“The clouds are fluffier than anyone on Earth could imagine, I would imagine…” I mused to Frederick who was eating a robust handful of dark red grapes beside me. “I like that word: Imagine. It contains such hope.” He was munching away as I continued my monologue.
“You look like a supermodel!” I grinned as his pot belly hung over his silken pants. That stirred him to reaction. He smiled a toothy smile complete with grape skins in his two front teeth. He was a flamboyant foodie, but at times also a messy one.
“I don’t know about you, but Heaven has been fun except for this whole impending romance that has yet to be manifested. I thought we were promised a mate for life, like doves?” I arched an eyebrow.
Frederick chuckled, his wings fluttering with each ring of laughter.
“…I just want what’s due— my Heaven. You’ve got your food! Margerie has her delightful little cottage, Sam has his infinite car collection, and I have…My beauty? I thought I told The Creator when asked what Heaven is to me, I would like nothing more than Love with a capital “L”. That is my ultimate everything. The one thing that makes my soul sing! Now I’m beginning to wonder why I haven’t gotten my promise?” I realized my complaining was falling on def ears. The def, Angel ears of my good friend Frederick.
Out of seemingly nowhere, a cloud came racing towards us.
Frederick hastily jumped out of the way. A statuesque man with long, straight platinum blonde hair and incredibly vast, elegant pearly white wings opened a scroll.
“Present.” I nearly whispered intimidated by his presence.
It was one of the Archangel Heralds. They always deliver news to the Angels and cherubs. Always good. Never bad. We are in Heaven, after all.
“You are summoned to meet at the central courtyard tomorrow at noon. Wear your finest attire and don’t be late.”
And he was gone.
“Well, that was interesting.” I turned to Frederick who was still in shock from the unannounced visitor. “I know I asked for mind reading when I arrived here, but that was uncanny.” I paused for a beat. “I think I might have a date! But at the courtyard? Hmm, that seems awfully formal…”
“Thrilling!” Frederick said with his mouth full. “I am happy for you, but I have to wonder who your potential date could be with. Haven’t you met all of the Angels?”
“I, I think so…But then again, more arrive every day, so…maybe not?”
With that realization, I excitedly grabbed my things from our cloud picnic and ran to my Heavenly home. I needed to get there as soon as possible— there was absolutely no time to waste. I had an outfit to pick, a dinner to prepare, and an early bedtime to make. I had a hunch something exciting was afoot.
So excited, in fact, that while I was getting the dinner ingredients together in a flurry, I didn’t notice the mischievous cherub that had snuck up behind me, shooting me with his arrow, infusing my veins with a deep relaxation. Feeling heavy at once, I began falling asleep.
When I awoke from my slumber, I looked around. I didn’t recognize the place. Perhaps I was still dreaming? In a haze, I realized I wasn’t comfortably tucked under my fluffy floral comforter but rather tucked under an assortment of flowers— real ones, of infinite varieties. The colors were stunning in their vibrancy.
I pushed myself up on what seemed to be the softest grass surrounded by the most beautiful garden I had ever seen. And a bouquet of flowers containing a note? I rubbed my eyes. Again, I must be dreaming. Last thing I recall, I was home and this wasn’t it.
The cherub! This must have something to do with him. I remembered him shooting me with his arrow, but I’ve never been shot before, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. In Heaven, cherubs fire their arrows from time to time, but often Angels have already been shot before they were indoctrinated into the Angel Program.
I inspected the note, unfolding the expensive rag paper carefully. In perfect calligraphy read:
Per your wishes, your dream of love has come true. I have placed you upon the softest English garden near your favorite dream home— a cozy cottage complete with all your favorite furnishings and items. Inside you will find the hearth full of fire, a writing pad with your favorite ink and quill, along with all your favorite antique and vintage finds (I know you are an Angel of nostalgia). As for your perfect Angelmate, your Love with a capital “L”, I intend to win your heart the old-fashioned way, just as you would wish: Letter by letter, gesture by gesture. You see, it wasn’t merely by chance you were struck by the devious cherub. No, my dear, I have been watching you since I arrived in Heaven, and fell in love with you the moment I laid eyes upon you. You shall be mine, but I am a gentleman— ahem, Angel— of honor and integrity so I intend to woo you with your free will fully intact. I would never want you to assume your heart had been hijacked. As for who I am and what I look like, do not fear, my lady. I have heard the wishes of your heart and I believe you will be quite pleased. In the meantime, enjoy your sanctuary. I will be with you soon.
Heaven Above? Good Heavens if this isn’t the most mysterious note and circumstance in which I shall ever dream of finding myself. He’s been watching me…? I sat up and looked around. The cottage. I gasped. It was utterly breathtaking. A cobblestone, round sturdy building surrounded by the most vibrant greens and flowers with a white gate around the entire perimeter of the garden.
Well, of course it’s perfect, we’re in Heaven, I reminded myself. Only to quickly be reminded of a few things that weren’t perfect, such as not having a partner up to this point. If Heaven were truly heaven, wouldn’t he have been here by now? I pondered.
And the name. Heaven Above? How is he above the very environment he inhabits? It was completely nonsensical. Surely, I wouldn’t fall for this man as much as he assured me I would.
With a sense of determined skepticism, I pushed myself up off the grass, grabbed the note and floral arrangement, and started for the front door.
The path was laid before me with smooth, light gray stones, yellow daffodils lining the walkway with a pleasant cheerfulness.
