His wings lay to the side. The act of tearing them off had hurt more than he could explain but the jagged wounds in his flesh just felt numb.
He felt numb.
Then he remembered his anger. He remembered why he was doing what he was doing. He remembered who he was doing this for.
And he smiled.
He knew exactly where he was going. He had waited for most of his torturous existence to do this, and now he was doing it. Heaven forbade such acts, but this was love and he would be damned–literally!–if he would live for eternity in fear instead of one lifetime in love.
He chose love.
Fred smiled at the strange man on the subway. He had such chiseled features. He looked like he had come off some divine production line. He was strangely familiar to Fred, yet Fred was also sure that they had never met. This confusion kept Fred’s gaze on him a second longer than normal. He looked up and they made eye-contact, so the man smiled, leaned in and greeted him.
“Hi,” the man said–god, he had blue eyes!–“I’m Michael.”
“Uh-uh,” Fred stumbled over the words, his heart was pounding and his palms sweaty, “Hi, I’m Fred. Uh, do I know you?”
The beautiful man smiled. He never shook his head nor nodded. Rather he reached out and grasped Fred’s hand and squeezed it. Fred’s heart skipped a beat and then he squeezed back.
The beautiful stranger smiled.
“Say, do you want to get a drink, Fred?” he asked, smiling, the light radiating out of his blue eyes, “I know a quiet little pub nearby the next station.”
Fred smiled back and nodded before he realized that he should say something back.
“Sure, sure, yes,” he said, “Say, where are you from?”
The beautiful stranger smiled. Sadness and pain flashed across his eyes before he answered.
“I’m from far away. Very far. But, that doesn’t matter. That place doesn’t approve of people like us, Fred. We were made different to the rest and shouldn’t suffer because of it.”
Fred knew exactly what the man meant. He had run away from home when he was young. He did not miss his father’s or anyone else’s beatings nor the judgment of the priests.
“Born,” Fred corrected, smiling reassuringly back at him, “Born. We weren’t made. We were born.”
“Sure,” the stranger nodded, sadly, “Sometimes it feels more like I was made by some asshole god, to be honest.”
They both laughed at this, and the train came to a stop.
“How about that drink, Fred?”
Fred smiled. It had been a long time since someone had made him feel like this and he would be damned if he was going to let the opportunity slip by him.