• Kelsey Garber

The Guardian's Fall II

If you missed Part I, find it here.

“I am a guardian.”

“Like a guardian angel?”

“Yes, though you coined that term. We did not. We consider ourselves simply guardians.”

“And,” she choked out, more moved by the second, “you’re my angel?”

I softened my stern facade for her sake. “Yes.”

She stumbled back and I caught her by the elbow in time to lower her into a chair. Once she gathered her thoughts again, she said with all the gratefulness she could muster, “You saved me.”

A warm bliss tingled through me as I bowed. “It is what I do.”

“What’s your name?”

I drew back, flummoxed by a realization. “I believe I do not have one.”

“You don’t have a name?”

“I have never had occasion to use one. I speak with no one.”

She pulled herself up from her seat with quivering legs. “You don’t talk to people? Ever? What do you do?”

Warmth flushed my cheeks and I only recognized the phenomenon as embarrassment because of the blush I witnessed on Hayley during her mishaps of life. “I watch you.”

The redness rushed to her face as I remembered it. “All you do is watch me? As in, you’ve seen everything? For how long?”

“Since your birth.”

Her hands clapped over her mouth. “So you’ve seen everything. You know everything I’ve ever done.”

A smile lifted my lips. “Yes.”

“Wow,” she gasped. “You must think I’m the biggest dingus of all time.”

Her callous insults stung and my joy vanished. “You are the most magnificent human on Earth, Hayley Bronson.”

Her lips shaped into an o, the only response she could manage when remarkably moved by praise. Finally, she whispered, “Is that why you chose me?”

“I did not choose. I was created for you.”

“So your opinion is a little biased then?”

Her flat humor charmed me. “Perhaps.”

“If you’ve been around this whole time,” she accused, “why am I just meeting you?”

Her inquiry ripped me back into the truth of my offense. “You are not meeting me. I am leaving.”

Her nose scrunched again with understanding. “You’re not supposed to be here, are you?”

“I was never here.”

“If you weren’t supposed to,” she interjected, “why did you come?”

Sorrow twinged in my stomach. “Because I am a weak guardian.”

She snorted at the hole in the ceiling. “Doesn’t seem like it to me.”

“Hayley,” I rebuked, “you must be cautious. Do not speak of this.”

She stopped me as I stalked away. “Will I see you again?”


Her thumbs twiddled bashfully. “But what if I want to?”

“I am always with you,” I assured her.

“So you get to see me and I don’t get to see you? How is that fair?”

“It is the way of the guardians.”

“You already broke these so called ‘guardian rules’ anyway. Why not give them even more of a middle finger and come visit me sometime?”

“That is not my place.”

“But I’m inviting you out of your place. If I’m welcoming it, how can anyone tell you no?”

“I cannot draw attention,” I begged her.

“Why not?”

“Because the guardians will notice my transgression, if they have not already.”

“All you did was have a chat with me.”

“I averted the end of your life.”

She fell gray as the truth slipped from my lips. “What?”

I stammered over an explanation, “You said yourself that I saved you.”

“From being hurt,” she mumbled in a daze. “But apparently you saved my life.”

“Keep your head low,” I urged her. “Do not talk about guardians, do not talk about dying. There are billions of humans and as long as we avoid making waves, no one will notice you are past deadline.”

“Will they kill me?” she whispered. “If they find out, will they set things right and kill me?”

“Hopefully not,” I consoled. “But perhaps.”

She nodded, coming back to composure. “And you’ll still be up there keeping an eye on me? Making sure nothing bad happens?”

I straightened my shoulders to instill her confidence in me. “I will protect you.”

She managed a meek smile before shuffling forward and encircling me in her arms, resting her head on my shoulder. “Thank you.”

My heart quickened and euphoria tickled my stomach. I never experienced such affection before and found myself lost in the glory of it. I mimicked her movements and embraced her, my wings instinctively encompassing us as well. I nestled my cheek into her hair and reveled in her comfort. I wished for the wonder to never cease. Yet it must.

I backed away with a smile blessing my face. “Be well, Hayley Bronson.”

Before her sweet gaze could hold me longer, I vaulted off the floor and soared back to the heavens to assume my post before my kind recognized my absence.

© 2020 by Kelsey Garber

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