When Crystal was born, she was designated 2 guardian angels just like anyone else in this world. Their names were Gummy and Margo. Gummy sat on her right shoulder and Margo sat on her left shoulder. They were the epitome of good and bad supposedly, though as Crystal grew older she became fonder of Margo and realized Margo’s hard tough goth girl exterior was merely a defense mechanism to protect against old deep wounds that never healed.
When Crystal was a baby, she was often entertained by Gummy. Gummy wasn’t necessarily good either ironically. It was more like Gummy had a short attention span, memory loss, ADHD or something like that. Gummy was completely incapable of holding a grudge.
Gummy didn’t really get angry or feel morose and if Gummy did it was usually fleeting because he couldn’t focus for very long. Gummy’s personality was equivalent to the dog in Up, the Disney animated show. He was constantly telling people he loved them. He giggled incessantly. He literally was a purple gummy bear with not a bad bone in his body for in fact, he had no bones at all. He was soft and squishy and all things confectionary and sweet of character. He was colorful and smiled constantly.
Gummy loved things like birthday parties and silly jokes. He liked giving presents. Gummy liked rainbows and unicorns and watching birds or butterflies. He was like the dog that always got distracted by squirrels, except for Gummy, everything was a distraction from a little ladybug to a turtle in the yard to a seashell or a fluffy cat. Gummy was loveable to say the least but he was also a little annoying with his constant giggles and lack of focus.
Margo, on the other hand, didn’t really care for Gummy but she tolerated him. She scoffed at him a lot and frowned at his stupid butterfly net catching butterflies. Margo looked down her nose at Gummy and perceived him with utter contempt and disdain.
As Crystal grew up, Margo and Gummy were often there to help her through life. Margo, for her part, always encouraged Crystal’s wild side. She encouraged Crystal to be bold and strong and take leaps of faith. Margo was a fighter, through and through. Margo had a little work table on Crystal’s shoulder and an easel and an endless supply of canvases and paints. She scribbled constantly in poetry books and was passionate about everything she did, from crafting a story to splashing paint splatters all over a canvas. She painted all sorts of things for Crystal from dragons to landscapes to moons to anything and everything. She wanted to inspire and motivate Crystal. Gummy, on the other hand, he just kept Crystal happy, whether intentionally or not.
Margo had dyed her hair jet black with bright colors on the tips. All her clothes were black too from her black skirt and black clunky boots to her leather black jacket and leather black wristbands. The only other color she really showed other than black was in the earrings she made for herself or maybe a tattoo or a piercing. Margo also carried a pocket knife at all times. She was a ride or die for Crystal and would literal threaten to cut a b**** for her if Crystal got hurt by an unkind friend or bully. Margo was all toughness and motorcycles and chrome but really underneath, over time, Crystal learned she was so much more.
When Crystal became a teenager, both Gummy and Margo were with her at the parties, Gummy giggling and dancing while Margo was keeping a protective eye over Crystal and telling her to let loose a little and have fun. When Crystal went to college, Gummy was riding sidekick on her shoulder elated and happy for her and pointing out every amazing and cool thing about campus every day while Margo was kinda ignoring Gummy, working on her artwork and stories, while Crystal went to classes, but still helping Crystal with her homework at night.
Sometimes, Crystal would stay up so late studying that she would literally pass out on top of her notebooks and books. Gummy would cover Crystal with a blanket and brush her hair back with a kiss smack. Margo would stay up all night just to make sure that Crystal wouldn’t sleep through her alarm. Margo would yell in her ear, until Crystal woke up abruptly and off to the next class exam they would go.
Over the years, Gummy and Margo didn’t really still talk much. Margo just thought Gummy was a foolish squishy hot mess with the attention span of a slab of baloney. And well, Gummy, he was just truly flighty and bubble-headed and was too distracted by everything else to pay Margo much mind. Margo did her own thing and Gummy did his and they were okay with that as long as they both had Crystal.
Crystal fell in love eventually and got married. On her wedding day, both Gummy and Margo were so proud. Gummy clapped excitedly and giggled a bunch with his gummy jelly purple belly jiggling. Margo watched with wide eyes and her hands together in front of her mouth. She was so still and quiet during the vows and afterwards she presented happy Crystal the most beautiful of all her paintings. It was a beach scene with lots of sunshine. It certainly was not to Margo’s taste but she knew it was exactly what Crystal would love.
Years went by. They were better together and stuck together through thick and then, good times and bad, Gummy doing his own giggly flighty jiggly thing to keep spirits up and good-natured, Margo with her fire and passion and tenacity and will to keep going no matter what.
Then, one day, something bad happened. It wasn’t a normal kind of bad. It was a major, major, major kind of bad. The kind of bad that a person doesn’t easily recover from. I can’t really talk about what it was, but it was bad with a capital B A D…. bad.
