He’d only seen her in his dreams, but now she was real. As real as anyone else she was turning the corner on the sidewalk ahead of him. Their eyes met and he was sure it was recognition he saw in hers. Just as soon she was gone from sight and he began running in earnest.
He was 12 when he first saw her, no different in appearance from today. He had been on a camping trip and dreamed there was a woman outside of his tent. She had stood watching him and then walked slowly away. Waking immediately, he’d jumped out of his sleeping bag and rushed to see if it had been real or a dream. The crack of a falling limb turned his attention from the task in time to see his tent crushed.
“You have a guardian angel Jim.” His mother had said.
He wouldn’t see his guardian angel again until College. Again he dreamed of her, watching from outside his dorm window. Waking immediately again, he realized that the room was filled with smoke. He and his room mate escaped out the window he had seen her in safely, but she was nowhere to be seen in the waking world.
Jim wanted nothing more than to thank her for saving his life twice now and seeing her on the street meant she had to be real. It wasn’t just chance or coincidence. She existed! Tearing around the corner at full speed, he called out.
“Hey! Miss!” Any number of women turned to look, but the one he was trying to catch up to was not one of them. He could see her clearly as she crossed the street. So close!
“Please, I need to speak to you.” Still nothing. He ran across the street, barely avoiding traffic. She was again around a corner, but he was only steps behind. Jim’s hand extended as he turned the corner. He would have answers. He would be able to say thank you.
His hand never met with her. Instead the explosion from the building along side him caught him full on and send him sprawling into traffic. In the inky black that followed, he tried to focus his thoughts.
“Yes, you are.” A woman’s voice came.
“Dead. You were wondering if you were dead. You are.”
“What? No, my guardian angel…” She answered before he could finish.
“I’m not your guardian angel. I am death.”
“But you saved me!”
“I came for you and you saw me. The irony is that this time I wasn’t here for you, I was here for the others.
“I don’t understand.”
“Come Jim,” A faint outline of a woman began to glow. “Take my hand. You have many questions and in the timelessness of death, I will give you answers. I admit, I was happy you escaped me twice. I’ve never liked taking the young.”
“Death has a conscience?”
“Death is impartial in who it takes, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.”
“All these years, I’ve been dreaming of Death.”
Her face had resolved now and though she said nothing, she had a warm smile. Their hands joined and somehow it was alright. He was finally with the girl of his dreams.