Monday, January 10, 2011
Natalie's story through Gabe's eyes
(This is a rewrite of To Lock or Not to Lock as seen through the eyes of Natalie's Guardian Angel, Gabe)
Things couldn’t get any busier tonight, Gabe thought rushing to steady Natalie as she slid on the ice and went careening towards the barberry bush outside her work place. He had almost missed her leaving.
They always gave him the young ones. They said it was because his reflexes were better than most of the other Guardian Angels. It was true, and he was proud of it.
In just the short time his mind had wandered, he saw that Natalie had gotten a glass of water and poured it on her frozen car door lock. When it released, he watched her open the door and get inside. He saw her wait for a few minutes for the heater to come on, then decide to go back inside the office. But when she pushed on the door to get out, it wouldn’t budge; it was frozen shut. “Good, she’s locked in and out of trouble for now,” he thought.
At that moment he heard Lucy yell, “Gabe, watch out for Jake!” He moved with lightening speed to steer the sled of the 10 year-old boy that was sliding out of control down the snowy unlit road behind his house. “Time to go inside for the night,” he suggested to the boy’s conscience. He left as he saw Jake pick up his sled and head for home.
When he got back to Natalie, she was leaving the parking lot with only a small circle of clear space to see out of on her windshield. “No, no, you were supposed to wait for the windshield to defrost before you started out,” he shouted. She cocked her head as if she heard something, but kept on going. “There’s no one left at the party; they’ve all gone home because of the icy weather.” If she heard him, she didn’t react. The younger ones listen, he had learned, this one was 22.
Lucy shouted again, “It’s Sandra now.” He was glad Lucy had his back. The three people he was responsible for tonight were almost too much without his Assistant.
He got to twelve-year-old Sandra’s second story window just as she was climbing out to run away from home. Her backpack was bulging with all of her important possessions. She clutched her pillow pet monkey in her left arm and grabbed ahold of the gutter. Gabe caught Sandra as the gutter fell away from the house, and he slowly eased her to the ground.
“It’s not safe,” he whispered to her. “Go back inside and talk to her. She understands.” He watched as she wiped away her tears and walked through the front door into her mother’s arms.
He caught back up with Natalie and was impressed at how slowly and carefully she was driving. But as she made a left turn, her car door suddenly flew open and the car began sliding towards the embankment on the right. He knew there was a creek below.
Gabe took control of the wheel and steered the car back onto the road. Natalie was holding the door closed as best she could while gripping the steering wheel with the other hand. He could tell when she made the decision to head home instead of to the party.
Gabe wanted to make sure she got there without any further mishaps, so he followed her as she drove the rest of the way. When she turned the corner onto her street, he winked at the porch light causing it to gleam brighter. He noticed the silhouette of her mother standing at the front window watching for her.
He saw Natalie visibly relax, then try to stifle an uncontrollable giggle. Yes, she would have a good story to share. And he would add three more saves to his list of accomplishments tonight.