My daughter was killed by an angel. An angel who fell from a church. A girl who wanted to be an angel. A girl her own age. A girl who didn't want to live. So she climbed to the top of the church, step by step through one of those old towers, up those winding stairs, and came out, ignoring the tourists and the view - that beautiful view of the city -, walked to the edge, leaned over, and flew.

Did she think she was going to Heaven? Maybe she did. Maybe she thought it was that easy: push free of the gargoyles and the saints, and launch out into the air. Who cares what happens after that?

Who cares where you land?

My daughter wanted to live. With all her heart. She wanted to see the world. That's why she was there - to see the old towers, to see the stained glass. Did she see the girl coming down? Did she look up and think, "Why that must be an angel. Why else would she be in the sky? But the poor thing" - she would have thought that, she would have been concerned - "the poor thing, she's not going to make it. She's starting to fall."

But who expects an angel to fall? Who expects one to come down, headed straight towards you? Did she think, as she saw the girl coming closer, as she almost made out her face, "Oh no, this angel is meant for me, this is my angel, my Angel of Death"? Or did she suddenly see it so clearly at the end, and think, "Oh you fool, you stupid, stupid girl, so what if you didn't want your own life, couldn't you have left me mine?"

Copyright 2008 James B. Chevallier
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