He smiles at me as if I'm the light in his eyes. Angelic white wings form on his back and his pale blue eyes look down at me. A smile appears on his face every time he sees me. Blond hair painted with fiery red tips sway due to the light breeze. I lie in my bed as always whenever he comes to see me. It's always without warning. I don't know what it means, but I know I fell in love with him at first sight. Such a beautiful man... His beauty, his perfection, it must be a sin. No way can anyone possess that much beauty, man or woman.
"Lyle," he whispers. A warm breeze hits my ear as he says my name. How can I-a man-fall in love with another man, nonetheless an angel whom I have never met in real life? Only in my dreams will be visit me. Most of the time he'll say sweet nothings, but I always await for the day he will speak to me and for the I will be able to meet him outside of my dreams.
"Wake up, Lyle. It's time to go."
The angel's deep voice suddenly sounds... feminine. That's weird.
I choose to open my eyes even though I'm still exhausted. My mother appears in my sight calling my name to wake me up. Her brown eyes stare into mine, yelling it's time for me to get up. There's no way I can refuse my mother.
Getting out of bed, I manage to grab a shirt and jeans with random undergarment. As I change shirts first the sound of my door creaks open. Luckily it's just me and my mother. Otherwise, I wouldn't dare change anything in front of her.
After I finish changing into a pair of blue jeans and brown shirt, I grab my backpack and dash out the bedroom door and into the living room. My teeth shouldn't matter since I didn't eat. I do brush them though. Only I did not this morning since I'll be late.
Humming sounds from the kitchen. Mother always loves to hum a tune while cooking. She does have a beautiful voice, but I never tell her that because she already knows. Just about the whole world will tell her that. It kind of already happened.
Finally, I make it to the bus stop. There's only one person with me. I turn my head slightly, so he won't notice my curiosity. The guy next to me strongly resembles the man from my dreams, but it can't be him because he's too young. The guy in my dreams looked to be an adult in his mid-twenties while this guy looks to be about eighteen.
He turns, facing me. "Hello, Lyle."
"It is you," I tell him. "But you're..."
"Good. You can see me. I'm glad."
What the hell is this guy talking about? He makes no sense. In my dreams he made more sense than this and all he did was whisper my name... once!
The bus appears in front of us, slowing to a stop. Walking down to an empty seat, I notice everyone acting as if they can't see him. A few of my friends wave me over to sit next to them, but I don't. Not after what happened yesterday.
My girlfriend kissed my best friend and... It was during an after school activity. I told them I'd be right back because I had to use the bathroom. After I came back I saw my girlfriend sitting on the desk wrapping her arms tightly around my best friend's back. Quietly I walked away and didn't come back until the teacher came back and told me to go inside. I did as told and luckily they were done, but I didn't speak to them for the remaining minutes.
For whatever reason, it didn't hurt me. I only feel anger and hate towards the both of them. What hurts the most is that I never knew until then that I could feel like this. They betrayed me and I just want revenge. Even my other friends knew about it and didn't bother telling me.
"That's because she sleeps around. She's been hoping for you to take her, but you won't. You won't even bring it up. She's been sleeping around with all of your friends."
"How do you know?"
"…Because I've been watching over you."
"Well that's comforting."
"Not like that. I've been checking to make sure you've been living well. You have except for what's been happening with your girlfriend lately."
"Ex-girlfriend," I correct him.
Silence happens for the remaining bus ride to school. When everyone gets off the bus, the guy from my dreams acts as if he knows exactly what to do. That's when everyone starts to notice him, as soon as he gets off the bus. Girls stare at him as if he's a god to be worshiped and the guys talk about how they don't recognize him. Some even tell their girlfriends lies like they heard he has a girlfriend already and is having an affair or he likes to have orgies. People believe shit like that!? The first one I can understand, but not the second! Well, people love rumors, I guess.
Entering the school we both run into groups of people. There are so many students at school that it seems like no one's absent today, but there's always that one person who skips school and that one who skips classes except for gym and lunch. How we started dating, I don't know.
