One year before the Rapture
Mango margaritas with fresh slices, nothing is better. The music vibrated the club. I’m going to be deaf tomorrow. Jessica disappeared again, probably dancing it up with someone she’s going to love at first sight or even after a few months. I wish I could do that, but that’s not me. I just want some good dick and someone I can be friends with. Nothing more. Love has a way of muddy things up.
I don’t need or want someone to tell me their feelings, I want to feel it. Then again, most people are used to that sappy fairy tail book love. I know differently, it has many sides to it, and some are out of others’ understanding. Everyone has their own way of being loved, and you just have to find out what it is and then decide if you can give it to that person. Most people fail to understand that and push their own concept on you, so I don’t bother with it.
“Where did you go,” Jessica said, taking a seat at the bar next to me.
“I came up here for a drink.”
She smiles, “Yeah right or for him,” She gestures behind me, the same guy in the same seat, “Talk to him. It might go somewhere or best-case scenario for you, y’all might fuck.”
I laughed, “Maybe, ” another guy with dark hair sat next to him.
Jessica and I made our way to the dance floor and danced together. The guys at the bar watched us for at least three songs. The blonde had an unimpressed expression, but the dark-haired one looked ready to cut out with one of us. I’m guessing Jessica from the goo-goo eyes she’s giving him. After the next song, I headed back to the bar and sat next to the blonde.
“Mango Margarita,” I said.
The bartender was quick. I sipped on it, and he kept his eyes out on the dance floor, scanning with a disgusted look on his face.
“Babysitting your friend?” I asked.
I pointed out the dance floor where the dark-haired guy was tangled up with Jessica, “Look at all of them out there. Revolting, isn’t it? All of them, pieces of shit, but tomorrow will sit on their high horse as if nothing happened. Indiscriminate sex, overindulgent drinking, and God know what else. ”
“I saw you out there, just the same. Isn’t that your what? Eighth drink? And that’s when I started counting.”
“You could’ve fooled me. How so?”
“Because I know that I am a piece of shit. I embrace it. Why spend time pretending? We only have one life to live.”
“What if you got a second life? If you could start over, what would you do?”
“Most people would say, help the poor, cure disease, or be a better person—some bullshit like that. I would live more selfishly. Drink more, fuck more, and try everything I missed out on this time.”
His shocked expression turned to a smile. I tipped back the rest of my drink and ordered another one, “A drink for him, whatever he’s having.”
“Are you trying to corrupt me? Bring me down to your level.”
“We both know that’s not going to happen,” I hold out my hand, “Lily,” he took my hand, “Raphael.”
“Just stay and put it off some more. I’m sure Gabriel will be thrilled,” I said.
“I’ve put it off long enough. We have to leave tomorrow,” Raphael said.
“Fine, but you know what that means,” I said, grabbing the bottle I’ve been saving.
“How’s your research with the ancient material going,” he asked, holding his glass out.
“I’ve made a breakthrough, though I had to steal my father’s artifact.”
He sucked in a quick breath, “Lily.”
“It was a gamble that paid off. He’s going to murder me, but this was too good to pass up. I did it.”
“He’s going to have my head and James will too,” he said, sipping on his drink.
I shrugged my shoulders and sat on the balcony, “I-I’m going to miss you.”
“And I, you. I didn’t expect such a crude woman would keep me here so long,” he said, smiling.
“Why did you?”
“At first curiosity, then it was refreshing to see you live so freely. At some point, we became friends. I think that was the biggest surprise, but I soon realized that —”
His eyes shot wide, and he pushed me to the floor. Glass shattered around us. I looked up to see a scorched mark on the sliding door frame.
“What the —”
Raphael dragged me to my feet and inside. A loud flapping sound and gust of wind blew in. The hairs on my arms stood high, and dizziness kicked in. A winged man with a big ass sword was outside my apartment.
“I see why it’s taking so long. You’ve soiled yourself. I’ll overlook this, get rid of it, and begin,” the winged man said.
“I haven’t soiled anything. I am as pure as the day I came into existence,” Raphael said, putting his body between the intruder and me.
I looked over at my workstation behind us and grabbed the vile. My pocketknife laid nearby, I spread the concoction on the blade and pulled my sleeve over it. I hope this works, the potency is correct in theory, but I didn’t have time to test it thoroughly.
“Well, do what needs to be done, and let’s begin. We’re behind.”
“I was coming home tomorrow to discuss my findings and present my plan to postpone it. Let’s head home for now and--”
He pulled out his sword, and it caught fire, “It’s already been decided.”
My legs moved before I could think. As I thrust, I felt the blade, but it was nothing compared to the burning. My throat was sore. I looked back, and Raphael’s brown eyes started to glow then wings, white as snow. Everything went black, but I felt the wind then the fresh grass on my back.
Droplets fell to my face. Is it raining? Just fucking great. I cracked my eyes open, and Raphael was over me. Blood dripped down from his mouth and stomach.
“That’s right, open your eyes. Listen up,” Raphael said in between breaths.
He pressed hard on my stomach, and I cried out. A surge of cold and heat filled me. Am I dying?
“Forgive me. It seems I picked up some bad habits from you,” Raphael smiled, “Take the last of my essence. You’ll be different, but you’ll live. I have a job that I can no longer do.”
I grabbed his wrist, “I-I won’t do it. Pick someone else.”
“It’s your second chance, live it how you want. Live enough for both of us. But like anything else, it comes at a price. You’ll be hunted, used, and carry guilt so heavy, you would wish that I had let you die. If I wasn’t selfish, I would.”
“Fucking great. You’re taking me to heaven? You think they’re ready,” I chuckled.
“Let’s be honest you were never getting in, you’ve wandered. With my essence, you’ll be an abomination, but I doubt that fazes you. You’re a piece of shit after all,” Raphael said with a smile.
He fell over next to me and inched his hand next to mine, and I took it.
“You’re an asshole,” I said.
“And you’re a liar—the worst kind. Make yourself out to be the villain then have the nerve to be decent, kind, and honest. You’re rough around the edges, but your quiet good deeds outshine your gray morale. Promise me that you will make a choice when the time comes. You’ll know when.”
I squeezed his hand tight, and he squeezed it back.
Fucking asshole, tell me to live but leave this bag of shit at my doorstep. You know I’m a bastard. Why?
I wiggled his hand. He remained still.
Tears streamed down my face as the sky cracked open, and fire rained down.