angels

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Adult Romance  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Nadia, a paramedic falls in love ... with an angel

Experience angels live at www.isittodayhjfurl.com

Nadia

I’ve always been wary of social media. The need to conceal my true identity, real behaviours, mannerisms, quirks, tell-tale hints: of who I really am, what I really am, from the masses. Is it necessary for me to reveal my inner heart, my shocking outer self to you so early in this story? Or should I skulk around your minds, content to hide and tease you with my pseudonym, your ever faithful pen pal? Maybe I will tell you, make my public announcement on social media – later, lately.

Lately, I’ve been addicted to social media. I still find time to write, sure, three or four days a week bright and early. After performing my ablutions, my eternal neck and back stretches, my new diet meal, my water intake monitoring. Oh, then there’s the gym. Trudi has me sweating it all off (am I allowed to say fat?) at the gym. And I grow-my-own, in the village allotments. Thinking of cycling there, through the busy forest, on my hybrid mountain bike, like Iain did in The Arrival, on his way to kill poor Irin, ringing my salmon pink ‘ring me anytime’ bell! I would, but it’s cloudy-dull-depressive outside and it looks like rain. At least, I’ve written this..

This morning, I had my first lazy time in ages. I threw on my old pink ‘Nellie the Elephant’ sweatshirt, yesterday’s knickers, sweaty, dirty socks, pink tracksuit bottoms, my running shoes. And stepped out into the high street. A queue of cars stretched in both directions, as far as my good eye could see. The air was smog with diesel fumes, wrought with angry voices, taut with impatience, violent apprehension. A red-faced man in an orange t-shirt climbed out of his van, strutted up to the young blonde girl in the mini-in-front, and remonstrated with her, swearing at her, because she was a young blonde girl in the mini-in-front. For one excruciating moment, I dreaded he was going to pull open the door and punch her in the face. Just because the garage ran out of petrol, green fuel, a minute earlier. Why do some men still treat us like that? Today.

Today, I treated myself to a pack of digestives, a new lined A4 Pukka Pad for my writings, The Times (yes, those times), a bottle of Bin 65 Chardonnay to quaff later, and two litres of the semi-skimmed. I wore the black silk mask I bought last October at Chatsworth House Farm Shop. Please, don’t label me. It isn’t fair to label me. Just because I went off to Chatsworth.

In all fairness, today I (oh, someone’s tooting their horn outside, I can hear a siren, wailing, an ambulance, fire engine, police car, forcing its way through the queue for the empty pumps) today I supported my local Indian corner shop. I wore my mask, still, I always wear a mask in case I catch Covid. Once bitten, twice shy. The other shoppers, two more mature women, didn’t wear a mask. I was made to feel stupid, a mere mortal, struggling to survive in a cruel world obsessed by death, mortality, longevity, eternal life, immortality. So, I paid Sari and left.

Since the pandemic blighted our lives and I became depressed, dependent on social media, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my own mortality. That’s hardly surprising when the news is full of death these days. I left.

How do I write this without sounding as if I am preaching to you?

I left this bit until I had finished reading The Times over a bowl of sultana bran, skimmed milk, a round of highest fibre toast, litre of diluted orange squash, a cold cup of instant coffee:

‘It seems to me that men, particularly stinking rich, wealthy men, still have it all their own way: jetting off to inner space whenever they reach fifty, investing heavily in their own immortality. Is that fair? Really? Is it fair that stinking rich wealthy men can invest in immortality? Whatever happened to designer babies? I suppose that’s our choice, isn’t it? If we’re stinking rich enough to afford one. How many stinking rich wealthy women do you know? I don’t know any. I don’t feel like writing about their immortality, my immortality, anymore. Or do I? The selfish world.’ 

I left the selfish world of petrol jerry-can fillers, irresponsible mask-less shoppers, far behind. Re-entering my never-never land of social media, my elusive, enchanting love: Aubin Daubert.

