44: Protective Wings

44: Protective Wings

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel

Protective Wings

A guardian angel walks with us, sent from up above, their loving wings surround us and enfold us with love.

~Author Unknown

It wasn’t until a few months ago, when I wrote a story about an angelic intervention, that I realized I have had such a presence watching over me all my life. As my story unfolded on my computer screen, a rush of recollection came with it — memories that I’d always brushed away as the product of an overactive child’s imagination. Yet, in retrospect, I see now that I was always enfolded in protective wings. Over the years, a beautiful blue-eyed lady has always appeared to me when I needed her the most. Then she’d disappear, sometimes for almost a decade, before reappearing again.

I was six or seven the first time I saw her; although I suspect she hovered over me from birth. That day was a warm spring one. I was walking up and down the alley behind our home looking for treasures in the melting snow. Sometimes I would find pennies or nickels that someone had dropped, or discarded soda bottles that I would sell. The proceeds would enable me to buy a small bag of candy that I could savor, sometimes over the course of a week.

Back then, my brothers and I often roamed within a five-block radius of our home. We knew each and every neighbor, and never worried about danger since we could run into any house and ask for help. In fact, I often used that lane as a shortcut to school. It was a safer world then, free from the predators that seem to lurk everywhere today — or so we thought.

That afternoon I was excited to find not just a dime, but right near it, a quarter! It was a fortune to me. I was ecstatic and clutched it to my chest as I raced home.

Distracted with thoughts of all the treats I could buy, I hardly noticed the car slowly approaching. It wasn’t until it came to a stop beside me that I halted in my tracks. I was still grinning about my lucky find, and the driver smiled back. Friendly and unafraid, I waved at him and he leaned over to open the passenger door.

“Hi, sweetheart. What have you got there?” he asked, motioning to my tightly clenched fist.

I opened my palm to show him the still muddy coins and he squinted.

“Come closer,” he urged. “I can’t see.”

Without thinking, I approached the vehicle. When he patted the seat next to him, I slid in without hesitation and extended my hand.

“Lucky girl!” he said in that exaggerated, condescending tone some adults have when speaking to children. “What are you going to do with it?”

“I’m going to buy candy!” I announced with excitement. “Lots and lots of candy!”

“Well, now,” he chuckled, reaching into his pocket. He began to jingle coins the same playful way my father did when he was about to give me a few spare pennies. “Let’s see if we can find something more to add to your piggy bank,” he continued. He produced a handful of silver coins and began digging through them, palming four more quarters and putting the rest of his change back. He thrust the money towards me, but just out of my reach.

“It’s getting chilly, sweetheart. Why don’t you close your door?” he suggested huskily.

It was then that I noticed his other hand stroking himself in what my mother referred to as a private “bathing suit area.” I remembered how she told me that a lady should never touch herself there or let anyone else touch her. His breathing became heavier and I grew nervous. “Close the door!” he repeated in a breathless tone. This time it sounded like an order.

I was frightened. Always taught to obey my elders, I reached for the handle to do as he said, even though it felt wrong.

“Get out!” I heard another voice insist. “Get out and run!”

I whipped my head up to see a young woman with penetrating azure eyes standing outside looking at me. Although her features were clear, the rest of her was bathed in an illuminating light, almost as if the rays of the sun were peeking out from behind her. Yet the brightness wasn’t blinding as it radiated from her shimmering body.

Hypnotized, I felt the man’s hand clamp onto my shoulder. The woman’s face hardened with anger. I heard him gasp and shout in terror as she shoved an arm past me to slap his fingers away. He bellowed as if burned.

“Run,” she urged again, propelling me into action.

I scurried across the seat and fell to my knees at her feet, noticing they were bare. My forgotten money spilled to the ground in my haste to get away. I wanted to retrieve it, but the woman barred my access with her ankle.

“Home!” Go home!” she commanded.

I picked myself up and tore up the lane towards my house, my short legs pumping against the heaviness that comes with fear. Behind me, I heard the man scream again, and I turned to see the same light that had silhouetted the lady emanate from his windows for a moment, then dissipate. He started his car and it roared down the narrow alley, splattering water everywhere. When he got to the bottom of the hill, he turned left and disappeared.

I looked around for the woman, but she was gone. The alley was empty. From where I stood, I could see the glint of silver on the ground. It was my money. Even though I no longer felt threatened, I didn’t go back to get it, no matter how big a windfall it was to me. The lady had told me to go home. Even at my young age, I understood that she had saved me from something awful and I felt compelled to obey her.

I never told my parents what happened that day. Part of me was afraid I’d be punished for getting into the car, while another was sure no one would believe me about the woman. In any event, I remained quiet. By bedtime, even I wondered if I’d imagined it all — until I slid my hand under my pillow and felt something cool and smooth. My hand closed around it, and in the moonlight that streamed through my bedroom window, I saw the quarter I’d found, dropped and abandoned earlier that day. Next to it was the dime.

A week later, I overheard my parents whispering about a bad man that had been caught hurting children in his car and I shivered. I wanted to speak, but couldn’t. A sense of safety washed over me and I felt warm again. Although the memory of that day faded as I grew, at that moment I knew in my heart that I truly did have a guardian angel that had interceded on my behalf.

~Marya Morin

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