The inspector never expected to see something like this. It seemed like such a strange way to go. A fifty-eight year old man with everything going for him taking his own life in the bath. He thought that if he were in the man’s position he would want to die surrounded by attractive women on a private ship in Monaco at the ripe old age of ninety-nine, certainly not by his own hand anyway.
He turned to the man’s son, who stood outside the door of the apartment. The son stared into an imaginary horizon, as if he was spying a way to escape the hard grip of what reality was lying through that door. A policewoman spoke at him more than with him, her shrill voice piercing the bustling air like a foghorn.
“Now, Mr Wetherspoon, can you think if there would be any motivation for your father killing hims-… taking his own life?”
There was a delay in his answer.
“I can’t think of anything. Why he did it, I’m not sure. I’m not sure… it all happened so fast.”
“That’s alright, Mr Wetherspoon. That’s alright. We’ll find out, that’s for sure.”
“I just wish I knew.”
I can see angels, and hear them too. No-one will believe me, but I can prove it. They tell me the future, and they’re always right. They tell me what the weather will be like. They tell me that my friend will phone me tomorrow inviting me to dinner. They told me that my daughter-in-law’s pregnancy would end in a stillborn. They showed me heaven. But why I’m able to do it, I’m not sure. All I know is when it began.
It all started when my Rita died. At her funeral I saw something.
I asked my son if he saw it too, and he didn’t.
The next day I saw it again.
It was blindingly bright. It appeared to be a person, but I knew it wasn’t. It was something else. It stood next to my cooker, its wings touching the walls. I was so in awe, I didn’t know what to do. Before I could do or say anything my body gave way, collapsing onto my knees.
“Andrew Wetherspoon, if that is he?”
White light pierced through my very soul, my very being. It was almost as if it saw through me.
“You have acquired the ability to see and hear us, we great beings of love and light! We are here to guide you…”
It breathed a great sigh, if it could even breathe. “Let’s cut it with the formal bullshit, eh? Basically somehow you’re able to see us.”
“What?” I said.
“Angels, you know angels right? Winged guardians of humanity, servants of God, blah blah blah… whatever. You know?”
“Uhh… yeah. Yes I know what you… I know what angels are. But how did–?”
“You’re asking me like I know mate. I’ve no idea. Must be a glitch in the system, or because you have had close contact with other realms. Has someone died?”
“Yeah… Rita, my wife.”
“Ah well,” the angel sighed. “That’ll be why then. Strange how you’re the only person that we know of that has acquired this… talent. So far anyway.”
“But why me?”
“Only God knows, and one thing’s for sure, I’m not gonna go up and ask Him either. We’re all terrified of Him, not ‘cause He’s a bad guy or anything… He’s just… how can I put it… intimidating, that’s all.”
It laughed at it’s own comment and threw itself down in my armchair, the light that emanated from its being glowing through the fabric. It told me that its name was unpronouceable to human beings, but I could call it Dave. It told me it was able to see into the future and as a result I would see it too because I was able to see into the realm of Heaven.
And I saw Heaven alright.
That day it told me that the kettle I had put on the stove would boil in exactly 2 minutes and 34 seconds. I grabbed my phone and timed it. It was the longest 2 minutes and 34 seconds of my life, because in that 2 minutes and 34 seconds I would know whether Dave was just a shadow of my own insanity or if what was happening was real. I needed to know. And in exactly 2 minutes and 34 seconds the kettle began to whistle. I was so much in disbelief that I began to laugh uncontrollably, almost as if what was happening was far beyond the expression of words. The fact that an angel was sitting in my chair was enough to make anyone question their own sanity, and believe me I did. Oh, I did.
I doubted it even more when it told me that my eldest son’s wife would have a stillbirth. I didn’t want it to be true, but it happened at the moment I disbelieved it more than ever. But there was something I did believe, or maybe I wanted it to be true so hard that I had convinced myself that it was real. I didn’t care. When I saw Heaven, I saw Rita, and she smiled at me and beckoned me to come to her.
And what kind of man disobeys his wife?
The inspector was back in the station, where the evidence was being analysed. For a moment it felt as if he was underwater, watching the goings-on in the room without having an impact himself, as if he himself had died and was a ghost watching the living go about their daily business without having any impact on it himself.
Suddenly a woman in a beige mackintosh walked into the room, and with her she brought a wave of nervous energy that wasn’t there before. She told the other police officers that she knew something vital about the case. She was the wife of the man’s son, and as soon as the son met her eyes he was drawn into her arms like a magnet and began to sob like a child. She looked up at one of the officers, and she began to speak just as he was about to open his mouth to prompt her.
“The day before I had a stillbirth Andrew told me something,” she said. “And that something has haunted me ever since.”
“What did he tell you?” the officer asked, writing vigorously on his notepad without even looking at her.
“He told me that whatever he was about to say was going to sound horrible and I would never believe it, but he told me that he thought my pregnancy would end in a stillbirth, and he was right. I didn’t believe him until it happened.”
A week later, the very same police officer wrote on Andrew Wetherspoon’s case file that his suicide was caused by mental illness caused by the sudden loss of his wife.
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