Request:

Aubin sent me a Friend request. I looked up her Profile:

Aubin Daubert

Florist

Ah, a florist. I wondered what flowers she used. Why she used them. What imperiously tall, proud decorations she displayed. And who she used them for. I imagined she might be busy making floral bouquets with the soaring demand for funeral wreaths and wedding bouquets – less so the huge ceramic bowls of pink orchids the corporates use to show off their reception desks, their false welcomes.

I turned my attention to her posts. Someone’s post’s, I feel, reveal a lot about the inner self of a person. Their backgrounds, influences, desires and aspirations, opinions, prejudices, biases, their secrets, and compulsive obsessions. She intrigued me, having just one post, just one:

Loneliness is my least favourite thing about life. The thing that I’m most worried about is just being alone without anybody to care for or someone who will care for me. And yet, life could be wonderful if people would leave you alone.

That was her only post. I scratched my head, confused by the contradiction in her statements. So, she was lonely, searching for a friend in need, someone to care for: a giving, needing, girl.

At the same time, she loved to be left alone. A note of caution sounded in my mind. Was she really a florist? I felt a certain empathy towards her, needing to know more about her. Was she real? Did she even exist? Or could she be another me? I needed to find out about:

About: Overview: Angel

So, she wasn’t a florist at all. That was just her cover. Angel? What was that supposed to mean? I delved further into her personal affairs, her work, where she lived, where she was born, where she used to live, shocked by my findings:

Work: Angel.

Education: No schools or universities.

Places Lived: Orlando, Florida - Current City.

Home Cities:

Anchorage, Alaska: Inuvik, Canada: Nassau, Bahamas: Caracas, Venezuela: Lima, Peru: La Paz, Bolivia: Reykjavik, Iceland: Dublin, Ireland: London, UK: Paris, France: Madrid, Spain: Tripoli, Tunisia: Abuja, Nigeria: Mogadishu, Somalia: Dodoma, Tanzania: Kiev, Ukraine: Vorkuta…  

The list of names was endless. I shook my head, amazed. How could she have so many homes? Surely, there must be some kind of mistake, or an odd technical glitch with Facebook. Unless? Her profile told me nothing and everything about her. She’d left no contact details. She had never been born. She had no family. There were no events in her life, no occurrences, no normal happenings.

By now my head was throbbing, my bad eye had started to ache, and I felt sick, a sure sign of an impending migraine. I unplugged my laptop, took it upstairs, pulled off my tracksuit, and climbed into bed. I flipped the lid open. She was, finally, there, staring at me out of the screen.

Aubin Daubert

Aubin Daubert

Her profile photo took my breath away. She was beautiful in an alien way, cute, almost angelic. Her dark auburn hair was almost hidden by an enormous straw bonnet. She was wearing huge hooped wooden earrings. Her eyes were shrouded by dense bushy, furry, eyebrows - like hairy caterpillars. She had a delightful turned-up toffee nose, deliciously pursed, kissable, thick, little lips - full of pout. Her face was blessed with cocoa freckles. Her chest was bare, and she was wearing a skimpy maroon vest. But it was her deep grey, refractive eyes that intrigued me most. Her eyes were bottomless pits, filled with twinkling stars.

Speech:

I couldn’t wait for her to speak to me, and speak with me she did:

‘Hello, my name’s Aubin Daubert.’

‘That’s a strange name.’

‘Do you think so? I rather like it myself.’

She spoke with a curly-wurly West Country accent: Swindon, Chippenham, Bath Spa, Burford? I loved the way she spoke. When she opened her mouth, it was as if she was blowing all life’s stresses and strains away from me, my sweetest breath of fresh air, my angel. I was terse with her. I don’t know why. Why should I doubt someone so pure, so delightful, so clearly innocent,

‘I didn’t say I didn’t like it, Aubin,’ I lectured, ‘I just said it was strange. Is it your real name?’

She looked at me affronted, ‘Of course, why shouldn’t it be?’

‘It’s just that it’s so unusual. What does it mean?’

