This was one of those rare moments that Monica loved; when all of her filing was caught up and she was able to slip away to walk through the fields of Heaven. The flowers that grew here were more beautiful than any human could possibly imagine, like a magnificent rainbow on the ground, and the lovely scent that filled the crisp, clean air seemed to be Heaven's own sweet perfume. This was her favorite place to be when time allowed. It was her to time to think, to ponder and to remember…
It had been just over a year ago that Sam and Tess had brought her Home, her spirit so deeply wounded that there had been no other alternative and they were the darkest days she could ever remember in her entire existence. Philip had deeply damaged her gentle soul and everything that had occurred since then had just seemed completely out of control to her. She acted without thinking, endangering the humans she cared so much about and despite how much she had not wanted to abandon her duties on earth, she knew now that Sam had been right to bring her here.
A small smile crossed her pretty features as she walked and remembered how deeply afraid she had once been of the Angel's Angel, but over the last year, she had found a friend in Sam. He checked on her often, especially during those first few weeks, when it was not unusual for him to find her in tears. During those first days, he would often sit with her as she cried and once she had been calmer, he would ask her things about Philip, about the assignments she had failed, about working with Jamie in Special Forces. At the time, the questions had been painful as she had struggled for answers and had found just how hurtful honesty with herself could be, but now she knew that talking all of those things through had been essential to her healing. She had often wound up sobbing all over again after giving her answer, and the older angel would wrap a surprisingly gentle arm around her shoulders, though later, with a wink, he would tell her that she'd better not repeat that to any other angel. Monica knew now that Sam was not an angel to be feared, but more of an angel that had an incredibly difficult job that he performed extremely well. He was also an angel that she now called "friend".
The only thing that Sam never brought up was Andrew and she was grateful for that as she was still struggling with her feelings about her once best friend. The pain of his leaving her during such a dark time was still with her. She had spent hours after being brought Home trying to communicate with her friend but Andrew had apparently closed off his heart to her and this fact only added to her pain over his leaving in the first place. Monica often thought it would have been easier for her to bear had he left her in anger over the things that she had done-she could have accepted that. She knew that the things she had done had disappointed him, though looking back now, she had been unable to help it, as her pain had been too great. But him leaving her because he blamed himself, had in the first few months angered her. She had needed him that day he had chosen to tell her he wasn't any good to her and as he had walked out of that room, she had felt the last bit of hope she had die.
She still loved him with her whole heart, but occasionally wondered if perhaps he had been right, under the circumstances. He had said he just kept hurting her and though up until that time, nothing had been further from the truth, when he had turned and walked away it had become truth in that moment. It had hurt. But perhaps she had put too much pressure on him to "fix" things that he could not possibly fix, or by seeking his approval for decisions, such as the detrimental decision of saving Carla on board that ship. Had she just done it, without turning to him first, then there would have been no reason for him to blame himself for what Philip had done. Sighing softly, she realized that when it came to Andrew, there were still no easy answers and she didn't know if she'd ever have them.
But other than her unresolved feelings about Andrew, Monica knew for a fact that she was indeed better. A few months after her arrival here, the Father had called her to Him and she had released the last tears she had cried this year in His loving arms. She had pleaded for forgiveness of the mistakes she had made and with His forgiveness, had felt a great peace enter into her soul. That peace was with her, even now, so many months later, as she walked and felt the gentle breeze blow through her auburn locks, like a soft reminder of the Father's love for her.
Sam watched the auburn-headed angel from a distance with a soft smile on his face. She had come far in the past year and though she was now more quiet than he ever remembered her being, she also seemed more content, more at peace than she had been in a very long time.
"Almost too much so," He thought aloud with a sigh and he had divulged as much to Tess last week when he had seen her. He often checked in with her, knowing that his old friend was worried about her "Angel Girl", but he had assured her of the progress Monica was making, though he was still unsure of whether the gentle angel had forgiven the demon that had caused her pain to begin with. But he had also last week expressed concern. The young angel felt safe here, he knew. He had told her three months ago to let him know when she was ready to return to earth and her former duties. They had talked extensively and Monica had asked him to be released from her duties in Special Forces for the time being, until she felt ready, which was something she had never been before when working with Jamie. It was with great relief that Sam granted her request, seeing how far she had come to know for herself that she could not handle that work at this time, but the Irish angel had still not expressed any desire to return to earth.
Tess had listened to his concerns and had not shown any surprise and her words to him still rang in his mind.
"Sam, to return to us means not returning to Andrew," She had stated sadly,
"And that is one fact she is not ready to completely face. I know that little angel like I know the back of my own hand, Sam, and the fact is that only the Father knows where my Angel Boy is right now. Monica hasn't asked and you haven't told her that he is missing and the reason she hasn't asked is because she is afraid of the answer."
Words spoken to his heart though, told Sam that the time was nearing when Monica would have to return and he only hoped that the angel he had grown very fond of over the last year, would be able to do what was to be asked of her.
Back on earth, a solitary figure stood alone on the rocks overlooking the ocean. His hands were stuffed deeply into his pockets and his handsome face displayed a look of utter sadness. This had been the longest year Andrew could ever remember in his existence, starting with that day he had walked out of the Hendrickson's home, leaving behind his best friend as she had cried out his name through her tears.
Guilt tore through him as he remembered her pleading voice asking him not to do this, not take away the one thing that still made sense to her-his friendship. He had wanted nothing more than to just take her in his arms and stay with her until her pain lessened, until she was better and was the angel she had been before Philip had taken part of her soul.
Deep inside, Andrew knew he had not been responsible for what Philip did. It would not have been in his place to forbid Monica to try to save Carla. But her decision had cost her dearly. What was his fault was not knowing or trying to understand how deeply her pain went. He had known she was still struggling on a daily basis, even two years after the fact, but he had assured himself that she would be fine, that she just needed more time. He had remained silent about it, but looking back, he remembered the many times he had caught her looking at him with tears in her eyes, her expression one of someone who desperately needed to talk, but instead of inviting her to release what she was feeling, he had found something else to talk about, hoping maybe that if they just ignored it, it would one day go away.
But it never did.
He was also responsible for the things that led up to her last days on earth before Sam was to take her away. Things had gotten so bad for his best friend that her silent cries for help had become louder when she lied and cost her assignment her life. His intentions had been good, but his jealousy over Carla working with Rose had taken precedence over Monica's pain and grief. Andrew shook his head, still unable to believe that he had not learned his lesson over jealousy during the whole Brianna episode. How could he have ever thought that Rose would cast him aside just because she was now working with Carla? He had gotten angry with Monica years ago for thinking the same thing about him, and then he turned around and made the same mistake, at a time when putting his energy someplace else would have been much more beneficial.
But instead he had lashed out at Monica, before her assignment and when she had gotten herself arrested. Tears still filled his eyes a year later as he remembered the horrible things he had said to her in the car that day-things that had cut deeply into a heart that was already so deeply wounded. The words she had spoken to him later, "I'd really like it if you could let me know when I can talk to my friend again, because today, my friend has been nowhere to be found…" still hurt him deeply, but then again…
Truth did hurt.
As he watched the waves crashing against the rocks below him, he remembered how things had then gone in a quick spiral downhill for both of them. His anger at Rose and at himself over the way he was treating Monica, had caused him to lash out at Kevin and like a domino effect, Kevin had decided to hurt him back, by hurting the little Irish angel and that was when he knew it was time for them to go their separate ways, even if doing so, he had to inflict even more pain on a situation that held far too much already.
Since then, he had wandered aimlessly around the earth, trying to find peace of which there seemed to be none. The first few weeks after leaving, he had sat alone at night, tears streaking his face as he had listened to Monica's tear filled voice speaking to his heart, but he had willed himself not to respond to her, convincing himself that it was better that way. A few weeks later, the cries to his heart from her had stopped and with that, an emptiness crept over him and a silence unlike any he had ever known. For though her cries had tormented him, not hearing her anymore was ten times worse. She had stopped trying and though it was what he thought he wanted, the stillness was almost more than he could bear.
Andrew kept telling himself it was for the best, for her sake, but he missed her. He missed Rose, Tess and Carla as well, but the little Irish angel had always had a special place in his heart from the moment he had met her so many years ago, and there was now a void within him that no other would ever be able to replace. He still knew that God was always with him, as he had no intention of turning away, but grief and shame made it impossible for Andrew to speak to Him, afraid of what he would hear in answer to the many questions he had.
With a teary-eyed sigh, the angel turned around and prepared to walk down from the rocks when he came face to face with one that made his blood boil still.
"Where is she, Andrew?" the demon asked, his voice not holding any anger and Philip had a feeling judging by the look in Andrew's eyes, that the angel was holding enough anger for both of them.
"Hopefully somewhere far away from you," Andrew retorted, trying to keep his anger in check but finding it more and more difficult.
Philip sighed softly, wondering if this had been a bad idea, but he could not help but worry about the angel he had not seen in over a year and he was concerned about what her fate might have been,
"I'm just worried about her is all," He offered, looking away and out at the vast ocean.
"You're worried about her?" Andrew seethed, his fists clenching and unclenching as he glared at the demon with eyes of green steel,
"You have no place in worrying about Monica or any other part of her existence for that matter, you got that? How dare you after you turned her existence into a complete nightmare?"
"You're the one who walked away from her, Andrew," He replied calmly, not really wanting to get into it with this angry angel,
"You're the one who left her in the darkness that her existence had become-."
Before he knew what had come over him, Andrew lunged at the demon with an anger greater than he had ever felt before. Philip tried to protect himself, but there was a brief scuffle as the angel tried to get his hands around Philip's throat. Panicked, the demon threw every ounce of his weight against Andrew, slamming the angel to the ground, his head unintentionally coming in contact with one of the rocks.
