If you knew how you were going to die, would you try and stop it from happening or just accept the inevitable? I wouldn’t have run away. I wouldn’t have gotten in the car and drove. I would have picked up Ezekiel. After all, he's still here.
I started on the doomed journey two days ago. I had had enough. I just needed to get away. The pain had become too much. So I did what I always did. I ran. I quickly packed my backpack full of clothes, and also grabbed my phone and car keys. Within a matter of minutes, I am out of my hometown and I just keep driving. Who knows where I will end up?
Driving along a country road, tapping my hands on the steering wheel in time to the music that was blaring through my phone's speakers, I finally felt free of all of the pain. That's when I saw him. His thumb sticking out asking for a ride. For once, I didn't hesitate when I slowed down and pulled into the side of the road. Normally, I wouldn't even think about pulling over to pick up a hitchhiker but as soon as I saw him I felt like I knew him or at the very least recognised him from somewhere.
I watched in the rearview mirror as the hitchhiker picked up his backpack and walked over to the car. He leans against the car and peers inside to see me behind the steering wheel. His gold eyes glistened in the afternoon sun and I couldn’t help but stare into them.
“Where are you heading?” He asked, his voice sounding as soft as velvet to my ears.
“I don’t know, wherever the road takes me I guess” Shrugging my shoulders.
Without hesitation, the hitchhiker opened the passenger door and effortlessly slid into my car.
“My name is Ezekiel. Ezekiel Harrison”
I smile at Ezekiel as he throws his backpack into the back of the car in the same manner as I had done when I go into the car. I pull back onto the country road and begin driving before responding to Ezekiel.
Ezekiel smiled shyly at me before we fell effortlessly into a conversation. About anything and everything. It was almost like we had been close friends for years.
After hours of driving, I brake harshly causing the car to skid to a stop. I watched as the car in front of me had been sideswiped by an out of control truck.
“Sophie, are you ok?” Ezekiel asked, bringing me out of my daze.
I hadn’t even realised I had zoned out until I looked across to Ezekiel. Hints of worry sprinkled in the gold of his eyes.
“Sophie, please talk to me” Ezekiel pleaded.
Taking a shaky breath I manage to talk to Ezekiel “If I hadn’t stopped to pick you up that would have been me”
“Sophie please don’t talk like that”
“But it’s true” I sigh, defeated, before continuing to speak “Are you like my guardian angel or something?”
Ezekiel laughed nervously, ruffling his dirty blond hair.
“You must be going into shock Sophie if you think that. I can carry on driving?” Ezekiel offered.
Without saying a word I nodded at Ezekiel’s offer and we swapped places. Ezekiel sitting in the driving seat. And I am in the passenger seat. The car continued driving along the country road whilst I watched the green scenery fly past the window.
I awoke to Ezekiel shaking my shoulders and repeating my name. Rubbing my tired eyes, I found that my car was parked outside of the Gold Palms Motel. My eyebrows furrowed together in confusion.
“We both need to rest if we are going to continue driving to the next town” Ezekiel explained before seeing the shock on my face.
“Don’t worry I bought us separate rooms” Ezekiel stated.
Sleepily I mumbled a thank you as Ezekiel picked up both of our backpacks and showed me to my room. I didn’t have a chance to even look around my room as I decided to just flop on the bed and fall back asleep.
I awoke coughing and spluttering from the heavy black smoke pouring into my room. Sitting up I can just about see the red and orange flickering of flames under the gap of the door. Scrambling out of bed I head towards the door to open it. But I don’t. The heat is unbearable. I move back away from the door and huddle my knees to my chest, lying on the floor. Trying desperately to breathe.
The wood splinters as Ezekiel crashes through the door. Searching for me. Trying to save me. Again.
He found me huddled on the floor. Meaningfully he strides across the room and swiftly picks up my small frame in his arms.
As soon as my lungs breathe in clean, smoke-free, air, I cough, hard. Almost gulping in the clean air, I just look at Ezekiel and into his gold eyes. The burning fire reflected in his eyes.
“I think we might have to stay in this town a bit longer” Ezekiel’s voice soothing the panic that had filled my lungs.
Coughing I managed to say “Thank you, you really are my guardian angel”
Ezekiel blushed, ruffling his hair speckled with ash, before carefully placing me onto the backseat of my car. Ezekiel slid into the driving seat and set off into the dark night. Embers of the fire acting as stars against the black sky.
As most of our belongings had gone up in smoke, quite literally, the first thing we decided to do when the day broke was to replace the majority of our belongings.
That's when it happened.
I didn't notice the pain at first and then it happened all at once.
Falling to the floor, clutching my stomach, all my senses dull.
I can't hear the screams and shouts.
But I can hear my heart pounding.
I can't see the people running away.
But I can see the black dots dancing at the edges of my vision.
“Sophie stay with me” Ezekiel's soft voice breaking through the silence.
Blinking away the black dots, I can now see the golden eyes of Ezekiel and what seems to be a pair of white wings behind him. I must have been seeing things.
“Sophie just stay awake” His voice seemed further and further away.
“You need to stay awake” Urgency now lacing Ezekiel’s broken voice.
My eyelids fall heavy and all I can see is darkness.
The constant beeping of a heart monitor brings me from the dark into the blinding light. I was half expecting to see those warm golden eyes of Ezekiel watching over me. But my room was empty. When the nurse comes into the room I decided to ask her about Ezekiel.
“Did I have any visitors?” I ask hopefully.
She shakes her head no.
“No one called Ezekiel came in with me?”
Once again, she shakes her head no.
“But the paramedics did say that you were talking to someone that wasn’t there”
My face paled at the nurse's revelation.
“It was due to the amount of blood loss, no one was with you”
The nurse left me alone with my thoughts. I didn't think that my face could pale even more. But it did. There were no records on Ezekiel Harrison. He didn't exist.
I guess he really was my guardian angel and he saved me from the journey that was doomed from the start.