Again, No I don't know any of these guys!
The fountain looked wonderful, with the angels and a lake in the back ground. Walking through Centre Park, the men were soaking up the late afternoon sunshine. When they reached the fountain, all four just stood there, staring at the sculptures. Seb looked to his left and then his right. Carlos and Urs were now also looking to the left and right, seeing what David was doing. Without saying anything, they all turned around, took a coin from their pocket, closed their eyes and threw the coin back into the fountain.
Laughing because of the strange moment they just shared, they walked on through the park and out where the car was waiting to take them back to the hotel.
Management had rent them rooms at the top of the hotel, giving a wonderful view over Central Park.
‘Let’s meet in my room and we’ll decide on a restaurant then, ok?’ Urs suggested.
Each went to their own room to freshen up.
Carlos was looking in the mirror and suddenly noticed a shadow behind him. But when he turned, there was no one.
He walked out of his room, nearly bumping into David.
‘Did you just come into my room?’ Carlos asked.
‘No, why?’ David was confused.
‘Never mind.’ Carlos shook of the strange feeling he was having.
Seb was already in Urs’ room. After a short discussion, they decided on the restaurant and made a reservation.
Before leaving, David used Urs’ bathroom. He was just washing his hands when he had a feeling he was being watched. But when he turned around, no one else was there.
Walking out he had a puzzled look on this face.
‘What’s the matter?’ Seb asked.
‘Were any of you in the bathroom just now?’
‘I don’t think so.’ Seb looked at David as if to ask whether he was really serious asking such a question.
‘Just leave it.’
They made their way to the restaurant, enjoying a nice meal together. It was getting late and when they paid the bill, Seb suddenly had the feeling he was being watched. That would not have been odd was it not for the fact Carlos had kept them up so late, it was already getting quiet. None of the other patrons in the restaurant were paying any attention to them.
‘What’s the matter?’ Urs asked when Seb kept looking around.
‘Are we being watched?’
‘More than other times?’ Urs asked.
‘I don’t know. Like someone was there one moment and then not any more.’
Seb shrugged it of.
They left the restaurant and walked to their car.
As Urs was about to open the door, he felt as if someone was looking at him. He turned around but there was no one other than his friends.
‘Don’t tell me: you just had a feeling as if you were being watched.’ David said.
‘We’ve all had it tonight. We must be more tired than we thought.’ Carlos confirmed.
They got into the car and drove back to the hotel. Meeting again in Urs’ bedroom for a nightcap, they were just talking away. Carlos was comfortable on the large settee, Seb in the smaller one, Urs on his bed and David was pouring himself a drink. But when he turned to the others, there was the shadow again. Seb, Carlos and Urs were staring at it as well.
It was not quite a person, light bouncing off its shiny surface, head tilted a little while it looked at each of them one at a time.
Urs signalled David to stay quiet.
It smiled at them, reassuring nothing was wrong.
‘Hello.’ It finally said.
‘Hello,’ David answered, getting a little closer.
‘David.’ It said.
And then it pointed to each in turn
‘Sebastien, Urs and Carlos.’
How did this . . . ok, let’s call it person . . . know their names and get into Urs’ room without them noticing it before?
‘I just am and now I’m here.’ It answered an unspoken question.
‘What do you want?’ Carlos asked.
‘I have come to grant you your wish.’ It said.
‘Whose whish?’ Seb asked.
‘Earlier today, at the fountain, you all wished the same wish: to be an angel for a day.’
That startled the men. It had been the wish they had all made but they had not disclosed it to anyone. So how did this person know?
‘I’m your angel. I am with you all the time. You have seen me and yet, you have not. But I’m there.’
‘Angel.’ Urs said unbelieving.
‘You are my hardest, sweet Urs. Always doubting what you have seen.’
‘Yes, but an angel.’ He was still not convinced.
‘Are you ready?’ it asked.
‘Ready for what?’ David asked.
‘To be an angel for a day.’ It simply stated.
A bright light emerged from the angel and slowly David sank down on the floor, Urs laid himself on the bed, Carlos settled on the settee and Seb closed his eyes and slumped in the seat.