As Andrew lost consciousness, the demon rose to his feet and let out a sigh, not having meant to hurt the angel, but only to have his questions answered. Not knowing what else to do, the demon vanished and left the angel alone with only the sounds of the waves crashing below him.Chapter 1
Several minutes, but what appeared to be hours, passed before Andrew wearily opened his eyes and groaned. His head was sore from probably having hit it from someplace, and...Confusion filled his mind as he glanced around him, trying to figure out where he was.
He sat weakly up to a sitting position and looked down, watching the waves crash against the shore several feet below him and his stomach churned. What had just happened to him? Why was his head feeling like he had been hit with a rock? Lifting a tentative hand, he laid it against the back of his head, and removing it, he felt sick to his stomach as he saw some blood on his palm.
Groaning, he lifted himself to his feet, but almost immediately, his legs gave out from under him and he fell back to the ground in a heap,
'Where am I?' He tried to think as his head pounded loudly, and fear overwhelmed him as he realized what was happening,
'What just happened...And who am I...?'
Sam reappeared moments later in front of the cabin, deep in the woods. He waited several minutes before he knocked on the door; how in the world was he going to tell them about Andrew, and what had just happened to him? Their angelic friend had just lost his memory; he had no clue who or what he was and the Father had just ordered him to go to his friend's cabin and talk with Rose and Tess so they could try and help Andrew.
Finally finding the strength to knock on the wooden door, he did just that and it took just a few seconds for the door to open and he came face-to-face with Rose. The elderly angel appeared to have not slept in some time; bags where hanging underneath her blue eyes, and she was wearing sweatpants and a heavy sweater, an outfit that Rose rarely ever wore. A feeling of sadness filled Sam's heart as he now wanted more than ever to wish that this was a mistake, and that he wouldn't have to tell her about Andrew. She appeared to be suffering enough as it was, and he didn't want to add to her pain.
"Hello, Sam," Rose softly greeting him, moving aside to let him inside.
"Hi, Rose," Sam offered a small smile for her, although it was filled with sadness,
"Is Tess around?"
"Did I hear my name called?" The voice of the slightly younger angel suddenly appeared in the living room, with Carla right behind her. Both appeared to be holding themselves together a lot better then Rose was, although it was apparent that they could be doing better,
"Sam, what are you doing here?" Tess continued, moving to stand beside of Rose with Carla still next to her.
Sighing deeply and heavily, the Angel's Angel closed his brown eyes and said a prayer of strength to say this, and get it over with. Opening them, and looking at each of the three angels in turn, Sam reached for Rose's hand and held it gently in his own as he started to speak,
"Rose. Tess. Carla...I have some bad news for you. About Andrew..."
"What about my Angel Boy?" Rose interrupted, tears starting to appear in her eyes even before Sam continued. She was incredibly close to the blonde, softhearted angel, even after all that had happened a year go. And after having tried to stop him from boarding that bus, but not succeeding, she had felt like she had failed an important assignment and if anything happened to her friend, she didn't know what she would do. She loved Andrew with all of her heart, and though she didn't know him as well as Tess did, they had the same closeness and love for one another.
Squeezing the red-haired angel's hand tightly and sighing again, Sam continued,
"Friends, I have some bad news. I don't know all of the details, as the Father didn't give them all to me; but He has told me that Andrew needs all three of you. Now. He...He's been in a slight accident, and has lost his memory-"
"Oh Father!" Rose cried, covering her mouth with her free hand and starting to sob heartbrokenly.
Much like how he had comforted Monica during the course of that year, the Angel's Angel reached an arm out and wrapped it strongly around her shoulders, trying to be as much comfort to her as he could although he knew it didn't help much. Running his hand through her red locks, Sam looked from Tess to Carla and back again, seeing the tears in both of their eyes as well. His former angel charge had grasped the youngest angel's hand into her own and was trying to give her the strength she was lacking.
"I don't know how it happened; the Father won't let me in one that one," Sam continued to explain, still stroking Rose's hair soothingly,
"But I do know he needs all three of you right now. The Lord never mentioned Monica yet, although she's doing much better now. He's calling you three. Will you do it? Will you try and help him?"
"I'll do anything for that baby; you know that, Sam," Tess choked out, speaking for the first time. Lifting her free hand, she wiped at her tear-streaked face, only as fresh tears replaced them,
"It doesn't matter what has happened; I still love my Angel Boy, even if he won't remember me, and will do whatever it takes to help him."
"I know you do, Tess," Sam whispered, his eyes sympathetic for all of them.
"Where...is he, Sam?" Carla uttered weakly, holding tightly still to Tess' shaking hand,
"Is he nearby?"
Lifting his eyes to the ceiling and receiving the Word, Sam nodded his head and turned back to the trio,
"He tells me that Andrew is closer then we think. I'll go with you if you'd like..." Glancing down at Rose, who was slowly starting to get control of her emotions, the oldest angel released her and watched her open her mouth to reply.
"Please come with us, Sam; we have to help him..." She whispered, lifting her chin and nodding her head.
"Very well then," Grasping her hand again into his and wrapping his arm around Tess' shaking shoulders, he sighed deeply. Closing his eyes once again, he lifted up a silent prayer to their Heavenly Father and in front of their very eyes; they were transported to a different city, right beside to what appeared to be a deserted beach.
Placing his hand on the small of Rose's back and ushering his friends forward, they walked in silence until several long minutes later, they saw a small figure far off in the distance. He appeared to be trying to not stumble, and almost with each step he fell to his knees. Even from a distance, Tess, Rose and Carla could see the deep fear in his eyes, and each angel's heart went out to their lost friend as he regained himself and continued to try and walk.
Glancing briefly over at her friends, Rose walked away from them and trotted over to where her "Angel Boy" was. She knew that he wouldn't know who she was, but she had to take a chance and try. He was one of her closest angelic friends, and even if he had left Monica behind, she wasn't about to leave him behind.
Finally, she slowed down and wanted to sob as she came closer to him. Although he looked like Andrew, there were also things about him that didn't look like the friend she knew and loved with all her heart. Forcing herself to push the fear and longing to go and hold him tightly to her, the red-haired angel waited until Andrew looked her way before she whispered,
Andrew looked into the eyes of the red-haired woman that was slowly approaching him and confusion clouded his features. Was he supposed to know this person? He stood perfectly still as he struggled to remember who she was.
"Andrew," The elderly angel spoke softly and soothingly,
"It's me, honey. It's Rose."
"Rose?" He spoke the name more to himself than to her. His head was pounding and though he was trying desperately to remember, this woman was not in the least bit familiar to him. As she raised a hand to touch his cheek however, images suddenly appeared in his mind. Visions of this woman reaching out a hand to strike him, her face contorted in anger and Andrew shrank away from her touch,
"Get away from me!" He snapped, immediately feeling the need to defend himself against her as the images played on in his head.
"Andrew?" Rose gasped, shocked by his outburst. She had expected him not to know her, but to seemingly be afraid of her was almost more than she could bear. Glancing behind her, she saw Tess and Carla approaching, both angels wearing concerned looks on their faces.
"It's all right, Angel Boy," Tess spoke up as soothingly as she could. Despite everything, it was so good to see him again, it was all she could do to refrain from throwing her arms around him, but the way he was eyeing she and Carla warningly, stopped her from doing that,
"It's Tess, baby. We're your friends. I know you don't remember that right now and that is okay."
Beginning to feel overwhelmed at these three people who were not in the least bit familiar to him, Andrew backed away a step as more images flew through his mind. He saw Tess as well as the younger blond angel, both angry, both shouting things at him, though he was unable to make out the words,
"All of you-leave me alone!" He snarled, feeling trapped and hating the feeling. Turning on his heel, he stumbled away from them, only wanting to put as much distance as possible between himself and them.
"Andrew, please, don't!" Carla cried out, watching through tear-filled eyes as he retreated,
"I don't understand! Why is he afraid of us?"
"I don't know, baby," Tess whispered, wrapping her arm around the youngest angel, as tears filled her own eyes.
"We can't just leave him out here alone!" Rose cried out, her eyes still on him, though he was quickly vanishing from their sight.
"You have no choice right now, I'm afraid, Rose," Sam stated, appearing beside of the heavenly trio once more.
"What's going to happen to him, Sam?" Carla whimpered softly. Her heart had been aching at the loss of her two angelic friends and now to have one so close, but still unable to reach him, tore at her heart all the more.
The angel's angel was quiet for a moment, his face a mask of thought and concern,
"There is still one more thing that we can try…" He glanced over at Tess and saw her eyes widen.
"Sam, I don't know…" She stated hesitantly,
"That would be asking an awful lot of her after everything that happened…"
"I know that, Tess, but I have to try," He saw understanding on Rose and Carla's faces as well as he continued,
"Go back to the cabin and I will meet up with you there after I speak with her. I'll let you know what the verdict is."
"Will Andrew be all right in the meantime, Sam?" Rose asked, her worry for her friend in her blue eyes.
"The Father is, as always, in control, Rose. I'll speak to you all soon."
As he vanished from their sight, the three angels watched in silence as Andrew also vanished from their sight further down the beach.
"Do you think she'll help him, Tess?" Rose asked softly, her concern over the situation apparent on her face.
Tess was quiet for a moment,
"I don't know, baby. He hurt her badly a year ago when he walked away from her, but I've learned to never underestimate the power of that friendship."
"So he doesn't remember anything?" Monica asked softly as she and Sam sat in her office amongst the files and filing cabinets.
"No and for some reason he is afraid of Rose, Tess and Carla. He wouldn't allow them to get anywhere near him," He hesitated as he drew in a deep breath,
"I'm hoping that you will take this assignment, Monica."
Her doe eyes grew wide at his words, before she gazed down at the table. Andrew was one topic she and Sam had not discussed in the last year and her feelings were still so confused about the angel she had once called "best friend".
"I don't know, Sam…"
"Monica," He said softly, as he reached for her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze,
"I know he hurt you by walking away from you that day when you needed him and he was wrong in doing so, but he needs help now and I get the feeling that you are the only angel who might be able to help him."
