Uriel. The guardian angel sent to watch over the baby born.
Aeron. The reaper sent to collect the spirit of the young woman who is nearing death.
Both, however, find themselves in quite the predicament.
"Eden, honey, how are you feeling?" An older woman spoke softly as she entered the room.
The room she entered, though painted the blue of a robin's egg, held many emotions that contradicted the hopeful, peaceful color.
"Mama. I'm fine. You didn't have to come." A young woman spoke in a voice a bit larger than her mother's. She sat up and stretched the sleep from her muscles.
"Of course I had to come. I wouldn't rather be anywhere else." Eden's mother sat on the edge of the bed and held the palm of her hand to her daughter's face.
"Well, I would like to be anywhere else, under the circumstances."
"I know what you mean, mama. Though, it isn't too bad in here. The nurses bring me snacks and I can watch TV. It is a quite comfortable way of living, no matter how short it may last."
"Eden, don't say that. You're doing so much better."
"I know, I know. It's just... I never thought that this might happen. Just a few months ago, I was celebrating my 23rd birthday.
Now, here I am, in a hospital bed, dying of the same disease that killed daddy.... My clock is ticking and I don't even know if I have enough time left."
"I know, baby. You're doing so well, too! I have no doubt in my mind that this is all just a temporary thing. You'll be back in business in no time."
"Did you see her today? She looked so happy to see her mother." Spoke a young man dressed in white.
"I saw. Did you hear what she talked about? Her clock ticking away." Another young man, though in black, responded to the man in white.
These men weren't regular men. They weren't even human beings.
Uriel, the man in white, is Eden's guardian angel. He watched her grow up and protected her from harm's way for as long as he could.
Aeron, the man in black. He is what is commonly referred to as a reaper.
He may not have grown up with Eden, but in his short time of being around her, he watched her grow in a different way entirely.
"People mature in the face of death, don't they? They go from party animals to philosophical poets. It is quite funny." Aeron though aloud.
"Eden wasn't like that. She is a smart woman who has dreams and works hard." Uriel corrected.
"Even now, she is working on achieving that dream, without even being sure that is a possibility for her."
Uriel stood from where he was seated on a nearby chair and leaned over to see what Eden was typing on her laptop.
"It's a romance, you know. Ever since she was a teenager, she adored romances. She would always spend a lot of time daydreaming about experiencing it for herself.
I want to fight for her so she gets that chance."
"If you lose?" Aeron questioned from his perch on the dresser directly in front of her bed. "What will you do, then?"
"What else can I do? I will let her go. Of all the mortals I have watched over, Eden is by far the most predictable.
However, she also was hard to read and did what I would have never thought of her capable."
"You sound like her father." Aeron snorts. "If you like her so much, why aren't you fighting harder for her?"
"She's still alive, isn't she?"
No matter what end our heroine would come to, one thing was for certain: both the reaper and the angel wanted her happy, for they both loved and cherished her so.
Time passed, and Eden got worse. Her treatments caused her hair loss, so around her head that once sported neat black hair, was a single crocheted headband.
It was night. Eden was sleeping soundly, though not very peaceful. The blue of the walls did nothing to comfort her from the pain she was in.
Finally, the reaper and angel who had stood over her for quite a time both knew that a decision had to be made.
For, you see, when it comes to a fight of one's life, the living assume it is up to themselves to decide to live or die. However, such is not the case.
It is up to the pair that watch her as she is. See her when she thinks nobody can. Will she live, or will she die?
"I won't let you take her." Uriel said in a determined voice once he was aware of Aeron's listening. "This one is all too special. I refuse to let you have her."
"It must be done. Such is the way of life." Aeron responded, moving closer to see the face of the girl.
"No! It mustn't be done! She will be a survivor and will not succumb to her plight! I don't care if I must care for her myself, this girl has no right to die as long as I am here!
" Uriel cried. His fists clenched and his golden eyes now holding the flames of emotion that are so rare for an angel.
"You call yourself a guardian! Take a good look at her, Uriel. Though she sleeps, look at her face." Indeed Aeron had a point.
Eden's once carefree face now holds her furrowed brows and constant grimace, as if she were preparing herself for a jump scare in a movie scene.
"Protecting her means protecting not only her life, but her death, as well. She is not immortal like you and I. She is destined for death.
It must claim her and I will be the one to guide her to the next life, as I have done before and will do again. Don't be selfish, angel."
"Selfish? Would this be considered selfish? She is in such pain, but can she not heal? Perhaps it would be selfish to keep her tethered to a unhealthy body.
" Uriel thought for a moment and all was silent. "Very well. I do have a request, because I meant what I said. She was special. You weren't there as she became the person she is today.
I want her dream to come true, even if she is no longer around to see it." With the expected delicacy of an angel, Uriel opened the laptop Eden was working so hard on all this time.
He pulled up the novel she wrote, but never finished and ended it as it was.
"Why not finish it out?" Aeron asked
"This was her precious work. Who would I be to put words into her work? Besides, some of the best stories are those kept from their true potential."
Closing the laptop, Uriel stood back and allowed Aeron to take over.
"I cared for her, too. In this time we spent with her, I grew to respect her way of thinking. How I would have loved to see her grow old. There's always next time.
" Aeron placed his hand on her forehead as he sang her soul a requiem and soon, a pale green apparition escaped her body and the blue-walled room was filled with the incessant alarm of her death.
She held Aeron's hand looked him in the eyes. The first time her green eyes would meet his red ones, and also the last.
His job was only to lead her to her destination, opposed to what logic some might assume of reapers. He was the reason she wasn't left to wonder about aimlessly for the rest of time.
Uriel protected her in life, Aeron protects her in death.
"Thank you, brother. Please be sure to see her there safely."
"Of course. Without a doubt. I'll see you on the other end of the light." Taking the spirit of Eden's hands into his own, Aeron led the spirit to the window.
Spirits cannot see, for they are not to witness the time between death and life. The reaper silently opened a window and sat on the sill, his back sprouting beautiful black wings.
In salute to the angel that watches them leave, he smiles and leans back, taking the spirit with him. Uriel rushed to the window, but let out a sigh when the pair came back to his vision.
Uriel turned and stood for a while, gazing at the body left behind by Eden.
"Eden Michael. Twenty-three. Born July 14th. Likes books, board games, and baking. Her dream, become an author. Good-bye, my dear. May you have a safe journey until I see you again."
With those words, Uriel grew to his potential. With large wings becoming of an angel, he flew away from the Western hospital room and into an Eastern one.
Now in a large hospital in Asia, Uriel looks on at a baby boy in the arms of his mother. He smiles and sighs.
"Zhang Yi Jian. Two hours old. Born May 8th. No likes nor dislikes, yet. His dream is undetermined. Hello, my dear. It is good to know he got you here in time, Eden."