The wooden, rounded door, as if straight out of a hobbit home (from Earth storytelling), was ajar. And that was precisely what it felt like— a hobbit home. It was warm, cozy, just as he had mentioned in his letter. Full of antiques.
Suddenly, a fluffy white kitten raced towards me and mewed.
“My goodness! He pulled out all the stops!”
I scooped up the delicate furball who felt like she was made of the very cloud I had found myself on not too long ago when I was talking with a grape-filled Frederick. She had a collar with a tag far larger than usual. I turned it around to see if there was any identification in case she had another Heavenly home. It was another note from my secret admirer— or Angel, as it were.
I hope you like the kitten. I know they are your favorite. Feel free to name her as you wish. Although I recommend Cherub since I have a feeling you’ll be grateful to the one who got you after this all unfolds. I also hope you enjoy the freshly baked bread in the oven, hot water ready for your tea (the tea cup and bag are all set out and ready for you) while you explore your new home. Don’t worry, dinner will be made later. Oh, and I hope you like the bookshelf with all your favorites, including a few I recall you mentioning on your to-read list. I made it myself.
H.A.? Ha! Now he’s just being unusually clever. How did he ever hear my conversations? Did Frederick tell him? It is true I divulged everything to him. He was a confidant of sorts…That was the only way I could think he would know every detail of my favorite things.
I put the kitten down, took off her collar so she didn’t have a huge note around her neck, and began exploring the room. He was right, freshly baked bread that smelled absolutely divine, filling the room with its scent, and hot tea ready just for me. What was this sorcery? Surely magic wasn’t allowed here.
As I sat down, ripping off a piece of freshly baked baguette and sipping my tea, I looked out the window to my English garden. My perfect English garden. Just then, the record player in the other room started a familiar tune. Tilting my head and listening closely, I heard the crooning of Frank Sinatra.
You make me feel so young, you make me feel like spring has sprung…
I looked back to the garden and then the bouquet which I had placed on the kitchen counter. Walking to the record to see how it began to play on its own, I felt goosebumps fill my arms. It was all so…And before I could say “magical” to myself, I noticed another letter by the record player.
Another one? How many letters have been strategically placed in my new home? Should I be scared or honored? I checked in with my Angelic intuition. It felt open, soft, happy. I was safe. He was safe.
We meet again, my muse. I know how much you adore music, particularly of the older variety. You are an old soul, after all. Will you meet me under the stars tonight to dance under the moonlight? Before I continue bombarding you with letters, I would love to introduce myself, face to face and wing to wing, as it were.
Well, why not? I would explore the rest of the home, nap, get ready and with giddy excitement prepare to meet the man who is trying his best to woo me. To say I was intrigued would be an understatement.
After getting dolled up in my best vintage attire: a 1940s dress that elegantly hugged my curves, cute, classy oxford heels, and my wings tucked away for the night. I did one last look in the mirror, “Oh Jem, are you ready? You look lovely.” I told myself to dissipate the nerves. He had built himself up so much in my mind that I was worried disappointment would be inevitable.
As I opened the door to walk to the garden where he would be waiting, a man with the most dazzling blue eyes, boyish grin, and charming features was staring back at me.
It was him.
My stomach did a flip and I could feel butterflies begin to flutter inside me.
I wasn’t expecting him to be Australian considering the English garden he had provided me, but I loved it. He made a single syllable sound so…sexy.
It was all I could muster.
We stood there gazing into each other’s eyes for what felt like a beautiful eternity. The best kind. The kind where you want time to slowly melt into the abyss, whisk you away on a fantasy trip and never bring you back. I saw stars in his eyes. I could stargaze forever.
He gently grasped my hand. Planted the softest kiss, and began to guide me along the pathway to the edge of the gate, where I hadn’t explored quite yet. My home was already full of everything I cherished, that to see every little detail would take forever; the garden was the icing on the cake.
“I know we are here to gaze up at the stars, which of course will pale in comparison to your wonder and beauty, but I have one more thing to show you…” He nodded his head in a downward direction.
Stars aren’t down there? Even though many humans believe us to be above them. We are in the clouds, so we still see them above us. I gave him a puzzled look. He had already done so much. What more could he do to top the kitten? The fresh flowers, tea, and food? The beautiful home? The garden? The music? His eyes…?
I looked down and gasped. Suddenly I realized the entire home and garden was floating on its own cloud high above the rest of Heaven.
“Heaven above,” I whispered.
“Heaven above.” He confirmed never taking his eyes off me whilst I was still in awe of the beauty of the landscape. Crisp, clear deep blue skies, a vast array of stars, and a seclusion unparalleled elsewhere in all of Heaven.
“You did this for me?”
“For you, anything. Like I said, I knew from the moment I laid eyes on you, that you were my Angelmate for eternity.”
I stood in shock.
“I should properly introduce myself.” He gently started in his warm Australian accent, “I’m Jules.”
“Jem.” I laughed. He already knew my name. More than my name. He knew practically everything about me.
“Shall we dance?”
He gestured to the gazebo in the garden, which had twinkling lights in the shape of stars draped around the vines that hung about its top. I let him escort me, in true gentleman fashion, as we began to sway in the moonlight, dancing cheek to cheek. He wrapped his wings around me. I felt cocooned in warmth and safety. The sound of woodwinds and strings began to swell as “Moonlight Serenade” began playing from inside the home. As he held me softly in his arms, I gazed up at him, our eyes locking in wonder and admiration.
And with a smile, I whispered, “It’s nice to finally meet you, Heaven Above.”