I still remember the last night I spent with my parents. It was a Thursday, in June. That was the night of my end of term school show, that year it was 'Alice!' I had been cast as the Ace of Spades and it was the first time that I had got a role that wasn't just part of the chorus. It was all I could think about for weeks. My proud parents had been sat in the second row, beaming as they recorded my solo part in one of the songs on each of their mobile phones.
After the performance I had wandered around the school yard, through the sea of parents, trying to locate my own. The crowd parted and I saw my dad, not too far from where I was, standing with his back to me. The night was cool, so I had tied my jacket around my waist and ran over to him, eagerly taking his hand. He turned his head down to me and I almost screamed. It wasn't my dad. That was Him. The man who had visited me every night, for as long as I could remember, in my dreams. I snatched my hand back and gaped at him in shock. "Are you lost child?" He had asked with a smile. I couldn't even make my lips move to answer him, so I just stood there staring. To my absolute relief, I heard my mother calling for me through the crowd. I looked up just in time to see her run over and sweep me up in her arms. She kissed me on the cheek and told me over and over how great I was. When I looked back to the man, my dad was speaking to him, but I couldn't hear what they were saying as my mum had already whisked me away. I watched as they spoke for a few minutes, ending when the man turned to me, gave a small wave and headed off.
The rest of that night was like any other, we had dinner, and Cheryl had come round and sat with us while we had all watched T.V. I'd walked Cheryl home and when I got back, I'd found my dad was washing up in the kitchen and my mum was reading one of her Unexplained Mysteries books. Still feeling a bit shaken up from earlier, I kissed her goodnight and went up to bed. That was the last time I saw them.
Later that night I was awoken by someone lifting me out of my bed. I opened my eyes to find Him looking back at me. He was whispering in my ear, the only thing I can recall was him telling me that he was there to save me. My eyes adjusted and I thought my room was filled with fog. But it was smoke, I realised. Before I could process anything else, I was aware of being in the back garden and looking up to my house which was up in raging flames. I tried to run back to the house, screaming for my parents but he had me pinned to the ground in a flash, "it's too late child. They're gone. Come, we must go". I must have passed out then.
"Come on child open your eyes, it's over now". The voice drifted in. I opened my eyes to a bright room, it hurt, my eyes nipped. I looked around, trying to locate the voice. He was there, perched at the end of the bed. I wanted to shut my eyes tight, but I just couldn't make myself look away from him. He looked so unearthly, like no man I had ever seen before. He had dark hair that fell almost to his shoulders, grey eyes and a very pale complexion. I must be dead, I thought, and he must be my angel.
How naïve I was.