The angel looked around happy with its work.
Then it walked to David, knelled down and took his hand.
David opened his eyes at the touch of someone and there was the angel. But he was no longer in Urs’ bedroom. In stead he was standing in the corner of a darkened room. Someone was sitting behind a computer, typing away.
David looked around and asked:
‘As soon as I let go of your hand, you will be here. This is Cassie. She needs an angel.’
David wanted to ask more but the angel let go of his hand and he was alone.
‘Cassie, time to get ready. You don’t want to be late at the dinner.’ A voice called from down the stairs.
‘Yeah, Mum. I’ll go to that dinner as soon as David arrives.’ Cassie shouted down.
The door was opened and a woman walked in.
‘Sweetheart, you need to go. You know they want to give you an award. Dad and I are going as well.’
But Cassie just shook her head.
‘Mum, no one really wants to see me.’
Cassie’s Mum tried to lift her daughters face but as so often in the last year, she pushed her hand away, hiding her face behind her long hair.
‘Anyway, I’m chatting with some kids who need the support now. I can’t go.’
And she turned back to the computer, ignoring her mother, not seeing the pain on her mothers face.
Quietly the door was closed while Cassie typed away.
David had observed the scene, not really sure what he needed to do.
‘Mum is at it again, David.’ Cassie suddenly said.
David looked around. Had she seen him? Did she know he was there?
‘But you know I can’t go out any more.’
‘Why can’t you go out?’ He asked.
Cassie did not seem surprised to hear a voice. She kept staring at her screen.
‘Cassie, you have just crossed the line. You can actually hear David here in your room.’
And then David understood. She had been talking to herself, to him.
He walked to her and gently laid his hand on her shoulder.
‘I can even feel you sometimes. Isn’t that sad? How I wish I could go out to actually see you perform live.’
‘Why don’t you?’ He tried again.
This time she did turn around to face him.
‘Hello.’ David said.
For a moment Cassie was speechless.
‘I was told you need an angel so here I am.’
Cassie just stared at him.
‘So why do you sit in this dark?’ David asked and walked to the windows to open the curtains and let in the light.
‘No, please, don’t.’ Cassie pleaded.
She hadn’t moved. David walked to her and knelled in front of her.
Gently he lifted her head and brushed the hair out of her face. She had a beautiful face, except for the scar that ran from her left eye to her mouth.
She tried to push away his hand like she had done with her mum. But David was not that easily swayed.
‘So what is the dinner you need to attend?’ David asked.
‘They want to give me some award for my work on the suicide prevention line over the last year. But I’m not going.’
‘What happened?’ David wanted to know.
Cassie didn’t really want to talk about it but she saw David would keep asking until she told him.
‘Last year, after a night out with my friends, we were robbed on the street. I resisted and the man used his knife on me. Scarred me for life. You should have seen how fast my friends ran, left me to die. Only your music kept me alive.’
‘And how long have you been working on this phone and chat line?’ He wasn’t going to leave it alone until he knew the full truth.
‘After I recovered and no one wanted to know me anymore, I really wanted to die. But again you sang to me and I lived. But it was a close call. I decided then that I wanted to help others who are in need of a listening ear.’
‘That is so beautiful’
‘Don’t tease me!’ she suddenly shouted, turning away from him, back to the darkness where no one would ever see her.
‘No, Cassie. I won’t let you. I know why I’m here now. I’m taking you to that dinner. And you are going to shine.’
‘And how am I going to explain that David from Il Divo is my date for the evening? You are just my imagination playing up.’
David shook his head.
‘People won’t notice me when they see you.’
‘You are serious, aren’t you?’
David just nodded his head.
Cassie sighed. Was she really going to give in to this figment of her imagination? David wasn’t really there. But something must have been pushing her because she actually moved towards the dress her mum had put out for her.
Slowly she changed. David was looking out the window, giving her some privacy. He had no idea where he was. He hoped he would remember this whenever all of this ended. He really wanted to make sure she got tickets to come and see them and even meet before the show.
