I remember when she was born, my Emily. We were close at first, she and I would spend hours talking and trying to make sense of the world, sometimes long into the night. When we were finished I would lie beside her and keep her warm and safe in the knowledge that she was loved unconditionally.
As she grew and other worldly interests held her attention, we spoke less and less… she slowly forgot about me which is the natural order I suppose. Nevertheless I stayed with her. I walked with her through dark evenings on her way home from school and held her hand. When she wrestled with the enormous volume of schoolwork that had been laid before her, I didn’t interfere, instead I quietly placed helpful material in her path to aid her inspiration, but she never thanked me for it.
I remember well the early days of her marriage… a misplaced match by all accounts but I said nothing, for it’s better that she learns from her mistakes. I watched her anguish as she slowly realised her husband was not the man she first thought he was and I remember the worst night of all… the drunken tornado of abuse she suffered, left crumpled on the bedroom floor like discarded underwear, with violet bruises erupting on her beautiful complexion. She lay on the floor with vomit dripping from her hair and fresh blood seeping from her recently inhabited womb and I said nothing, for all I could do was sit beside her and hold her tightly, trying to help her feel that it wasn’t a way out she was now looking for now, but a way back in. I couldn’t hide the pills from her that night, all I could do was grasp her hands and lend her my strength – I poured wordless encouragement into her heart until the morning came and kept her alive – kept myself alive. I think she remembered us that night as we used to be… forgotten childhood friends… though I can’t be sure.
How she grieved for her lost child! It was a source of infinite comfort for me, ample thanks for the love I’d given her in the past and I told her so, even though she couldn’t hear me. I explained to her in her dreams one night, I explained that the child was an error, that it could not have been born, for its soul belonged to me. I explained that one day, when she departed, I would be born to a different mother and it would then be Emily’s turn to nurture my mortal soul. This is how things work with Guardian Angels, this is how it has always worked.
I stay in her shadow now… I push the forceful words out of her mouth when she needs strength, I close her eyes to the things she should not see and I turn her in the direction of the things she should. I think she knows I’m here – she feels the warmth of my support and berates herself for entertaining the notion that I exist but she still knows deep down.
Just like you know deep down. On those nights when the silence seems oppressive and you feel despair clawing at the edge of your mind, know you’re not alone. Right now you’re being loved by somebody you’ve forgotten all about but it’s okay, this is how it’s meant to be. Stay very very silent and you’ll feel it, listen closely and you’ll hear it – the love of your minder, your connected soul. There’s no such thing as an imaginary friend. We’re very, very real.