A gentle breeze blew lazily through the trees as small children raced back and forth in a lively game of Freeze Tag. Mothers sat on park benches absorbed in conversation with other mothers as they watched their wee ones playing in their strollers or on blankets nearby.
Everywhere she looked, people were heavily drinking in the sweetness of the beginning of spring, so why did Monica feel as if she couldn't breathe?
Usually, the angel would be enjoying the warmth of the day, taking the time to chat with some of the human beings she was so incredibly fond of or fussing over the children as they looked up at her with the innocence of the world written on their little faces, but five months ago, her existence, as she had known it had ceased to exist.
They had never meant for it to happen. They hadn't planned it, hadn't even talked about it beforehand. It had been sweet and innocent, much like the spring day and the wee children with no intent of any wrong doing. It had felt like the most natural thing in all the world and in heaven when her lips had met Andrew's for the first time and suddenly the dearest, most complete relationship she had ever known in her existence had become so much more.
The feelings had startled them both, left them speechless and longing for more and suddenly they had no longer been able to help themselves. The loving emotions had always been there in some way, through the deep friendship they had always shared, yet something more had been forced to lay dormant in their hearts until that moment when it would no longer be restrained.
Though they hadn't felt that they were wrong, something else told them that it would be perceived that they were, so they had kept their new relationship a secret. God, of course knew as they could hide nothing from Him and though there had been no guidance, there neither had been reprimands. Oh yes, they still threw all they were created to be into helping the Father's beloved children on earth as it was joy that consumed them both, but then moments in between assignments, the two angels would come together to share loving kisses and tender confessions of love for each other. They shared their fears over what would become of them if anyone found out and he dried her tears and held her tightly when her gentle heart would begin to panic and doubt.
But despite everything and how careful they were, their newfound love had been discovered by Monica's supervisor and the older angel had been so taken back and angry that she had summoned Sam. Monica and Andrew had been shell shocked as they watched it all fall apart around them and she had sobbed bitterly in his arms as they were both judged and convicted before they could scarcely offer any explanation or justification.
But the two angels would have lived that moment again and again if it had meant they could have avoided the one that followed. The one where they were informed they were being separated, possibly forever, in order to remedy the all too human problem between them. The Irish angel's throat had closed off, the ball of fear that had been in her stomach had found its way up and all that could escaped her was small, strangled mewing cries as Andrew had held her as tightly as he dared as their fate was decided.
"I will always love you, my precious angel," He had whispered against her hair as her tears had trailed down and into his shirt, "Don't give up on us, baby."
All she had been able to do was to shake her head in way of answer, too overcome to even tell him how much she loved him, how much she was dying inside at this very moment, how he was taking a piece of her heart with him.
And suddenly the moment had been over and he was gone, along with Sam and Monica had been left standing in the field with only Tess. She had felt as numb then as she did now, five long and torturous months later, and nothing seemed to alleviate the sadness that had settled into her soul. She worked, just as she always had, still giving the Father her all, as He seemed to be the only one who had not judged her or Andrew, yet she had been unable to go to Him. Had the "solution" to she and Andrew come from him? Monica doubted it. The "solution" seemed nothing short of cruel to her and she knew God was not that.
It seemed that only a short time ago, her time off between assignments would be spent in the company of those she loved the most; Andrew and Tess, but since that fateful day, she spent the time alone with her thoughts, reliving every moment with the gentle Angel of Death that she could recall, sure it was the only thing that kept her physically breathing.
They were so wrong; Tess and Sam, if they thought that driving a barrier of distance and absence between she and Andrew would make them forget. No. She didn't forget. Her heart only ached more as the days went by, the emptiness in her soul seeming to grow more and more hollow. The only time she felt anything like herself was when she was working, but not even angels could work around the clock continuously.
The only downside to working was that her relationship with Tess was strained. Though not an angel to harbor bitterness and anger, Monica also couldn't bring herself to forget either, and apparently, neither could Tess. It was obvious that the older angel felt disappointment in her young charge, though no mention was ever made of the "situation" as it was occasionally referred, when Monica would overhear snippets of conversation between Tess and Sam. Referring to the love between she and Andrew as a "situation" only reinforced what the little angel already knew; that they didn't care to take the time to even try to understand.
Monica walked deeper and deeper into the park until she finally found a secluded spot where she could be alone and talk to Andrew. Oh, she knew he couldn't hear her, but it still didn't stop her from feeling better simply by speaking her thoughts aloud to him in her heart. Though there was a bench under the tree, the angel opted for the ground instead and then raised her sad, mocha colored eyes to the sky as if searching for answers that were simply hidden behind the clouds. What was that saying humans had? Something about behind every cloud was a silver lining? Where was her silver lining then, or was the whole thing just another misconception among people?
She supposed it was all about hope and Andrew's last words to her rang through her mind once more. No, she would never give up; she couldn't give up. She loved him and as sure as the sun would rise tomorrow somewhere in the world, she knew that love wasn't wrong.
"I miss you…" the three little words were breathed out as she closed her eyes, summoning Andrew's handsome face before her mind's eye, needing to see him anyway she could. With the words, the pain radiated deep within in her soul; it was a constant presence with her now. Unless the love of God was filling her as she revealed His love to one of his children, the only two things she felt were numbness and pain.
The breeze blew through once more, causing her auburn locks to dance around her head and Monica filled her lungs with the sweet air as if she hadn't taken a breath in a very long time. Her eyes remained closed as she cherished these quiet moment when she could visit with the one she held onto so tightly, if only in her heart.