The doctor came into Angie’s room just as she was waking up from a strange dream about her mother. Angie was still trying to figure out why her mother looked like she was made of flowers when the doctor started speaking to her.
“Angie? Angie, it’s Dr. Rob, can you hear me”, he asked.
Angie found that she couldn’t speak and tried to lick her lips but she couldn’t find the spit. She nodded at Dr. Rob.
“I wanted to let you know that everything with your surgery went great. It looks like we got all of it and you’ll make a full recovery.”
Dr. Rob lightly patted Angie on her shoulder in his usual slightly cold bedside manner. He was a great doctor but just didn’t seem to like to touch people which seemed very strange to Angie. She nodded and tried to smile but her lips were cracked and dry and it actually hurt a little bit. Dr. Rob smiled at her and started out of the room just as a nurse came in with some water and a straw and held it out for Angie to sip from.
Angie sipped the water and felt the coolness fill her mouth and soothe her parched throat. She nodded at the nurse in thanks. The nurse left the cup on her bed table and left Angie alone. Angie still felt a little groggy and sleepy but she wanted to stay awake. She wanted to get back to enjoying her life instead of being sick and tired all the time.
“You made it”, said a voice from the corner of the room.
Angie lifted her head up and tried to look around to see where the voice came from. She couldn’t see anyone. She actually had the room to herself. The patient she had shared the room with at the beginning of the week was gone.
“We didn’t think you were going to make it, but here you are. Just amazing”, said the voice.
She heard a chair slide across the floor and saw a tall man in a black suit sit down next to her bed. Angie tried to ask who he was but her throat was still so raw from the tubes and such she couldn’t make a sound.
“Don’t get worried Angie. I’m just here to see the contract is fulfilled”.
“With…hospital”, asked Angie in a hoarse whisper.
“No Angie. I’m not with the hospital. Not directly I guess.”
Angie shrugged. She actually thought she was still dreaming.
“You’re not dreaming anymore Angie. This is your new life. The life you begged and prayed for. The promises you made for your life. I’m here to make sure you will follow through with those promises”, said the man.
His voice was serious and gravely. Angie turned her head to get a better look at him but his face seemed just out of focus. She could make out eyes and a nose and a mouth, but nothing specific, no freckles or moles or out of place hair.
“Promises”, asked Angie.
“Yes, promises. You promised that if he got you through this you’d dedicate your restored life to spreading his gospel. I’m here to make sure you do just what you said you’d do. But I see you’ll probably need a little time to recover and that’s okay. I’m sure we can make another deal.”
“I wasn’t serious”, said Angie, “I would have said anything. I didn’t want to be sick anymore. I don’t even believe in the devil”.
The man sat back in his chair and adjusted his suit coat and tie.
“Who said anything about a deal with the devil”, he asked, “Your deal is with God, remember?”
Angie didn’t actually remember. She’d been sick for so long and made so many pleading promises to all sorts of deities. She remembered asking Buddha to make her into a silk worm when she was reincarnated, but a deal with God, she didn’t really remember.
“I don’t remember signing anything”, said Angie.
The tall man smirked and leaned forward.
“You didn’t. You don’t have to. He knows. You’ve been called upon to fulfill your promise, just as others in the past have been called upon to fulfill theirs. You are to be a prophet”.
Angie felt hot and her throat was drying out again. The man picked up the cup the nurse left and held it up so Angie could get a drink.
“I’ll call upon you again soon. In the meantime, rest and build your strength. You will need it.”
The lights flickered overhead and Angie blinked. She looked to the chair and it was empty.
“So”, she thought, “a prophet”.