But that doesn't matter. What matters to me now is that the archery club is open today after school. Definitely I am going. Not once have I missed out. That's probably the only reason why I bother coming to school anymore. Before I didn't care and would always miss my bus, causing myself to nearly be late for my first class. Now that there's an archery club I've been doing a lot better with coming to class on time and improving in my grades a bit. My grades still aren't much, but they surely keep me passing.
"School never gets any more fun, does it?" says the angel, yawning out of boredom. "All these girls are a bit annoying. I'm tired of smiling."
"Then stop doing it if it's such a pain for you to keep up a false image for them," I comment.
"Come on, Lyle. You don't even know the half of what I'm here for."
"I don't believe this. In my dreams you were much more mature. You acted like an adult and looked like one, too. You didn't even say anything to me until last night, and you only said my name."
"Oh, did you fall in love with me then?" he teases, fluttering his long eyelashes.
"Don't flatter yourself," I reply to keep him from annoying me any further.
Why the hell is my heart beating so fast? What's with this pace? And why the hell is he so different from the guy in my dreams when they're the same person and what the hell is his name!?
We go to classes, doing the common stuff that everyone has to do. Every class I am in he is in... That guy seems to be following me around all day long. We work on math problems, studying a foreign language-Spanish-read for English, exercise in gym, etcetera. In Spanish class we had to find a partner today. My friend, Ian, was walking to me to partner with me like usual, but was beaten by the so called angel.
"Damu," the angel suddenly speaks.
"Huh?" I respond.
"My name is Damu. I never told you, have I? The reason the teachers didn't call out my name was because I was invisible to them. Only certain people can see me."
Before I am able to speak someone calls out to us. "Hey! Lyle!" It has to be her of all the people in the world... "What are you doing hanging out with him all day? Don't you want to hang out with me and your friends like always?"
"I--" I start only to be interrupted.
"He doesn't date those who spread their legs for anyone and everyone at the school."
Holly's, my ex girlfriend, jaws drop open as if she heard that someone would be dying today. That's what she gets for sleeping around. Damu may be a pain in the ass, but he's good for moments like this. I don't know what I would have done if he weren't here with me. I'd probably act like nothing happened, but our relationship would only get worse if I were to do that.
"I-I do not!" Holly denies.
"He's better off with someone else; someone that would never spread their legs for anyone else, especially his friends," Damu continues, having fun arguing with her.
"Don't deny it, girl! He saw it yesterday, what you did with his best friend! You did it with his best friend! He deserves better!"
"What are you; gay!?"
"Maybe... But I'd definitely be a better date than you! You probably have an STD from going around like that."
Holly looks at me as if expecting for me to back her up like I usually do. This time I... I laugh. What Damu says about her is true anyway. I don't want to date someone who isn't faithful... and possibly got an STD.
Instead of making another comeback, she storms off after saying that she's breaking up with me. If I should be feeling upset or angry about it, I guess I'm a cold bastard because I feel relieved and happy. It's as if a burden has been taken off of my shoulders. It didn't feel like there was any love between us though, so I'm not that surprised about her going around finding other guys. She's probably with one of my friends... Probably my best friend Ian...
Forgetting about what just happened, I go to the archery club and Damu goes home. He said it's something important. I don't what important business he has right now, but I'd rather not get involved. Knowing him, it can't be that big of a deal. He's most likely playing games at an arcade or something since he's so immature...
"It's so quiet when he's not around," I tell myself.
"Are you bored without me?" a deep voice speaks from behind me.
"When the hell did you get here!? That was fast! You just left, so how did you appear already!?"
"Being an angel, I have my ways. Now how's it going with your archery skills, sweetie pie?" Damu clings onto me as if we're lovers and rubs his cheek against mine.
"I'm not your sweetie pie! Get off me! That's disgusting!"
Hurt flickers in his pale blue eyes. Whenever I saw Holly get hurt from my words I didn't feel anything except bothered, so I pretended to feel regret for my words and apologized. But with him... it's different. I actually feel... regretful of my own words. Maybe if I felt something for Holly she wouldn't have cheated on me. Maybe...
"Then you can be my little cupcake," he tells me, smiling so happily.
