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My Courtship

Chapter Text

Jonathan B. Unseen was Sarah's assigned guardian angel. His main task on earth was to keep her out of trouble, which he achieved by whispering words of caution, encouragement or suggestions for the best course of action in her ear.

Advice was not the only way Jonathan looked after his ward. If Sarah was too exhausted to think for herself, Jonathan was there to get her through the day safely. She could lean on him whenever she needed the support, and he was solid like bedrock. They were altogether close friends, often finding shared joy in the small wonders of the world.

Since Jonathan was a guardian angel, it was also strongly implied that he was angelic. A good guy, in other words, wanting only the best for Sarah. What she sometimes had trouble understanding, however, was how exactly his nagging was good for her – particularly the sort he would keep up afterwards, once the advice could no longer help her resolve the situation for the better. She was almost ready to call it a case of perfect hindsight on his part.

Jonathan, who had been granted infinite patience as one of his many gifts, would explain to her that his feedback and nurturing would help her grow as a person, and prevent her from getting into troublesome situations in the future. Sarah always eventually accepted his explanations, of course, grateful that she had been blessed with such a fine guardian angel.

It was just too bad for her, however, that Jonathan had some real issues with failure, both hers and his own – or the theoretical possibility of his own failure, in any case, since it was yet to be proven it was possible. He had an immense dislike of imperfection, which was completely understandable given that he originated from a realm of eternally flawless perfection. It caused him to not always be satisfied with just a light scolding after every which small slip-up of Sarah's. While she tried her best, she was still merely human. It was so very hard to not mess up one way or the other. It made her sad to cause such grief to her extremely devoted guardian angel, and she constantly aimed to be a better person to make him proud.

A turning point came when Sarah met her first boyfriend.

Jonathan was naturally worried of the risks that rampant emotions brought to the fulfilment of his duties. He tried to quickly educate her on the best ways to handle a relationship, but it was too much too quickly, and Sarah could not absorb even the beginnings of the lessons in the state of mind she was in. They even briefly fought over it. Unfortunately, in the face of true love, or even a major crush, he had no choice but to eventually give in. He wished her good luck, and stepped into the background to give her space in her new phase of life.

Sarah would still talk to Jonathan from time to time. When she was feeling lonely, or just too stressed about something, she would ask Jonathan to cheer her up. And he would, of course. He was her guardian angel, and was not going anywhere just because he was not needed all the time. He courteously kept his warnings about how to handle everyday matters with her boyfriend to a minimum, only responding to her voiced concerns about issues she was particularly concerned about, and which she needed to air to someone, to get a second opinion.

It was one day, when she was deep in conversation with Jonathan over something small but complicated that was troubling her, that her boyfriend had come home without her noticing. He walked in on her, and quietly listened for a while before interrupting her, demanding to know who she was talking to.

Sarah knew that guardian angels were invisible to other people, because that way they could best protect them without causing a fuss. Also, she knew that not everyone had a guardian angel, and the people who did not would be horribly saddened to find out that she had been blessed with one. It was dreadfully unfair, really, but there were only that many guardian angels to go around, and the population of the earth had been growing so fast that some people had to make it through life without a Jonathan of their own.

So, out of consideration for his feelings, Sarah tried to first convince her boyfriend that she was just talking to herself, reciting a play she had read from memory. He did not believe her, saying he heard her bring up names they both knew. It was too much of a coincidence; he would not accept the explanation.

She was getting distressed, and even Jonathan was falling short of good suggestions on how to get out of the situation. Eventually, she admitted she had been stressed and did not want to bother anyone else with her problems, so she had tried to clear her head by talking it out to herself.

Her boyfriend would not relent. Who was Jonathan, then? A flame of hers? Why should he believe her now?

She had to come clean to him, tell him that she had a guardian angel who she was talking to. But that it was nothing to worry about, he should not feel jealous since he had all of her non-problematic self. Jonathan only showed up to deal with the things she did not want to burden others with. And it was not even certain that he was really a he, since angels were rather asexual anyway.

But it was to no avail. He recoiled from her, calling her a lunatic and worse. He said he wanted nothing to do with her. He told her that his grandmother had also been crazy and ruined her family's lives by her insanity and eventually by killing herself, as if expecting that she would re-enact his family's old nightmare.

In the end, he rushed out the door, but not before telling her to be out of the house by the time he got back. Sarah was devastated at this sudden turn from normality to an apocalypse, but she meekly complied. The pair broke up without ever talking to each other again.

Jonathan was livid. He had disagreed about the wisdom of revealing his existence, he had warned Sarah about being careful to not let others find out about her blessing, and he had admonished her about the dangers of relationships. This was her fault for not knowing enough about the boyfriend's past life, not trying hard enough to find out important things like this. Certainly, the boyfriend was a monster to break up with her like that; but it only went to show how her feelings made her blind, unable to see the evil side of people, particularly people who do not have guardian angels to keep them on the right path. She should have known better.

It was quite obvious that she would have to be more careful in the future. A fiasco like this could not be allowed to happen again. Who knew how many people the boyfriend had told, called her a freak to. How many people were now quietly judging her? Would someone come and take her away, lock her up in some kind of institution for crazy people where none of the caretakers would know the truth about people with guardian angels? Was this what she wanted?

Maybe she was even subconsciously aiming for this, trying to make herself a victim so she could blame her difficulties the next time she failed at something. Maybe she picked out this guy for the exact purpose of having an excuse to be a failure. Was this how she was trying to reward her guardian angel's efforts?

No matter what Sarah said, Jonathan would not calm down. She got angry too, she shouted since she was so hopeless, she wished that it had been Jonathan that had left instead of the boyfriend, and that she had had it with his unreasonable demands. Jonathan kept telling her she was being petulant, and not worth his help; he had nothing but her best interests in mind, and she spat on his face, on his hard work.

Something broke inside Sarah; she could not take any more abuse from Jonathan. It had to stop. Without thinking, she pushed her angel, and when he would not stop, she punched him. When he kept spewing horrible accusations at her, she grabbed hold of his throat and squeezed until he was silent. And seeing the still furious look in his eyes, she kept squeezing so he would not start again. She squeezed until his eyes closed.

Jonathan B. Unseen sank into the ground, lifeless, until he could no longer be seen. Not even by Sarah.

And suddenly she felt horribly lonely.