‘Ready’ she finally said.
David turned around and found her wearing a beautiful blue dress. But she had left her hair hanging in front of her face. He walked over and pushed it back.
‘No.’ she simply said with pleading eyes. But David looked at her, beyond the scar, passed the outside and he smiled.
‘Yes. You are too beautiful to hide.’
He helped her put her hair up and then she was ready.
Her mum walked in unexpectedly and stopped immediately.
‘Cassie, you are ready!’ she said pleased.
‘Yes, thanks to David.’
Her mum knew she loved David from Il Divo and was pleased that her daughter had found a way to move forward. She had even put up her hair.
‘Wonderful. Let’s get going.’
When she walked down the stairs, her dad was so pleased to see her shining. No one really noticed the man standing behind her.
At the dinner, people immediately came to her, talked to her. They were so pleased to see her again. David was beside her all the time and she felt strong.
‘Why don’t they see you?’ She asked half way through the evening.
‘I’m your angel.’ He just smiled.
And then she was called to the stage for her award.
‘Come with me.’ She asked scared.
David got up from his chair and walked her to the stage.
He was so proud while she accepted her award.
And slowly he felt like he was pulled back from the scene, their angel standing next to him again.
‘That was great. Thanks.’ He whispered and closed his eyes.
Seb felt himself being lifted from the seat he was in. He opened his eyes and the angel was holding his hand but he was no longer in Urs’ room. In stead he was in a church. A choir was rehearsing.
He looked at the angel.
The angel pointed to a girl watching the choir from afar. He looked over to her. She was pretty. He turned back to the angel but found he was all alone. So he sat down and watched the scene for a while.
‘Cassandra, get us something to drink.’ The other girls in the choir shouted.
Cassandra got up and walked to the back of the church, into the vestibule. Seb followed her.
Leaning against the frame of the door, he watched Cassandra pour the glasses of water. She started singing with the choir music. She had a wonderful angelic voice. Seb enjoyed just listening to her. When the song finished he applauded.
‘Thank you very much, dear Sebastien.’ She turned and made a little bow.
‘You sing so lovely. Why are you not out there with the others?’ Seb asked.
‘You know they don’t want to know me. I’m from the wrong side of the street. We have discussed this before.’ She continued pouring the water.
Seb walked to her and helped her with the drinks.
‘But you are so much better than the ones out there.’
She turned to him, gently caressing his face.
‘You seem so real today.’ She just said.
‘Cassandra!’ the others were calling again.
‘I need to hurry. They are waiting.’
‘I’ll help.’ And Seb carried one of the trays out. Cassandra was puzzled a bit. He was only there in her imagination. How could he be helping her?
She walked out and joined him back in the church.
No one seemed to notice the man handing out glasses of water. Cassandra could not believe they did not see such a handsome man right in front of them.
Soon rehearsal was over and Cassandra was left to clear up the mess. Seb helped her and they were finished in no time.
‘Now, sing to me, here where the choir stands.’
‘I can’t do that.’ Cassandra laughed.
‘Will you sing if I sing?’ he asked.
That stopped her laughing. It was her biggest dream to be able to sing with Seb in this church.
‘Can we do Amazing Grace?’ she asked immediately.
He went to stand next to her and started the song. The acoustics in the church were wonderful. And when she joined him in song, his heart was lifting up. Slowly he faded out and only Cassandra was singing.
When the song finished, applause came from the back of the church.
Startled Cassandra looked out to see who was there. It was the choirs lead singer.
‘Cassandra, why have I never heard you sing like this before?’ he yelled through the church.
‘That was amazing!’
She blushed at the words of praise and quickly looked at Seb.
‘It’s because my angel is here to help me.’ She said quietly.
The man came to her not seeing Seb in the background.
‘Cassandra, you are our angel. That voice. I have not heard anything like it in ages.’
Cassandra didn’t know how to handle all this praise.
‘Told you. Now is your time!’ Seb whispered in her ear.