"Stop giving me terms of endearment! You know how gross that is!?"
Though he does have a cute smile... What the hell am I thinking?
"Who are you talking to?" my friend, Mark, asks me. "Have you gone insane or something? You're yelling at the air, man."
"You don't... see him?"
"See who? Are you seeing ghosts, dude? There's nobody else here. It's just us two. If you're that desperate to keep the archery club going, desperate enough to be hallucinating, then you should tell more people about it. We'll lose it otherwise."
"You know I've been doing my best, but nobody wants to join or they just don't have the skills. I really want to keep the archery club going..."
Damu tells me, "Nobody starts out good. The reason to have this club is to have fun and teach them archery. Not everybody is a toxophilite like you. Give the beginners a chance."
The idiot's right and I hate it when he's right, but he's right. It is only fair to give everyone a chance, but I don't think anyone other than my friends will want to join, and I don't want that. Not after they slept with my ex. No one at school tells me all the important stuff, so maybe hanging out with Damu isn't so bad… I just wish he would stop following me everywhere I go.
Even now as I prepare to hit the target, always hitting it close to the center, he clings onto me. Damu distracts me, causing me to completely miss the target. This… is… the… first time… I've… missed… the target… If Mark weren't here I'd have beaten him to a pulp. But since he is here, I don't want to look like an idiot hallucinating.
"That's the first time I've seen you miss the target," Mark points out the obvious. "What happened to your archery skills?"
"Yeah, you toxophilite, what happened?" asks Damu in an annoying voice.
"What the hell is a toxophilite, Damu!?" I angrily shout.
"You're in an archery club because you enjoy archery and you don't even know what a toxophilite is!?" Damu smacks his own face as if thinking I'm the idiot. "Toxophilite is a person whom is fond of or an expert at archery. You are a toxophilite."
"Not many people know that word here, so of course I wouldn't know it either, you idiot!"
"You were much more tolerable in your dreams."
"So it was you!"
"Uh," Mark says, interrupting Damu's and my argument. "Who the hell are you arguing with?"
Oh, I forgot that Damu's invisible to him… I must have looked like a complete idiot arguing with myself. He's going to be the reason for my loss of friends if that happens… Well, I never had a friend in the first place. They all just wanted Holly. They wanted a girl that would spread their legs for them.
Instead of saying anything or continuing with the club, I safely put away my bow and arrows, and then I leave. Before today I would have stayed and enjoyed myself to the fullest, even after finding out about Holly. But with Damu with me, I can't enjoy anything. He's really a pain in the ass. Mark doesn't say anything more as I leave. He looks worried for me though, but if he were my friend he wouldn't have slept with Holly.
The anger I feel at last begins to reveal itself on my face. Damu looks into my golden-brown eyes holding my head up as my hazelnut colored hair sweeps his hand. My heartbeat hastens. It's the first time I'm feeling this way and I don't understand what this feeling is. Whenever he brings his face close to mine I feel like my heart is going to explode. Maybe it's because he's got such a pretty face, but it doesn't do much about his personality.
"We should go shopping," he says, smiling.
"No! I hate shopping! That's such a girly thing and we're guys! I'd rather go home now," I reply without a second though.
"I was only thinking maybe we could go play some games at the arcade or go buy some video games at the store… Maybe we could go to my place instead," he says, offering a wink.
"You're weird, you know. It's like your flirting with me and it's gross."
"You don't have to go home right now… We can do other stuff together first."
"You've been with me the whole time! I don't need to do anything with you! You keep clinging onto me and it's uncomfortable and annoying! Go away!"
With those words he finally quiets down. After a few seconds of silence I start wondering if he's still here with me. As I look around I don't see him. Maybe I hurt his feelings. I guess I'll apologize after I see him again… But it's his own fault! He kept clinging onto me and wouldn't shut up! He made me look like an idiot in front of Mark! Still, I didn't think that yelling at to him to go away would have hurt him this much. It actually feels kind of… No… I refuse to feel that way.
