when she was still little and her knowledge of the world was still small, an angel took her to a secret garden from which one could see where the sea met the land and the sun met the sea. the girl, who was only eight at the time, had been badly hurt at home and now had several scratch marks on her cheeks, on her forehead, and all over her arms. the scratches were turning pale red now, blood having dried, and the marks slowly healing to a point where one day she would never really remember they were ever even there. but she could still see the flashes of anger in their eyes — the rage in their blue irises disappearing as soon as they realized what they had done to her; as soon as they saw their own reflection in her scared, tear-filled eyes. she mustered all her strength and ran out the house, and ran towards the garden, her tiny feet barely keeping up with her tiny body. she ran so hard she felt blood in her throat but she would not stop until she felt safe. she came to a halt when she saw a tall, female figure bathed in white light staring at the sea. the angel turned around and extended her hand for the girl to grab. now, she knew never to trust strangers, but what about angels? those were never mentioned in any stranger-danger conversations. yet, she didn’t feel anything but complete peace wash over her, completey transfixed by the angel and her energy. the young girl moved towards the angel and grabbed her hand shyly. the angel led her to a tiny garden that the girl had never seen before in all the times she had run away here. the two stood there and watched as the sky went from blue to a strong pink-orange. the light passed through the gaps in the trees and shined down on them. the girl averted her gaze towards the angel who looked down at her and asked, “darling, do you see how the sky just changed? the girl nodded. the angel smiled, “never for a moment doubt then that the sun shines for you — for it does.” the girl looked at the sea below, and watched how the sunlight’s reflection on the water twinkled like a thousand gemstones sparkling all at once. she saw how the flowers around her all seemed to bloom to life: vibrant dandelions, carnations, roses, and tulips all bursting out from their roots in the lush green grass. she felt the warm breeze wrap around her legs and hug her, and watched as several white butterflies fluttered around her head and body. as she looked up to ask the angel how this was all happening and why her of all people, she found that the angel was no longer there beside her. but, inside her head, she heard a faint melodic whisper, “i will always be here to remind you of your light.