It was only late afternoon when Melissa was driving back from the mall. It was a clear and sunny day in early spring, and she had just gone to the mall to get a few groceries to prepare for tonight's dinner party. It had been an occasion that she had been looking forward to for quite a while now. It had been a long time since she'd seen either her friends or her brother. The traffic was light, and the sun shone cheerfully as she sang along to some of her favourite songs. She pulled up at a stoplight at an intersection and just closed her eyes for a second, taking in the delightful weather. When the light turned green, she drove away. When she was halfway across the intersection, seemingly out of nowhere, a car hurled towards her from the right at top speed. She threw up her arms in defence and tried to scream, but it was too late. She closed her eyes and braced for impact.
But the impact never came. In fact, nothing happened. Mellissa opened her eyes. She was staring directly into the terrified gaze of the scraggly man behind the wheel of the old green station wagon that was still crashing into the side of her car. Everything was frozen. Not a thing moved; not a sound was to be heard. Dazed and confused, she got out of the vehicle.
"You can be a real headache, you know that?" a frail voice sounded behind her. Melissa turned around to see an old bearded man in a white robe with white wings protruding from his back, sitting on the roof of her car.
"What? What is going on? who are you?"
The man sighed and slumped over, rubbing the bridge of his nose. After a moment, he sat up straight, stretching his wings.
"My name is Ishmael. I'm your guardian angel."
"What is happening? Why are you there? How is..."
"Calm down, Ezekiel."
She blinked for a moment, almost as dazed as she had been a few seconds ago, upon hearing that name for the first time in years.
"That's not my..."
"Don't play that game with me, boy. I know your real name." Ishmael was visibly irritated.
"Listen, Ezekiel, I haven't come down to try and convince you. I have seen plenty try and fail at that. I just wanted to know if you had any idea how egregious your crimes against GXD have been."
"What are you talking about."
"YOU KNOW DAMN WELL WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. For heaven's sake, boy, this is the fourth time I had to intervene directly, and the first time it wasn't your own damn fault! There has barely been a damn moment in your adult life where I have not seen you contemplate some horrendous crime against the body that The Lord has given you. Time and time again, we have tried to show you that you could redeem yourself. Signs, omens, brothers and sisters of faith, all of these we have sent to you, and you have chosen to ignore all of them!"
Melissa let her gaze drift downwards. "How come you never talk to me in my language then?" she mumbled.
"What's that boy?" The angel snapped at her. Melissa looked him in the eyes and said, "How come that if God is so good, so loving, so knowing as you all say, that they never spoke to me in a way that I would understand? Why must their ways be so mysterious? Why have they refused to help me when I needed them? Why have they never given me an argument I found convincing? Surely it would have been trivial for them to know how to convince me."
The angel's face contorted with anger once more.
"Bwah, That's not how it works, and you know it. It is because you refuse to listen, you little twerp. I have given up, and this time I came down to tell you that. I wanted you to know that I am sick of trying to convince you to follow the correct path. This time, I came down here personally because I wanted you to finally know how much I loathe you. I see how you take all that is given to you and just waste it. The life we had envisioned for you, you have tarnished. With every one of those blue pills you take, you deviate further from what could have been your path to heaven. I do not know what the Lord sees in you humans; you're just wasteful and ungrateful in my eyes. For whatever reason, GXD has tasked me with keeping you alive, and that is what I will do. I will not let the fact that He hasn't spoken to me in such a long time dissuade me. I will not forsake my holy duty but know that I am done making sacrifices for you. You will survive this accident, but only just. I will make sure of that. I will keep you alive for a long time yet. No matter how much you try to writhe and wiggle your way out of it, I will keep you in that body of yours until you beg The Lord for forgiveness, and then some. I have seen the disdain you have for the life you have, so I will make it your prison."
Melissa was shaking and sobbing at this point, unable to properly form words.
"Now get back in the car, boy. You can only postpone the inevitable for so long."
In complete shock, she started to get back into the car, like a total zombie. When she was sitting behind the wheel again, Ishmael hopped down and closed the vehicle's door. He looked her in the eyes and said: "I'll see you in the hospital, Ezekiel; it looks like I have my work cut out for me." Then the world exploded.