Dylan knew he was going to meet his second wife a good six months before he ever laid eyes on her. He was watching the morning news when one of the angel’s voices blared at him from the screen that he would meet his wife at 10:57 on a Thursday morning.
Dylan knew that he’d met his first wife in a philosophy class on a Monday afternoon, so they definitely weren’t talking about her. They were entirely vague on the subject of what Thursday this was supposed to happen, so Dylan made a note of it and put it in his personal file.
There were a couple of problems that went into interpreting the messages the angels sent. The big one was that they phrased everything as something that was going to happen, but they were not necessarily predicting future events.
One of Dylan’s early messages was the exact time and date of his mother’s death. Specifically, it said that Ellen Hobble will die on January 14th at 12:23 am. Which was entirely true. The thing was that Dylan’s mom had died when he was a senior in high school, a good fifteen years before he got the message.
So unless the angels were predicting something that you knew hadn’t happened yet, it could be hard to place them. A lot of the media accounts put a disproportionate amount of coverage into the death messages, because if a person was told they were going to die, it was pretty easy to say that it hadn’t happened.
They were inconsistent with what they told you about the when of things, too. Some messages gave you an exact date. Some didn’t. Like so many other things, the angels didn’t give a reason. Dylan, for his part, figured it was evidence that they were secretly just fucking with us to see what would happen, something he had thus far kept to himself, since he didn’t think his readers would appreciate it.
He was reading a newspaper at a local coffee shop and considering the number of things that had to have happened for this particular newspaper, which contained a message about the sales of his book, to have gotten into his hands, when she appeared.
Dylan squinted up at her. He was outside, sitting at his favorite table, one that got just enough sun to be pleasant but not so much that he’d feel like he was being set on fire. It was the shadow he noticed first. He assumed, at first, that someone was looking inside to see the line but the shadow stayed there a lot longer than was necessary. Finally, he put down the paper and turned to look.
She smiled at him.