Within hours of it happening Crystal was crying. Not just normal crying but hiding in the shower and balling her eyes out kind of crying. Margo stopped her painting and came over and touched Crystal on the neck and asked what was wrong and what she could do to help. She got out her switchblade pocket knife and asked Crystal who she needed to talk to, just point the way, but Crystal ignored her and just kept crying. The crying was so intense and emotional and gut-wrenching that it even made Gummy pause from his distractions.
He had been playing with soap bubbles and sniffing shampoo bottles and pretending to lather up his non-exist gummy bear hair while belting out lyrics to South Pacific. He paused in the middle of I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta my Hair to look at Crystal with just a momentary pause of concern. Then he noticed a soap bubble nearby and got totally distracted by it and started giggling again.
Margo rolled her eyes at Gummy. “You, idiot,” she said. Gummy had always played the fool in the tarot deck. Margo had always played the Queen of Swords. No nonsense, practical, pragmatic. Margo cut people off and burned bridges without qualm if she felt it was necessary.
Margo began coaching Crystal right away on all the things she needed to do. “Confront her!” She shouted in Crystal’s ear. “Get mad!” “Get angry!” She said. “Do something! You can’t just let her get away with this. Hold her accountable. Get tough, girl. Fight back!”
Margo kept up the tough pep-talks for a while but to no avail. Then she cranked up the music later that night hoping to get Crystal to feel something other than a victim. She played angsty song after angsty girl power song, lots of emo stuff all night long. She was energized and angry for Crystal and her creativity poured out of her with lightning force. She was splashing cans of red paint onto canvas after canvas and scribbling furiously after furiously into notepad after writing notepad. She stayed up all night with the music blasting and the intense writing.
Meanwhile, Gummy tucked himself into bed a little early but not before setting up his sailboat nightlight so it would glow nicely over the room. He yawned and placed his hand happily on Crystal’s neck, kinda oblivious to her crying but comforting her in his own way anyway.
The next morning, Crystal didn’t rise outta bed. In fact, she stayed in bed all day and just faced the wall. It didn’t matter what Margo said or did or how loud her music got or how much she trashed her room, Crystal wouldn’t move. She barely moved at all, not even her eyes as she just stared blankly at the wall.
Gummy went about his usual eggs and jelly toast breakfast. “Yum, jelly toast!” the purple Gummy bear said. But by lunchtime, Gummy was starting to catch on that something might be off. He made himself a PBJ sandwich anyway without the crust and offered one to Margo who scoffed at him and Crystal who just stared blankly at the wall. Gummy the purple squishy bear, blinked twice but otherwise showed no other reaction. Margo spent the day working on art here and there but occasionally looked Crystal’s way. She figured she’d eventually snap out of it sooner or later.
Gummy kept giggling but his giggles were getting slightly less and less.
The first day passed pretty un-eventual, but by day 3, both Gummy and Margo were starting to get a bit alarmed. Gummy wasn’t giggling anymore. Crystal was a mess. She hadn’t eaten in a long, long while. Her hair was a disheveled appearance and she needed a shower and smelled bad. Gummy put a clothespin on his nose and went about his usual lego building. Margo stood by Crystal’s neck and just kinda put her hand on her skin and looked up at Crystal into her soulless sad eyes.
By the night of the third day, Crystal finally sat up in bed. She flipped on the light. Her face looked almost deadish to Margo. Margo had never seen anything like it but she kept one eye on Crystal and pretended to be working on a writing project.
Crystal said with a raspy voice, “I trusted her, I really trusted her.”
Gummy paused choosing whether to build the Star Wars tie fighter or the Barbie Dream house lego kit. He looked up sadly for the first time at Crystal. He put down his lego kits and bounced his purple body over to Crystal’s neck and looked sadly up at her. Margo just stopped writing and looked down at her books.
“I thought she was my friend. This hurts.”
Gummy’s usual happy purply squishy smile slowly turned upside down into a frown and his Gummy gooey eyes widened slowly and drooped with big gathering tears for the first time ever in his existence. Margo clenched her hands and sighed a little bit and kept looking down at the table where she sat without saying a word.
The moment got really silent.
Crystal turned out the light from the lamp and went to bed. Gummy moved morosely back to the right shoulder and Margo just sat in the dark at her desk on the left. Crystal closed her eyes and eventually fell asleep. Margo sat there for a long, long time in the dark but eventually fell asleep too.
They were awoken in the middle of the night, by the alarms first of the angel ambulance. Sometime in the night, Gummy had decided to jump off the cliff of Crystal’s shoulder and had splatted onto the wooden floor near the bed. He was, as the angelic EMT’s said, irrepairable as a guardian angel. He had broken, completely broken, though how a gooey gooshy jelly purple Gummy bear with no bones could break, no one really knows… but he did.
