Chapter 7

"Andrew, are you alright?" Monica questioned with a concerned expression as she managed to stop shivering with the warmth and help of Andrew's robe. But Andrew forced himself back to reality as the realization hit him and he stood and stepped back a little from his friend without a word. "Andrew?" She repeated worriedly as she too stood with a little help from Gloria. But Andrew only took a moment to compose his thoughts as he stared back at the beautiful little amber-haired angel. Finally, after a long, awkward silence, he managed to squeak out something. "I'm…I'm sorry Monica. I'm going back to my room." He told her in a voice barely above a whisper as he began to turn away and head for the stairs, but Monica stepped forward and grasped his arm to stop him. "Wait, Andrew, what's wrong?" She questioned in a puzzled manner as she turned him back to look at her, but he only pulled away again without taking his eyes off of her.

"Monica…I…I just…it's all my fault you had to go through this. I could've lost you. If only I had just…" But he couldn't finish for it was just too much for him to contemplate what the outcome could've been if he hadn't managed to revive her. Monica opened her mouth to argue in response, but Andrew didn't giver her a chance. "I'm going back to my room." He stated simply and quietly before turning and disappearing down the massive hallway of the Princess Margaret.

Monica then allowed her gaze to drop to the floor in disbelief as she pondered what her friend had just told her. But that wasn't true! It could've happened to anyone and he had saved her life. That was all that mattered to her now. But then she was torn from her musings when she felt her pupil's gentle hand on her shoulder. Turning to face Gloria, she found that her charge also bore glassy eyes and a tear-stained face. Reaching out, she embraced her trainee lovingly as she felt her sob into her shoulder. "I'm alright, Gloria." She assured the young caseworker as she pulled away again and shot her a reassuring smile. But Gloria only shook her head and wrapped her arms around her supervisor's neck once again. "No, Monica. I don't know what we would have done if Andrew hadn't…" but her voice trailed off as she drew back once more, suddenly realizing what her supervisor must be thinking. It was true. If Andrew hadn't done something then Monica wouldn't be hear now and for that she was most grateful. She just didn't understand why Andrew couldn't see it the same way. But Gloria helped her out on this matter.

"Monica, you two are best friends." She began her explanation. "He just loves you so much – we all do - and he thinks that he should be taking better care of you." She told her supervisor with an equally loving smile. But Monica only shook her head in slight disagreement. "I love him too, and he saved my life. But I can take care of myself. He shouldn't feel responsible." She countered wisely, thinking her words through carefully before she told them to her pupil. Gloria sighed and lifted a finger to dry another tear momentarily before continuing. "Why don't you tell him that?" She suggested with almost equal wisdom as she gestured to the hall in which Andrew had headed down.

Monica glanced over her shoulder and thought about her trainee's words for a moment. Eventually she decided she was right and talking to him would be the best thing for them both. And so, without further or do, she nodded briefly to Gloria and then turned to follow Andrew back to his room.

Upon approaching his door, Monica sighed one more time and quickly composed her thoughts as she brushed a damp strand of ginger hair out of her eyes. She then lifted a fist and knocked three times evenly. She had to wait a little longer than expected before she heard the doorknob click open and Andrew's face appeared in the small crack that had been revealed. When he saw her, he failed to open up the door any wider than it already had been and just stared back at her expectantly. "Hi," Monica greeted gently with a small smile, "can I come in?" She asked hopefully to her friend, still managing to hold that teeny tiny, crooked smile. Andrew thought briefly of turning her away, but her gentle intensions along with her Irish charm were enough to convince him and, with little more than a shameful sigh, he opened the door widely enough so that she could step in.

Avoiding his gaze for a moment, Monica obliged and entered the room quietly. There was a brief silence that lasted only until Andrew had closed the door behind her and then she felt it best to spill out her thoughts before he could interrupt her. "Andrew you shouldn't feel responsible for this." She began telling Andrew exactly what she had told Gloria. "I love you, you're my best friend, and all that matters to me is that you saved my life." She told him quickly and honestly as she reached up to brush that same strand of hair out of her face again, as it had fallen back out from behind her ear in it's heavy weight from the salt water.

But Andrew only shook his head in protest and argued the remark. "No, Monica." He retorted gently but certainly, "you could've…well, I could've lost you and I know angels can't die but their human forms can and if yours had, then I don't know what I would ever do without you." He told her earnestly and Monica's little smile grew a little at this statement, but she soon realized how important it was that she convince him otherwise. "Andrew, you're right. I could've been taken away from you and Gloria tonight. But I wasn't. And that was because of you. You Andrew. You saved my life and I will never forget that." She concluded on a loving, passionate tone in her accent. Now Andrew seemed to cave a little as he studied the floor for a moment as he thought. Although eventually his silence was just about all Monica could stand and she continued.

"So, are we good?" She confirmed in a careful voice as she reached out and took his hand in hers. But after another brief moment of silence, Andrew looked up at her again and nodded, giving Monica the relief she had so been waiting for. And with that, her smile grew to full size and she allowed Andrew to take her in his arms again and hold her tightly, kissing the top of her head as she rested her cheek against his chest. Sure, they were angels and their jobs required them to change positions a lot. But right now all Monica knew was that they would be friends forever.

Packing up the dreams

God planted

In the fertile soil of you

I Can't believe the hopes He's granted

Means a chapter in your life is through

But we'll keep you close as always

It won't even seem you've gone

Cause our hearts in big and small ways

Will keep the love that keeps us strong

(CHORUS)

And friends are friends forever

If the Lord's the Lord of them

And a friend will not say "never"

Cause the welcome will not end

Though it's hard to let you go

In the Father's hands we know

That a lifetime's not too long to live as friends.

With the faith and love God's given

Springing from the hope we know

We will pray the joy you'll live in

Is the strength that now you show

But we'll keep you close as always

It won't even seem you've gone

Cause our hearts in big and small ways

Will keep the love that keeps us strong

THE END