She smiled a cheeky smile, peeling her puffy lips back off her brown teeth in a sardonic fashion that reminded me of the way corpse’s lips peel off their teeth when they rot. Curses, I’ve seen enough corpses in my life: plagues, pandemics. I warmed to her, her jauntiness cheered me up,

‘Aubin,’ she explained, ‘means auburn-haired.’

I nodded smugly to myself.

Just as I thought.

‘And Daubert means freckled, in a state of being freckled to be precise.’

I knew it!

Auburn-haired and freckled.

She eyed me sheepishly, ‘It doesn’t really. I made it up.’

I fell about laughing, I raised the duvet, she made me laugh so much, ‘You, you made it up?!’

‘Mm. Why are you in bed?’

I didn’t realize, she could see me. I was only wearing my bra. Mildly embarrassed, I drew the duvet over my shoulders, and listened to her giggling at me. I loved her way, her charm. I never wanted her to end. If I could gain her sympathy for who I was, what I was, then maybe one day we could fall in love, and the world would be at peace,

‘I had a migraine.’

‘Oh dear, a migraine! Would you like me to kiss it better?’

At that moment, there was nothing I’d like more than for her to kiss me better, blow-a-kiss at me, through the screen, draw me into the screen, to her wondrous world, our never-never land.

I desisted, ‘Thank you (I actually thanked her), there’s no need - for you to kiss me better, I mean, it’s gone, gone away.’

‘Ha! Ha! Migraine gone, gone way, ache your head another day!’ she rhymed.

I couldn’t help but smile, ‘Yeah, I suppose so!’

My spirits lifted sky high, in the way that kindly souls rise when they are destined for heaven. My thrill at her, my fantasy, my inner delight was short-lived. Her face faded from the screen,

‘I have to go now,’ she said, looking glum, ‘I’ve wedding bouquets to send to those who marry, wreaths to hang for those who mourn, their loved ones. Can I see you again, tonight at midnight, the witching hour?’

I checked my watch: nine o’clock, still nine o’clock in the morning. No time had passed. No time at all,

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘Midnight.’

But her face had already gone.

Interlude:

With a clear mind and a fresh face, I set about whiling away the day before our next meeting. In no time at all I had made the bed, thrown on my satin pyjamas, made myself a coffee, dusted, hoovered our house.

I say our house because Chantal used to live here with me before she died, taken from me so young. I talk to her first thing every morning when I am still in bed, last thing at night before I fall asleep, when I am on my own. My sweet nurse,

‘Chantal,’ I said, collapsing on our settee.

I collapse a lot these days, exhausted, knackered. I think I may have long covid. Daemon thinks so, too. How I manage to keep going to the gym and tend my allotment is beyond me. Trudi says I am brave. Her brave girl.

I rested my head, curled my feet up snugly under my bottom, closed my eyes, and waited for her reply,

‘Chantal?’

‘Yes, Cheri.’

I opened my eyes. My eyes lit up. My heart lifted. My soul rose with happiness. She was here for me, once more, wearing my favourite soft pink nightie with its lacy trim. Her skin, so pale, pale as clotted cream. Her eyes, mournful, teary, grieving, mourning her own loss of me, crying,

‘Yes, Cheri?’

Ours is a small terraced Victorian house with a hall, sitting room, scullery, and an outside toilet downstairs, a bathroom, bedroom, spare room upstairs. Even though our house is tiny, I have to sell it now Chantal has gone, move into a bedsit, live a simpler existence. I miss her so much. Hardly a minute of the day goes by when I don’t think about her. Except when I am at work. I mustn’t think about her when I am at work.

My mind turned to Daemon, the fuel crisis, wondering if the selfish motorists let him into the queue.

I start back at work next week, my first shift saving lives, since Chantal died of covid, saving lives in the intensive care unit,

‘Chantal, I don’t know how to say this.’ I closed my eyes, squeezing out some tears, sniffing.

