Friends Are Friends Forever

Author: Alexandra Lucier

Disclaimer: All the angels in this story belong to Martha Williamson

Chapter 1

"I hope this weather clears up before our cruise." Andrew stated with only a slightly worried tone as he glanced out the plane window from his seat next to his friend Monica. Outside, a violent thunderstorm rattled the huge jet like it was a baby's toy. It was late and dark out, but no one on the plane slept that night because of the aggressive turbulence caused by the vicious storm.

But Monica seemed more worried about the planned cruise than the raging storm causing the jet around them to shudder. She nodded in forced agreement with her friend, but it was clear that her enthusiasm was unwilling. Andrew sighed irritably and shook his head in an annoyed manner. Monica had always been afraid of water, but let's face it. They were headed to Florida for a well-deserved vacation and she shouldn't let her phobia get in the way of everything.

"Monica, come on." Andrew attempted to convince his friend otherwise. "It's out vacation and you should enjoy it too. I planned this cruise so we could all get away from cases and assignments for a little while and just relax." He pressed contentedly as he reached over and took her hand caringly as he had done so many times before. But Monica didn't even seem to feel him as she sighed and seemed undecided. "I don't know, Andrew. Maybe I should just stay at the hotel and wait for you and Gloria." She suggested desperately, as if trying to find some way out of this, Anyway out of this. But Andrew wouldn't have any of it.

"No Monica. Trust me it's going to be great okay? Don't think about the water. Think about the fun in the sun, the buffet, the volleyball court and the pool tables. You're good at pool, I've seen you." He attempted one more time as thunder boomed outside and another thrust of turbulence wracked the plane around them. Monica was about to refuse again, but she made the mistake of glancing up, even if it was only for a moment, she looked up into her friend's face and saw those well-known puppy-dog eyes of his. And so, without further or do, she was forced to agree with nothing more than an amused smile at Andrew's antics. She was so glad he was here.

These two were angels, sent by God to help people in need, although they were a little different from one another. Andrew was an Angel of Death and Monica's very good friend. Monica was what they call a caseworker (an angel who met and helped people with life-typical problems). But she was also known as a supervisor and her trainee, Gloria sat in the seat on the other side of her. She was coming on the vacation as well. Only, as Andrew glanced across Monica at Gloria, it was easy to tell something wasn't right with the young angel.

"Gloria, are you alright?" He inquired in a concerned manner as he watched her pop a single Gravol pill in her mouth and wash it down with a massive gulp of water before glancing around and fidgeting nervously. But when she heard her friend's gentle voice, she glanced over at him from her seat and forced a nod. "Yeah, fine." She replied in a voice barely audible as she continued to glance about her in an uncomfortable manner. But as she turned back to Andrew, she caught sight of his expression and knew by instinct that he didn't buy it. After a brief moment of silence as she considered whether or not to tell him the truth, she eventually decided that would be best.

"Okay fine!" She caved weekly as she pondered an easy way to tell her friends this. "I'm…I'm just a little…um…" she stammered unknowingly as she desperately scrambled for a way to tell them. But finally she decided she's better just come out and say it. "I…I may have a little fear of flight." She spilled out the last part so quickly that the others almost didn't catch it. But she was surprised to find that once she had said it, it didn't seem like such a big deal. After all, Monica was hydrophobic. They were all afraid of something. And Monica and Andrew only helped with the predicament.

"Well, Gloria, that's no big deal." Monica laughed contentedly once her pupil had spilled her heart out. Gloria then shifted her gaze quickly from Monica to Andrew in some sort of search for reassurance. "Really?" She pried uneasily as lightning flashed out the window, causing the young caseworker to jump in fright. But Andrew and Monica only nodded confidently. "Oh sure." Andrew confirmed in that soft, reassuring voice of his. "Everyone's afraid of something." He told her tenderly and Monica nodded in agreement to her charge, but then she suddenly stopped as Andrew's words rolled over in her mind. Quite suddenly, she turned in her seat to look at Andrew questionably. It was easy to tell by the expression on her face what she was thinking and what she was about to ask.

