My name is Stefan, which derives from Greek, meaning crown. In some way I truly am crowned because I am an Angel of the Lord. You know, those halos you see in the pictures of angels - they remind some people a crown, although in real life, I don't have a halo attached to my head. If you want to be more exact, I am a guardian Angel. My job is to protect and take care of the people I've been assigned to. Each job lasts about 80 years, that is, if an angel does their job well. So far I have managed to keep all my subjects alive until they reached old age. In heaven, those kinds of guardian angels are rare, because sometimes even an angel can't interfere with Destiny. Every person has an angel signed to them from birth, and we protect them from afar; it's not against rules to make yourself visible to them, but it is advisable to stay away from your subject personally, for the first and the most important rule is not to get attached. And this is the rule I broke and paid dearly for.
She sits in a small bar, alone, writing something in her journal. I notice how her brow is always in a slight frown like she's trying to keep herself from yelling out loud. The way she writes on the paper seems also a bit aggressive to me - the strong grip on the pen and the force she uses on the paper give the impression that she's probably angry. I know the cause of her frustration; it's her brother with whom she had a big fight earlier in the afternoon about his behaviour in school. He has given her a rough time since their parents died in a horrible car accident a year ago. I've been guarding her since she was born, making sure that she lives the time she has been given. She is probably the most difficult case I've ever had, because she always seems to get caught in some kind of a dangerous situation. The night her parents died in the car crash, she, too, was in the car as the vehicle drove off the bridge. I had almost dove into the water myself, that way I would have been forced to make myself visible to her, but to my luck there was a police vehicle driving nearby, so I made sure that she got rescued. There have been other times where she almost got hit by a truck, or fallen off a rooftop, or eaten something poisonous. But each time I have managed to save her from death and every time I have known that Destiny is playing with me, trying to make her the first human, under my supervision, not to live until it's her time to go.
She stands up and puts her journal into her purse which she takes on her shoulder. She stomps out of the bar without even saying bye to the waitress. That strikes as odd to me because she is the friendliest and the most kind-hearted person I've ever had to protect, so I guess the fight must have really gotten to her. I silently watch as she crosses the street without watching if any cars are coming. I groan to myself, thinking that Destiny is probably laughing to herself and trying to make my job hard again. So I start to pay more attention to the surroundings and what she is doing, to avoid any possible danger. She heads to a small unlit street, which I know to be a shorter way to her house, but also a more dangerous one, because that small alley is known as the drug-street, for drug-addicts tend to gather there at nights, and people usually try to avoid that place. I quicken my pace, because suddenly I have a gut-wrenching feeling in my stomach. I know it in my bones that something is going to happen. I look around the street hoping to find someone who might be able to help her, but there is no one around, only a few stray cats wandering around and hissing at me, although they can't see me, and a lone homeless guy passed out next to the Dumpster. I think to myself that this is probably the moment I have to make myself known to her if something happens. And just as I am about to finish the thought, a man, dressed in black comes out one of the houses and begins to follow her. I see how her back tenses as she senses someone walking behind her. She tries to stay calm, but her nerves get the best of her and she looks behind.
The man following her, smiles: "Where ya goin' babe? All alone in this dark street, ya know that this is a dangerous place, right? I could protect ya, dear," he slurs.
"No thanks," she smiles nervously and continues her way.
"And why is that, babe? I ain't good looking enough for ya? Is that what you think?" he asks as he still follows her. Suddenly the man makes a couple of longer and quicker strides and grabs her arm putting a hand across her mouth to stop her from screaming. He pushes her against a wall and that is when I know that I have no choice but to make myself known.
I grab the man's dirty jacket and yank him away from her, pushing him far away from myself and her.
"What the hell do ya think you're doing?" the man shouts, overconfident. He puts a hand behind his back and pulls out a gun. I can see how grimy his hands are, with yellowish fingernails. He smiles again: "Not so tough guy anymore, are ya?"
I hear her sobbing behind me. I look at her and see her frightened face.
"It's all going to be okay, I promise." I don't know if she understands me but I don't have the time to make sure if she's okay as the man is approaching me with the gun pointed at my face.
"So how's it gonna be, tough guy?" I can smell the alcohol reeking from his mouth. "You're gonna stop me, huh? We'll see about that." And with that word he tries to pull the trigger, but the gun doesn't respond.
"The fuck is this?!" he screams and tries to pull the trigger again. No response. I walk to the man, grab his jacket and say: "If you want to live, I suggest you run fast and far away. I don't want to see your face here ever again, do you understand me?"
The man nods weakly as I see fear building in his eyes - angels can be quite intimidating when angry. I let go of his jacket and he runs. I don't bother looking where exactly, because I am sure that he will never come here again.
I turn to the frightened woman behind my back, and I see that she has slumped against the wall, her big brown eyes glued to me.
"Who are you?" she whispers weakly, "And how did you get here, there was no one else in the street."
"Come on, we have to get you out of here," I say urgently as I offer her my hand which she accepts. I get a strange feelings as she touches my hand and I am quite sure that she does too, as she flinches at the touch of my hand. I don’t know what to make of the feeling, so I brush it quickly off. She gets on her feet and I can see her shivering, although it's a fairly warm summer night.
"My name is Elena Gilbert," she whispers, "Thank you."
"I'm Stefan," I respond.
"Does Stefan have a last name too?"
"Oh. As in saviour." She answers quietly.