The next day, I got up later in the day and got dressed quickly. When I came out of my room to find Phyllis was gone. I went into the kitchen and found a note hanging by a magnet on the fridge. It read…
Went to the library to study. Be back soon. Don’t forget it’s your week to do the grocery shopping. My share of the money is on the counter.
I opened the fridge to see that it was practically empty for the exception of a bottle of water and half a loaf of bread. I grabbed the money and ran back into my room to grab a jacket. I took a quick glance in the mirror, seeing I had to shave but kept on anyway. As soon as I got to the parking lot of the apartment complex, I realized that my bike was gone and all that was left was Phyllis’ car. I walked over to it, noticing another note on the seat.
Sorry to take the bike, I thought you would need the car for the groceries. The keys are in the glove box.
I opened the door and got in, grabbing the keys and starting the car. As soon as it started, I could hear some very familiar music. It was one of our cd’s again. Phyllis had a walkman cd player hooked to the tape player. I could feel myself well up. I quickly turned it off and grabbed the cd holder from the floor and grabbed a Steppenwolf cd and popped it in.
I walked into the apartment, groceries in hand to find Phyllis asleep on the sofa, books strewn about, even one open lying on her chest. I closed the front door quietly for fear I would wake her. I knew she was studying really hard for a test and she must have worn herself out. I looked down at my watch and noticed it was almost eleven at night. She had gotten off work at ten, which I had forgotten about and for the hour she was home, she was studying. I crept into the kitchen and dropped the bags on the counter top and began to unload them. I stopped suddenly when I could hear something in the room she was in.
“No…no…don’t…please…don’t…” I could hear her cry out in her sleep. I emerged from the kitchen and stood in the doorway, watching her. She turned on to her back and was waving something away with her hand.
“Please…don’t hurt…me…” She pleaded. I walked over to the sofa and looked down, noticing a tear escape her eye and trickle down her cheek. I gasped to myself. Just as I was about to move to the other side of the couch this light caught my attention. I looked up, noticing it was hovering near the end of the couch near her feet. Slowly the light spread, it was red and didn’t seem normal. Finally, it took shape and I could see two black eyes form that seemed to burn right through me. It formed almost a human figure but not definite features. Then suddenly it sprang up, wielding a jagged sword.
“NO!” I screamed and without hesitation, I let my wings rip through, causing my shirt to shred to pieces and fall to the floor. I jumped onto the sofa, on top of her and spread my wings and surrounded her with them as I grabbed her by the waist. Just as she opened her eyes, it happened. The creature sank its sword into my back at full force. It was a pain that’s indescribable. I screamed out in pain and collapsed on top of her.
“TAYLOR!” She screamed desperately. Blood trickled from my mouth and landed directly on her skin above her heart just as my head sank to her shoulder.
“OH MY GOD! TAYLOR! TAYLOR! WAKE UP!” She screamed as she attempted to lift me. The creature had already disappeared. I had no feeling left in my body. I thought sure I was dying.
“Phyl-Phyllis…” I coughed.
“TAYLOR!” She cried.
“Please! Please don’t die on me!” She said desperately. Suddenly, she grabbed the handle of the sword and with all her strength, managed to pull it out. The wound suddenly closed and healed. I choked again, opening my eyes wide, realizing what had just happened to me. She looked me in the face and smiled slightly.
“Are you all right?” She said wide-eyed. I looked down at her and nodded. Without warning, she reached up and wrapped her arms around my neck and hugged me softly.
“You scared me. Thank you for saving my life.” She whispered in my ear. I nodded, almost more scared with what was happening then the attack. I got up and stood. I expanded my wings and looked to see if they were damaged.
“Taylor?” Phyllis said. I looked down at her with questioning eyes.
“The tips of your feathers…they’re red.” She said and pointed. I looked down frantically and back at her.
“Small price to pay.” I smiled. She got up off of the sofa and walked over and stood in front of me. She looked up at me and back at my wings. She then walked behind me. She gently placed her hand on my back exactly where the sword wounded me. She gently caressed it with her fingertips and then softly guided her hand to my right wing. She carefully placed her hand on the soft top feathers and slid it down to the longer bottom feathers in which the tips had become red. I could feel my jaw drop as she did this.
“Are you sure you’re all right?” She asked as she placed her hand once again on my bare back.
