By Ashley Lavering
“Aisha,” Mom hollered as she ran through the snow in her slippers, waving my sheet music.
I rolled down the car window. “Oh geeze! Thanks Mom. Mr. Skilty would've had my head.”
“I know you’ll sing their socks off.” Her breath plumed in the icy December air.
I rolled my eyes at her singing metaphor. Really, they were all that corny.
She smiled, chuckling softly. “I’ll see you in two hours.” She slapped my doorframe. “Drive safe.”
“I will.” I rolled up my window and drove down our snowy dirt road. My little Ford Tempo wasn’t the best winter vehicle, but Mom splurged this year and bought studded tires.
Charging up the freeway ramp, I tapped out Jungle Bells on my steering wheel as it blared from my Ipod. I was desperate to drown out my nerves and the annoying hope, I’d see Devon there.
Not likely. I sulked.
My heart ached remembering his deep blue Milky Way eyes that enveloped me in the cloak of his galaxy. How my blood rushed as his cloud-like lips had touched mine, deepening into breath-catching storm. That night, I’d soared the heavens in my dreams, only to crash to Earth in a heart shattering heap in the morning when his chair was empty in second period and the only text I got read, “Mistake.”
I shook my head. Two weeks of misery was enough. It was Christmas in five days, and I was determined not to let him ruin my holiday. I reached for my Ipod, needing something more thought drowning and accidentally bumped it off the armrest. It thudded on the passenger side floor.
“Crap!” I strained to reach it, my figures barely brushing the smooth surface. I gave the white dusted road a quick glance before ducking the extra inch to grab it. My fingers slipped around it, and I snapped back to sitting.
A brown blur darted in front of me. I yelped and jerked the steering wheel. But the sound of bone and metal crunching came anyway. My hands flew to protect my face at the deer carcass flew into the windshield. The airbag punched me so hard I barely could breathe through the pain. Metal screeched and glass shattered all around me as the car slammed into the ground, rolling over and over again. Something sharp pierced the airbag and my abdomen. I screamed as pain lanced through my flesh like a hot iron.
Dear God, don’t let me die.
The car came to jarring halt, hanging me upside down. The seat-belt and the twisted metal pinned me to the seat. Wet blood trickled across my chest and neck. Dark spots dotted my vision. I hovered in and out of consciousness as a woman’s ethereal voice floated on the chilly air.
“You can’t do this!”
“She’ll die if I don’t.” A deep voice rumbled.
I struggled to understand the voices, everything sloshed together in my pain fogged mind. Was I already dead? Dreaming?
“You’ll die if you do! How can you do that to me!” The woman snapped. My temper instantly lit in the stranger’s defense.
The flapping of wings and a glorious light filled my vision.
This is it, I’m dying.
Then suddenly, I was yanked forward. Lightning pain exploded through my body, stabling my mind into darkness.
I woke to a sweet citrus smell. It overwhelmed my senses, bringing a painful ache to my chest. I whimpered. Was I in Heaven or Hell?
“Shh..” A soothing voice sang through my ears. A gentle finger wiped at my damp cheek.
My eyes flew open. “Devon.”
His glorious face hovered over me, his eyes sparkling as if with the stars. I moved to sit up, but he pushed me gently back into snow.
My mind flashed with the horrible crash. My figures found my abdomen whole without any gaping holes. “But how?” My mind buzzed. “The voices, the light?”
He looked worried. “You hit your head.”
“No,” I said stubbornly, my mind clearing. How was he here? Who pulled me from the crash? Something crazy popped in my head. “You saved me.”
He frowned, and my heart lurched at something the women had said.
“You’re dying!” I sat up so fast the glimpse of my mangled car swirled like melted wax.
“Aisha, calm down.”
He tried pushing me back into the snow, but I latched on to him. “No! You can’t die. Not for me.”
“I’m not dying.” He let out a frustrated sigh.
“But the woman…”
He looked at me with his endless eyes and tucked a blonde strain of hair behind my ear. “I’m mortal now.”
I gaped at him and he chuckled. “That face right there is one of many reasons I can’t live without you.”
His words warmed me. I lifted my hand to wipe his curly brown bangs out of his eyes. “What are you?”
For a brief second, sadness filled his eyes. Then his lips curled into a smile that lit his blue eyes like the morning sun. His hands cradled my face. “An angel who gave up his wings for the woman he loves. To be mortal together for the rest of our lives.”
He brought his lips to mine, and my heart nearly thumped out of my chest. I wrapped myself in the arms of my eternal Christmas present.