Do Angels Exist?
It’s an age-old question that many have written about, talked about, and given a great deal of thought to over the years. Could your path be mapped out from the day you enter this world? We, as people, are presented with choices, always. Go left or go right. Take the elevator or the stairs. Sit or stand. There is rarely ever only one option in our daily lives. Do we have guardians that influence our choices for a reason? Are we happy to believe there is a higher power keeping things as balanced as we, as humans, like it to be? Does that faith comfort us in an already mixed up world? Brian is about to find out that not all things are a random act.
Brian picked up the espresso from the counter, he had spent his last handful of change to buy the damn thing so, yes, he was going to split hairs with the waitress about it not reaching the middle of the paper cup. She glared at the shabbily dressed man as he stomped out of the coffee shop.
“Some people are so rude!” She continued to whine at her colleague. The teenager shrugged his shoulders. In his mind, he was thinking that he too, would have complained. No time to argue with the angry female, he had tables to clear if he wanted to get off on time.
Outside, Brian walked carefully down the street trying desperately not to spill the precious liquid. It would be customary to be given a lid, not this day. The woman had briskly told him they were out of that size. He had to dodge various obstacles in his aim to make it to the park on the other side of the street.
He would often sit in this particular park, it was nothing special as parks go but it was quiet. He needed a quiet space today, especially today. The bench was empty as it often was at this time of the afternoon. Placing the cup carefully on the slats he slid off his overcoat and sat down.
That first hit of coffee was wonderful, the hot, strong roasted flavour caressed the inside of his mouth as he took in the brew he had missed so much this past week. He returned the cup to the slat and pulled out the crumpled letter from his jacket pocket. Smoothing it out he thought about the anger he had felt earlier today, the fury that rose inside when he first read the wretched thing, screwing it up into a ball in his rage.
He had lived in that house for all of their married life, he couldn’t fathom why she would do this to him now. Had he not given her everything she had asked for? She got the business that they had started together, she got the cars, although why she needed both was beyond him and she got the flat and the holiday home. It wasn’t as though they had children! No, he had been more than generous with the woman that had betrayed him and now, well he was not going to take this lying down! He felt a fool that she had talked him into signing these assets over to her, to find out that she and her so-called bestie were having it away and had been for some years right under his nose.
Brian, it seemed, had been hoodwinked by the very person that he had trusted the most and now to add insult to injury she was taking away his home. The letter had mentioned that in his absence the court had awarded the property to Martha as recompense for the cruel and long-suffering treatment she had received throughout their marriage. That was a laugh! First off, he had received no such communication of yet another court hearing, secondly, him! Cruel and malicious! If anything she had been the one that had made his life a misery with her constant demands, weekends away and refusal to even consider starting a family.
The letter was stuffed back into his pocket and there he sat, in truth, he had not needed to read it again as he was blessed with a photographic memory, he merely wanted to remind himself that he had not imagined it. Penniless and now, apparently homeless into the bargain. The phone in his pocket let out a shrill burst of music to bring the man back to the ground.
“Hey, buddy. How are you? Not seen you in ages, where have you been? I heard about you and Martha, course I did, tragic mate, absolutely tragic.”
“Hey, Neil. Yeah, I’ve been busy. Sorry, I haven’t returned your calls, I kept meaning to but you know what it’s like?”
“We’ll have to get together. When is good for you? Linda, has a girl’s night tomorrow if you can make that? Awkward, she’s meeting up with Martha and her new friend but I’m staying out of that.”
“I’ll get back to you mate, I’m outside and it’s hard to hear you with the traffic.”
The truck coming down the street was getting louder as the 2 men tried to continue the conversation.
“What’s that mate?” came the voice on the other end of the line.
“I said I can’t hear you, I’ll get back to you.”
Brian pressed the end call button and picked up his overcoat mumbling to himself.
“Wants to watch she doesn’t turn Linda into the same necrotic witch that she has become.” He grumbled bitterly as he turned toward the path.
The woman in the coffee shop dropped the tray of mugs as she watched the large truck plough through the rails that surrounded the park.
“Somebody phone the police.” She screamed as she ran to the door staring in disbelief at the pandemonium unfolding in front of her. People were running everywhere as the truck came to a grinding halt against the climbing frame. Dust and pieces of metal flew into the air in a cloud of chaos. The park bench was a crumpled mess against the grill of the mangled truck.
“There was a man, there was a man.” She screamed to onlookers. She had watched the irritated man through the large windows of the shop as he had made his way into the park not 10 minutes since.
“Stay back love, we have to wait for the police and fire brigade. Bloody lucky the kids are still in school this time of day, it could have been a tragedy. Did you notice anyone else in there?” The woman thought carefully, her mind still in turmoil. Finally, she spoke.
“No, it was quiet over there, I only noticed him because he’d given me a hard time earlier on. I do hope he’s alright, never wish harm on him.” The onlooker walked the woman back into the coffee shop.
“No doubt you will come in handy as a witness, sit yourself down, love. I’ll direct them over here when they have a minute.”
The emergency services turned up in full force, jumping vigorously from their cabs and setting about their various tasks. The lead officer came over to the coffee shop as directed by the passer-by.
“Which one of you saw the accident?” He asked in the brisk manner that a man of his standing has.
The woman stood, her legs shaking with the adrenalin that was now coursing around her body.
“Me, I saw it all.” She replied, her voice now quiet and trembling.
“Let’s take a seat over there where it’s not so crowded and you can talk me through what happened.” The woman sat in the chair, her hands shaking as she grasped the cup her young assistant handed to her.
“Start from the beginning, Miss. Take your time, I know it’s been a shock.”
“There was a man. I do hope he is okay. I was so harsh with him and he only wanted a coffee. Did you find him?” She sipped on the hot coffee, drops spilling down her clean white t-shirt as she struggled to steady her grip.
“A man? Was he in the park?”
She nodded, looking at him in earnest for an answer.
“I’m sure if he was in there we would find him. You say you were harsh toward him?”
“He complained that we had given him a half-measure in his drink, so I refilled it. I watched him walk over to the park, I could see him sitting on the bench, he looked upset you know. I don’t think it was because of the coffee.” The woman mumbled to herself, trying to reassure her distressed mind that she hadn’t caused his despairing thoughts. God forgive her if this was the last thing on his mind at the time of his probable demise.
Outside, across the road, the emergency services were sifting through the crumpled mess that lay before them. The driver of the truck was, by this time, released from his cab and on the way to the hospital. He was unconscious, his head bleeding profusely.
“Did you find anyone else? A witness said there was a man, early 40’s, sitting on the bench.”
The man in uniform shook his head.
“A couple was walking over the far end and an elderly gentleman with a dog but they’re fine and were well out of the way, Sir.”
“As you can see, still attached to the front of the truck, no sign of blood or a person.”
The man stared around the remains of the front cab, safe to say the bench was a write-off so where was the man that had occupied it?
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