"I don't know if I'm ready yet, Sam," She whispered, raising her eyes to meet his once more.
"Heaven is not a place to hide, Monica," He said gently,
"I know you feel safe here and when you were brought here that was what you needed at the time. But you have come so far in the past year and it's time for you to return."
The angel who had grown quieter in the last twelve months fell silent once more. Though her heart ached for Andrew, she still felt betrayed by him, despite what his reasons had been at the time. She also knew that if the tables were reversed that he would probably help her and that fact weighed heavily on her. Plus, Sam had been such a good friend to her the past year that she hated to let him down,
"Sam," She said after a moment, her eyes filled with uncertainty,
"What happens when he remembers who he is? What if he still thinks we are better off apart?"
"I don't have the answer to that, my dear," He responded honestly,
"But let me ask you this. Does the answer to that question hold the key to your decision?"
She pondered the question, already knowing the answer,
"No. I suppose it doesn't. If he needs me, I'll go and just hope and pray for the best."
Sam smiled, feeling proud of the Irish angel, as he knew the decision had been difficult for her,
"Then I'll take you to him."
Minutes later, Monica stood along the deserted beach, drawing in a deep breath as she tried to grow accustomed to being on earth once again. The feeling of being enveloped in safety was no longer there and she swallowed hard as she forced her feet to move forward. She could see Andrew sleeping restlessly in the sand just ahead of her as the images of that horrible day at the Hendrickson's flashed through her mind.
Nearing him, she knelt down beside of him in the sand and reached out a tentative hand to touch his shoulder.
Andrew jerked awake, his eyes wild as they came to rest on the auburn haired female who was kneeling down beside of him, a look of mistrust immediately apparent in his eyes.
"I'm sorry," Monica spoke up softly, trying to keep her voice steady at finally seeing him again after so long,
"I didn't mean to startle you. I couldn't help but notice that you are hurt and I thought maybe I could help you."
His expression softened slightly at the sound of her voice. Her gentle Irish brogue was soothing and she was looking at him in a way that was completely unassuming. He still chose not to speak just yet as he tried to figure out exactly what she wanted from him.
"My name is Monica," She offered, relief flowing through her when he showed no sign of recognition,
"I'd like to help you, if you'll let me," Wondering where on earth she would take him, she looked over his shoulder at the beach house that had suddenly appeared and she smiled,
"I live right over there. You look cold and hungry and I could bandage up that nasty cut on your head."
Andrew looked over at the house and then back at her, seeing the hopeful expression in her brown eyes, but he still felt undecided for some reason.
"I won't hurt you, I promise," Monica added, her heart aching for the angel before her. Though her insides were shaking madly, she extended her hand to him.
Andrew eyed her outstretched hand. There was something about her, a feeling, which told him he had nothing to fear from her. There was something in her eyes that he felt as if he could trust and he slowly lifted his hand and placed it in hers.
Smiling, Monica rose to her feet and helped pull him up as well as she led him down the beach and to the house, all the while trying to calm her fears about what would happen once he remembered the truth.Chapter 3
"So this is where you live?"
Andrew spoke up for the first time since this auburn haired woman found him, and he looked around the small beach house that they were now standing in. It was a rather small place, though comfortable. It was a one-story house, with a fireplace against the wall, and two leather couches in the middle. A recliner was set up beside of the fireplace, and a bouquet of flowers was set up on the end table. It was a cozy little place, and Andrew's green eyes took in his surroundings, a strange feeling of comfort filling his heart at being here.
"This is a temporary place that my Father had given me not too long ago," Monica whispered, still feeling herself slightly trembling even as she held Andrew's hand tightly in her own,
"So what do you think?"
Glancing over at her, and slowly disentangling his hand from hers, the very human Andrew walked slowly around the house, taking in every detail of it. Several tense, long moments passed before he spoke up again, causing Monica's head to snap up in total surprise,
"Are you married?"
Finding herself at a loss of words, although her heart filled with sympathy that her once best friend really didn't remember a thing, the Irish angel finally forced back a stutter and smiled a smile that was almost forced,
"Uh, no I'm not married. But what about you? What's your name?"
Tilting his head to the side, confusion filling his face at her question, Andrew lowered his eyes to the ground, as if trying to think of what kind of answer he should give to this woman. Finally, he lifted his eyes and Monica's heart broke as she saw a few tears in them,
"I-I don't know...I don't remember, Monica. I don't know my name, or where I came from, or even who I am...These-these women came up to me earlier, and they called me Andrew. B-but, I didn't know who they are; and I couldn't remember their faces, except in my mind I saw people who LOOKED like them, and they were yelling at me...But, I don't know Monica; I don't know..."
Tears filling the younger angel's brown eyes as he spoke, a feeling of worry and both fear for her friend in them, Monica walked slowly over to where Andrew had taken a seat on one of the couches and laid her hands on his knees. The blonde human angel had his head resting in his hands, as if trying to not show his conflicting emotions, but Monica didn't miss it and she reached for his hands once again to squeeze them gently.
Taking his hands away from his eyes and seeing all of the pain there, Monica wished with all of her gentle heart that she could just blurt out who he really was right then and there; but she knew that she couldn't. Not yet.
"Andrew." Seeing him look into her eyes, the little Irish angel nodded her head,
"If they called you Andrew, then you must be Andrew. It's all right if you don't remember immediately; things will come back to you in their own time, I'm sure of it-"
"But I'm so scared, Monica," Andrew finally became vulnerable for the first time since he lost his memory, and the tears that threatened his green eyes started to run down his face,
"I'm so scared that I won't remember; that I'll never know my past or who my family is. Gosh Monica, I don't even know if 'Andrew' is even my REAL name..."
Unable to resist and stop herself, Monica reached her arms out and wrapped them tightly around her best friend, allowing him to sob on her shoulder. Although it had been a year, and despite all that had happened before that separation happened, it felt so good to hold him after so long. Laying her head against one of his shaking shoulders, the angel closed her doe-like brown eyes and allowed her own tears to fall freely.
"Rose, you've got to stop putting the blame on yourself," Sam gently scolded once the angels returned back to the cabin. The second oldest of the four was in tears, even before they arrived back and Tess' arm was wrapped securely around her shoulders to try and comfort her the best she knew how. Upon seeing her "Angel Boy" for the first time in a year, but not being able to touch or hold him to herself, it broke her heart to pieces and she could only imagine how Rose was feeling at the moment.
"Sam, I know I shouldn't be blaming myself, but I do..." The red-haired angel walked over to the chair closest to the fire and sat down heavily, her head resting in her hands,
"I should've tried harder when I found him at that bus stop! I just let him go, and I didn't try hard enough...And now he doesn't remember us, and he's so scared of me! Sam, he's scared of me because it's my fault-"
"Rose, no..." Carla whispered, standing between Sam and Tess as they stared down at their friend before them.
"Sweetheart, I need to figure this all out on my own; it's nobody else's job to put the pieces back together except for me...the one who failed to begin with." Closing her eyes briefly before opening them to look up at her friends, Rose continued weakly,
"Would you mind if I be left alone for a few minutes? I need some time to think..."
"Of course, Rose," Sam replied immediately, shooting a Look at Tess and Carla, who started to object. Wrapping a strong arm around his former charge's shoulders and guiding her into the kitchen, the youngest of the group right behind, the angel glanced out of the corner of his eye to see Tess take one last look at the sobbing angel.
Late that night, Andrew lay awake, green eyes wide open as if afraid to fall asleep...afraid that if he closed his eyes, images of those three women he had come in contact with that morning would invade his mind and nightmares would come. What frightened him the most was the angry looks each of them had given him-the ones who stood out the most claiming to be 'Tess' and 'Rose'.
"Tess...Rose..." He whispered to himself, clutching the blankets tightly around him as he stared up at the ceiling,
"I don't remember either of you..."
Sucking in a sharp breath, he finally decided to close his eyes although his mind was telling him not to. But as soon as he chose to do it, images flashed before his mind at random...images that would frighten anyone who had lost their memory...
Before he could finish speaking, however, Rose's next actions took him by surprise. Watching as if in slow motion, the angry angel's hand suddenly came flying up to his cheek and backslapped him straight across the face.
"Where is she?" Carla gasped as she came to a halt beside of Andrew in the driveway,
"Wendy? Where'd she go?"
"With Kyle," Andrew replied sadly, shaking his head, wishing that the teenager had listened to him when he had tried to stop her.
"And you didn't stop her?!" Carla shrieked, her anger once again resurfacing,
"What'd you do, Andrew? Hand Kyle the keys and tell him to have a good trip?"
"I finally gave in, Tess-"
"You did WHAT?!" Tess shouted, her eyes widening with horror and anger filling her face,
"Andrew, do you even realize what you just did?" Without waiting for a reply, she continued her rant,
"How could you be so stupid, Mr. Halo?! I thought you were one of the smart ones in this bunch! How could you allow that angel to do such a thing, huh?!"
His eyes flew open almost as soon as he had closed them and he sat straight up in bed, sweat pouring down his face and fear showing plainly in his green eyes. Glancing around himself, Andrew's eyes flooded with tears and he pulled his knees up to his chest, sobbing in fear once more.Chapter 4
Later that night, Monica was still awake. She had tried to sleep, but found herself unable to as her mind kept going over and over that horrible day at the Hendrickson's a year ago. The pain she had felt as he had walked out of that room still tore at her heart, and now here she was, trying to help him; wanting to help him, knowing all the while when his memory returned, he could very well walk away again.
She stood out on the deck in the moonlight, watching and listening as the waves crashed up against the shore, her arms folded on the railing as her auburn hair blew lazily in the ocean breeze. Her thoughts were so far away that she never sensed the presence on the deck with her until she heard her name being whispered. Turning around, she saw Tess standing there, a smile on her face a mile wide, despite the situation.
