[Following short story is fictitious]
There were these two angels, but like most angels, their names were not given. [see footnote] Angels are meant to accomplish the work of goodness behind the scenes, unnoticed and don’t receive credits for what they do. And because they don’t reveal their names to humans, so we will not name them. But, here, for the sake of this story, let’s just call them the first and second angel. Each had their own angelic, super human, ability given for accomplishing their duties.
The specific power of the first one was making people concentrate on the positive qualities of other people and thus invoking the feeling of love while the second angle was on the opposite: magnifying negative and the imperfections of other people so as creating dislike and other negative reactions. Therefore, the latter angel, because of the nature of his force, was prohibited from initiating a mission; he only could lend support whenever and wherever his assistance was required.
It had been sometime they had been working to help a young man the first angel had chosen. This first angel only helped people during their important, deciding moments of their life, just as this young man was. For this reason, he was there for him, finding his most suitable match. He didn’t say perfect match because there were not such things as perfect match for imperfect humans.
As an angel he knew that the woman was out there somewhere. He was closely watching the man, should they meet then he would use his power to make both of them fall in love. However, if he saw the man started to be interested to other women, and it had been twice, then he would ask the second angel to do his part.
“Can you please do me a favour this time again?” This would be his third request.
“Look at this young man, the person you are supposed to help!” in a raised voice, the second angel responded to this repetition for help. Time was running out for him while he had to yet collaborate with other angels, “He was about to loose confidence, thinking that he didn’t deserve love. I’m afraid, someday, you’ll find this man dead! And you will, no doubt, be held responsible for crossing the line of human destiny.” The second angel almost exploded.
It was four years ago when the first angel came to him for help with the first woman. First love for the man and would be for her, if she allowed her heart to. The second angel was excited to help because he himself was interested to know how love, first love, could withstand imperfections. So he brought the young man physical traits into the young woman attention, focusing into the fact that he was not as attractive as the man of her dream.
She didn’t dislike him. She was repelled, if not disgusted, with his appearance. She couldn’t accept the fact that although he didn’t match her standard of male attractiveness, he was basically a nice and gentle man, in the truest sense of the words.
The second angel had a theory that, probably, it was those goodness and gentleness that made a man look unattractive to women. After all, didn’t the women of the earth like challenges and didn’t like being chased too eagerly? Suddenly, it dawned on him what the first angle had done. He confronted the first angle for the reason why he wanted the young man to fail by overly creating the imbalance sense of love.
The first angel returned to him two years later for a woman who was simply stunning. He had to admit that although, he was an angel, he too had to suppress his lust every time he saw this woman. Long time ago, he still remembered it vividly, many of his fellow angels, upon looking down below for the beautiful daughters of the earth, left their heavenly abode and transformed their body into human form, inflamed with lust they had intercourse with them. The results were disastrous. Their offspring became valiant and mighty hybrids, giants that the earth had never seen before but so was their cruelty. For their misdeeds, these angels, lost the privilege in their realm, chained and thrown into an abyss. It was the lesson for all.
So he could understand if the young man fell in love with this woman. Even without the first angel invoking in him the feeling of love, he would be already madly in love with her. She was the total combination of beauty, intelligence and material wealth after all; who men in their right mind didn’t want her?
She nonetheless gave him chance to be close to her for the thrill of the game. He was elated before crushing back to the earth again. The first angel didn’t have to ask for his help as he knew too that in fact his companion also did nothing to influence the outcome. They could love and be turned off naturally. May be he called him just to show that, as far as romance was concerned, the people of the earth, male and female, now had an equal footing, he thought. If they called it playboy, now they had to call playgirl as well. Both these men and women that had dishonoured love someday would meet their own judgement because the universe that breathed life into them was just.
“Then, surely, it will be a sad day for me for crossing the line…….” The first angel interrupted his thoughts after a long silence.
The first angel knew too well that he was prohibited from changing human destiny. Humans -and angels also- were brought into existence with free will. They are the ones that will choose their paths themselves, for better and worse. Upon them were bestowed the same blessings, therefore, no one could claim that he was born lucky while others complained for the suffering they had been destined to. So in this light, there wasn’t such thing as “match made in heavens”. Humans were responsible for the matches they made. Heavens can not be held into account for bad marriages that had spread like gangrene on the surface of the earth because heavens can only produce goodness.
But heavens, of course, can help if it deems necessary.
So the first angel had gone using his force as far as he was permitted to. By his influence, he showed where to look for love, amplifying the kindness and goodness a person had in him that made him or her worthy of love. But it is up to the people to decide to love. The same as the second angel; he could not create aversion out of nothing all but he had the ability to exploit a person’s shortcomings and show them to someone else. It is, also, up to the person whether to ignore the shortcomings or make a fuss out of them.
The first angel then told his companion about a woman the man met several weeks ago. He described her as a tender, motherly woman. While observing the woman following days, the second angel agreed with the first angel’s observation. She wasn’t only caring and gentle but also soft-spoken, cultured and seemed to have a happy disposition.
