Of every city in the United States, Seattle had to be the angel's favorite because of the abundance of coffee shops. The past week while in her human form on her assignment, Monica spent every free moment trying and experiencing every coffee shop she could find in the bustling city. She even dragged a reluctant Tess along on one warm, summer morning. She had warned Monica about the desires of the human body, however, warning Monica about anything is worthless. She was an angel who truly followed her heart and, more importantly, followed the word of the Lord. Nevertheless, on the days when the Father granted His angels with a day off to do as they pleased on the tiny earth, the Irish angel would be anywhere where coffee was to be had. And if not coffee, she would consume it in other ways- Coffee cake, coffee ice cream, mocha latte, etc.
However, Monica's mind was not on coffee at the present moment. The angel had the roof of the red Cadillac down, transforming it into a convertible. The warm wind roared past her pale face and ripped through her auburn hair as she drove out of the twinkling city. Slowly but surely the roads became darker as she drove on the highways between towns and cities. For a moment she stared in awe at the stars above, thinking about how amazing it was that God created each and every one of them. She wished that Andrew was sitting in the seat beside her admiring the stars as well.
Monica found herself driving more than an hours trip to Bellingham, Washington. Nestled between the waters of Puget Sound laid an often overlooked gem of the San Juan Islands. Lummi Island was such; It was made up of beautiful, country roads that winded in and out of green farms, towering pine trees, and gorgeous homes which faced the vivid, blue of the Puget Sound. Her plan was that when she arrived in Bellingham, she would take the ferry to the island. Settled against evergreen pine trees on the West side of the island stood a single, aging cabin. The cabin was a gift from the Father to His angels for whenever they were in need of relaxation and wanted to stay in human form on the Earth he created. He knew some of His angels preferred to come Home after particularly long and difficult assignments. However, He also knew some who loved humans and were fascinated by their way of life and therefore He made a home for them on Earth. This was where the angel was headed.
Monica continued to drive to Bellingham. It was long after midnight and the early morning air made her feel chilly in her tiny, human body. The roof on the red Cadillac was up and Monica slowly became lost in her silent thoughts. Before she knew it, approximately forty-five minutes had passed and the Angel saw no signs for Bellingham, Washington. I have to be close, she thought. She pulled into a gas station to fill up her car with fuel to finish her way to her destination. The bell at the small convenience store let out a high pitched ding when she walked in to pay for her gas.
A young woman with long, black hair slouched in a chair behind the counter with her face behind a magazine.
"Excuse me?" Monica said in her kind, Irish lilt.
"What is it?" the woman said in a rude tone of voice.
"Pardon me for interrupting, but I'd like to pay for some gas." Monica inched her way closer to the counter and placed a twenty dollar bill on top of it. The woman lowered her paper and two black pupils glared at Monica directly in the eyes.
"Hello Monica," she said with an evil grin on her dark-skinned face, "I knew I would see you again."
"Kathleen," the angel said, "I should have known."
"Should have known what? Should have known that I'm the reason you are lost? That you can't find your way to your destination or the fact that I made you lost in thought about your precious Angel of Death?" Monica decided not to say anything as she turned to walk away from Kathleen. "I know what it is you want, Monica." Kathleen grabbed on to the angel's shoulder. Monica's head of auburn hair snapped around, only to see herself standing alone on a worn sidewalk. She was no longer at a gas station.
It was a crisp autumn day and golden leaves barely clasped on to branches. A simple breeze would sweep the leaves off and on to the grass. Monica stood in a neighborhood in front of a fenced yard. She heard the enthusiastic laughter of two children and the rustle of fallen leaves. The wee boy looked as if he was no older than four years of age and had silky locks of blonde hair on his head. The girl was slightly older- perhaps six years old. She danced around the yard letting her long, auburn hair fly through the autumn breeze.
Monica watched in silence for a few moments, satisfied with the children's joyfulness. Dazed in her thoughts, the angel was surprised when a man briskly ran to the front of the house, after the children.
"Andrew," Monica breathed his name. She wanted to run toward him but she was frozen in shock. Why would Kathleen take her to a house where Andrew was. Monica watched Andrew play with the children for what seemed like hours. The three tossed leaves at each other and buried themselves in the crisp, autumn colors. They laughed and giggled joyously as Andrew teased and tickled them. The Angel of Death played with the wee ones as if they were his own children. The little boy even looked like him. He had soft, shaggy blonde hair and deep, forest-green eyes. The girl on the other hand did not. She looked more like herself? No that can't be it, Monica thought. But her long, auburn locks reminded the angel exactly of her own.
The screen door on the front porch creaked open and a petite and slender woman walked through.
"Lunch is ready," she said in a gentle, Irish accent that Monica recognized as her own, "Tess and Sam, why don't you come in and wash up."
"Tess," Monica whispered under her breath. The children enthusiastically ran up the wooden porch steps and through the screen door that their mother had just walked through.
Monica's mind was racing as she watched herself and Andrew alone in the front yard. At this point, Monica noticed a large bump on her fake self's stomach. She was pregnant. The angel clutched her slender stomach to see if it was really there and was somewhat disappointed to find that it wasn't. Every emotion went through Monica's mind as she watched herself. It all felt so real. Could angel's live a human life? Andrew took the fake Monica's hand in his own and leaned in and brushed his lips across her own. As an angel, Monica had always wondered what it would be like to have a family.
"Having a family is quite a gift," Kathleen's sinister voice said from behind her. Monica's head spun back to reality. She was no longer in the cool, crisp autumn air, but now in the more stifling heat of a gas station on a summer night. Monica agreed, but wasn't sure if she wanted to admit it to Kathleen. She felt the heart beat in her human form increase as she thought of her and Andrew in that house. But no, angels can't have families. That job was for humans. Was Kathleen truly playing tricks on her or if not, why was she feeling this way?
Father, please help me find my way safely to Bellingham, she prayed, as she left the gas station and walked into the summer night.