A soft smile graced Monica's pretty face as she moved to her friend and found herself caught up in a tight hug that nearly choked the air out of her slight figure.
"Oh sweet baby girl," Tess uttered softly,
"It is so good to see you again!"
"I missed you, Tess," The young angel replied as she returned the hug forcefully, grateful for the distraction of her friend's presence.
"Let me look at you," Tess pulled away, keeping Monica at arm's length, as her tear-filled eyes took in her Angel Girl,
"How are you doing, baby?"
Monica pondered the question for a moment in silence,
"I'm all right." She replied softly and decided to leave it at that.
"Sam told me how far you've come, Angel Girl, and that you accepted this assignment. I'm proud of you, baby. I know that could not have been easy for you." Reaching up, the older angel laid a hand on Monica's cheek. Sam had told her that the young Irish angel had been quieter over the past year, but it was still strange to not hear her Angel Girl chattering away about her time at Home or about this assignment.
"It's Andrew, Tess. Despite everything, I had to be here for him. You know that." She replied, her gaze returning to the ocean.
"Do you still love him, baby?" Tess asked, feeling a little worried,
"The two of you were always so close. Have your feelings for him changed?"
Monica felt tears burning in her eyes that she blinked back,
"No, Tess. Of course not, though sometimes I wish that they had…"
Tess approached her again and wrapped her arm around her shoulders as together they looked out over the vastness of the ocean,
"You're afraid of what will happen when he remembers," She stated knowingly, feeling Monica lean into her upon hearing the words,
"You know what I think, baby? I think that your friendship with Andrew is a lot like that ocean out there. The ocean pushes those waves up onto the shore, sometimes with a vengeance, but no matter how hard it tries, the waves flow back into the ocean again, because they are so much a part of it. It's how they were created; how God meant for them to be," She rested her chin on top of the Irish angel's head, hearing her let out a soft sigh.
"He's so afraid, Tess. Not being able to remember and I feel so badly for him, but yet, a part of me doesn't want him to remember and I know that is wrong. But all I know is that he is here now and I don't want that to change." The words were spoken in a soft whisper that Tess had to strain to hear.
"You don't want him to remember all the good times you two have shared together, Monica? All those times you have been there for each other?"
"It would be fine, Tess, if I could just wipe out the last few years," She replied, thinking of how things had gone so wrong after she had saved Carla.
"Friendship is taking the good with the bad, baby," Tess advised gently.
"But why does he run away whenever it gets bad, Tess?" Monica whispered, her voice trembling slightly as her hurt began to come through in her words,
"I tried to do that once when he was thinking of turning away and didn't make it any further than the front steps of the cabin…"
"Oh sweetheart," Tess sighed softly, kissing the top of her head,
"I wish I had the answers for you. Maybe he just loves you so much that when he can't protect you, he feels guilty about it and unable to face you. He just needs to learn to take into account your feelings when he makes these decisions and when he remembers, you two can talk about that."
"Perhaps," She replied, unable to even think just yet about him getting his memory back-the uncertainty of it terrified her.
"I should get going, baby," Tess pulled away reluctantly, hating to go when she sensed the heaviness of her friend's heart tonight,
"Rose is pretty upset about Andrew not knowing her and she is blaming herself for not trying harder to stop him from leaving. I should get back to her. Are you going to be all right?"
Monica nodded her head bravely as she moved to hug her friend once more,
"Tell Rose that blaming herself is going to get her nowhere fast, Tess. When Andrew's mind is made up about something, no one can change it…no matter how much they want to," She added, her eyes flashing with pain.
Tess smiled sadly, thinking about how unfortunate it was that Monica knew that better than probably anyone,
"We know our Angel Boy is in good hands, baby girl," She said confidently,
"And I'll be back to check on you, in case you need a friend to lean on."
Monica smiled softly as she pulled away,
"I love you, Tess and thank you."
"I love you too, baby, and you're quite welcome."
When Tess returned to the cabin on the other side of the state, she found Rose sitting up in front of the fire, her blue eyes miles away,
"How are you doing, baby?" Tess asked, taking a seat on the sofa as she met her eyes with those of the older angel.
Rose managed a half-hearted smile,
"I can't stop seeing the fear in his face, Tess. Why was he so afraid of me? Of us?"
"Only the Father knows that right now, Rose," Tess replied gently.
"How is he?" She asked anxiously, wanting some news on her friend.
"Monica said he is scared with not being able to remember and I'm sure he is, but he is in good hands, Rose. You know she won't let anything happen to him."
"I know that, Tess. I do," She sighed, wiping at a stray tear,
"And how is our Angel Girl?"
Tess appeared thoughtful for a moment,
"She isn't the same angel who left here over a year ago, Rose. She's…quieter, trying to be strong about this, but she's afraid of what will happen when he remembers. I wonder if her quietness has to do with Andrew actually. They were always so connected and that has been broken the past year. I have no doubts that our Angel Boy broke off that connection they have when he left. She did tell me to tell you not to blame yourself, Rose, that when Andrew makes up his mind about something, he doesn't let anyone change it. You know how stubborn he can be."
"I know that, Tess, but maybe had I said something more, I could have stopped this. He would have realized that what he was doing was wrong and would have stayed." She sighed again,
"He wouldn't be in this predicament now."
"Good things could come out of this, you know," Tess observed, her dark eyes watching the flames flicker in the fireplace,
"Those two babies could rebuild a friendship so that when he does remember, the last few years and all the pain that went with them won't matter anymore. They both need that, Rose, even more than we need the two of them."
"You may be right, Tess, I don't know," Rose shook her head sadly,
"I just wish I could have done more, for both of them really. Avoided all of this somehow."
"We all feel that way, baby, but what's done is done and now is the time to be still and know that God is up there and He is taking care of all of us."
Finally deciding on trying once again to sleep, Monica walked down the hall and decided to check on Andrew first. Quietly, she opened the door to his room, watching as the soft light filled the room.
He was restless, tossing and turning in the bed and she longed to go to him, but knew that she couldn't just yet. She was still a stranger to him and she didn't want to push her affections on him, regardless of how badly she wanted to.
"Father, please," She whispered as tears shimmered in her dark eyes,
"Give him some peace tonight."
As she watched, his tossing stopped as he seemed to fall into a deeper slumber and she smiled softly as she said a silent "thank you" to the Father. Unable to help herself, she approached his bedside and laid a gentle kiss on his head as she whispered,
"Sleep well, my friend."Chapter 5
Although it had been a year since everything that had happened, to Kevin it felt just like yesterday. Ever since Denise had beaten up Monica, the youngest angel had refused to go Home, or to go back to the cabin and confide in Tess or Rose. Guilt had swept through him like a wave, and he wasn't ready to face the wrath of any of them just yet...especially Andrew.
A year ago, Kevin's heart would've filled with complete anger at just the thought of the older angel's name; after all he had done to him, he didn't see why he should ever forgive, much less forget about it.
But now, after many months of thinking-and being away from Home-he didn't feel as angry as he did before. The anger that was in his heart, however, was directed at Denise for what she had done to the Irish angel who was supposed to be Andrew's best friend in all of Heaven. But now, he wasn't even sure as to where everyone is, or even if Monica was still at the Hendrickson's house. Was she at Home? Was Andrew at Home, or was he still angry with all of them?
'I guess there's only one way to find out...' He thought to himself, his heart pounding loudly in his chest. Climbing up the steps to the cabin, Kevin raised his hand and knocked softly on the door. A part of him was hoping that nobody was there, yet another part wanted to get this over with. He wasn't all too sure if he wanted to apologize to Andrew or not for the way he had treated him a year ago; but how much more could it hurt?
Before he could think anymore of what to say to the angels if they were here, the door suddenly opened and Kevin immediately heard Tess' voice,
A deep blush rose to the younger angel's face and he looked into the supervisor's surprised eyes,
"Kevin, we didn't even expect to see you again, baby," Tess continued. As he looked into her eyes, Kevin noticed an unmistakable sadness, yet hope, there and he drew in a shaky breath as he spoke again.
"Tess...Can I come in, please?"
"Of course, baby," Tess nodded her head and ushered him inside the living room, thankful now that nobody was in there to see him but her,
"We've been wondering what had happened to you, and we wanted to talk to you; but you'd disappeared into thin air..."
"That's what I wanted to talk to you about, Tess," Kevin quietly replied, lowering his eyes to the floor, all the while refusing to take a seat beside the older angel,
"But-where's Andrew? I really need to speak with him as well..."
At his question, Tess found herself speechless. What was she going to say to him? How was he going to react when she told him the truth of what had happened after Monica's beating, and leading up to her "Angel Boy's" memory loss? Forcing herself to breathe easily, the angel looked up into Kevin's eyes that were filled with questions; but even as she tried to form the words to her lips, nothing came out.
Early that morning, Andrew awoke before the sun even rose and walked out onto the back porch to look out at the beach. He didn't know why, but he hoped that maybe looking at it would cause some sort of memory to form in his mind, and cause him to remember who he was, and how he had ended up here in the first place.
Only wearing sweatpants and a black T-shirt, the human angel walked slowly out onto the steps and headed down them. The wind ruffled his already tousled blonde locks and a sad smile formed on his mouth as he looked out to sea. As he finally neared the landing, he took a seat upon it and rested his chin in his hands. Silence passed for several minutes, except for the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore. Did he ever love the ocean, or did he just like watching the sunrise every morning? What were his likes and dislikes?
Sighing deeply, Andrew lowered his eyes to the sand and reached a hand out, scooping up a handful of it before letting it slide between his fingers. The feel of it felt good; so good that it caused a few silent tears to form in his still tired green eyes.
Just as he was about to rise to his feet, however, and walk down to the ocean, an unfamiliar voice spoke up behind him and he whirled around in surprise. Fear rose up within him as he came face to face with a man he had never seen before.