“F-fine.” I stuttered. She caressed the area again.
“Does this hurt?” She asked softly.
“N-No.” I stammered and swallowed hard. Suddenly she stopped. I folded my wings and turned fast. Without thinking, her hand landed on my chest, right above my heart.
“Oh…I’m sorry.” She stammered and took it away as she became flush.
“Th-That’s all right.” I smiled. She refused to meet my gaze for some reason.
“Th-Thank you again…you know…for saving my life.” She stammered.
“It’s my job to protect you.” I smiled.
“Oh yeah…” She said, scratching her head. Without another thought, I brought my hand up and moved a strand of hair that was in her eye, behind her ear.
“I think you should get some rest.” I said softly. She nodded. Then I did something I never thought I would ever do. I looked at her and leaned in cautiously. I kissed her softly on the cheek and smiled. She looked into my eyes immediately bewildered.
“Good night.” I smiled.
“Good-Good night.” She stammered and left the room.
As soon as she was out of sight, I spread my wings again and checked the damage. I had no idea that I could heal that quickly. I let them close and after a couple of seconds, they receded and disappeared. I sat down on the couch and grabbed the remote control. I flipped through the channels, making sure to keep the volume low for about a half an hour. I hadn’t found anything that interested me. I flicked it off and decided to go in and go to sleep. I definitely needed rest after what had happened that night. As soon as I turned off the living room light on the end table, I realized that I should go in and check on her to make sure no more things came after her. I walked to the door cautiously and could see that her door was open a crack. I opened it carefully and snuck in. I noticed that she kept a roll-away seat by a desk that was near the bed and sat down. Finally my eyes became accustomed to the darkness and I could see her better. She was lying on her side, facing me with her legs curled up and her hands were clutching her pillow. I made myself comfortable and looked at her while she slept. After a few minutes, I noticed her shiver. I got up carefully from my seat and pulled her covers up so as to keep her warm. I finally decided that if I was to protect her, I had to be with her all the time, including while she slept. I sat back down and wasted no time in trying to get comfortable.
After about and hour, I found myself starting to fall asleep.
I woke up suddenly to hear her call out my name. I opened my eyes to see her sitting up in bed, staring at me.
“Uh…I…uh…” I stuttered.
“Why are you in my room?” She asked, puzzled.
“I need to watch for anything looking to attack.” I said and sat up right.
“Uh huh.” She smiled and raised an eyebrow.
“That and my bed is really uncomfortable.” I smiled and scratched the back of my head.
“Did you try the couch?” She said and yawned.
“I think it’s to small. I can sleep in the chair or something until I get a new mattress.” I answered.
“Well, if you want, you can stay in here tonight.” She said and looked at me with a serious expression.
“I…uh…” I stammered.
“Here.” She said and moved over on the bed.
“Are…are you sure?” I stuttered.
“Yes. I know how uncomfortable it is to sleep on a lumpy mattress and that sofa. I have a nice queen sized bed so there’s plenty of room.” She answered.
“Well…okay…” I said.
“Good night.” She said and smiled.
I carefully slipped off my jeans and pulled back the covers on the opposite side of the bed. I glanced over at her and could see she was staring at me while I got in the bed.
“What?” I asked.
“Nothing.” She said and began to close her eyes.
“No…what?” I asked a little annoyed.
“Nothing.” She said and sighed.
“Phyllis…”I said and leaned over her.
“Why were you sent to me…I mean…here?” She stammered.
“I told you, to protect you.” I answered.
“From what?” She asked.
“The things that come after you like tonight.” I said and crawled under the covers.
“Oh…okay.” She said.
“You want to say something else?” I asked.
“No…I’m tired, let’s just go to sleep. Tomorrow I have off, I can help you pick out a mattress.” She smiled.
“Hm?” She said and opened one eye to look at me.
“Did I freak you out?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” she said.
“When I…uh…I…” I stammered.
“Uh…yeah…” I answered and gulped for air.
“Uh…I don’t know.”
“Did you mind that I did?”
“Okay.” I answered.
“Okay, good night Taylor, the guardian angel of my apartment.” She giggled.
“What now…” Before she could finish her sentence, I grabbed her and planted one right on her cheek, full force.
“Freaked out?” I laughed.
“GO TO BED!” She said and punched me in the arm.
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