‘Cheri,’ she soothed in her smooth, Parisian voice, ‘There is no burden you cannot share with me. I will love you always, however hard our life becomes. I will wait here, in Heaven for you, wait for you to join me, so that we might love as one forever,’ she stroked the base of her throat with her slim, long, fingers, slid her hand between her breasts, and stroked her heart, ‘You are here, Cheri, forever, in my heart.’

I shut my eyes tight. I shut her out. Pleaded with her to understand. She could never understand,

‘I think I might have found someone else.’

Her face, body, and soul disappeared.

Vacuum:

My life has been an empty shell, a hollow heart, a vacuum since I lost Chantal. Her reprimand, her disapproving rebuke, the way she abandoned me without a word of consolation or love, left me desolate. Lacking any motivation, a will to live, I decided to spend the rest of the day in bed, surfing social media in search of a lonely heart, someone else who has lost a loved one. I find no-one, at least, no-one prepared to express their true feelings to me, show their real face, reveal their inner self.

Self, selfish selfie. Angry, frustrated, I take off my bra, push the duvet off the bed with my feet, and take a selfie of my face and body with my awesome phantom silver SX21. Satisfied, I post the image of me naked on Instagram, receiving tens of thousands of likes, thousands of requests for me to be their Friend, messages from the lonely: men mostly, Eastern European, Arab men looking for explicit images of me, looking for women, sex. They disgust me. I disgust myself.

Heart beating rapidly, I delete my pic, delete the requests, flick the screen, admiring the gallery of female celebrities parading themselves in skimpy evening gowns, hi-cut swimsuits, bikinis, next to nothing, for all their men to cherish, love, honour, obey. Love, like, adore: one woman, a model, has two hundred and seventy-four million followers. I scroll up her pageful of intimate exposures. Perfect: her beautiful face, hourglass figure, unblemished complexion, her seamless suntan, are perfect. Unlike mine. Is it any wonder so many of us contemplate suicide at such a young age, with role models like her to look up to, to idolize, to love.

Love, nobody loves me anymore. I wonder if I’ll ever speak to Chantal again. Contemplating ending it all, lonely, needy, I retrieve the duvet, hauling it over my body, covering my breasts, huddling up to keep myself warm. I hear the pitter-patter of raindrops on my bedroom window. My world turns grey. I hear three pings, have three new messages, two of them are impossible:

Your Instagram account has been closed for a serious breach of our Community Guidelines. If

DELETE

I rest my phone on the bedside table. Reaching down, I lift my laptop off the floor, flip the lid, open Facebook. The other messages stare out of the screen at me, demanding my full attention:  

My dear Nadia, I’m sorry. Of course, you must find love again, Cheri. Until we meet in Heaven – with all my fondest love, Chantal xx

Chantal

and:

Cool. Meeting you today. Wondering. What are the chances? Could it be we’re falling in love? Suddenly! – Aubin Daubert.

Suddenly! My nerves jangle, my heart skips a beat. I lose my appetite, I’m feeling dreamy, full, content. I fall in love with Chantal, Aubin, all over again, feel the pulse glow in my chest, feel the stretch, the muscles between my shoulder blades, feel them pulling as they unfurl, feel tired, so tired, feel happy, so very happy. I fall asleep, let the day go by, without a care in the world.

Dreaming of midnight.

Midnight:

So, tell me about yourself, Nadia. I love you in a way you can’t expect. I care about you, deeply. I want to be your true friend.

I can’t believe this is happening to me. So happy, thrilled to bits, to be loved by someone again. Aubin. To be loved by Aubin. I’m struggling write to words these in order, I’m that excited. Oh God, my dyslexia’s kicked in. It always does when I go to pieces. I’ll re-write that for you: I’m struggling to write these words in order, I’m that excited. I’ve gone to pieces: lots of times, lately.

Lately, I’ve been ill, you see. Very ill. Lately, I’ve been depressed. Suicidal. Lately, I’ve been missing Chantal. Very much. Now this moment happens to me. I’ve waited for this moment all my life. New dots appearing below Aubin’s message. New life! She’s getting impatient with me. I need to reply:

Aubin, thank you for caring so much about me. You don’t know how much that means to me. Thanks for asking about me.

