I stood there, looking out my window at the sunset. This wasn't like the other sunsets I had watched. The colors seemed more vivid, it felt like I was seeing it for the first time. And then suddenly, unbidden, the thought came to me. Tonight was the night he'd find me at last. I carefully unfolded the worn, creased paper twisted in my hand.
The night when your life
shines brightest is
when I will come to
take it away.
I felt the beat of my heart speed up tenfold. I recalled when I saw him. It had been the first and last time I ever saw him in the flesh. I was young, alone, lost in the city. It was getting late and I couldn't find shelter or anyone to help me. I was calling desperately for help, crying the panicked tears of a child. While crying, I looked up and saw him.
He stood there, looking at me, not moving. He seemed to be a statue of porcelain. I stared back at, trying to comprehend what I saw. Draped in his black clad arms was the body of a young woman; her red hair looked like fire next to his translucent skin. He quietly bent down to place her on the steps of a fire escape, kissing her goodnight softly on her neck.
The man turned back to me and I took in his blonde feathery hair, icy eyes, and the solemn set of his mouth as he came towards me. It was almost impossible to tear my eyes from him, even as he came and enfolded me in his arms. Oddly, I was not panicked, and I didn't shout for help.
I jerked forward suddenly, stumbling on what seemed like nothing. He let me out of his embrace, stepping back and keeping his graceful fingers placed upon my shoulder. He seemed to be looking deep into my own brown eyes for something. He smiled gently and leaned down to kiss my cheek,
"Goodnight," he whispered, and disappeared. I was standing in the middle of my own room, with nothing to tell me the events of the night were real, except for the scrap of paper clutched in my hand. The same one that was in my hand.
A voice jerked me out of my reverie. My mother arrived with my wedding dress and began to attempt to clothe me. I stood limp, barely responding to my mother's instructions. My mind rushed through all the signs. "Night when your life shines brightest" would have to be tonight.
Tonight I was to be married to my best friend, the love of my life. Many say that a wedding is the highlight of a girl's life. And I was to get married after sunset. Once more would I lock eyes with the man most adults and other children thought was a figment of my childhood. My mind knew he couldn't possibly exist, but I knew he had to.
As a brush was dragged through my hair, I began to have my doubts. How could be find me in a city as big as this? How would I ever recognize him? Was tonight really the night, or had I misread all my construed signs? I felt the brush leave my scalp and I had been directed to the front of the mirror. In my reflection, I saw little of my ten-year-old self. My hair color had lightened enough for auburn highlights to be seen, and my plain brown eyes had gained dimension, looking more like chocolate than a color palate. The freckles that had been splashed on my cheeks had faded to leave my skin fair and clear. He might recognize me, if he had forgotten some of my features.
Guilt suddenly washed over me. Here I was, a bride-to-be, thinking of a lost child's savior and only a few hours away from being married to a man I knew and loved.
I had met him in grade school and we soon became the best of friends, closer even that brother and sister. As we grew up, we got even closer, until one day we realized we were in love. But it all seemed so trivial now. My mind was filled with "what ifs" and "hopefullys" as I exited my apartment building. I didn't even noticed a man in my path until I ran into him.
I looked up and lost my breath. There he was, my mystery man. I again was a ten year old child, lost in the city, locked in his icy gaze. When he left me ten year ago, it was those eyes that prolonged my search for him. Not for what he might be or who he was, but only to look at him once more to know he was real. And here, finally was my dream.
I blinked, and we were somewhere... else. A clearing of a forest, I don't know where. His eyes held mine and all else seemed unimportant. He didn't look a day older, and could have been almost the exact same, except tired. Infinitely tired. He leaned in close to my neck and kissed me. Surprised, I pushed him away. Meeting me eye-to-eye, he smiled, baring sharp teeth. And the red haired woman in his arms that night made sense. But I threw caution to the winds. For the first time I could move in his presence. I took his face in my hands and kissed him full on the lips. His cold mouth responded, seeming to warm under my touch and he returned my kiss. I broke it off, forever entranced by his eyes. His beautiful eyes were closed and he was surrounded by a golden light.
"For every accursed creature, there is an angel to save them. I have found you my angel," he whispered, so alike to that night, "you have freed me." He kissed me once more and suddenly dissolved. I could imagine the voice of a thousand holy hosts as the light vanished.
I sat on a stump and cried. I cried for the pain I had felt in his kiss, for the anguish I felt at losing him, for the feeling that I had lost my soul mate. When they found me, I was still sitting there, wiping away tears and fingering the marks on my neck.