Another month passed. Safrina and I were both back to our normal states, but Engeline had disappeared. In fact, since that colorful night with the river, I hadn’t seen her in my dreams again. She was the last Angel I saw. Was it because I wasn’t suffering anymore? There was no way of knowing, but Safrina still wasn’t mine. This hadn’t changed. In time, I’d stopped fantasizing about the day I knew would never come. I’d gotten used to being alone.
One day, I found Lex staring at himself in the restroom mirror. He was vain, so I didn’t find it unusual.
But when I took one more look at him, I saw that the look in his eyes was blank, vacant, as if he’d lost his newest Mercedes. No, cross that out. He looked as though there were no more pretty girls left on earth.
“Hey, dude,” I greeted not to warmly–but not coldly either. I glanced at him in the mirror.
He didn’t seem to notice me.
I lightly slapped his upper arm. “Dude.”
It was only then that he saw me. “Oh. Kaleb.”
“What’s wrong?” I checked myself in the mirror and softened my stare. There was no need to slice him open with glares. Yet.
“I got dumped.”
The news was so stunning I almost slipped on the floor. Lex, dumped? That was the shock of a lifetime!
As I continued to stare in shock, Lex went on. “We’ve been together since I broke up with Safrina…no, she caught my eye before Safrina caught me cheating. Getting her…wasn’t easy…oh, the apple of my eye! The goddess of my life! She…was the most exquisite thing on earth…she still is…she made me so happy…for once, my girlfriend was my best friend too…the longest I’ve dated…never meant to end it…but she…she ended it…it was such a miracle…”
Lex was a master of sweet words. He was a siren. He was the one that lured all the girls to himself, then tossed their broken hearts on the sidewalk shamelessly, as if it was the most natural thing to do. He used to say that girls were only Barbie dolls.
“What did she do?”
“In my life, there’s no one like her anywhere…what?”
Oh, good. He realized I was still there. I repeated my question. “Why did she leave?”
At that moment, Lex seemed to remember something. Abruptly, he turned to face me and grabbed my collar with both hands.
“She told me she’s been in love with you this whole time! And she only seduced me to break me like I broke Safrina! For you!”
I thought he would punch me. I was still mulling over who would do such a thing for me when Lex suddenly withdrew his hands from me. He whispered to himself, “No, no, she wouldn’t want that. She would hate me for hurting him.”
The world seemed to flip upside down when I felt how in love he was. Who was she? How did she do this?
As it didn’t seem likely that Lex would talk to me sanely, I dashed out of the restroom to Safrina.
“Whoa, Kaleb. Why the hurry?”
For once, I didn’t even care what she thought. Why was that? My conscience seemed to whisper an answer, but I couldn’t hear it.
“Tell me, Safrina, Lex’s girlfriend. The one you mentioned…”
“What about her? What happened to Lex?” So she still cared.
“What does she look like? Lex is in the restroom, you can’t go there.”
“She had long black hair and wise brown eyes…it doesn’t matter where he is, I’ll find him!”
Without further ado, we dashed off in opposite directions. I didn’t know where I was going. All I knew was I had to find her.
“If you don’t come to me, I’ll go to you,” she’d said when I couldn’t sleep.
“I live here,” she pointed at my heart.
“Kaleb, I love you.”
And the last night…”Protect and provide, even if it means sacrifice.”
If I remembered right, and Angel that left the void and entered real life would be punished. What was the punishment? I couldn’t recall.
My legs had carried me to a meadow near the school campus. It looked very much like the void Engeline created for me on that last night. I’d never noticed that here was one such place near the school.
There was the grass, there was the river, there was the rock…and on the rock, there was a wingless Engeline. She wasn’t smiling anymore.
“Engeline!” I called, taking notice of the river between us. “Come to me, please.” She could. I knew she could.
And she came. “So you know it was me,” she murmured, tears threatening to roll out. “You can be happy now…because Lex will treasure Safrina from now on. She’ll be the happiest girl alive.”
“Oh, you idiot…I always knew she would never be mine. I stopped daydreaming about it…”
She looked up at me. Her gaze broke every piece of me inside. Why did i have to realize it so late?
“You should be happy,” she said, sobbing. She placed a hand on my chest. “I’ll always be there, even after I’m gone.”
“I broke the Law. I’ll fade in the near future…but I don’t know when.”
I hesitated for a brief second, but I decided to abandon all rational thoughts and follow my heart. I held her tight, burying her head in my chest.
“Don’t go away from me, Engeline…not again! I’m an idiot…I realized the truth too late, but…I’ve missed you all this month! I couldn’t sleep without you entering my dreams…” I confessed.
I felt her trembling arms wrap around me. I was feeling her physically–it wasn’t the same, yet this was Engeline, and that was all that mattered.
“You know I love you…Kaleb. I’ve told you this almost every night.”
“But I thought you meant it as a friend, as an Angel…oh, I don’t care. I love you more now.”
“Kaleb…I’m so sorry to be the one to make you sad this time…” She kept crying. I held her tighter.
“Then don’t leave me alone! Engeline, I’ll be the man now. I’ll protect you from now on. You don’t have to be strong…”
“…you don’t either,” she said.
We both fell to our knees and wept in each other’s arms. I now realized that Safrina didn’t make me suffer. It was nothing compared to knowing Engeline could fade any moment. In the next three minutes, we confessed our love a million times, cried gallons of tears…
Then I kissed her. I kissed her, and it was such a sensation–this was the first time for the both of us. For a moment, the tears stopped, as if to allow us go devote ourselves completely to each other’s lips.
That day was the best and the worst of my life, for…little by little, I felt Engeline become smaller. Little by little, I saw her become more transparent.
Little by little, she disappeared from the world.
But in my heart, where she pointed, she would live forever.