Gummy was transported with medical care to the hospital asap and the Bureau for Angelic Protection ordered that for his own safety, and at severe risk of harm, Crystal had lost her rights to Gummy as her good guardian angel anymore. They said they were mandated to report this behavior for his safety and that it might take a very long time for Gummy to recover….if he ever recovered again.
Margo watched the ambulance go. She looked at Crystal and even slightly glared at her.
“You went too far with this,” she said. “I know it hurt. I know you were sad. But Gummy…he’s not like us, he can’t handle this. He doesn’t know. He can’t ever know.”
She looked in the direction of the ambulance fading off in the distance and the flashing lights.
“It was too much.” Margo said again. “I know it was too much for you, I know you were really hurt and sad but…..” and then she just kicked the ground with her military boot and shaking her head back and forth with her hands in her pockets of her black leather jacket.
A few more days went by. Crystal went about her usual work and chores and daily life activities although she was sad still. Life must go on and so did Crystal reluctantly. She felt guilt and remorse for Gummy and she hoped he would come back.
Margo, for her part, had stopped writing and painting and just walked towards the spot where Gummy usually sat. Margo sat down on the ground, hugged her knees to her chest and looked in the direction where the ambulance had gone. She looked for a while and dug a vape from her jacket pocket and just vaped while she starred glumly towards the distance. Margo had stopped talking altogether.
2 days later, Margo was gone.
Of course, she left over night, as was her way in the darkness. Slipped out in the night as Crystal slept. She didn’t even leave a Dear John letter at the table. She took her canvas and paints and all her journals and had packed them up in her bags and walked out quietly.
After that, with the loss of both her better angels, both good and misunderstood, Crystal was pretty dead inside. Gummy, the happy fool, and Margo, the ride or die staunch defender and loyal as hell friend, were now gone without much of trace.
Crystal sorted through her personal and professional concerns slowly through the months with no word on Gummy at all and not a trace of Margo. She had been sad but now she was just lifeless and devoid of energy for a while.
But then eventually, as with anything else in time, things began to turn for Crystal and the Wheel of Fortune turned her way again slowly with her own help as she tried to self-motivate and get goals and work hard daily at her career and advance herself ….and all of this in an effort to get Gummy back.
All she wanted now was for Gummy, with his squishy soft purpley sweetness and his loving smile and his silly unicorns, and sunflower drawings with crayon, and rainbows, and bug fascinations. She wanted Gummy to just come back. And the more she thought of Gummy, the harder she tried to get better.
She petitioned the Bureau of Angelic Protection. She said she was reformed and she just wanted Gummy back and she would try harder. A few months went by to no avail with nothing, not a word from the Bureau. No Gummy. No Margo.
Until one day, when a government suit guy with dark sunglasses holding Gummy’s purple squishy hand as he bounced happily along, showed up on Crystal’s doorstep. He led happy little Gummy inside Crystal’s home.
He said, “You get one more chance, this is it. You screw this up, you won’t get another opportunity.” He took his 2 fingers pointed them at his eyes and pointed them at her.
“We’ll be watching you. Keep him safe. He’s special.” And he looked down at happy bouncing and giggling Gummy and picked him up and placed him back on Crystal’s shoulder. Crystal smiled with tears streaming down her face.
She nodded, and said, “Ok, will do.”
Crystal’s life instantly felt better with Gummy. He was a whole inexplicable vibe of simple goodness and he oohed and ahhhed as he looked at the window and pointed at a pretty bird in the sky that flew past. “That’s a Cardinal! Oh, and that’s a BlueJay! I love purple! It’s red and blue mixed, the best of both colors!” He exclaimed.
That day was joyous for Crystal and they cooked a yummy meal that night, her and Gummy, the purple bear, reunited.
Things were getting better. Life was getting better. Life was good again. Things would be ok.
A week went by with giggly Gummy back in his usual spot. And then one day, unannounced and unanticipated, Margo showed up again. She didn’t say a word. Her bags were slung over her back. She looked up at Crystal and then she looked at bouncey purple Gummy and she even for just a slight second, her eyes seemed to glisten with slight tears just briefly.
“Ok, ” she said. She nodded and went back to the writing table on the left shoulder. She didn’t speak much. Gummy, meanwhile, bounced excitedly up and down and clapped his hands happily but then he was distracted by something else again.
Crystal was finally so happy again to have both her guardian angels, both good and misunderstood, back.
Margo unpacked her easel and canvases and journals and paints. She didn’t say much, but she got to work right away on a beautiful new picture of the 3 of them, Gummy, Margo, and Crystal. In the painting, they were holding hands upraised to the sky and playing in the surf of beach waves together happily in the sunshine.