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  • Carmen Rose

Saved by An Angel

Many years ago, I had a life-changing experience. I strongly believe that I am alive today due to this strange incident. In fact, I believe that my life was saved by an angel.

My story begins on the evening of November 18th, 1987. At this time, I was working in London. A friend asked me to go and meet him for a drink in Piccadilly. This was to be only a quick drink, as I lived in Bedfordshire, so my journey home always took some time. This involved me taking a tube journey and then train from Kings Cross, which I used to do every weekday evening.

I met my friend at around 6 pm, and as happens with old friends, time went quickly. I looked at my watch and realised that I had only a short time to make my next train. After 7 pm there were only two trains an hour.

The Angel in the Underground

I bid my friend goodbye, and walked to the underground station, heading for the Piccadilly line. The platform was quiet with only a few people on it. I was all on my own with everyone else being at the other end of the platform. I had four minutes until the next train arrived. Already, I was impatient and wondering if I would make it to Kings Cross in time for my over-ground train connection. I kept staring up at the train announcements board, wishing time would pass quickly.

Two minutes before the train was due to arrive, a man arrived on the platform a few metres away from me. He was very tall, over 6 feet in height, even though it seemed he was very old, I would guess in his seventies. The man was mainly bald, with perfectly trimmed grey hair above his ears and a neat grey moustache.  He reminded me of one of the characters from Camberwick Green, an animated series I had watched as a child! He had a strange, shuffling way of walking.

He was wearing a grey- coloured raincoat and under this a grey shirt and a grey tie, as I could see the neat knot of this at his neck. In fact, what was very strange, is that the man looked entirely grey. His skin had an odd grey tint to it, and his appearance in his grey outfit was quite uniform from top to bottom. There was an oddly perfect, clear and transparent tint to his skin. Even though the man was very old, I do not recall him having any wrinkles. His baldness was also illuminated with the light shining on his head. If I think about it, this light was always there, and never moved.

The man was looking at the platform. He looked at me and started walking towards me. “Help please,” said the man, who clearly was not English. He had an unusually kind face and was very peaceful and calm and clearly not in a hurry. The man reached into the inner breast pocket of his raincoat and proceeded to pull out a London Underground map and to unfold it and show it to me.  To do this, he moved in front of me. I glanced up at the train announcements board, which flicked to announce that my train would arrive in one minute.

When I looked into this man’s eyes they were mesmerising. Like deep, endless pools. But strangely I could not tell you what colour his eyes were.

I asked the man where he wanted to go. This caused an issue, as clearly his English was not very good. He stood before me, opening out his underground map calmly and pointed to a station on it. This station wasn’t even on the Piccadilly line! I wondered how on earth to explain to him how to get there. The underground line he wanted was in the station, but how to explain that to a man who didn’t speak English was not going to be easy. It involved him going back up the escalators, changing lines and going in the other direction!

And There Goes My Train!

My train drew into the station, and the doors opened. I tried to explain to the stranger that I really needed to get on this train, but the man continued holding his map open, smiling politely and simply saying “please”.

He was also standing right in front of me, so I literally would have had to push him to get onto the train, or run around him, which would have been very rude!

I mean, what are you going to do in that situation? I tried to explain. “You need the District line, which is green.” I showed him the green line on the map. “Yes, yes,” nodded the man. Progress was going to be slow here!

The doors to my train closed and my train departed. I watched it leave with a sigh. I now knew I had no hope of catching the next mainline train and gave myself up to helping the man. Now I relaxed and asked him he spoke French or German. He said he could speak Polish or Italian!

In the end, I lead him towards the escalator and towards the district line, pointing him in the right direction. The man was very grateful and smiled all the time as we said goodbye. He walked off in a very odd fashion that is hard to explain, odd movements, the light still shining on his bald head.

My Guardian Angel

When I got onto the next tube train, we went several stops. At the stop before Kings Cross, the train paused for some time. Another delay! Then as we approached Kings Cross, there was an announcement that the train would not be stopping! As we sailed through Kings Cross, the platform was filled with smoke. At the stop after Kings Cross, I got out and grumpily walked to Kings Cross.  It was quite a long trot, I had silly shoes on and I was not happy.

When I finally arrived at Kings Cross, I was greeted with fire engines, smoke, hundreds of people running around and general chaos.

Because this was the event of the Kings Cross fire. Where 31 people died and 100 were injured.

The fire erupted violently and suddenly when an old escalator caught fire. This escalator in Kings Cross station was on the Piccadilly line. Many of the dead were arrivals from the last Piccadilly line train. In fact, they were on the train that I missed.

To this day I wonder about the old man that demanded my help, with his calm and kindly expression. It was such an odd meeting and so many details were strange. I ask myself if such coincidences really exist and I do not believe that they do.

I believe this man was my guardian angel and he saved my life. Whoever you are sir, I thank you deeply. It is due to you that I am alive 30 years later to tell this tale.

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