"Andrew, I didn't think after what happened that you would still be here!" The tall dark figure spoke, shrugging his shoulders.
Frowning in confusion, along with fear, Andrew took a shaky step backwards and nearly tripped over the bottom step,
"Who ARE you?"
Raising an eyebrow at the sudden question, Philip stepped closer to him until they were almost directly right in front of each other, and answered casually,
"Andrew, don't play dumb all right-"
"NO! WHO ARE YOU?!" Andrew shouted, feeling himself start to tremble as the tears that had earlier formed in his eyes, now rolled down his face. Who was this man? Had they known each other in a past life, or was he some enemy? But as Philip stepped closer to him, a rush of bad memories formed in the human angel's mind.
Memories of this man beating him to a pulp, while he had been so helpless and unable to defend himself. Memories of this...MAN, trying to cruelly assault some other women, one of them being someone who resembled the auburn-haired female who was just inside the beach house...
"Andrew-" Philip started, really starting to wonder what was going on with him; but he couldn't get any more words spoken out of his mouth because Andrew shouted once more in his face.
"NO! Get away from me!"
And without any more words, the terrified angel turned on his heel and stumbled up the steps until he was back inside the beach house. Once he was there, however, he locked the door and crumpled to the ground, shoulders shaking as he heaved with frightened sobs.
"Tess, what is it?" Kevin finally broke the silence as he finally took a seat beside of the older angel. She had rested her head into her hands, and was taking deep breaths although they were shaky ones, and the youngest angel was surprised to see that it appeared that Tess was trying to hold back a flood of tears.
"Kevin?" Another voice suddenly broke in and the two angels looked up, surprised to see Rose and Carla standing in the doorway to the kitchen. The older of the duo appeared to be in shock and it took the little blonde angel's arm around her to keep her from falling over,
"Kevin, what are you doing here...?"
Shakily rising to his feet, the youngest angel of the four walked over to Rose and stood before her,
"Rose...I came to apologize, and explain everything that's happened this past year. To all of you; and I want to know where Andrew is, as I want to talk to him as well." Glancing back over his shoulder at Tess, who's eyes were lowered and tears were falling from them, Kevin frowned as he turned back to Rose and Carla,
"Can you tell me?"
Monica emerged from her bedroom to find Andrew trembling in the kitchen and she was instantly alarmed,
"Andrew? What is it?" She reached out and gently placed her hand on his arm.
He let out a deep breath as he looked into her dark eyes,
"There was a man outside…he knew me, but I get the feeling he is not a good person. I kept having this image of him hurting me and trying to hurt some woman…a woman with hair the color of yours, but I can't remember…"
Thankfully Andrew was too distraught to notice that Monica's face had gone deathly white. Shaking, she looked out the window, but there was no sign of Philip anywhere,
"Why is he here, Father?" She whispered to herself, her voice trembling.
"Should I know him, Monica? I hate this, the not knowing who these people are…"
Andrew's voice interrupted her thoughts as her mind raced to find an answer that was not lying to him,
"You'll remember when the time is right, Andrew," She responded softly, hoping that when that time came, that walking out on her again would not be an option. Forcing a smile, she turned to face him once more,
"Are you hungry? How about I whip us up some breakfast?"
He managed a slight smile, though he did notice she looked a little apprehensive,
"Yeah, I am hungry actually. Can I do anything to help?"
Monica shook her head,
"No, just sit down and keep me company," She replied, noting how he had finally seemed to relax a bit.
Andrew watched her as she took some eggs and milk from the refrigerator, and a pan out from cupboard,
"You know, I don't have anywhere else to go, so I really appreciate you letting me stay with you for awhile…"
"You can stay as long as you'd like, Andrew. As long as you need to," She stammered. Why was this so hard?
A slight grin played on his face,
"So, is this a habit of yours? Taking strange men into your house and feeding them?"
Monica laughed as she broke the eggs into a bowl with some milk,
"No, as a matter of fact, it is not a habit of mine. But you're not just some strange man, Andrew. You're…different." She spoke as close to the truth as she could as she beat at the eggs and milk, relieved when he seemed satisfied with her answer.
"So," He began again, figuring as he could offer nothing in the way of information about himself, that he could at least find out about her,
"What do you do for a living?"
Monica bit her lip as she beat the mixture harder, trying to figure out how to answer that one. "I'm an angel" would certainly not be wise, but what could she say that was the truth, regardless of how evasive?
"A little of everything really. I work a lot of different jobs depending on where I am and my Father provides for me the rest of the time." She smiled to herself, secretly pleased with her answer. She frowned then, her mind going back to the possibility of Philip being nearby,
"Andrew, that man that was outside…stay away from him, okay?"
Andrew could hear the slight tremble in her voice as she said those words and he remembered the fear he had felt when coming face to face with him. Now Monica seemed a little afraid as well and that bothered him,
"Why, Monica? Who is he?"
An hour later, Tess, Rose and Carla had related to Kevin everything that had happened with Andrew and Monica and once they were finished the youngest angel shook his head.
"What a mess," He remarked with a sigh, before he looked up into Tess' eyes before meeting his eyes with the other two angels,
"I wasn't the one who hurt Monica. Denise did it. She wanted me to, in order to get back at Andrew, but I couldn't do it."
Tess had to smile as she breathed a sigh of relief,
"I had a feeling it was her and not you, baby," She replied, reaching over to squeeze his hand,
"That one is nothing but pure evil and Monica's attack had Denise's name written all over it. The unfortunate part of it is that Andrew thought it was you and that was the main reason we think he left to begin with."
"But he's back now," Carla added confidently, looking sternly at Rose,
"And his memory will come back eventually as well. These is no way the Father would allow his angel to not remember forever."
Rose sighed softly as she nodded her head,
"I know you're right, Carla, I just wish that there was something we could do to help."
"He has the help he needs right now, Rose," Tess added comfortingly,
"He's in very safe hands between the Father and Monica."
"What if when he remembers he decides to leave again?" Kevin ventured worriedly.
"Then it will be time for us to intervene," Carla replied firmly.
"Kevin, honey," Rose spoke up softly,
"Please know that you did not see the good side of that angel. The Andrew you saw was one who was feeling a combination of jealousy and guilt over his friends and that caused him to act the way he did with you. He's a sweet soul, our Angel Boy, and given another chance, you would see that too."
Kevin smiled as he nodded his head,
"I understand that now, though I couldn't see it then."
"And we'll have the truth about Denise all ready for him should he even decide for a second he is running off again," Tess added firmly.
"Monica doesn't realize it was Denise?" Kevin asked curiously.
"No, baby, she remembers very little about that attack, and to be honest with everything else that was going on at the time, I think it was the least of her worries," Tess sighed softly, thinking about her two angel babies and the situation that they were now in,
"I'm just praying that when this is all said and done, those two sweet babies don't have anything like this to worry about for a long, long time."
Monica froze as Andrew asked the question as she struggled for an answer that would satisfy, but not confuse him,
"It's just that we don't know who he is, Andrew." She stammered, as she dipped the bread into the batter and then laid the soaked bread in a pan on the stove.
Andrew watched her closely, noting how she did not even turn to face him. What was she hiding?
"Why do I get the feeling that it is more than that?" He asked suspiciously.
She drew in a deep breath and let it slowly. She knew she should not feel this afraid of him remembering anything, yet she was. She needed time to sort all of this out, to get her emotions intact in the event that when he did remember…
"From your description of him, Andrew, he reminds me of someone I knew once. Someone that was…not very nice."
"Someone who hurt you?" He countered, wishing she would face him.
Feeling cornered, Monica finally turned around to meet his eyes squarely with hers, somehow managing to keep her face expressionless,
"Look, Andrew, I don't even know that it is him. I'm just asking that you are careful is all. Though the beach is private, a lot of people walk near here and you just never know what you could be getting yourself into."
His intense green eyes bore into hers, getting a feeling still that there was more than this than she was willing to share, but how could he blame her? She didn't know him from any other stranger that might be walking along the beach. But maybe that was what puzzled him the most; someone being so cautious, yet bringing a stranger into her home without question. But he couldn't deny that he was grateful or who knew where he would be right now,
"Understood." He stated simply, relieved when she smiled slightly.
"Thank you," She replied softly, almost gently as a look of relief flashed in her brown eyes,
"Look, how about after breakfast we take a walk along the beach? The fresh air will probably do you good and it is a beautiful morning out there."
Seeing her hopeful expression, Andrew smiled. Though she made little sense to him right now, he was glad she had found him and with any luck at all, she would be able to help him remember who he was.Chapter 7
As Andrew and Monica walked along the stretch of beach, the same one where the Irish angel had found her amnesic friend just the other day, a silence passed between the two and Monica kept looking over at him only to find him off in his own little world. He appeared to be thinking hard about how he had come to this place, and even who she was. Lowering her head, the angel inwardly sighed; it felt so incredibly weird to be walking along the shores beside of her once best friend and not even talk to him. All the more, it felt weird that he didn't even know who she was, or who he was.
Shooting another glance his way, the youngest angel recalled how early that morning that Andrew had seen Philip-or whom she assumed it was. Who else could it be? He had described the demon perfectly, and everything that he had told her made her all the more certain that it was indeed Philip with him on that beach that day.
But suddenly, before Monica could break the tense silence and say something, Andrew spoke up almost hesitantly,
"So Monica...Will you tell me a little about yourself? Where are you from?"
His question took her totally off guard once more, and she gulped while trying to calm her racing heart. Pushing the fear of Philip aside for the time being, and looking over at her friend, the Irish angel smiled a forced smile in his direction and explained as best as she could,
"Well, I don't really know what to say exactly...I'm not from around here. As I told you yesterday, my Father gave me this beach house as a gift, and He wanted me to spend some time in it. There have been lots of things going on lately, and He thought I needed a break from it all, you know?" Seeing his slight confusion, Monica continued,
"It's nothing, really, Andrew. My life isn't as exciting as you may think it is; except for the many friends I've made along the way...one in particular." Here, she stopped before she went any further, and she forced back a few hot tears so that Andrew wouldn't question it. But he did, however, and it took him speaking her name for her to turn back to her friend.
