Ellowyne’s tears flowed furiously as she plopped down on the fainting couch in her room. Prudence and Lizette texted her several times and even Amber tried to get in touch. Rufus called but gave up when his calls repeatedly went to voice mail. Ellowyne overhead vague shuffling and mumbling noises downstairs, and, eventually, she heard the sound of footsteps walking out the front door. She ran to the window and saw her four friends get into Rufus’ Subaru, Amber seated in the front next to him. “Well, isn’t that special”, she grumbled to herself in the darkness. “I wouldn’t be surprised if those two got together. They don’t need me around. Lizette doesn’t need me, either. I convinced her to stay in San Francisco and she’d be happier back in New Orleans. And Pru—she needs a friend she can do things with. She doesn’t need a ‘best friend’ who’s always so down and tired and depressed.”
Ellowyne then flung herself back onto the couch. She clutched a teddy bear, a gift from her late mother, and cried. “I’m a burden to my friends and to my family. Everyone would be better off without me. I wish I had never been born.”
Ellowyne was startled to hear a thump in her room. She looked for Sybil but found the cat sleeping on the floor. She rubbed her eyes as a petite teenager with red hair and freckles clamored to her feet in the corner. Ellowyne screamed. “Who are you? How did you get in here? I’m calling the police!”
Midge shrugged her tiny shoulders and smoothed out her flip. “It won’t do you any good, Ellowyne,” she answered. “No one but you can see or hear me.” To prove her point, Midge walked over to Sybil and called out, “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty! Wake up, you silly cat!” Ellowyne’s eyes widened in sheer terror as Midge rubbed Sybil’s ample belly and kissed the cantankerous cat on the nose. To Ellowyne’s shock, Sybil didn’t even stir. “Do you need additional proof?” Midge demanded.
“WHO ARE YOU?”
“My name is Midge Hadley. I’m your guardian angel.”
“Excuse me? You’re my WHAT?”
“I’m your guardian angel. I’m here to grant your wish.”
“To have never been born.”
Ellowyne sat back down on the couch. She closed her eyes and thought for a few moments, and then she spritzed some whipped cream into her mouth. “Want some, Angel Midge?”
“Oh, no thank you.”
Ellowyne stopped eating whipped cream and looked thoughtfully at Midge. “Okay, if you’re an angel…”
“Yes, I know. Where are my wings? I’m an Angel Second Class and I haven’t earned them yet. I’ll get them if I help you, Ellowyne. Otherwise I need to continue to wander through eternity alone and wingless.”
Ellowyne spritzed more whipped cream into her mouth and considered Midge’s words. What would have happened to her family and friends had she never been born? What if this was just a dream? What if this was real? She nodded her head. “Okay, let’s do this.”
Ellowyne felt the blinding, searing presence of a light, followed by a kaliedascope of color and sound that left her feeling faint. She began to sweat profusely as the room grew stuffy and she found it difficult to breathe. Then she felt a cool breeze on her cheek and she realized that she was floating above the Earth, sailing across the skies with Midge. They flew over exotic cities, colorful beaches, luscious rain forests, and barren deserts. Then they were back in San Francisco, in Ellowyne’s grandmother’s Victorian home, and in the very spot that should have been Ellowyne’s own bedroom, which now was storage space for dusty antiques and faded memorabilia.
“That’s it,” Midge smiled. “You have never been born.”
“What about my family and friends? Can I see them?”
“You may see some of them. And others you will see their lives through the lens of technology. Keep in mind that none of them will see you because you simply do not exist.
“And prepare for surprises,” Midge added. “The world may be a very different place without you in it.”