Scott hadn’t had so much as a drink last night. He woke up in his own home, the same place he’d gone to sleep, and when he’d shuffled into the kitchen to make coffee, he’d found the pot already brewing and the angel sitting at his table.
Ethereal wasn’t the word. Because one does not expect to find an angel in the kitchen, one does not have expectations about what this angel should look like, but if you had asked him the night before what he thought an angel in his kitchen would look like, it wouldn’t have been this. She was sitting to avoid startling him, but she was staring intently at the doorway when he entered as though she knew the exact moment he would appear and was afraid he’d manage to dodge her gaze like an inattentive waiter. Her face was urgent yet placid, the look of someone who lacked the capacity to be ignored.
“Good morning,” she said in a voice so oddly soothing he felt not the least bit alarmed. When the angel spoke, although her mouth moved, the sound seemed to come from somewhere inside him, like his spine. Like the nerves themselves were humming with a brighter electricity than usual. “Please sit. I have something for you.”
“Let me get you some coffee,” she said as she rose and began to make her way around his kitchen in the familiar way of a house guest. “I do hate to have startled you, but I have a lot to do today, including, well, I won’t trouble you with that. I took the liberty of making coffee. You don’t mind, do you?”
He shrugged. On a normal day, a normal person with a normal stranger in their kitchen would have minded quite a bit, but given the circumstances (some of which he was quite unaware of at the moment though they affected him anyway) he didn’t mind.
While he drank his coffee, she chattered warmly, telling little meaningless yet charming bits about the universe. Her pace was lilting like a small bird’s, and her voice was as sweet as sleeping in on a Sunday morning, which she informed him God didn’t actually mind at all.
“Well, that’s good,” Scott said thoughtfully, becoming gradually more certain that he was actually awake. “So, you said you had something for me?”
“Yes. You should listen to this,” she said, handing him a burned CD that looked no different than the indy band mix CDs his friends would loan each other in the late 90s.
“Um, OK,” he said. She continued to hold the CD out expectantly, and he realized he’d waited a beat too long to take it from her. Her eyes, which had softened during their conversation regained that look of intensity. Her arm seemed to grow longer toward him. “So … now, then?” Her face was impassive. He took the CD from her hand, stood up from his place at the table, and crossed the room to get it playing. When he turned back around, she was gone.
The CD continued to play as he went about his morning. He was glad to find it soothing music with a resonance similar to the angel’s voice, and in fact, similar to her face as well. The notes themselves seemed to form the image of her face in his mind, a sound portrait replaying the most subtle notes of her voice. Though he did ponder for some time the full purpose of her visit, he never once felt anxious or uneasy when recalling it. If nothing else, this one fact would remain true for the entirety of his future.