About me. There’s not a lot to say. I was brought up in Essex (in England). Mum & Dad were wonderful loving, caring parents. I wasn’t very bright at school – the dunce in the corner! One day, Mrs Martle asked to see me after French. She told me Mum and Dad had been killed in a head-on car crash. They hadn’t been wearing seat belts. I never forgot that. I went to pieces.

someone else is typing

Oh No! What did you do?

I truanted. I stayed off school. Stayed in bed. And ate.

someone else is typing

Yes, a stone. I put on a stone. Then, one beautiful spring morning, I saw the light.

My light?

Yes, Aubin, your light.

Cool. Knew we’d met before!

I decided I wanted to be like you, but different. So, I went back to school, failed my exams, except Biology, Human Biology, and Chemistry. I was always good at Human Biology at school.

Cool. Bang! Bang!

I laugh until I split, my sides ache! My sides ache so much! I imagine she’s laughing, too!

Yes, Aubin! Bang! Bang!

someone else is typing

Tell me about Chantal.

She knows about Chantal! How could she possibly know about Chantal? I don’t go there. No joy will come of asking her. I’ve never felt this happy, so full of joy. And I don’t want to spoil her. I prop myself up in bed, straighten my pillows, sit up, knees bent, laptop flipped, fingers flying over the keyboard, about Chantal,

About Chantal? After I left school, after what happened to my Mum and Dad, I went to the gym, worked out, lost weight, and met Chantal. She was pushing the sled, battling the ropes, side by side, struggling, really struggling, with the ropes. Older than me. Much older than me. And struggling with her weight, the ropes, the sled.

Cool. What did you do?

I made her laugh. Told her Father Christmas had a sled just like hers. I took hold of the ropes. Showed her how to battle the ropes. Asked her what she did. She told me she battled to save lives in the ICU at our local hospital. I told her I saved lives, too.

You save lives, Nadia?

Yes, I trained to be a paramedic.

someone else is typing

I save lives as well, Nadia, in a way you can’t expect.

I cradle my chin, lips, mouth, in the palm of my hand, rubbing my skin, thinking furiously. My skin feels dry. I’ve run out of moisturiser, lipstick, eye liner, money. My mind works overtime.

I go back to work tomorrow, today. Wonder if she’ll be here for me when I get back?

I feel a deep malaise, an overwhelming sense of helplessness, mental and physical exhaustion, the familiar sinking feeling, my depression returning with a vengeance. I sense her face smiling, feel her eyes admiring me, can almost hear her girlish voice. She pulls me back from the brink,

Tell me how it feels to fall in love, Nadia xx

It dawns on me that Aubin has never known love, not in a romantic sense. How could she? If I didn’t let her which I never did. Feeling guilty, selfish, the lonely naked selfie-sender who only wants to be loved, blind to the needs of others. Is that what I’ve become? Since Chantal died? I tell her. I tell her what it feels like to fall in love.

Butterflies, my heart, my tummy, were full of butterflies, flitting and flying up into my throat, thru my lips, out of my mouth, into hers. Oh God! We were desperate, so desperately in love. We left the gym. Ran, out of the gym! Ran to the ladies changing room, undressing each other, kissing, embracing, loving one another. We showered together, soaping each other’s breasts. The cleaner walked in, just as we were, you know! We dressed, ran to my place, out of breath, panting, breathless, we made love, here, on my bed, we made love, we.

I fall apart. I go to pieces. Unable to speak. Out of breath. Overwhelmed with grief. I try hard for her, I really do teardrops streaming, down my cheeks, I tell her how it feels to fall in love.

Aubin, I type.

Yes?

Chantal died alone of Covid under anaesthetic. She died alone in a coma. I wasn’t allowed to be there with her when she died. Couldn’t be with her. I was up to my eyes in Covid, out on the streets with Daemon my driver saving other people’s lives. I miss her, Aubin, speak to her, every night, every day. I’ll never forgive myself for not being with her on the night she died.

