I didn’t want to die. Nobody really does, I suppose. But my species has to die. If we choose to live, well, it can be a really really long time until we die. I know of only two of my species who chose to live. One because it, and I only use “it” because we don’t really have sexual genders on my planet. Everyone is free to fall in love with another being, not a body.
Anyways “it" thought keeping its youthful body (we don’t age, we just die) forever would be fun. Turns out- “it” was wrong. The other member of my Species to refuse to die, did it as an experiment for our Scientists. As far as I know - that brave being is still alive. Let’s see, in your years…hmm... that being has been alive now for twenty three thousand, seven hundred fifty two years. We call that being: “The Senior.”
There isn’t a being alive in our Universe (which is right next to yours, but you know that, as that is how we came into contact with you) who hasn’t spent some time with the Senior, before they went to their own deaths. The Senior is truly a good companion. I wish the Senior a good death. Soon.
I had only been “born” ( we aren’t really born either, but we can’t explain how we came to be- at least not in your language) twenty of your Earth Years earlier. So I was chosen to be one of the first of my Species to meet with you Earthlings. At first all I met were your strange Leaders. I had never met folks who parceled up an entire planet into tiny little “countries” - and then claimed to lead all the people in that country.
After just a few months of meeting “Leaders’ - well, most of the beings on my planet thought your entire planet might just be mentally ill. I guess it didn’t help what we were so “pretty” (a word we came to truly hate). So pretty (by your standards) that your common name for our Species stuck: Angels. Yep. We tried to get you to call us what we call ourselves- Beings. But nope. We were stuck with that nickname. Angels. Pretty Angels to boot.
It is really hard to talk to a being that keeps either looking away in awe, or stares at you like you were the answer to all their dreams. Most of your people can’t even talk when we are nearby- you just stare at us. When we are excited, as we were when we first made contact with your species, we glow. Little did we know that golden glowing creatures existed in your mythologies. So we got stuck with Angels.
Sorry, I lost my train of thought. I was telling you about my death. I chose to die because I met what you Earthlings really mean when you say someone is an Angel. That concept we appreciate. A loving, kind, gentle, forgiving, happy, and fun being is an Angel to us too. We just don’t care what the wrapper looks like.
The being I called: “Angel”- and that always made her laugh; was given her Earth Name by her Mother and Father (and Earthlings, “Parents" is as difficult for us to understand- as our way of coming into existence is for you folks). Her name was Melanie. It still is.
Melanie and I met at what you call a lake. We swim in the air on my world, in our Universe. Here you do it in water. It is so much slower and takes more work, but what you call our “Wings” work well as flippers. We love frolicking with your Water People. You call them dolphins, which, by the way, they whistle to us in frustration. They hate that name almost as much as we hate “Angel”.
Anyways, the Water People do not live in your lakes, but only your Oceans. I didn’t know that yet, so when I saw Melanie for the first time - I thought she was a kind of Water Person. She wasn’t. She was just wearing a “Water Suit” so she could “dive” under water. I followed her to what you call- a boat. I almost fainted when she pulled her “skin” and “Lungs” off, to get dry. I had no idea if she was molting, or dying, or what.
She laughed. My Species smiles, we don’t laugh. You taught us laughter. We love it. We can’t do it yet, but when we smile- we glow- and then (usually) you laugh with delight. That makes us glow more and makes you laugh more, it is a truly pleasant cycle to get into. Melanie’s laugh is unique. And it has the same affect on me, that our talking (which you call singing) has on you folks. We fall in love. Melanie had me from that first laugh- and I still remember her first words:
“Oh, no silly. I am a human being, not a fish. That is a Wet Suit and Scuba Gear…this is my skin…well most of it anyway. “
She didn’t know that we were still grappling with the concept of “wet” at that time of our species meeting yours. In our Universe and on our planets “Air" is to us what Water is to you here on Earth. We don’t “wear” clothes, or put on “suits” of any kind. What you see is what you get. Luckily our bodies look a lot like yours, but missing a few parts. We don’t need those parts, because well, we die.
Sorry, I don’t mean to keep you in suspense but Melanie is such a big part of why I chose to die. You see you Earthlings only live about seventy of your years, and you get “old” before you die. I met Melanie when she was twenty years old (in your time scale) and I was twenty of your years old then too. But we don’t choose to die until about three thousand of your years go by. You know, so we can learn and experience “Life”. At least Life that has a body and a localized intellect.
Melanie is now 84 of your years old. She stopped being able to see me two of your years ago. She stopped being able to walk with me about six weeks ago. She is dying of old age, and not by choice. What a primitive way to end your life. We know that eventually you will figure it out- just like we did. The Senior has told us that.
I can’t get Melanie to take much “food” - and that concept almost made us break off contact with your species. Eating living things, instead of accepting energy from the stars, it is gross beyond comprehension. But we have talked to your plants and “animals”, and they say it is normal. Only the “plants” have learned how to “eat” starlight…someday they will teach you how.
Melanie doesn’t eat much now…and she sleeps a lot. She knows I am here though. She likes me to sing to her. I can feel through her hand that it brings her comfort - and great joy. I know she has only a few days left in her current form. I also know that she doesn’t know what happens when she dies. No one from my Universe can figure out how you don’t know what happens, when you so obviously shed your bodies. Do you folks really think you just stop being a being? Sheesh.
Her breathing is getting shallower and her thoughts are getting muddy. I have to organize my mind so that I can “die” exactly when she does. That transition can be terrible for any being that isn’t aware of what goes on. Especially for you short lived Earthlings who haven’t “lived” long enough to want to go.
I talked with the Senior about it. Then I met with “US” - those that have already chosen to die. They agreed that I loved Melanie enough to cut my own “life” short by a few thousand years. We were the first interspecies couple to “bond” at death, but not the last. It isn’t exactly common, but it isn’t rare anymore either. We were the first though, and two species watched us die with great interest.
I could feel Melanie calling. It was her new voice. Chock full of wonder at the Expanse of the Universe - and her deepening feeling for me. It was time to go…together. I wrapped my wings around her frail body, took her last breath into my mouth…and we went together.
The Earthlings saw a golden glow, too bright to look at - and found Melanie’s old body, and my old wings wrapped in a tight cocoon, but empty. Melanie found the glow that was the new me- I saw the glow that was the new her. She laughed. It made me glow brighter. She was thrilled at the beauty and power of the Universe, and ours too.
It was the right moment to die. It was the right moment to live. We had lived, now we were truly alive. We love all the time now, for there isn’t a body for either of us to be distracted by. We are still exploring- and every once in a while she reminds me of that day at the Lake. We keep it on a small comet in her Universe. And every now and again, we open it.