‘What the …?’ I scudded to a halt in the doorway to my kitchen, too shocked even to scream. It isn’t every day you come down to breakfast to find a strange man sitting at your pine table.
‘Hello, Sally,’ he said nonchalantly, flashing a smile that might have graced a toothpaste ad. ‘I’m Michael.’
‘Michael?’ I ventured, trying to ignore the frisson of fear running down my backbone. I pulled my dressing gown tighter.
He nodded before returning to his bowl of Honey Nut Haloes.
‘Your Guardian Angel?’ He munched. ‘You gave me a call.’
It was way too early in the morning for me. I rubbed my eyes and peered closer.
‘Oh, I get it,’ I said, cottoning on. ‘This is some kind of wind-up. Rob’s put you up to this.’ It was just the sort of thing my brother might do.
‘Er, no. Saturday night, remember? You were in a bit of a state and you asked for my help. I hope my trip hasn’t been for nothing. It’s quite difficult to arrange these things, you know?’
It was all coming back to me. Admittedly I’d been feeling sorry for myself, but that was understandable spending yet another evening alone with only a bottle of Pinot Grigio for company. I’d been flicking through the TV channels when I came across the programme on angels. I’d watched spellbound as it explained how we all have one, hovering about us, trying to point us in the right direction when we’re faced with those difficult decisions in life; like should I plump for the florally floaty dress or the black skin-tight one. Apparently, we only need ask and our very own Guardian Angel will be happy to put in an appearance to offer some friendly comfort and guidance.
Well if anyone was in need of a bit of divine intervention it was me. Life had been dreary to say the least. I’d been made redundant, was completely skint and had forgotten what it was like to have a member of the opposite sex show any interest in me. Well, that’s if you discount the bad-tempered grouch next door, but his really wasn’t the type of interest you’d want to encourage. In fact, I’d been trying my hardest to avoid him, but that was difficult when he’d come round again the other night, having a rant in my direction about some parcel of his that I’d supposedly purloined. I’d quickly shut the front door on him, filing him away in the ‘nutcase to be avoided’ category.
Still, if things didn’t improve soon, there was every chance I’d be waving goodbye to my cosy little flat and the irritating next-door neighbour.
So on Saturday night after watching the angels on TV I’d muted the sound and taken a deep breath.
‘Hello,’ I’d faltered, feeling only slightly ridiculous. ‘If you’re out there Guardian Angel, I wondered, maybe, if you weren’t too busy, you could come and make your presence felt. Show me the light so to speak.’
And then I’d taken another sip of wine and launched into a long spiel about my pitiful existence. The lack of funds, my sorry social life and my expanding waistline on account of all the comfort eating I’d been indulging in. And once I’d started I couldn’t stop. Really, it was quite therapeutic getting the whole thing off my chest. It ended with me plea-bargaining with my imaginary friend. I’d willingly forgo the face and figure of Angelina Jolie, if only I could have the chance of a fulfilling job and a decent good-looking man to share my life with. It wasn’t a lot to ask for, was it?
Now, I felt myself blush as I looked across at Michael. He was definitely a strange man sitting in my kitchen, but was he really heaven sent? He certainly looked the part. Blond spiky hair, intense blue eyes and a well-defined physique that rippled beneath the whitest of t-shirts and a pair of figure-hugging jeans. I was beginning to think my prayers had been answered.
As if reading my thoughts, he smiled and shook his head.
‘I made a special visit, left you a feather, but when you completely ignored it I thought I’d better pop in.’
Ah yes, the feather! According to the show, if you found a feather it meant your Angel had visited and left his calling card. Admittedly, on the Sunday morning I’d spotted one on the floor, but it was a manky looking specimen, all grey and moth-bitten, and I hadn’t given it a second thought before sucking it up the vacuum. After all, I’d changed the duvet cover the day before.
‘That was you?’ I stuttered.
If you’d like to read the rest of this story and the other light-hearted tales in my anthology, then you can download a copy here