“She could be the match he is looking for. Don’t you agree?” the second angel returned to the first angel. “But I don’t understand why you still need my help where you can instead making them fall in love with each other at first place? For goodness sake, once or twice of rejection is enough. This man is human after all!”
“I know. My heart also ached for him every time he got the rejection. But she isn’t his true match. However, if she still could accept him despite all his shortcomings that you were going to reveal then let’s wish them the best.”
“Why you want to help this particular guy at first place, by the way?”
“Although I can’t see his heart, by his words and actions I know that this is basically a good, moral and principle man, who is worthy of my assistance.” The first angel answered while looking down toward the earth.
“I would like to tell you something because I think it would be unfair if you go without knowing the good that can come out all of this.” He continued.
“Look at this man now. When he fell in love for the first time, four years ago, he was very innocent, naïve and inexperience in the game of romance, at least by the standard of men of his age. Why, he even couldn’t talk to a woman! You know that. But he fought for his love courageously. She was there to give him a wake up call that he lacked something that was very important for a successful relationship: the ability to communicate.”
“Two years later, he opened his heart again and met the second woman who, although being manipulative and playful, nonetheless offered the taste what it would be like if he was masterful at communicating. It was from her that he knew how to communicate and relate to the opposite sex because she gave him the chance. He improved a lot after this despite he had to endure the pain she had caused.”
“And one of the best that has come out of this is that he has started writing and composing songs again, his true calling.”
“But isn’t it equally true also that he can write beautiful stories when he is in love? After all love is the best inspirator.”
“Yes, it’s a bit weird. I even don’t understand why the euphoria of love didn’t inspire him to more creativity. See how many stories he had produced and the songs he had composed when he was seclusive? Unrequited loves made him more creative. “
“This time, the woman will complete his training. I will influence him to be madly in love with her and you, please, focus her to the fact that he is a man from a different background than her, that it is her obligation to fulfil her parents’ wish of marrying someone from the same ethnic background. Intensify their cultural clashes.”
“But what happen this time if the man breaks and he will do something foolish or compromising his morality and principles?”
“No, not for this type of person that I know. Listen…” the first angel said, took a deep breath and then continued, “I’ve never been wrong in choosing my subject so far…”
“So if you can unleash your force, this time, to its maximum, it would be very much appreciated,” the first angel tapped the second angel on the shoulder, imploring, “This is will be my last request. You are free to go after this. I appreciate our cooperation so far and I indeed thank you for that.”
For several weeks after his final meeting with the second angel, the first angel was waiting anxiously for the work of his fellow angel to manifest.
He knew it worked already when he saw down there the relationship didn’t develop as the man wanted.
As a result, the man became reclusive and started writing again, pouring out his heart into it. It seemed that writing became a haven to go whenever the storm was raging inside him.
Then one night he saw the man drive out of the city toward western direction for two hour-drive distance and then pulled out his car by an isolated forest.
He heard the man shouted repeatedly, disturbing the silence of the night, “What have I done to deserve this? What have I done to deserve this?”
Suddenly, he was alarmed when he saw the man pull out a hose from the booth, slip it into the car’s exhaust pipe and direct it back inside the car, closed the window and began starting the engine.
The young man was going to gas himself to death, for sure! He started to panic himself. If the man should die, he knew he would share the bloodguilt. Although he didn’t alter the young man’s destiny, he contributed to what had happened now. Goodness behaves in a strange way sometimes, he thought. He had started this endeavour in a fully good intention, helping him achieve his ultimate happiness.
And in so doing he had confidence that the man could overcome all the pains, obstacles and challenges that would come all the way. The man’s morality wasn’t the only thing that moved him. It was his strength of characters too that had became a consideration. Although leading a moral life is certainly desired, it’s one’s strength of characters that will make him a victor, conqueror of the world.
He sensed he was about to be disappointed this time.
If the man could endure a little longer, he would meet this woman of his life, lamented the angel. Together they will find their other halves in each other’s heart. In fact, no day that he will be forever thankful but the day when he makes love grows in their hearts. If only he could wait…..
Never in his entire life as an angel had he felt so sad. Far above in his realm, he shed his own tears as he saw the man cried -exhausted with the pain he had yet to endure- and suddenly his tears became the midnight rain, just right before the moon set at the other horizon.
He cried for the sacred reunion that might happen and fell asleep in his sadness.
The first angel woke up to find the second angel was sitting in front him. He looked down to the earth. It was almost dawn.
“You’re here,” He was surprise, “The man still alive?” He asked softly.
“Yes. You were right. He didn’t fail you.” The second angle gestured him toward the other direction of the earth.
Below, he saw the young man was sobbing on his father’s shoulder.
[Footnote: For example, in Judeo-Christian traditions, out of billions of angels, only two angels were known by their names, namely, Michael, the Archangel, and Gabriel.]
(Jakarta, July 07, 2007)
(C) Copyright 2007 Julitra Anaada