I get on the bus and people look at me as if I'm weird. They must have seen me having a conversation with Damu, but are unable to see him. I take a seat next to a friend. She's a pretty girl and I trust her. Maybe she should be my best friend then. She wouldn't betray me like my other friends. Jasmine, my only true friend, may be a lesbian, but she always hated Holly. It was obvious the way she acted towards her. I just didn't see it until now, when it's already too late.
No words are spoken between us. It is utterly silent, even after it's her bus stop. The bus is empty except for myself and the bus driver. If Damu were here with me, it'd definitely be a lot noisier… for me. Probably I would not be able to keep my mouth shut. That guy really doesn't know the meaning of the words shut up. Speaking of Damu, I wonder why he hasn't appeared beside me yet. I don't think I hurt him that much…
The bus slows down, coming to a stop in front of my house. After I get up and leave the bus I go to the door and walk inside. Like all those other times, it's dead silent. Mom must still be working right now. Soon she'll be home. It doesn't take long for her to get here from work since it's only a five minute drive.
"You're here," says the voice behind me, the voice that belongs to Damu. "You should go in the kitchen or your room to do your homework."
"No thanks. I'm perfectly fine doing it at night," I reply, deliberately procrastinating. "I want to take a break now that I got home from school. I feel like being lazy right now."
"Homework can be a pain, I know, but just go somewhere else inside the house please."
"...What are you trying to hide from me?" I eye him suspiciously. "And why the hell do you look like an adult now, exactly the same as from my dream?"
"…Because it's time."
"It's time for what!?"
Shoving him aside, I go straight ahead, heading for the back door. A hand grabs onto my shoulder, pulling me backwards.
"Don't go back there!" Damu shouts seriously. It's the first time I've seen him so serious. It must be big for him to act like this and shout at me. "If you do, you'll regret it!"
Using all my strength, I pull away from him. Thank goodness for my anger. I wouldn't be able to escape his grasp otherwise. He does seem very determined to keep me away, so I run.
Once I reach the back door, I open it and freeze. Unable to say a word, Damu speaks. "I'm sorry, but her time's been up for an hour now. I didn't want you to see this, so I thought I'd take her to the cemetery myself. She didn't go to work since it was supposedly her day off. Someone called her and told her that she should take a break because she's been working so hard. She was suspicious, but took it in the end. It turned out to be a trap. The one who called her came over and… killed her. I'm sorry. I was going to bury her in the cemetery myself next to her husband, your father, before you found out… She was burned and I stopped the fire from spreading, but she was dead by the time I got here."
"You… you knew and you didn't tell me? Mom could have lived, but you didn't do anything? Why didn't you try to save her?" I shout, unable to hold my emotions back. Tears leak out of my eyes like a running faucet. "You could have saved her, but you didn't do anything."
"No, I couldn't. No matter how hard an angel tries to save someone, it will always end up in failure. You cannot cheat death."
"How do you know for sure? Did you even try? No! You just let it happen, and you let it happen to my mom! She was the only person who was always there for me after Dad died! Even my friends weren't really there except for Jasmine! Sometimes I wished I were with her instead of Holly! If she weren't a lesbian, I would have asked her for sure! I told Mom about that and she didn't mind her sexuality and told me that there are other girls like her out there! I just haven't found the right one! She would always try to cheer me up since no one else would!"
Looking up after finishing telling him about my true feelings for my friends and Holly, I see more hurt in his eyes then ever before. I can't believe I left him speechless, but I, for the first time, want him to say something. I want him to tell me that my mother isn't dead or that I will have someone with me. I want him to tell me that I still have Jasmine, that she will always be a good friend of mine. But he says nothing.
Because I'm upset, I run to the front door. Damu, without saying anything, tries even harder to keep me from leaving. I want out. I want to leave the place where I saw the body bag that is holding my mother's corpse. All I ever wanted was for someone to love me. Now that my mother's gone there's no one anymore.
"Please, don't go outside, Lyle," Damu begs, appearing between me and the door.
"Why not? There's nothing here for me anymore. She was the only person who truly loved me and now she's not here anymore."
"But I love you," he confesses. "Always… I've always loved you. I've been watching over you since you were a baby and, before I knew it, I've grown to love you. I'm your guardian angel."