But Andrew only took one look at her pretty face and turned to look out the window, clearly pretending not to get the message. But Monica wasn't satisfied with this. "Oh come on!" She pried, curiosity clearly getting the better of her once again. "Everyone's afraid of something. What is it?" She pressed, knowing Andrew had to be afraid of something, he just wasn't telling her for whatever reason. Now Andrew knew he had to do something or he would never live this down. "Nothing." He lied in return, but it was simple enough to see that he was fibbing. Now Gloria had caught on to what was going on and she was just glad the attention was no longer on her, but she too was far too curious for her own good.

"Seriously Andrew. What is it?" She begged full-heartedly as now he had both their full attentions. But now Andrew knew he had no choice for he had somehow managed to talk himself into a corner and he had gotten himself in trouble again; as he often did around these girls.

"Alright," he whispered half-heartedly and clearly uncomfortable as he leaned in to tell them the truth. "I'm afraid of…" but his whisper trailed off into a voice so quiet that Gloria and Monica had to lean in even further and they still didn't hear him. "What?" Gloria demanded when she didn't quite catch what he had said. Suddenly realizing that there was no way out, Andrew decided to just get it over with and hope it would be quick and painless. He was wrong. "Squirrels okay? I'm afraid of squirrels!" He snapped it out so loudly that he was sure the entire plane had heard him. But now he realized it had been a big mistake, for both Monica and Gloria suddenly burst out in a choir of laughter and 'what?"s or 'you're kidding!'s. But it was true.

"You're afraid of squirrels?" Monica repeated in a disbelieving laugh, as she didn't take her eyes off of her friend. "You have to be joking. Tell me you're joking." She commanded in an amused manner, but when Andrew only shook his head shamefully, Monica let another burst of laughter escape her sweet Irish lilt. "Oh, but Andrew. They're so cute and fluffy and…" but Andrew didn't giver her a chance to finish as he lashed out again with a sharp retort. "They may be that!" He obliged momentarily. "But what about the rabid ones, huh? You could just be walking down the street and one could just fly out of a tree straight for your head!" He exclaimed with a brief shudder just at the very thought of it.

But when Monica realized there was no point in arguing with him, she simply left him with one last smart smirk and turned her attention back to her pupil and the two of them spent a good few minutes trying to hide their amusement at the subject. But Andrew suddenly wondered what happened to 'everyone's afraid of something'. But he decided the girls had a right to laugh. For he knew it was pathetic, but he could help it. Squirrels had really big teeth!

Although after a few minutes, he decided it would be best to change the subject while he could. "Well, Monica, there's a swimming pool on deck. You are going to at least go swimming aren't you? I mean, you did bring a bathing suit right?" He confirmed hopefully, but his friend only nodded contentedly. It wasn't just any water she was afraid of. She would gladly go swimming in a little, clear-water pool. "Of course I did." She replied happily before covering a yawn with one hand, after which she continued. "It's a three piece." She informed him with a knowing smirk, as if just waiting for him to ask the question. Just as she had suspected, he seemed questioned by this. "A three piece?" He repeated in a little bit of a confused manner, but Monica only nodded as she knew the entire thing made perfect sense, but just the same, she went on to explain. "A bikini for me, and a blindfold for you." She explained with a smart grin at her own joke. Andrew rolled his eyes and managed a small chuckle as well.

But then Monica yawned for the second time and was suddenly aware of how tired she was. The turbulence had ceased now and she decided it wouldn't hurt to get a little shut-eye before they landed. "I think I'm just going to close my eyes for a while." She told the others briefly before leaning her head back on the headrest and closing her honey-brown eyes peacefully. But after a few short moments, it was easy to tell she had fallen asleep, for she then subconsciously allowed her head to drop gently onto Andrew's shoulder. He then glanced down at her for a moment and smiled lovingly as he bent his head and planted a kiss on the top of her head. He didn't mind. They would land in a few hours and he was more than glad to let her sleep.