The air had a sweet, crispness to it. Fall was fast approaching and I welcomed the break from the oppressive summer heat. Morning commuters hurrying past the coffee shop where I stopped for breakfast were just part of the scenery. I barely noticed the foot and car traffic.
Enjoying a quiet moment with my newspaper at an outside table, I didn’t notice him until he was standing right next to me asking me my name.
As soon as I answered, I regretted the impulsive response.
“I’ve been looking for you,” the stranger said. Dressed in a black morning suit, with a bright yellow and green tie, he stood out from the nondescript pedestrians.
“Who are you?” Folding my paper, I laid it in an empty chair.
“You have to come with me now,” he said. “We are already late.”
I ignored his offered hand, and crossed my legs and arms.
“There is no ‘we’,” I said, committing his description to memory. “I asked you, who are you.”
When he reached for my elbow, I abruptly stood up, knocking my chair over.
“Touch me again and you’re done,” I said, grabbing my silverware from the table, brandishing it like a weapon. “Stick a fork in you done.”
The stranger looked at his watch, then surveyed the north end of the street, to the left of where we were standing. He seemed impatient, agitated that I wasn’t coming quietly.
“There isn’t time for this delay,” he said, reaching for me again.
Intending to stab him in the arm with my cutlery, I instead found myself across the street from where we were only a split second ago. I watched with sickening helplessness as a taxi careened through the morning rush, crashing into the cafe window in the exact spot where I had been sitting.
Looking to the stranger, he handed me my coffee cup, then straightened his tie.
“Unfortunately, I was only able to retrieve your coffee. Sorry about your cinnamon roll.” he said, taking the fork that was still clenched in my other hand. “To answer you previous question, my name is Minkin Bercu. I am your Guardian Angel. Next time, you’ll do well to listen to me sooner.”
With that, he walked away, leaving me to sort out what had just happened.