"Monica? What's wrong?"
A small trembling smile appeared on the Irish angel's Gaelic features as she stopped walking and turned to face him. Her long, auburn hair blew in the breeze, and around her face as she looked at him. Oh how she wished she could just be up-front with him and tell him the truth...But the Father was forbidding it right now, and she had to obey the orders: Not now. Blinking her eyes, Monica looked straight into his questioning green eyes and spoke softly,
"Andrew...I don't really think that now is the time to explain it all to you. It's a long story..."
"But Monica...You've helped me these last two days, and now I want to return that favor. You took me in, a stranger you've never met before and could be some crazy fella for all he knows!" Here, Monica couldn't help but laugh at that comment, but then they both turned serious once again, and Andrew continued,
"But you cared enough. Now, I don't know anything about myself, or even you for that matter. But I feel like I know all I need to know; and I see that you're hurting over something. Why won't you tell me?"
Her lower lip quivered slightly, and the angel drew in a shaky breath before letting it out. She opened her mouth, and was about to say something, but no words came out of Monica's mouth. Shrugging her shoulders helplessly, the young angel only looked deeper into her best friend's concerned green eyes. What was she supposed to say to that?
'Oh Father, what do I do now...?' She silently prayed, but just as she lifted up her prayers to the Father, she saw Andrew stepping closer to her, wrapping his arms tightly around her.
Forcing back a sob at the feel of his strong arms wrap around her shoulders in what seemed like forever, Monica tightly clung to him, not wanting to let go just yet. It wasn't the feel of the embrace she had given Andrew yesterday when she had found him on this very beach; a comforting embrace to let him know that all would be okay. This one...This one was one that she had felt almost every day way before she had been demoted to Casework, and the whole nightmare had begun. Her dearest friend had never thought twice about hugging her, and comforting her, and it took everything in her to remind herself that this Andrew wasn't the Andrew who was her best friend; he was only holding her because he seemed to care about something she wouldn't tell him, and he wanted to be there for her just like she had been there for him.
Resting her head against his shoulder, all the while feeling her heart race frantically, the Irish angel only continued to cling to him as she let a few tears slip down her cheeks and onto Andrew's shoulder.
Unseen by both of the angels, Kevin, Tess, Rose and Carla stood off to the side on the deserted beach and each angel's heart went out to the duo who were clinging tightly to one another. Nobody spoke for the first several minutes until Rose took a step forward and was about to make herself visible. But the feel of Carla's hand grasping her upper arm forced her to remain unseen. Turning around, blue eyes stinging with hot tears, Rose whispered,
"I just want to be there for him..."
"Baby, I didn't think that we'd have to be the ones telling a more experienced angel like yourself, that the Father's Plan is perfect," Tess firmly, yet gently, told Andrew's former supervisor. Yes, she too wanted to go over to her 'Angel Boy' and hold him tightly to herself, and never let him go again; but when the Father said "No", He meant "No". Rose just needed to remember that, and know that God wanted Monica to be the one to help their friend,
"Angel Girl over there wants to help him, and I believe that she will. With my whole heart..." Her voice broke off at those last words and she looked down at the sand she was standing on. The mahogany skinned angel sighed deeply and shook her head, suddenly wishing she didn't say that. The question of "What if?" rang in her head constantly, and she couldn't get it out.
Seeing the look on Tess' face, Carla sucked in a deep breath and reached for the older angel's hand, taking it into her own,
Squeezing the little blonde angel's hand lovingly, before pulling it away, Tess interrupted gently,
"Not now, babies..." And with that, Tess looked from Rose and Carla to Kevin and then back again before speaking almost too quietly,
"I need some time alone. Rose, I trust that you won't bother those two Angel Babies..." With those final words, Tess forced a smile on her face before walking down the beach and away from her friends, before disappearing from site. She just needed some time to think, and have a talk with the Father about her two beloved Angel Babies.
Several moments later, Andrew and Monica headed back to the beach house where the two were presently staying. Fortunately for the youngest angel, her friend hadn't asked her anymore questions about why she appeared to be so upset and frightened about a certain "friend", or anything else for that matter; instead, they had just chatted in general, and Monica had finally found the courage to tell Andrew all she could about herself, things that wouldn't give away the fact that she was an angel, but also the truth. The angel was more determined then ever to help him remember who he was, and she hoped that every little bit helped some; although a huge part of her was scared that as soon as he did remember everything, that he would walk away again, the larger part wanted him to. She didn't feel that way earlier, but now she did.
As the duo walked up the steps and into the comfortable living room, Andrew headed immediately to the kitchen, explaining that he was thirsty and hungry. Smiling after him as the door closed, Monica walked back into the living room and sat down on the couch with a heavy sigh. The Irish angel looked around herself and took in her surroundings; since yesterday when the Father had given her this beach house, she hadn't had time to really look around it, and now, taking advantage of that time, she rose to her feet and walked around the room.
As she fingered the flowers on one of the end tables, and gazed at some of the paintings on the wall, a thick book on a shelf caught her eye and, her curiosity getting the better of her, she opened it and started to flip through it. The pictures staring at her caused a few tears to well up in her dark eyes; the Father must have planted this there just for them...
"Monica, why didn't you tell him?"
Philip's sudden dark voice caused Monica to almost yelp and she whirled around, dropping the book to the floor with a thud. There he stood, dark as usual; the demon who had started this whole nightmare n the first place and who had been the main focus of all of her nightmares over the years.
Finally finding her voice, Monica choked out, horror etched onto her face,
Monica felt sick on her stomach at the mere sight of the demon as she backed up a step,
"What are you doing here?"
Philip's eyes saddened, seeing the fear he would forever instill in the angel he loved so deeply,
"I won't hurt you, little angel. You have my word on it."
"Well, excuse me if that doesn't make me feel any better," She replied, a trace of anger in her voice. Her legs were shaking, but she knew she would feel defenseless if she sat down, so she chose to remain standing.
"Why didn't you tell Andrew the truth?" He asked again, his face etched in concern.
"Why do you care?" Monica countered, her heart racing wildly.
"Because I know how much he means to you. You've made that very clear, Monica. I know the things that happened. That he chose to walk away from you a year ago. I'm the one who found him after you had the accident with Tess' car that night."
"That's a lie," She managed to say,
"For that to be true would say that there is some thread of decency about you and we both know that there is not. You made my existence a nightmare, Philip, which in turn made Andrew's one as well as he blames himself for all of it, so don't stand there and tell me that you were trying to help me."
"You're afraid he'll leave you again once he remembers," Philip thought aloud, his eyes focused on her face,
"That's it, isn't it?"
Hating the fact that the demon had hit a vulnerable nerve with her as she never wanted to appear in any way vulnerable in his presence ever again, she heatedly snapped back at him,
"I don't need to explain anything to you, Philip!"
He was quiet for a moment as he watched her. The fear in her eyes saddened him, despite the fact that he knew he deserved it and he just wished he knew of some way to gain her trust,
"You've never forgiven me, have you?"
Monica fell silent as she starred down at the floor for a moment, wondering how he could seem to read her mind at times. It wasn't that good feeling of not having to explain herself, like in the old days with Andrew, who so often knew what she was thinking before she had ever uttered a sound. No, this was downright terrifying. When she looked back up at him, tears glistened in her eyes, knowing this was the one thing she had not resolved in the last year,
"I don't even know how to do that, Philip. I don't even know how to begin."
He nodded his head sadly,
"I'd better go. I didn't mean to upset you, I was just concerned is all," He turned to go, before he turned back to her once more,
"He's going to remember eventually, Monica. You just need to be ready to fight for him, if need be, once he does."
As Philip vanished from the room, Monica bolted to the sliding glass door, closing it behind her once she was outside. Her hands clenched the railing of the deck as a few sobs shook through her, but she knew she needed to get herself together before Andrew returned as she had no idea how to explain Philip to him. She drew in several deep breaths and willed herself to calm down, despite the deep fear the demon instilled in her every time their paths crossed.
At the sound of Andrew's voice, she hastily wiped away her tears before she turned around to face him, forcing a smile as he handed her a glass of lemonade,
"Thank you," She said softly.
He eyed her closely, noticing the glassy look in her brown eyes,
"Are you all right?" He asked her worriedly,
"Were you crying?"
Monica forced a laugh,
"The wind from the ocean was stinging my eyes a bit," She replied, in an attempt to avoid the question,
"You know, I was thinking about heading into town tonight for a little shopping. You could use a few things…"
"Monica, when I lost my memory, all I had on me was what I was wearing. I haven't so much as a dollar to my name…" Andrew smiled, even though his eyes held a trace of sadness.
"I've got it covered," She offered, waving her hand as he started to object,
"Andrew, if it is that important to you, you can pay me back when you remember. You must have a job you left somewhere along the road."
He sighed as he nodded his head,
"I'm not sure of how I will ever repay you for all you've done for me so far."
Feeling a lump forming in her throat as she thought that the best way he could ever repay her was by not leaving again when his memory returned, she headed for the door and slid it open,
"Repayment, Andrew, is not required," She responded softly. Knowing she needed a little time to deal with what had just happened with Philip, she turned to face him again once they were inside,
"If you don't mind, I'm going to take a quick nap. I was up late last night and I'm feeling a little tired."
Sensing a sadness about her that had been present all day that he couldn't begin to understand, he nodded his head,
"Of course, I don't mind. You have plenty of books here for me to read. When you wake up, we'll head into town and grab a bite to eat there as well. Deal?"
She nodded her head, her eyes flashing her thanks as she turned and headed down the hall to her room, closing the door firmly behind her. It was only then that she allowed the tears to come.