My eyes mist over with tears. I lose my grip on life. I’ve bared my soul to Aubin. I can’t take anymore tonight. I prepare to close the lid, on her, on me, on us. Her new words scintillate me,

Cheer up! You’re my angel! My cherished angel of mercy! I love you, though not as you expect.

Oh my God! I’m her cherished angel, I feel the muscles pull between my shoulder blades. She loves me. She.

someone else is typing

Would you like to know my secret, Nadia?

Yes. Yes! Please! Yes!

Well, she begins, I’ve just climbed out of my hot and steamy bath, I’m lying naked on my bed, and I’m feeling very horny.

Horny?! I write in mock disapproval, Really Aubin!

I’m only joking! I’m not the Devil, you know!

No, I don’t know, what she is. I laugh, well, sigh really, with relief. I’ve sympathy for the Devil, red-faced, his pronounced horns, his spade tail, burning in hell. What kind of life’s that? Glad she isn’t him. Or is she? I can’t help feeling that I’m about to find out, at last, now, it, she, now:

Now, where was I? I’m lying naked on my bed, and I’m feeling very alive. Would you like to see something?

I tell her I would.

Flight:

Her moving image appears on the screen. I say moving. Only her back muscles move: a mass of freckled skin between her shoulder blades. Aubin has a beautiful, slender body, slim arms and legs, little buttocks, and a small head. She is perfect, no blemishes, just freckles. I struggle to bring myself to say the word: angelic. Her muffled voice talks to me through her mattress,

‘Watch me change.’

For a moment, nothing happens. She is lying face-down on the bed, her arms loose at her sides, her legs relaxed. Then, she breathes, hard and deep, tensing the muscles in her back. Impossible bulges, like the protruding bulge I feel between my breasts when my hiatus hernia hurts, appear between her shoulder blades. Aubin stretches, straining with the effort of it all, forcing herself to swell into voluptuous tumours, beauty growths. I gasp for air, inhaling hard and deep, rolling onto my front, pushing skin. With an intense effort of will, I push out my skin in taut swellings, love bumps, fleshy growths, fertile mounds, fresh volcanoes, out of me, from under my skin. I vaguely hear her screaming at me, imploring me,

‘See me grow.’

I can’t listen to her scream. Can’t watch. I’m lying face-down on the bed. I can’t see her. She screams in pain. My skin tears, and I burst. The pain! As my skin splits wide open. My bulges: bursting boils, squirting flesh, ectoplasmic spume, ethereal body spirit, hardening into limbs. I scream blue murder, giving birth to spreading wings. The pain subsides, replaced by a blissful euphoria. I beat my wings for the first time. The sheer might of my wings raises my limp body off the bed. God! I levitate! I fly! Fly with beating wings! Amazed, I twist in mid-air, and cry,

‘See me fly!’

‘Nadia!’ she screams.

She’s grown wings, too, ‘Aubin!’

‘Fly with me!’

We co-join. Embrace. We fly as one! My bedroom blurs, then vanishes. My sad-dull old-world dies. Dyslexia kicks in, I’m that excited! Aubin and I hold hands, thru-fly-the-night sky, fly thru the sky-night, fly thru the night sky. Thrill ride! She takes me on a thrill ride until we reach never-never land.

Chantal’s final subliminal message flashes through my mind:

My dear Nadia, I’m sorry. Of course, you must find love again, Cheri. Until we meet in Heaven.

Aubin lets go of my hand. I sense her face smile, feel her eyes admiring me, read her girlish voice, hear her parting words, she fades out of my life, leaving me, alone, in never-never land:

I loved you in a way you couldn’t expect. Tell me how it feels to fall in love Nadia - Aubin xx

I’m treading clouds! I see her waiting for me in never-never land - the land where our love will never-ever die:

Chantal!

We spread our angel’s wings and embrace.

Eternally Entwined

Nadia as an angel


Submitted: November 18, 2022

© Copyright 2022 harriet jacqui furl. All rights reserved.

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