After we go to a movie or a restaurant, I walk Melanie home. It stretches the night out just a little longer. We discuss when we’ll see each other next, though we never make firm plans, and it’ll always end up being longer than we’d hoped. I usually walk home from there, it’s a distance, so I stop in the Willow Park.
The Angel stands in the middle of the park. Arms reaching up towards heaven, wings outspread. The first time I saw them, I thought they were a statue.
“Nope, it’s a person.”
“Like a street performer?”
“No, like a superhero. They protect us.”
I don’t know if The Angel protects us or not, but I always feel safe in the park at night. I always stop and sit on a bench for a while. The city set up lights so that The Angel is always illuminated. They weren’t always still. I’ve seen photos of The Angel flying, and fighting. But that was long before I moved here. I’ve only been here a year, and I don’t know how much longer I’ll stay. Aside from Melanie, my connections are thin. Some work friends. A barista who flirts with me. But my position at work is about to be redundant, and none of these friendships will survive the slightest change in my routine.
“Should I just stand still like you, and see who comes to visit me?” I ask The Angel, “Are you waiting for someone? Should I wait for someone?”
Some people treat The Angel like the Palace Guard, trying to make them smile or angry. There’s a story that somebody once bumped into them and got burned. Maybe all The Angel protects is themself.
I glance at my phone, get up from the bench and leave the park. My lease will be up soon. I’ll have to decide soon if I’ll stay here. Leaving the park, I can hear the sounds of traffic. I soon a man walking his dog. A bicyclist calls, “On your left” before passing me. The city is once again in motion.