Tess had walked the beach for a long time before she had found herself back at the beach house, still unseen to her two friends. She had watched Monica's confrontation with Philip through tear-filled eyes and then the brief, yet strained conversation between the two angels who were once best friends. She could feel her Angel Girl's fear and her Angel Boy's frustration and she longed to take it all away from them both and make things right between them once and for all.
"They'll be all right, Tess."
At the sound of Sam's voice, the other angel turned to face him and tried to smile through her tears,
"Why does it have to be so hard for them, Sam? He's starting to care about her again and she can't tell him anything and I can tell that there was nothing she wanted more than to feel his protection."
"It's just going to take time, Tess. She handled herself as well as can be expected with Philip and to be honest, I'm starting to think that he really means her no harm anymore." He observed.
"He's done enough harm to last a lifetime, Sam. Even Andrew, who doesn't remember a thing, feels fear towards him. He's still a demon and can't be trusted." She stated flatly. Sighing softly, she continued,
"I just hurt for them, Sam. They're my babies, you know that."
"Yes, I do," He smiled as he wrapped his arm around his friend's shoulders,
"And the Father knows that even better than I do. He's watching over them, Tess, now and always." Seeing her nod her head, he continued,
"You need to work on Rose though. She is not to interfere with this. I know she feels responsible for Andrew's leaving last year, but that was simply not the case. He left out of guilt and there was no changing his mind."
"She'll come around, Sam," Tess replied hopefully,
"We've just missed them both the past year, but at least with Monica, we knew where she was and that she was in good hands. The not knowing with Andrew was hard."
"I know it was, but to the Father, he was never missing to begin with," He reminded gently.
"What would I ever do, Sam, without you to remind me of these things?"
The older angel laughed as he shook his head,
"Come. I'll walk you back to the cabin. It's been awhile since I've had a chat with my dearest friend in the entire angelic realm."
Andrew tossed down the book he had been trying to read after reading the same sentence 5 times and still having no idea of what it said. He was more than a little distracted, both by the constant wondering of who he was, as well as by the fact that something was troubling Monica and he had no idea of what it could be.
Of course, he couldn't expect her to just open up to him as they had just met, but there was something about her that made him never want to see her sad. He was already starting to wonder what would happen when he did remember. Surely, he had a life somewhere and he was anxious to get back to it once he knew what it was. But on the other hand, was his life so far away from here that he would have to tell soft-spoken Monica good-bye for good?
He sighed, wishing he knew the answers to all of these things, but he reminded himself that it was going to take time to remember. He was fairly sure that the memories would come back, it was just a matter of when.
Getting up, he reached for his glass to go and refill it, before a cry from Monica's room pierced right through him. Without a second thought, he instinctively raced down the hall to her room and opened the door. He found her thrashing around on her bed, obviously in the grips of some terrible dream, but it was the look of pure fear on her face that went straight to his heart.
What had happened to this woman to cause such a terrible dream, and why did he have the nagging feeling that he ought to know?Chapter 9
Andrew slowly walked all the way into Monica's room and stopped beside of her bed. He was tentative to reach out and wake her up, so that he could try and comfort her, as he wasn't sure how she would react. This appeared to be one nasty nightmare, and it churned his stomach to see this woman in such pain. What was the cause of it all? Had it been that man whom he had come in contact with that morning? Just the thought that it might be caused a few tears to fill his eyes as he looked down at Monica.
Unable to stop himself, he took a step closer to her bed and took a seat beside on it. As he watched her thrash around, he reached a slightly shaky hand out and laid it upon her cheek. Almost as soon as his fingers came in contact with her flesh, her thrashing around almost immediately came to a halt and several moments later she was still once again. Her pretty face took on a more peaceful look and Andrew frowned slightly at what had just occurred. How could his touch have calmed her down so easily?
Letting out a deep breath and then sighing softly, Andrew reached his hand out once more and tentatively smoothed back her tangled auburn hair, all the while whispering more to himself then to anyone else,
"Oh Monica, I wish I knew what it was about you...Why I feel so safe when you're here; and why-why I have this feeling that I should know what's going on...?"
Finally rising to his feet after several more minutes, all the while Monica still sleeping peacefully, Andrew looked down at her one final time before quietly heading to the door. Almost as soon as he opened it, however, he heard a quiet noise coming from Monica's bed. Turning back around, the very human angel made another dash over to where she lay and leaned close. What he heard coming from her lips made his stomach churn once more and his heart pounded like never before.
Late that night, Tess and Carla were saying farewell to Sam for a final time at the door to the cabin. It had been a few hours since the two older angels had arrived back at their safe haven that the Father had given to them, and although Rose had closed herself up in her room the entire time, while Kevin had went up to bed very early, the remaining three angels had gathered around the living room talking and catching up with Sam. But the topic of conversation always somehow drifted to Andrew and Monica...
"Remember what I told you, Tess," Sam gently reminded his friend as he pulled her to him for a final hug good-bye,
"Take care of Rose, and everything will pull together in the end."
"I believe you, Sam," Tess smiled tearfully as she finally pulled away from his loving embrace and looked into his own dark eyes,
"Keep in touch about my babies, all right?"
"I promise, my friend," Sam returned the smile for his former protégé, and then turned to face Carla, who stood off to the side, her green eyes lowered to the ground,
"And you take care of yourself, Carla, you hear?"
Lifting her eyes that were the exact shade of green as Andrew's was, the youngest angel shakily returned the smile and nodded her blonde head,
"I will, Sam. We hope you stop by again..."
Nodding his head in her direction, and then moving to smile one last time at Tess, the Angel's Angel turned around and walked out the door, shutting it behind him with a click. Sighing softly, Tess turned the lock after he had departed and then turned back to the angel beside of her,
"I'm going to go and check on Rose, Angel Child, all right?"
Nodding in reply, Carla walked slowly over to the fireplace and took a seat in the nearby chair. Lowering her head back until it rested against the back of the chair, the angel gazed tearfully over at the fire and before she could stop them, the tears began to fall from her compassionate green eyes.
On Tess' part however, as she climbed the last few steps to Rose's room, she recalled how the last time she had been this worried about her fellow angel and friend. It was the time after Wendy's death, and all of her friends were at each other's throats; all of them that is, except for Andrew and Monica. Her precious "Angel Boy" had just made the news about how he wanted to return to Casework, and Rose had not taken it well at all; Tess' two friends had never had any fights before, or any that she had ever witnessed, and it took her totally by surprise to see this red-haired Supervisor scolding Andrew like she did.
What she didn't expect however, was for Rosaline to become involved, and pretend to be their friend...Sighing softly, Tess shook her head as she recalled how who she thought was Rose, had struck Andrew straight across the face and after that, nobody was able to get through to her. It had been several days before all of them had realized that all along it was a demon pretending to be their dear friend...
Lifting her hand, Tess knocked softly on the door to the oldest angel's room and after a reply of "Come in," Tess opened the door and found her friend sitting at the desk in the corner in her nightgown. Her long, red hair trailed down her shoulders and she was looking at herself in the mirror, a look of disgust on her elderly face.
"Baby, are you all right?" The dark-skinned angel asked worriedly.
Turning around in her seat and forcing a smile her friend's way, Rose nodded her head and, setting the brush she held in her hand on the desk, she rose to her bare feet and walked towards Tess,
"I was just thinking, is all Tess..." She whispered, lowering her blue eyes.
"I know that you want to go to him, Rose, but Sam said that we can't! And that includes you-"
"Tess, I know that I haven't known him as long as you have; but I love him just as much and he needs me just as much as he needs Monica right now..."
"And Monica is with him as we speak, baby," Tess tried to reason with her friend as she laid a hand on the other angel's shoulder. It felt weird to try and comfort this certain angel, who only allowed herself to show true emotion in front of Andrew; but she did like Rose very much, and she was her friend, and Tess was more then determined to try and get through to her,
"Rose, I still don't get why you blame yourself for this; it was Andrew's choice to leave a year ago, and nobody could've stopped him, baby-"
"But I should have," Rose choked out, finally meeting her fellow angel's brown eyes,
"And now our Angel Boy may be lost for good; his memory may never come back, and he'll be scared of me for the rest of his existence, Tess!"
"No you stop right there, baby," Tess' voice lost it's gentleness and it grew stern instead. Crossing her arms in front of her chest, she lectured firmly,
"Rose, I may not be as old as you are, but I am old enough to know that what you're saying is wrong. Haven't you always been there for Andrew whenever he started blaming himself? Remember the time after the whole Brianna fiasco, and Denise and Kathleen kidnapped her and threatened to kill her if Andrew didn't come with them? Well, who went out and talked to him for several house to try and get him to come to his senses? You, Rose! Who encouraged my Angel Boy to be there for Monica during that assignment with the Hendrickson's? You! Rose, he has always loved you so much; you're the closest thing an angel can have to a mother, and that's how he sees you as! Sam made me realize this afternoon that Andrew will get his memory back; the Father has assured us that he will, and Monica will help along the way...Do you trust the Father, Rose?"
Nearly taken aback by Tess' words to her, Rose found herself speechless and finally without saying anything, she turned her back to her friend and fellow angel and walked over to the window,
"I think I'm going to bed if you don't mind, Tess..."
Knowing that she shouldn't press her and that this was the end of the conversation, Tess nodded her head and laid a hand on Rose's shoulder before heading out the door,
"All right then." Tears starting to fall from her brown eyes, the angel squeezed gently and opened the bedroom door,
"Goodnight, baby." Not receiving any answer, the youngest of the duo sighed softly and walked out the door, closing it softly behind her.
As soon as the door closed behind her, Rose lifted her head and stared at the place where Tess had once been and before she could stop it, the Supervisor collapsed onto her bed in a torrent of tears.