Cassandra smiled. The man just kept talking about her and the choir, holding her hand like she was the most precious in the world.
Slowly Seb seemed to be pulled back and the angel stood next to him.
‘She’s going to be great!’
‘She will now.’
And with her voice sounding through the church, Seb closed his eyes.
Why did that man keep shouting? Urs opened his eyes to see who it was and found himself in the middle of someone’s living room. The angel was holding his hand, trying to say something but he was distracted by the man shouting behind him. He turned around just as the man’s fist came down. But it did not hit him, but rather the woman standing next to him.
‘No, please don’t hit me again. I promise I’ll be good.’ She pleaded, going down on her knees.
‘You better woman. You know you are nothing without me.’ The man shouted again.
‘Clean yourself up and clean up this place. Don’t you ever do anything in this house. Why are you always a useless slob!’ he kept on shouting while walking out the door.
Urs was stunned. How could a man behave like that to a woman? She was still sitting on the floor, cradling her arm.
Urs sat down next to her.
‘What happened?’ he asked quietly not to startle her.
‘Sandra was a bad girl again. She had to be punished.’
Urs shook his head. Looking her over, this was not her first beating.
‘Come on, let me help you up.’
Gently he held her and she got up. He helped her sit down on the settee.
‘Thank you, my hero.’
Urs smiled. He didn’t much feel like a hero.
‘Let me take you to the hospital.’ Urs asked concerned.
‘My sweet man, only in my wildest dreams a man is so nice to me. You know I’m not worth loving.’
Urs was stunned. How could anyone think they were unworthy of love and care.
‘Sandra, you are worth loving, you are worth taking care of, you deserve so much more.’
Sandra looked up into his eyes and just shook her head.
‘All I ever wanted was a family of my own, a nice man and my own little business.’ She sounded so sad. All her dreams were chattered.
‘And how about your family. Can’t they help you?’ Urs asked.
Sandra’s eyes went moist at the thought of her family.
‘Mum died. And I ran off with Dave. He said he would take care of me. Now there is no way back. They don’t want to know me any more. I’m stuck.’
Urs shook his head.
‘No, you are not stuck. It is never too late. Let me take you to your family.’
Sandra looked him in his eyes. Why could she not find a man like Urs, such sweet gentle eyes, that smile.
Suddenly the door opened and Dave walked in again. He had obviously been drinking more.
‘Sitting down again!’ he shouted immediately.
Sandra jumped up. But Urs stood in front of her.
‘So this is your lover.’ Dave could obviously see Urs.
‘Dave, don’t please.’
Lifting his fists, he aimed at Urs.
‘NO, enough!’ Sandra shouted.
Dave startled. Never had she spoken to him like that. How dare she! He redirected his anger, never seeing the small table in front of him. Stumbling through the room, he fell down hard and did not move, the drink claiming him.
‘You are not going to stay here, are you?’ Urs asked her.
Lifting her head and feeling stronger for the first time in years, she shook her head.
‘No, I’m going to my sister.’
Urs helped her pack some things quickly, although there was not a lot to take. After looking once more through the apartment, she closed the door. The drive in her car was short. She had been living as close as possible to her family as she could.
Urs walked her to the front door. She hesitated.
‘What if she doesn’t want to see me?’
‘She will. Enjoy your live, Sandra and let no one ever tell you again you are not worth loving.’
He placed a soft kiss on her cheek and felt himself being pulled back.
The last thing he saw was the door being opened and a woman hugging Sandra, tears of joy running down her face.
‘You can open your eyes now’ the angel said. When Carlos did just that he was in a hospital. A girl, about 9 to 10 was lying in the bed, looking pale but with her eyes wide open, looking at him and smiling.
‘Hello,’ she said.
‘Hello, beautiful.’ Carlos said smiling.
He sat up a bit and so did the girl.
‘I’m Lina.’ She introduced herself.
‘I’m Carlos.’ Carlos said.
‘I know, silly.’ And she laughed. Carlos could not help but laugh as well.
‘So what do you want to do today?’
