1. I remember
They say when you’re about to die your life flashes throughout your mind.
That didn’t happen to me.
I didn’t get the flashback about my life.
I got memories - of a previous one.
Memories I had lived and had forgotten. I always thought they were bad dreams but now I knew that they weren’t just in my mind. They did happen.
Memories of a time before now. Of a life, I was glad to have forgotten.
As I gaze up at the two faces peering out at me from the top of the building, their facial expressions disappear from my view as I fall through the air, I remember one of them killing me. Not now but then...before...
How? As I am alive now?
I was dead before, I remember.
I remember him clearly now. It was him...it was always him!
I was an orphan back then. And only sixteen. That was lifetimes ago! The rich controlled God’s will it had seemed to me and I just didn’t understand why God expected too much from me!
I remember being forced by my soon to be husband. I remember his mother locking me up telling me to die and take my wretched baby with me a few days before. I remember the cold dark room that was locked from the outside, she had put me in, without food or proper bedding.
“My son might have forced himself on you but that was only because he was overly excited and blame yourself for always taking any opportunity you had to catch his eye. Consider yourself lucky that he still wants to get married...”
“He’s not a bad person.”
“You should be pleased...”
My future mother-in-law’s words from a few months before she put me in a locked room in her mansion, haunted me.
I was disgusted and refused to and was confined to their house as soon as they heard I was pregnant. When I still refused the marriage and was caught attempting to climb out of a window I was put in this concealed room.
I remember Padre Miguel of the local Parish, telling me it was God’s will for me to marry into the most respectful family in the area. And I dare not disobey His will.
I was listening to the rumblings coming from outside the door of the room I was locked in. For the past few minutes, it sounded like an earthquake was rocking the house, except I didn’t feel the ground move. I heard the screams! Even in my pain, I worried about what would happen to me if everyone left. I would die... from starvation! For nobody knew I was here aside from that wretched woman!
Suddenly the door flew back and against the wall off its hinges, startling me even more. And there he stood.
The man was so tall that I was gazing at his chest...the bottom part! His hands on both sides of the door frame were bare. I had gazed at him, in a mixed emotion of awe and terror as my excruciating pain was temporarily forgotten by my fright at the sight of his sudden appearance as he ducked his head and entered.
And I had always thought he was dressed in all black. I now realize he wasn’t.
His body was covered by huge feathered wings! Winged that covered almost his entire body I remember the “whoosh” sound it made as his black wings opened and raised up revealing his exposed naked body. The frames where his hands were looked as if ready to cave in as little pieces of the concrete fell onto the floor.
My eyes opened even wider as a sound came out of his mouth that I’d never heard before as his hands waved around maniacally. His beautiful long fingers, which I hadn’t noticed before. His larger than life body occupied almost the entire room!
His bare feet, silent on the blood-stained floor as he paced back and forth, most of what he was saying sounded like being underwater and talking.
I remember how he was shouting at me angrily in a language I finally understood as his voice vibrated throughout the small spaced room interior.
“How could you do this?” he had cried as his wings folded in and back upwards behind his back. My only thought back then was, "Did I owe the devil, my soul? Was I supposed to be a virgin of some sort and now he's here to kill me because I wasn't?"
I couldn’t answer as I was still in a panic-stricken frame of mind. His flesh was light golden looking and alive! It looked like it was moving.
It reminded me now of one of my abuela’s (grandmother) pictures she used to have framed. It looked like two different pictures if you angled it differently! But the phase in between the angle made the picture look alive in some way. Like the lenticular printing, they do in the movies now.
His bigger than normal body alone was terrifying to watch. He was huge, not in a muscular way but lean and must have been almost ten feet tall! With end to end black eyes!
Demon or Angel I didn’t know then.
I do know now.
“How could you do this?” he had screamed again holding his head as his face contorted as if in extreme pain.
But I remembered thinking, whether he was evil or not I took it as my prayers was being answered and although I was terrified, I was willing to face the Creator to answer for my sins! And it seemed as though I had a bunch of them, I remember thinking back then that God wanted too much from me!
I remember how scared I was in that room. I remember trying to cower away at first but my huge stomach had prevented me then from bringing my knees up and I was already in labour pains! I remember the soaked mattress from my water bag hours before. And the floor hours later was sticky from the blood. I remember being in so much pain and screaming from it, praying to die!
The warm atmosphere did nothing to appease the cold air that was blasting me from behind now. I feel the long heavy earrings I had worn earlier pressed against my face. The scarf I had worn to class today, blew up towards the sky as my long black hair blocked my view.
I feel my body connect with a hard surface. The ground I presume. Yes, I’m dying again and once again it’s him I’m staring up at as I feel myself succumbing to the darkness but my almost numb mind still swam with the memories.
I remember sobbing up at the giant in the room not being able to form words. I hear myself whimpering, “Kill me-kill me please...”
I remember as his bare hands sliced through my throat the snare his mouth took. His eyes still black and his eyebrows turned up in hatred. His flared nostrils. His black hair that covered his eyebrows, didn’t even flinch with his sudden movement.
My last thought despite having asked him too, was “What kind of Angel kills people? And are you going to let the child live?” Of course, I couldn’t say it out loud as I was choking on my own blood but I did feel slight pity for the babe.
Now my heart is in immense pain as I gazed up at my love’s face, now blurred from the distance of the height. The man I thought was my soulmate next to him.
And everything just fell into place. Things, I had been through. Everything I tried to forget now came together like a completed puzzle. I now had a masterpiece. Everything I thought I knew was wrong.
’...Adios mi amor...te amare hasta el final de los tiempos...’(goodbye my love... I’ll love you until the end of time.)
Yes. I am going to be dead in a few more seconds. I feel the warmth of my own blood on my neck as I turned my head to the side. I try to swallow but only tasted blood. I hear the screams coming from above telling me to don’t move. I hear them say everything is fine. Everything is going to be okay. Just be still. Don’t move. I hear sobbing and someone screaming. I feel the moisture dropping on my face. Rain?
Will I really be okay if I don’t move? Well, I don’t know really. See I’ve never fallen from this height before.