"A Lovelight Story"
By John Pirillo
"The first time she saw an angel she fell in love. The second time she saw an angel she saved a dying man. The third time she saw an angel she went to heaven." From the diary of a Nurse.
Lovelight set the poetry book down and sighed. "I have yet to see any angels." She sighed yet again, then got up from her bed and went to her vanity to stare at her face in the mirror. She was a teenager, not out of high school. Too young to drive. To date. To do much of anything. Not that any of that mattered so much. She had yet to meet a boy who made her heart flutter as her Mom was in the habit of saying about Father.
She mused on that a moment, then began shaping her blonde hair, her eyes focused on a world in the future, when she might be readying herself for a date.
"Lovelight!" Her Mom called from downstairs. She sighed again, glancing quickly at her feet, where the house slippers hung on barely. They were worn out, but she loved them. Her grandmother had given them to her last Christmas before she crossed into the Light. She wiped at her eyes then, feeling moisture gathering. She didn't like thinking about that. She missed her terribly, even if she was a bit grouchy at times. She knew Grammy, as she called her, was in a lot of pain in the end, and being grouchy was a privilege. But she never lashed out or hurt anyone, just complained. Not even about the pain, mostly about the weather. Not hot enough. Not cool enough. Too much of it.
She barked with laughter for a moment, remembering the look on Grammy's face. Her lips would purse together like two pincushions and her eyebrows meet like a caterpillar crawling across her forehead, and her gray hair would float for a moment as Grammy would swipe at it, not even realizing she was doing so.
"Lovelight!" Her Mom called again, louder.
"Coming, Mom!" She hollered, and then hurriedly touched up her face with some powder and lip balm.
Mom was in the process of fixing her lunch when she came storming down. "Lunch?" She gasped. "Oh my God! It's Monday! I forgot!"
She turned around to the bark of her Mom's laughter and dashed back upstairs to hurriedly dress for school. Her Mom laughed the same way she did and Dad said she got it from Mom, who claimed she caught it from Grammy. No one wanted to take credit for it. She grinned; finished tightening up her blouse behind her back, then slipped into a pair of jeans, slapped some rouge onto her cheeks, some mascara around her eyes, then blasted downstairs, grabbed the lunch bag and ran for the front door.
"Wait! Breakfast!" Mom hollered.
"No time!" She yelled back over her shoulder, not slowing down for a second.
She reached the bus stop just seconds before the other kids climbed aboard and the driver was about the shut the door. He grinned at her, and she saluted him. He liked that. Ex-military he had told her once, then she shot for the back where she usually sat, nodding to some of the kids she knew, high fiving some, slapping palms or bumping fists with others as she trooped back there.
Finally, she sat down, exhausted and worn out already, even if it was the start of the day and she'd had a full night's sleep. She had been looking forward to a visit with her friend, Stephanie, whose mom always drove her to school, and now that would have to wait, though they could still gossip between classes or during class when the teacher wasn't looking.
Poor Mister Henry, he was an older man, hard of hearing, so any kids on his left side got away with murder as long as his ears were facing that direction, which they usually were when he was lecturing. She and Stephanie got in some quick gossip during those times.
As the bus shuddered into movement, coughing a few times, its old motor working like the devil to get up to steam, the roar of it vibrating the back of the bus like a comforting rocker, they were on their way.
As they drove she looked into her lunch bag, hoping Mom remembered to put an apple in there for her lunch. But what she found was a note, two apples and a yogurt. She read the note. "Dear Lovelight, I thought you might like the extra apple and yogurt. Love you. Mom."
"Love you too, Mom!" She whispered to her absent Mom.
She dug into the yogurt with the plastic spoon in the bag, then finished, began munching on the apple. Suddenly, the bus jammed to a screeching halt. A car behind them almost struck them and honked its horn violently in complaint.
Kids ahead of her were all standing up and muttering excitedly. She stood and plowed forward a bit to see for herself. Ahead of them were two cars in the middle of the intersection of Crawley and Benson. It was the main two roads before the school. One of the vehicles was a brand new SUV, a Chevy. The other was an older truck, the old heavy metal kind that could plow through a ten thick brick wall without stopping. It had done so here as well, breaking the SUV in half. Half of it lay to the side and the other half upside down.
