He felt the cool ocean waves engulf his feet sinking him deeper into the sandy shore. The cozy beach house rested behind him with only the reflection of moonlight against it’s thin window panes. The movement of sand with each incoming tide tickled his feet, a momentary distraction from his immediate dilemma. He studied his past and remembered the moment he fell to Earth. He was once a guardian angel of the highest order. Celestial beings are created to serve and disobedience requires the greatest sacrifice of repentance.

He could still feel Anora’s delicate fingers trace the jagged scars on his back. Her hands seemed to pause on each boney ridge as if to acknowledge their once proud heritage as wings. Those hands would glide up towards his neck braking at his jawline. She followed each crease, and weathered crack around his lips from his near 2000 years on Earth. Each digit emerged from his thick raven curls as if jealous of the unruly locks. She pressed her full lips close to his ear and said, “Emmanuel, you are my beloved.” The name Emmanuel always made him bristle. He chose it out of spite to his creator as his angelic name could no longer be uttered. Somehow, Anora imbued that sardonic name with a longing that he hadn’t felt since his last days as an angel.

His reminiscing was abruptly interrupted as a tall wave came crashing towards the shore rising to a foamy crest just above his knees. The wet salty air perfectly hid his stream of tears as his mind returned to the present. Anora, was an angel in her own way. She taught him peace through his violent rampage against the hypocrisy of the heavens. She loved him through all of his struggles to understand the plight of a world to whom so much is given with unmerited favor. She saw his pain without sight and became the salve to his ancient wounds.

Anora struggled as well. He could still feel her body thrashing against his the first time he wrestled a bottle of pills from her. At twenty three she was the leading astronomer in the field of telescopic engineering. She was a devout woman of science addicted to the high of discovery. In her prime she saw farther and deeper into the Universe than anyone on Earth. She made a choice. She denied chemotherapy and worked until she could no longer see. The lonely road to recovery left her far from her discipline and deeper into a cave of self loathing. They were two broken souls who found comfort in the roar of the sea. Two broken souls from distant shores of the same vast ocean.

Emmanuel’s legs quivered as he feebly attempted another step towards his demise. His back ached as he carried the burden of his decision. He remembered his youthful folly. It was his choice to fall rather than be Judas Iscariot’s guardian angel. He stood idly by as the “chosen one” of god fell at the hands of hate filled men at god’s behest. It was only days after the great betrayal that he walked away derelict of his duties. Judas was a tortured man. It was prophesied in the heavens that he would be the greatest witness to the grace of god. He was to be lauded amongst the champions of the faith; Paul of Tarsus, John the Baptist, and Simon of Peter. On the night in which he should’ve shielded the traitor from his thoughts of suicide; Emmanuel returned to heaven to give up the calling. The Father himself held Emmanuel in his omnipotent hands tearing apart each wing with incredible care to inflict maximum pain. He was cast to Earth to live a hundred lifetimes of regret, unless he returned prostrate; a willing sacrifice, pure in heart to god.

Emmanuel looked back towards the sleepy beach house. He envisioned Anora fast asleep caught up in some interstellar technicolor space dream. He envisioned her leaving the university program and getting chemotherapy. He envisioned her pregnant with children, in love with a man he could never be. He envisioned renewing her faith as she held rosary beads at her mother’s bedside. He envisioned the singular hope that he could’ve wrestled the bottle of pills from her one last time.

A heap of snot filled mucus poured from his nose as he attempted to tame the despair welling inside of him. He burned with a passionate fire of rage as he was consumed with the loss. It boiled over as he proclaimed to the heavens, “Father, father why have you forsaken me?” His legs gave way as he fell face first into a frigid crashing wave. His body tumbled through the torrent finally expelling him upon the beach. In his moment of despair he had lived a hundred lifetimes of regret. He was a fallen angel with new wings.


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