‘Can we go for a visit to my friend Jason? He had his first chemo today and I’m sure he is feeling sorry for himself.’
‘Sure. Let me get you a ride, my princess.’
Carlos got a wheelchair and helped Lina in her morning coat. Then they walked all over the hospital children’s ward.
Jason did feel sorry for himself. When they walked out of his room, Lina commented:
‘It’s only his first time so that why it’s ultra bad. He’ll get used to it.’ Carlos smiled.
She sounded so old and wise.
He wheeled her to another room where more children were recovering. They enjoyed the day together, visiting friends. Lina seemed to know everyone. But then she had spent most of her life here, getting one treatment after another. Carlos could not help admiring the little girl for her spirit and the compassion she was showing to the other kids.
By the end of the afternoon, they made it back to her room.
‘Do you always have this much energy?’ Carlos slumped down in the settee after helping Lina to bed again.
‘No, but today is special.’ She did not elaborate.
Carlos looked at her again.
‘Come sit with me?’ She asked.
Carlos sat down on her bed, held her in his arms and softly sang a lullaby until she was asleep.
He listened to her breathing softly. After a while she opened her eyes and whispered: ‘Thank you.’
She closed here eyes again and with a last breath she was gone.
‘Lina?’ Carlos asked worried.
But there was no response.
He jumped out of bed, ran to the door and called the nurse.
When he turned around again, Lina’s parents were sitting next to the bed, crying.
‘No, no, this is not how it is supposed to be.’ Carlos whispered.
‘Angel!’ he shouted.
The angel was already there and so were David, Seb and Urs. Carlos turned to the angel, tears running down his face.
‘Why?’ was all he could say.
‘It was Angelina’s wish to spend the last day of her live with you.’ The angel explained.
Carlos turned back to the bed. David and Seb were trying to comfort the parents. Urs put his arm around Carlos, trying to comfort his friend.
‘Time to go.’ The angel said.
And the four of them left the room, walking down the corridor.
Slowly the scene around them changed. They were no longer in the hospital but in a church, packed with people attending Angelina’s funeral. All four were wearing white suits. The angel led them to the front of the church.
David saw a familiar face in the crowd. It was Cassie. She noticed him and walked to him.
‘David. See that man sitting next to me? We met because you took me to the dinner. Thank you.’
‘How did you know Angelina?’ Carlos asked.
‘She always visited me when I was at the hospital. She was a wonderful girl.’
And after a last hug she went back to her seat.
At the front of the church, next to Angelina’s mother, Urs noticed Sandra. She was holding a baby but when she saw him, she got up.
‘My hero. You were right; my sister was so pleased to see me. I was lucky enough to get to know Angelina. And I met a wonderful man. We had a baby girl. I called her Ursula. Thank you for being there when I needed you.’
She kissed him on the cheek and returned to her sister’s side.
On stage, the choir was getting ready to sing. Seb looked up, straight into Cassandra’s eyes.
‘Please sing with us.’
‘It would be a pleasure.’
‘And thank you. I have travelled the world with the choir since you helped me.’
Everyone in church was moved by the song, as if angels were joining in.
And then the church was empty. The four men sat down.
‘I have a question.’ Urs said.
‘Time and space are relative, Urs. You each went back to a moment in the life of these people where you were needed most.’
‘Angel, David, Seb and Urs seem to have helped people,’ Carlos started.
‘Why did Angelina have to die?’ Carlos was still heartbroken, looking down at his hands.
‘Silly, because I wanted to become an angel.’ Angelina gently spoke.
Carlos looked up and smiled.
‘Thank you. That was the best last day of my life.’ And she gave him a big hug.
‘Got to go now. Jason needs some support.’ And she disappeared again.
Urs slowly opened his eyes. He was lying on his bed. He got up as David was getting up from the floor, Seb sat upright again and Carlos got up as well.
‘You have a bit of white in your hair.’ David pointed to his friends.
‘You too.’ Seb said.
‘Do you think we were really angels?’ Urs asked.
‘Yes, I do.’ Carlos said and the others joined in.
So, have you had a visit from your angel lately?