“Whew, glad we got those Indians,” Hank said, wiping his brow. “That was a close call.”
“I know,” I mumbled, my mouth full of crumbs. “You’re a good cowboy, Hank. This western town needs more men like you.”
Hank grinned at me, his white teeth flashing. “I do it all for the good of the west,” he replied and went for another chocolate chip. It was a good day to be a cowboy.
At least that’s the way I remembered it.
It was so many years ago that we had been kids and playing on the lawn. That was when being young was easy, and the world was a gentler place. Death meant nothing to us then, just a thing we did with toy guns.
Now it was something else. Now it was real.
Angels came to visit me now. Not winged women like the artists paint, but real ones, closer than I knew, with love on their breath. They whispered in my ear and told me I was going to be okay. They stole from death and I knew it.
“We want to keep you,” Angel Gabriella had said as she whispered in my left ear. “Don’t ever forget that.”
I wanted to know more, but they were slow at telling. I could sense them around me a lot now, especially since I had been diagnosed. The cancer demons were all over me, but I could get rid of them if I just knew how. At least that’s what the angels said.
“How can I beat this?” I asked, pleaded with them when I sensed them around me. “What do you want me to do?”
I was desperately afraid. I did not care so much about dying, but I didn’t want to suffer. I had watched my parents both fade away until death claimed them from the malady that has no cure. I didn’t want that to happen to me too. I had so much to live for. Why had I been born if just to live and die? What was it all about?
“Please,“ I pleaded to Gabriella when I could sense her presence in the room. “Just tell me what I have to do to beat this thing. I’ll do anything. Just tell me.”