To The Angel In The Seat Beside Me

To The Angel In The Seat Beside Me

No one else can see you but don't worry, I know you're here
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I'm sure I look like I have voices inside my head when I start to grin in my sleep or during a test or class or if I start to zone out into space and laugh or a tear strolls down my cheek. Everyone around me is probably judging me harder than I assume, but it's okay they probably don't know what's wrong with me but I'm happiest in these moments. Just me and my guardian angel together at one moment in time.

Sometimes I get whiffs of your scent. The woodsy cigars and cologne, that could've been mistaken for a calming fall breeze by anyone else around me, but to me, it's you.

That overwhelming and spontaneous sense of relief before a big test that brings me to tears. Don't worry, I feel you, I know you're holding me. Just like when I was little and would sit on your lap on the boat when we were fishing because I was scared of falling overboard. I may not see your arms anymore, but sometimes I swear I can still feel them.

Don't think I can't feel you holding my hand when I talk to you before I fall asleep. Just like I used to, I love talking to you about my day and hoping any little accomplishment of mine can make you smile down on me. I purposely keep my palm open up to the sky hoping you'll hear me and I can feel you hold it again. It may just be a mind trick or a gust of air from my fan but on the nights it counts most, I feel you squeeze my hand just like you used to.

You've made me so superstitious do you know that? I see you in everything I do. Whether you mean it or not, I see you everywhere I go since the day you left me. The morning of graduation I smelt your cigars and the picture I keep of us next to my bed just so happened to have blown onto my floor so it was the first thing I saw when I woke up. I had never seen as many butterflies as I have since the first day I stepped foot on campus and every day from then on. Thank you for spreading your bright wings right in front of my face on every good and bad day. When I am at my highest level of stress and feel like I'm gonna crack I look at my phone or clock and see 11:11 right there, every single time. You're not so sly you know, I'm starting to catch on.

I don't just see you in the sad or stressful or happy moments, I can see you standing in my room with your lanky body and your hands on your hips with your sarcastic grin and gray mustache shaking your head at me for all the "knucklehead" moves I've made. I promise I'm working on it.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is thank you for keeping your promise. Thank you for staying with me. Even though I didn't get to show you my prom dress, I didn't get to point to you walking off the stage with my diploma, I didn't get to give you a big hug and kiss goodbye when I got dropped off at college, and I don't get to hear "happy birthday my girl" from you when I turn 18 and "thank you" for all you've taught me, even though I didn't get to do all of that, thank you for showing me you're here even when I can't see you. Thank you for being there when it matters most and for never letting me feel alone. I love you and I'll always miss you but thank you for being there in the seat next to me in my 8am's, in the front of my lecture hall during my Bio exams, and for letting me feel your hand when I need one to hold.

And when I can't feel you, or hear you, or see you anymore, you'll always be in my heart, and on my ankle.

I love you pop-pop

Love always,

Your girl

Cover Image Credit: Author's Photo

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Kit Kat On A Rainy Day

My grandpa went missing one rainy afternoon, but what happened later is very heartwarming!

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It was a rainy afternoon in the middle of October. The road was covered in an almost invisible film of water, and mud seeped through the cracks of the sidewalk. The wind blew at a harsh and firm angle. The temperature was sharp and bitter. I was in 10th grade at the time and had just gotten back to school. I sat at my desk upstairs with my legs comfortably nuzzled against my chest. I admired the lavender fuzzy socks on my feet while very blatantly ignoring my homework and other responsibilities. I gently sipped warm apple cider, carefully making sure that it wouldn't burn my tongue whilst scrolling through my phone. This rainy afternoon in the middle of October was seemingly very normal.

I eventually picked up a pencil and reluctantly began my homework, but was very quickly distracted by the sounds of panicked yelling coming from downstairs. I quickly made my way to the scene so that I could figure out what was going on. My mom and grandma were in the kitchen crying and screaming. My grandma sounded agitated and afraid. My mom was barely able to make out coherent sentences as she scrambled to find my dad's contact in her phone. I shuddered and felt completely frozen when I was finally able to understand what was going on.

My 85-year-old grandpa who also has Alzheimer's was missing from our home. My stream of consciousness was abruptly interrupted as I heard the door leading to our garage slam shut. My mom was going to drive around our neighborhood to look for my grandpa, as he realistically could not have made it that far. I went back upstairs and sunk into my chair. My eyes were wide and I could hear my heart beating outside of my chest. I trembled and cried. These are the kinds of horrible and unfortunate stories that you read about or watch in the news. You never expect it to happen to a loved one. The gravity of the situation is heavy. It's a very obscure and different kind of pain, one that cannot be justified with words.

The next thirty or so minutes were a blur. I was not aware of how much time had passed, but I do remember hearing the slow creak of the garage open. I did not get up and I did not run down the stairs. Instead, I sat there. I sat firmly in my chair, numb and completely frozen. From where I was, everything was temporarily easier. The pain of sitting at my desk was less scathing than confronting whatever was waiting downstairs. And then, all of a sudden, I heard very slow and uneven steps coming up the stairs, accompanied by heavy breathing. It was my grandpa.

There he was, standing about three feet in front of me. I examined him, head-to-toe. He was soaked and there were remnants of mud on his pants and shoes. His glasses were covered in intricate droplets of water, and his light grey hair was disheveled. But that is not what stood out to me. What made me want to cry even more was the smile on his face that was beaming with love, as his eyes met mine. He steadily walked towards me, put his hand in his pocket, and I watched his fragile hands shake as he pulled out a Kit Kat bar.

"For you!" He said with a little laugh.

- - -

My mom had found my grandpa in a Walgreens right outside our neighborhood. To this day I still don't know how he got there, and I do not care to know the exact fundamentals of how he got from point A to point B. This is a man whose life and memories have been unfairly taken from him. This is a man who can barely make out a sentence in either Hindi or English. This is a man who, to this very day, cannot remember my name or who I am. However, what this disease has failed to do is strip him of his innate kindness. His mind might be impaired but his ability to love is immortal and unbreakable.

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