alive, either are you?” Jonathan closed his eyes very tightly and kept silent. I waited.
“I used to be.”
“Oh, god,” I whispered. The only option left was vampire. Damn mythical creatures. “What exactly are you, then? Please don’t lie to me, Jonathan,” I begged. Why is it that the only boy I ever like happens to be dead? Jonathan rubbed his face aggressively and sighed in frustration.
“Sam,” he looked back at me sternly, his intense eyes making me want to sink into a wall. He must have noticed my face, because his expression softened and he smiled lightly before looking straight ahead. “I did lie to you,” he admitted. “I didn’t come from England,” his accent that I hadn’t noticed in while lightened considerably and my mouth opened slightly. “I’m not British in any way,” the accent was gone completely, replaced by a warm voice that I wouldn’t have guessed to be his, having heard the other accent. “I’m from Pennsylvania.” My mouth dropped completely. I wondered wildly what else he had lied about. The part of me that should have been furious with him was overtaken by my gratefulness that the accent was fake. “My dad did die in the war and my mom was a nurse. The thing is that I died after them. In 1943,”
Not sure how I felt about this, I kept silent. A seventeen year old boy that died in 1943, alive by the way, sitting nest to me and telling me he’s dead. Maybe I finally was going into shock.
“So you are a ghost?” I ventured.
“No,” he corrected, finally looking at me. “I’m your guardian angel,”
Guardian Angel. His voice repeated seven more times in my mind before I realized what had actually been said. Everything had fallen into place right then and there. Angel. Angel. He was my Angel. He was telling the truth, too. I knew it. The familiarity that had been pounding my head hit me with a blow. Angel. He was my Angel. The Angel who I had seen in my dream, the one that was holding my young self so I didn’t get hurt. He was the figure I had seen on the roof, the one who told me not to jump. The boy who was set to protect me and save me from danger. The one who had told me he needed me to help him. He was my Angel. He was the boy sitting beside me.
“So you’re not real?” The disappointment in my voice was obvious, considering I wasn’t able to even attempt to hide it. The silence that followed was, I assumed, his surprise of me believing him, or whatever it was I was doing. Finally, he answered the question I felt I had been asking for hours.
“Yes, Sam. I am absolutely real. I am absolutely here.” he said. I didn’t speak and he sensed my hesitation. “You know, everything’s real, Sam. In one way or another, everything is real. Whether something’s real because you believe it or something’s real because you want it to be real. Everything’s real in some way. I’m real because I’m needed. I’m here because I need you.” He stopped and looked at me. I looked at him curiously. Not curiously because of the words he spoke, because all the words made sense, if only to me. Curiosity, because he said he needed me. Me. Why would he need me? If anything, I needed him in more ways than one. “Something very bad is going to happen, Sam,” he went on, “Something that will ruin my world and yours, though your people will blame it on something else,” I wanted to laugh at the way he was talking, like an alien, using “my world” and “your people”. I didn’t laugh, because this “very bad thing” apparently scared him; he kept a straight face, no smile, no emotion. Finally and very delayed, my brain processed what he was. I reached out a hand and touched his face. It was very warm and very real.
“I can touch you, now,” I noted. Jonathan looked at me quizzically as I removed my hand.
“What do you mean?”
“I couldn’t touch you before. Now you’re solid.”
“Before?” Jonathan acted as if he didn’t know I had seen him before.
“In my dream and on the roof. I couldn’t touch you. You weren’t solid,” Jonathan gaped at me. “Sorry. Was I not supposed to know that?” Jonathan shook his head at me and stared.
“You remember me?” he asked. I nodded. “And you believe me?”
“Yes. Because it’s true, isn’t it? You are my Angel. I knew you were familiar,” I declared. Jonathan was now acting more the way I should have been. Almost as if I were the one telling him that I was an Angel. “You are telling the truth.” I stated. He nodded. I nodded, too, not thinking of anything else to say. “What are you talking about, this ‘very bad thing’?” I asked, remembering his earlier words. Jonathan looked at me sympathetically.
“When you start asking questions, I’ll tell you. You will just get discouraged if I try to explain now,” he said. I nodded. Suddenly I realized how many questions I really did have for him. They flew through my brain so fast that one ran into another, making everything seem like one question when it was only about five million little ones. All at once, it was too much for my brain to handle, and I felt like it was going to burst.
“Can I start asking questions now?” I asked, looking into his deep eyes.
“Considering that was a question, yes, you may,” he allowed. I sighed and began bombarding him with questions that belonged in a Sci-Fi movie.