Faraway, So Close

I cringed at the sight of the photo of his children and wife. His wallet lay partially opened on the dresser and I watched in fascination as she swiped a twenty without him even realising it.


Flickering neon lights had welcomed me to the Eden Hotel, but there was nothing in this gloomy place that resembled the Eden I imagined. The only signs of life were sizeable patches of mould growing on the walls and a small cockroach that quickly scurried under the door. My first impulse had been to leave, but as usual, I had no choice but to follow her into Room Nineteen.

They couldn’t see me from my vantage point in the corner of the hotel room. His lips curled into a smile as she removed her clothes and my eyes lowered as she playfully pulled him from the collar toward her.

These were the times when I wished I could intervene and stop her from the inevitable. But I could not even police my actions, let alone hers; all I could do was powerlessly stand there. These were the times I questioned my reason for my existence. Why was I here if I could not help her?

Twenty minutes later he was gone, leaving a wad of cash on the dresser. She listlessly sat on a chair and gazed into the cracked mirror. Sapphire blue eyes flashed against the dark smudges that were a stark reminder of her late nights and sleepless dreams.

Her life had fallen into a rhythm of bad choices and bad luck, but I still vividly remembered the happy and fresh-faced girl of the past. As the tears began to stream down her face, every fibre of my being desperately wanted to embrace and comfort her. But all I could manage was an empty presence.

“It’ll be all right.” I murmured, but as her guardian angel, she could not hear a word.