The Death of Aiden
Trigger warning: This fictional story contains graphic content about death and domestic violence.
The deep, quiet, and soothing voice brought my subconscious to life. It had been a while since a man called me Angel. Aiden always called me Angie — the nickname I hated because it reminded me of bullies from my youth. And every time Aiden called me Angie, he used an earth-shattering scream. But Angel? That’s my favorite nickname. I hadn’t heard anyone call me it since my dad was alive three months ago.
When the unfamiliar voice awoke me, I was no longer in pain. Unlike the tattered, hard, and beer and blood-stained pillow I usually slept upon, the pillow was fresh and soft. This isn’t real, I thought to myself. Next to me lay a clean-shaven man with short chestnut brown hair, blue eyes, and blue plaid pajamas. He smiled at me. Even though I didn’t know him, his smile seemed warm, genuine, and pure. A man hadn’t smiled at me like that in a long time.
The situation was extremely bizarre! Any logical person would freak out after waking up next to a stranger. But I felt more relaxed than I had in a long time. Was this guy a hallucination? Or was he a hypnotist putting me in a trance? After a few seconds of awkward silence, the stranger’s smile morphed into a concerned and sympathetic frown.
“I’m sorry for showing up like this, Angel,” he said. “You must be shocked and confused.”
“Uh…of course I am!” I stammered, faking my fear. “Who the hell are you?!”
“My name’s Tyler. I know your father.”
“How?” Okay, now I actually was tempted to get out of bed and throw my lamp at Tyler. I wasn’t ready to hear anyone mention my father.
“He worked with my father named Fred. After the crash on the construction site, your father told him about his dying wish. It was for you to meet a kind man who would respect you and take care of you.”
I started laughing. How the hell could that have been my dad’s dying wish, and then this random guy shows up in my bedroom? This was so messed up! A few seconds after I laughed, a well of emotions swelled up in my gut. My eyes poured tears. Tyler pulled me into his chest…