With the phone at his ear, he reached out to grab the agenda, but accidentally pushed a glass in its vicinity and the water from it spread quickly all over the small table. Repressing a loud voiced curse, he threw a “Yes, this Saturday is fine, gotta go now” in the phone, and then rushed into the kitchen to get a napkin. When he returned, while wiping the small puddle, he suddenly found himself smiling, remembering her silly habit of blaming invisible beings for such accidents – “Rahmiel, you naughty little bastard, you did it again…” She used to say that angels were in a playful mood around her, and that while they played tag they pushed her, therefore causing such things to happen – breaking a glass one day, dropping a plate another day…Maybe it was her way of coping with the idea of getting old and clumsy. Maybe it was easier that way to accept the changes through which she was going. Anyway, it didn’t matter that she spilled coffee or dropped something, there was always some other being to blame, and always an invisible one.

When she first began to do that they were all afraid she’d gone nuts, so they asked the doctor to give her a checkup. But then the check-up revealed nothing, and after a while it actually became funny to hear her scolding the assumed culprit. They even tried to play along, and from time to time, when she dropped something, one of them commented “Ha! It was Raphael who did it this time…”, but they quickly gave up, first because each time they involved the archangels she glared at them with an incisive gaze, saying that the archangels didn’t have time to play, it was only smaller angels that did that, younger ones, and secondly because they were never able to nick it, there was always some other angel from a seemingly ever growing list of them. So eventually they contented themselves with silently observing her and finding an innocent amusement in that.

When the frequency of accidents began to thicken, she said that angels were so eager to play with her and had lost their patience of waiting for her that they pushed her harder than usual. She always said that they had been waiting for her for too long, and had such lovely games to play with her, and that she could hardly wait to go and play with them. So their hearts always leapt when they heard her speaking like that, intuiting the outcome but unable to prevent it from happening. And one day it happened – she left for the angels’ playground, after a last game of hide’n’seek with Azrael. And after that day, little accidents became just little accidents again.

Back into the kitchen, while twisting the napkin above the sink, he gazed at the water leaking and smiled, murmuring: “Ishmael, if I catch you one more time doing this…”

© Liliana Negoi

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