Dial A for Angel

Preston rubbed his sleepy eyes as he turned off his alarm and yawned. He stretched, and his gaze fell on the sofa in the room where a man dressed in a hoodie and sweat pants sat staring at him. Normally, he’d be scared by the sight of a stranger in his bedroom, but somehow, he wasn’t.
“Hi Preston,” the stranger said.
“Who are you, and what are you doing in my room?”
“My name’s John, and I’m your guardian angel.”
“My what? Am I dreaming or is this a prank?” Preston asked and then yelled out for his sister.

Emily entered the room minutes later looking very cross.
“How many times have I told you not to scream my name?”
“How did this guy get into my room?”
“What guy?”
“John, or whoever the guy on the sofa is.”
Emily stared at the sofa and then back to her brother. “There’s nobody on the sofa. What is this nonsense early in the morning?”
“But…but he’s right there.”
“Have you lost your mind?” She hissed and exited the room slamming the door loudly on her way out.
Preston looked at John who shrugged and smiled.
Maybe I have indeed lost my mind, he thought.

“You haven’t lost your mind, Preston,” John said and Preston looked slightly alarmed now.
“You can read my thoughts?”
“As I said, I’m your…..”
“…..guardian angel. But how is this possible?”
” ‘Dear God, I have a big day tomorrow, and I will need my guardian angel to help me get through it.’ Wasn’t that the last thing you said before going to bed last night?”
“Everyone says something like that at some point,” Preston said, finally getting out of bed. “We don’t really expect to see the angel when we wake up in the morning.”
“Well, it’s your lucky day, your wish was granted.”
I should have wished for a Ferrari instead, Preston thought.

“That’s a vain wish, kid. Besides, you’re two years away from the legal age to drive.”
Preston started to speak but decided against it. This dude so nosy, he thought as he grabbed his towel and headed for the bathroom.
“I heard that.”
“I said it on purpose,” Preston muttered.
Twenty minutes later, he was seated at the table for breakfast. It was a choice between cereal and pancakes, and he opted for cereal. His mum’s pancakes weren’t very tasty, an opinion John disagreed with.
“What do you even know?” He snapped at John a little too loudly, surprising both his mum and Emily.
“Sorry, I wasn’t talking to you,” he smiled sheepishly at them and Emily shook her head.
“I told you he has lost his mind, mum.”

Very soon, he was on his way to school with John in tow.
“Try to relax, Preston,” John said.
“Oh! I’m relaxed. Spent the whole week prepping for today, I’m ready for this.”
“Are you sure? I can see right through…..”
“That’s it, John. Are you here to help me or annoy me?”
“To help you of course.”
Preston snorted. John was so annoying, and the worst part of it all was that he couldn’t even think in peace. Well, two could play the game.
“Say, John…. aren’t angels supposed to be on white robes with long hair and stuff? You’re on joggers and a hoodie, are you even an angel?”
“What do you take angels for?”
“Shapeshifters. Say, why didn’t you come in form of a cat or a puppy or something?”

“Well, imagine a talking cat. Wouldn’t that be weird?”
“Not as weird as talking to a man no one else can see.”
“Some people would consider this cool, you know?”
“It’s only cool in the movies. In real life? This is creepy.”
An old woman on the sidewalk gave Preston a strange look as she saw him talking to the wind.
“See? Creepy.”
They got to school in fifteen minutes and John stopped at the entrance, his arms akimbo, staring at the horde of kids milling into the premises.
“What’s wrong?”
“Teenagers. Sweaty, annoying and hormonally imbalanced humans. I really don’t like teenagers.”

“I’m also a teen, so you don’t like me too?”
“On most days, yes. You’re such a handful. When I think about all the times you almost got into trouble and I had to keep you out of it….”
“Why did you chose to be my guardian angel in the first place?”
“It’s not like I had a choice, you know? You think if I did I’d have picked you?”
Preston picked an offence to John’s statement.
“This is why you were beheaded by Herod in your past life!” He huffed and marched into the school.
“That was John the Baptist!” John scowled, following him in. “The last kid I guarded 80 years ago made this same joke. It’s stale!”
Preston smiled at that news. He’d finally found something that annoyed John.

The entire school morning Preston was in class but his mind was elsewhere. The bell rang and he all but ran to the hall for his big event.
“Slow down, kid.” John said but he wasn’t listening, till he bumped into Clarisse his freckle faced classmate and opponent. She sneered at him and he sneered right back.
“I’m going to crush you at the competition,” she seethed.
“Good luck with that, Clarisse, I’ve got my guardian angel with me today.”
“And I’ve got mine too!”
Preston looked at John who smiled at him and nodded.
“She’s right.”
“Hello, Mark, how’s it going?” John said, and Preston glanced at the direction he was facing. It was the empty space beside where Clarisse stood.


©Unit, 2020

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