Lovelight began praying for the souls of the people in the accident, and then she gasped. The SUV was Stephanie's Mom's.
"Oh my God!" She cried out.
The bus driver tried to stop her from exiting, but she forced the door and ran to the SUV, shoving aside people who just stood there doing nothing but looking at the broken bodies lying on the pavement. The sound of sirens grew in the distance.
A man stumbled from the truck and almost fell, then righted himself. As he stepped forward a brown bag in his hand fell and the sound of breaking glass was heard. He was drunk!
Lovelight didn't know that at the time, she only knew her best friend had been in a terrible accident. She rushed to the SUV, and saw Stephanie and her Mom hanging upside down from the front seat of the overturned front half of the SUV. The Mom's head was turned to a harsh angle, her eyes wide open, seeing nothing.
Stephanie was alive, but sobbing, blood leaking from her forehead.
"Oh my God! Stephanie!" Lovelight uttered, and then turned to some of the men watching. "Someone help them! Please!"
Two men, shaken from their shock, rushed forward and released the Mom and Stephanie, laying the Mom flat on the pavement, but Stephanie, taking her to the grassy knoll on the side of the road and laying her on some coats that had been quickly donated for that use by some bystanders. Lovelight gave them all looks of gratitude, and then sat beside Stephanie, holding her right hand. There was a pulse, but a weak one.
"God help her!" She whispered to the air.
Stephanie's eyes fluttered and she opened them to see Lovelight.
"Don't talk, Steph. Medics are on the way."
The drunk, suddenly realizing he had killed someone, then noticed the angry glances of the crowd. He began to totter away. Several women went after him with their handbags. He swatted at them, but a larger one hammered him hard enough to slam him to the ground, then two of them sat on him.
Several men came up and joined them.
Stephanie looked into Lovelight's face and saw the tears and the lack of an answer."
Stephanie jerked herself upright, then screamed from the pain and fell back down. Lovelight put Stephanie's head on her lap and stroked her face as she began to weep horribly. "Mom. Mom! She cried with all the yearning of a child who has lost someone dear to them. "Mom!"
Lovelight looked back at the dead Mom, then her eyes widened. A man was standing there next to her. He got to his knees and placed his palms over her chest. As he did so, her body became wrapped in a beautiful golden light with bursts of green about it, and then the Mom sat up, except that she didn't really. Her physical body was still lying on the ground. The Mom looked frightened a moment, until the Man gave her a hand and helped her to her feet. She suddenly looked calm and peaceful. She looked around and spotted Lovelight and her daughter.
The man let go of her hand and she ran over to Stephanie and put her hands on her daughter's head, trying to comfort her, but they passed through her. She saw that Lovelight could see her and gave her a pleading look, not saying a word. "She's going to be all right." Lovelight told her, believing every word of it.
The man came over and reached down to help the Mom stand again. She was weeping now. He shook his head gently, and then nodded his head to the left. The Mom looked and a tunnel of white light was opening up. She looked frightened a moment, then as the man started to lead her away towards the tunnel, she looked back to Lovelight.
"I won't let her be alone." Lovelight promised. "I swear it." She told the woman.
The mom gave Lovelight the most beautiful smile she'd ever seen and the man looked at her with a smile filled with a bright light. For a brief moment his form wavered and she saw someone she had only seen before in movies and churches. He saw her recognition and smiled again, and then led Stephanie's mom into the tunnel of white light.
Stephanie, at that moment, stopped crying. Lovelight helped her sit up and pointed. Stephanie looked and then began to cry again as she saw her mom turn around and blow her a kiss and smile, then go into the white light and vanish.
When it was over, Stephanie turned to Lovelight. "I just saw an angel."
"I know." Lovelight said, then pulled Stephanie to her and shared her tears of joy and her tears of loss. And that was the beginning of many years of friendship.