"Stop it! I hate you!" My emotions get the best of me and I push him aside. I run out in the middle of the road, turn around to face Damu, and call out: "I hate you! You killed my mother! It's your fault she's dead!" And then-
"Lyle!" he shouts as a truck comes at me and crashes into me.
So this is what Damu meant by those words, "It's time." Will he take me there, too, just as he planned to do for her? Will he bury us next to each other and place us next to my father? Being dead, I thought I would feel pain, but it doesn't hurt at all. It's not so bad or scary.
To think the last words that came from my mouth were words of hatred for Damu. Maybe Mom's happy to be here because she can be with Dad, body and spirit. I want to apologize to Damu if I see him again, but… I don't know if I'll ever see him again. He said he loved me, so I was never unloved in the first place.
Where am I?
"Lyle," a woman's voice calls out to me. "Lyle."
"Mom," I reply. "Mom, is that you?"
"Lyle," a masculine voice joins in. "Come on. It's time for you to go, too. Don't worry. It won't hurt. You can see him again, too, and you can apologize for what you said to him."
"Dad," I happily exclaim.
My… spirit, I guess, slowly disappears into another place. This is the first time in a long time since my father's death that I feel truly happy. Damu said he loved me and all I could think about since the moment I first remember seeing him in my dreams, I've been in love with him. As weird as it may sound, it was his eyes that drew me to him. Even though I believed he was a serious adult, I wasn't disappointed to know his real personality a child at heart. Being away from him at the time, I couldn't stop thinking about him and I wanted him next to me. I didn't realize it until now.
Even though I thought I liked Jasmine, it was more of a feeling of wanting her as my sister. Not once did I feel like I was in love with her. It's different with Damu though. He can make me laugh, make me feel wanted whenever he starts clinging onto me, and he can annoy me to hell… No pun intended.
"And then he said he hates me," Damu's voice rings. "I wanted to tell him that I did try to warn him when told him it was time, but I couldn't since he refused to listen to me."
"Damu," I say.
"Lyle!" He runs to me, tightly embracing me. If I weren't dead already, his tight embrace would have been the death of me. "Will you listen to me now?"
"No," I reply. Shock and sadness strike him. "No, because I want to tell you something first… I'm sorry, okay? There, I said it! I didn't mean what I said before the truck hit me! I was upset and angry, so I took it out on you and refused to listen to you! I know it wasn't your fault and you couldn't do anything about it!"
"What a rushed apology, but I accept and forgive."
"I'm not done! I-I think I like you, too!" The temperature on my cheeks starts rising. That was embarrassing. Never haveI confessed to anyone before. This is my first time. "You make me feel wanted and you make me laugh. You have the nicest face I've seen. You said you loved me and made my heart race. Every time you bring your face close to mine, I'm always hoping for a kiss… or… something… and my heartbeat quickens. So I think I like you! I'm done now!"
A grin imprints itself on Damu's face as he embraces me even more tightly. This guy is easily excited about the smallest things. I don't know if he remembers me saying that I'm not too sure about my feelings, but it is good that he's happy. This childish angel, I am glad he is my guardian angel. If I could go back in time and choose my own guardian angel, I wouldn't do it. So maybe I am in love with him.
My parents seem accepting of it. I knew Mom would be, but I wasn't too sure about how my father would feel about it. Luckily he's accepting of it, too. Mom's eyes though… Her eyes are glittering with joy at the sight of me, her son, confessing to Damu. She always seemed like a serious adult, but now she reminds me of a teenager with hormones.
Damu laughs in excitement. "That's great. I'm glad."
"Even though I said I wasn't sure?" I have to be sure about it.
"You don't hate me and your heart keeps racing whenever you see me, so that's enough for me to be happy."
"Idiot," I call him, pulling him lightly by the hair and placing my lips on his. Mom sure is enjoying this. His lips are really soft. I can hear my heartbeat. Or is that his? It doesn't matter. Parting from his lips, he shows me a smile that he's never shone me before. It makes him look even more beautiful than I remember, damn it… Maybe falling in love with this childish angel won't be so bad after all.