She could hear the sound of something rolling along a wooden surface; a marble, a ball, perhaps a metal sphere.
When she woke she saw him sitting at the desk, deep in thought, one of the steel balls of his Newton’s Cradle had fallen from its string; he was rolling it absent-mindedly from one hand to the other in the lamplight.
‘You are well,’ she asked.
‘Pondering.’ He stood and walked to the window, his hands clasped behind his back, ruffling his pristine white suit.
‘Will he… or won’t he?’ asked the man, apparently addressing the glass window. His eyes caught a movement on the street below and he smiled.
‘Who is he?’ asked the Angel.
‘You don’t know?’ asked the man, surprised. He turned and looked over his shoulder at her. ‘He is your saviour.’
‘I do not need to be saved,’ she stated, stepping beside him and looking down to the street. It had rained and the cobblestones glistened in the moonlight. She could see no-one down there.
‘He thinks you do.’
The man shrugged. ‘Servitude, slavery.’ The man picked-up the ball and regarded it closely, seeing his eyes reflected upside-down. ‘Choice.’
‘I am where I am,’ said the Angel. ‘For this is my choice.’
‘He assumes you are not. He uses his head to think but not his heart.’
‘Then he is doomed.’
The man clasped the ball quickly in his palm. ‘Do you have no pity for him? This poor, misguided soul.’
‘He does not even know himself, but thinks he knows me.’
‘Assumes; there is a difference.’
‘He wants to save me from an imagined fate, from my own choice. The danger exists only in his mind. There is no truth to it.’
‘Oh, truth,’ said the man. ‘There is truth, just not what he has interpreted,’ to himself he murmured: ‘or imagined.’
‘He misinterprets his feelings.’
‘So what does he feel?’ asked the man carefully.
She glanced up at him slowly, unsure of the question.
‘Surely your own instincts told you. Don’t you trust your instincts?’
‘As does he,’ said the man, stepping away from the window. ‘You are alike the two of you. Both lost in your own ways. Both choosing paths by instinct and calling them something else.’
‘I choose to be here,’ she replied.
‘Is there nothing elseÂ that keeps you here in my company? You could fly away and be free, truly free, up there among the stars. What’s really holding you here?’
She was silent but as she stood there, another feather fell from her wings to the floor.