She called and texted. He dropped brief replies, wanting to ease the truth. Excuses. Work. Then silence.
She stopped by in crutches, embracing him awkwardly, asking to see the paintings. He only had one, a yellow chakra he told her. Half finished. Dull, even for yellow. She said it was beautiful. He inched away. Perplexed, she tried again to hold him, but he would not hold her back. He mocked her and called her a gimp.
She was very confused.
Over the next few months, she spiraled in that confusion, allowed it to take a hold of her and plant a seed in her gut. The confusion swelled around her in vicious circles, and she, the rejected, the unwanted, became a tornado of pain. She stopped by again. Then again. He resisted more until it was simply a tug of war of wills between them, when the love they once shared was no longer the point. In truth she wasn’t very pretty, he noted to himself. That nose was a bit bulbous and awkward, her eyes a bit plain. She was nothing, a no one, and he couldn’t understand what had taken hold of him to begin with. He had lost his mind, in a brief artistic retreat. But no more of this nonsense. Yes, no more of this nonsense.
Powerless against what she had lost, she turned to stone, resenting the dishes that needed washing, resenting the boy for his needs, resenting the shining presence of the sun. She hated him for closing the door on the beautiful discovery of that love. She took up with a sheep farmer, working every day to forget.
Abe dwindled in the stony silence of his existence. Everything lingered just as it did before her arrival, the paints, the canvases, the cluttered plaid sofa. They all waited for him, their god, to resume their work and to quietly renew the channel of beauty that had always flowed from his thick fingers without effort. But the light didn’t come. It was a dry spell, he told Chris. A dry spell. A drought. Yes, a dry spell.
Three years later he wrote to Marguerite and asked to see her again. I’m sorry, he said.
I died every day for three years, she wrote back, I couldn’t bear to resurrect myself again.
He drank more. And then more.
“Shut up!” He yelled at the paintbrushes, at the blank canvas, “Can’t you see that I can’t! Can’t you see what I’ve got going on here? No, you can’t. Because you only think of yourself!”
And one night, he stumbled through the streets until he reached the shores of Lake Michigan and jumped in. He kicked off his boots and bobbed to the surface, laughing, lunging into a back stroke, propelling himself further into the sea.
“Marguerite!” He shouted, the stars a drunken swirl of shooting lights above him, “Marguerite!”
Forty miles away, Marguerite woke with a start and sat erect on her bed, listening, waiting. The moon gazed through the window, watching.
“What? What is it?” the farmer asked.
And she said nothing, because nothing sat there in the room with her, taunting her with its elusive nothingness.
There was only Marguerite.
After his death, Abe asked the guides to guarantee that he would have Marguerite again. We don’t barter, they told him, and we don’t control her.
He chose to stay.
“Perhaps if she had come from money. Or if she had been white,” Nathaniel said.
“Yes, rub it in,” Abe said, “I haven’t beaten myself up over it enough. I wasn’t willing to go back without that woman.”
“Why should you get a guarantee when she didn’t?” Nathaniel asked him.
“Don’t you have a bus full of schoolchildren to save or something? Get the hell out of here,” Abe said.
Nathaniel walked away slowly, admiring flowers on the path.
“Shit, I could do his job,” Abe muttered, “It’s not so hard to be a pompous asshole.”
Abe became a bit preoccupied with this idea and asked around. A panel of archangels administered angel assignments for the earth plane. The only catch was that only angels could be given assignments, and angels were distinctly different beings from incarnates. Incarnates would never reach the vibration level of angels. It wasn’t possible, which was why many angels often dedicated their lives to helping incarnates. They were humanitarians, not unlike middle class people who erect and run homeless shelters. Abe requested to meet with them and was at first denied. He persisted until they agreed.
The “interview” was held in a square room of four waterfalls. There were four archangels, two males and two females gathered around a small blooming cherry tree. They invited Abe to sit in their circle.
“You are not an angel,” one female said, “So we don’t understand your request.”
“Don’t you think that’s discriminatory?” Abe asked, “I want to help.”
“Would you have a school counselor perform brain surgery on you?” one male asked.
“I get what you’re saying. Look, give me someone to go with me to help out, but let me try.”
“We have deliberated and have decided to deny your request,” the other male said.
A fifth archangel appeared, a large female with a blue sash. She was considerably larger in size than the other archangels.
“With respect, I have been sent to counsel with you,” she said.
“Of course, sister,” the second female replied.
“It has been requested by the one who sent me that Abe be allowed to perform work as an angel,” she said.
The panel sat expressionless with an energy teetering on surprise.
“Quite unusual,” the first male said, “Is there a particular assignment in mind?”
“Yes. It is one of the three moons,” as she said this, she stepped aside as the waterfalls around them split into half and the sky above them began to crumble and fall, pieces of cloud as heavy as bricks. The angels darted them effortlessly. A brick clipped Abe on the shoulder.
“Follow me,” the unexpected angel demanded, and she took Abe’s hand. They fled, flying through layers of energies, outdoor sceneries of woods, desert, mountains, plains. Finally, they landed in the dark. She led him up a mountain, scarcely visible in a torrential rainstorm. The six of them crawled upon the rocks until the long black face of a cave emerged in the hillside.
“In here,” she whispered to him, and once they were all inside, she placed a red veil of energy over the opening of the cave with a determined swipe of her hand. She turned to the angel nearest the opening.
“Is there anyone, David?” she asked.
He peered out.
“I don’t think anyone followed us. There was no one at the falls. Why didn’t you warn us?” he asked.
“A warning would have been a breach of security. I’m sorry about the surprise.”
“Where are we?” Abe asked.
“South America,” she responded.
“Why are we hiding?” Abe asked.
“There is an uprising in heaven, Abe,” she said, “And we are all a part of it. We must all choose a side. Much like the fall.”
“Like a war?” he asked.
“More like conflicting interests. Light beings don’t agree on how to solve the issue of the archons. We are divided.”