Andrew starred down at Monica, his heart racing as he wondered why on earth she was calling out to him in her sleep. Had she somehow known he had started to leave the room? Watching her, he noticed a sadness come over her face as a single tear slid down her cheek and he began to feel frustrated once again. He debated waking her, but before he could, her eyes opened, a look of confusion in them, and then fear.
Not feeling quite awake yet as the nightmare about Philip came flooding back to her, the Irish angel sat up and threw her arms around Andrew, tears escaping her eyes,
"You're here," She wept softly, her head buried in his strong chest,
"You're really here."
Completely flabbergasted and not knowing what else to do, Andrew wrapped his arms around her gently,
"Monica, what is going on?" He uttered fearfully.
At those words, the angel opened her eyes widely and realized exactly what she had just done, the reminder that this Andrew was not the one she remembered flooding back to her. Gently, she pulled away and managed a small laugh,
"I'm sorry…I…had a bad dream," She stammered, wiping at the tears on her face,
"I didn't mean to…"
"About what? From what I could tell you were so frightened," He remarked, trying to remain calm, despite the nagging feeling that somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind, he should know.
Her mind raced as she tried to come up with an answer that was not a lie, but this was becoming harder and harder for her and she so wanted to just tell him the truth, but she heard the gentle,
"No, my angel, not yet," that came floating down to her heart,
"That man you saw this morning that I said reminded me of someone…I was dreaming about him."
"The one that hurt you." He stated flatly, wondering why he suddenly felt an overwhelming need to want to protect her,
"How, Monica? How did he hurt you?"
"I…I don't want to talk about it, Andrew, please. It's too painful," She said, managing once again to avoid the subject, all the while wishing that Philip had not returned to her existence now. But she was determined that the demon not put her back in the dark place she had been a year ago; not when she had come so far,
"What do you say we get ready to go into town? It isn't far to walk and the fresh air would do me some good this time, I think." She smiled as she changed the subject.
Andrew nodded his head, though his eyes still held some concern,
"Are you sure you are all right?"
"I'm sure," She responded quickly,
"Just let me freshen up a bit and I'll meet you on the deck in ten minutes."
She watched as he nodded his head and left the room and she sighed softly, hoping that the rest of this day would be smooth sailing for both of them.
"Tess!" Carla cried out as she came bolting down the stairs in the cabin, her green eyes filled with distress.
Tess nearly dropped the book she was trying to read as she leapt to her feet, instantly alarmed,
"Angel Child, what is it that you are yelling about, scaring me half to death?"
"I went to check on Rose and she's gone, Tess!" Carla explained tearfully, wringing her hands.
"What?" Tess cried out, not quite believing what it was she was hearing.
"You don't suppose she is going to do anything stupid, do you? She's so worked up about Andrew, but if she goes to him, she could make a mess of this," The younger angel lamented miserably.
"I don't know, baby, but lets hope not," Tess replied with a worried sigh,
"Let's hope not."
Three hours later…
Andrew laughed easily with Monica as they sat in the restaurant later that evening. They had finished their shopping-clothes for him and a few food supplies for the house, and they had both been famished by then. Monica had suggested the little seafood restaurant that overlooked the ocean and Andrew had to admit it was a great choice. The food had been wonderful and so had the company.
He was spellbound by the endless stories she seemed to have about people she had worked with in the past, people she had helped and he was amazed that for someone who seemed to be a little younger than he was, that she had traveled and done so much in her life. Some of her stories made him laugh uncontrollably, while others brought tears to his eyes, but regardless of which kind of story it was, he was even more intrigued by this gentle lady who had taken him into her home. She seemed to bring a sense of peace to him that he could not begin to understand, so he decided not to try, but only to enjoy her company. He knew he could spend hours wondering why there were things about her that seemed so familiar to him, but he had decided to just try to be patient and see what he might eventually remember.
Monica looked around her and realized that they were the only two guests left in the restaurant and she knew that they should be heading back soon, but she had seen something in the gift shop right across the road that she wanted to get for Andrew. It was a small angel statue and while she hoped it might eventually help him to remember some things, if not, she could always tell him that God's angels were watching over him now in the difficult time,
"Andrew, would you mind excusing me for just a moment? I saw something across the street I wanted to get and the shop will be closing in a minute. Could you wait for our check and I'll meet you back here in five minutes?"
He smiled warmly at her,
"Of course I don't mind. Hurry, before your shop closes."
Smiling her thanks, the angel got up and hurried out the door to the restaurant, not wanting to be gone long, but still wanting to buy him the small gift.
Andrew watched her depart and he sighed softly. She was indeed amazing; he just wished he knew why she was so familiar. Why certain things she said and did felt so natural to him. He smiled softly to himself as he gazed out at the ocean for a moment, lost in thought, never noticing the one who approached the table and took a seat in the one Monica had vacated.
Turning around, Andrew's eyes grew wide as he saw the red-headed woman sitting there that he had seen yesterday before Monica had found him. As quickly as that, he once again saw images flash before his eyes of this woman hurting him, hitting him, yelling at him, and he nearly tipped his chair over trying to move away from her,
"What do you want?" He demanded, although he felt himself beginning to tremble.
"Honey, please, just listen to me," Rose pleaded, reaching for his hand, but he jerked it away before she could touch him,
"I can help you if you would just listen.."
"I don't want your help!" He snapped, tears of fear now in his eyes,
"I want you to go away! I don't want to hear anything you have to say!"
"Andrew, I would never do anything to hurt you and deep inside you know that," The older angel replied, tears in her eyes.
"That's a lie!" He countered, rising to his feet, despite the fact that he was shaking madly. Who was this woman and why had she hurt him in the past?
"Get out of here and away from me!"
As Monica re-entered the restaurant, carrying the smile bag, she heard the sound of Andrew's voice and she looked up quickly, horror filling her eyes at the sight of Rose at their table. She was so shocked that she dropped the bag to the floor, ignoring the sound of the breaking angel, as she raced towards their table,
"What are you doing?" She cried out, her eyes meeting this those of Rose.
The older angel shot Monica a glare before she turned and stormed out of the restaurant, leaving the two angels alone again. Turning to her friend, who was trembling, Monica laid a reassuring hand on his shoulder,
"It's all right, Andrew. She's gone now."
"But who is she?" He cried out, trying to make sense of the images that had flashed in his mind,
"What does she want from me?"
"I don't know, but I intend to find out," Monica reassured him softly,
"Stay right here. I'll be right back."
Dashing out of the restaurant once more, the little Irish angel practically collided with Rose just outside the entrance and she wasted no time in trying to get to the bottom of this. Today had been a miserably difficult day for her, and she was in no mood for any other surprises today,
"Rose, what are you doing here? I though the Father told you to stay away from him for now?" She tried to keep her voice as gentle as she could.
"Yes, well that is easier said than done, Monica!" Rose snapped at her heatedly,
"You're the one who gets to help him while the rest of us sit back at the cabin and wonder what is going on!"
"Rose, you have to stop this. I can only imagine how hard this must be for you, but every time he gets shaken up like this, he takes two steps backwards. Don't you see that?" Monica pleaded.
"What I want to know is why you are not telling him the truth!" Rose demanded, her feeling of helplessness and guilt over this whole situation fueling her temper,
"I know you are afraid he may leave you again, but you should be putting his well being ahead of your own!"
"I am!" Monica cried out, hurt that Rose would even think that she would do anything but put Andrew first,
"The Father has told me 'no' and I'm going to listen to Him because I know that there is a reason for it. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go and repair what you just did."
Rose grabbed hold of Monica's arm and turned her back around to face her,
"You need to tell him the truth so he remembers who he is! Stop trying to keep it from him because you are afraid of how you'll feel!"
Hurt, exhausted and now angry, Monica's temper, as Irish as her voice exploded,
"How dare you? He is my best friend and I love him with my entire heart, regardless of what he did a year ago! I love him enough to be here for him now, despite the fact that when he does remember, he could very well leave me again! I am doing what is best for him and what the Father is asking of me to do, regardless of how much it hurts that he doesn't remember me! Can't you at the very least, do the same? You say you love him so much? Then do what is being asked of you and stay away from him for right now. For whatever reason, he is afraid of you, so stop making things worse, when this is hard enough on all of us!" Having spoken her piece and leaving the older angel speechless, Monica turned and walked back into the restaurant, stopping in the entrance hall to calm herself down before going to her best friend once more.
An hour later, Rose arrived back at the cabin and opened the door. Her eyes were red from tears as they met with Tess' and she shook her head helplessly,
"Oh Tess," She wept miserably,
"I made a terrible mistake tonight."Chapter 11
Once Monica had hurried back to her best friend, tears welled up in her brown eyes as she saw that he was stalk white and was clutching the table with both hands. He was still trembling from head to toe, although he was still seated and the Irish angel was just able to make out a few tears starting to form in his gentle green eyes. Hurrying over to where he was and still standing over him, Monica laid her hand ever gently on his shaking shoulder and then ran her hand through his hair.
"Are you all right?" She whispered, almost too quietly for him to hear.
At the sound of her voice, Andrew turned his head to her and shook his head; but then he nodded it, and finally he settled on shrugging his shoulders. It took several moments before he finally spoke up, his voice trembling,
"What-what did she want from me, Monica...?"
Sighing deeply, Monica knelt down beside of him, her hand still on his shoulder and answered as best she could without the full truth of who he really was coming out,
"I don't know why she was here, Andrew...But-"
"Did you know her?" He demanded. His voice didn't hold any anger towards her, but it did hold some uncertainty over how Monica knew this woman,
"You seemed to know her..."
Feeling caught in a trap all of a sudden, Monica gulped and slowly lowered her hand. The look in the human angel's fearful green eyes made her want to cry, and she didn't know what to do. Lifting her brown eyes slightly to the Heavens, she lifted up a silent prayer for courage to explain this to her best friend, but not tell a lie either; that was the last thing she wanted!
"If you knew her, why didn't you tell me the day you found me?" He interrupted her, shrugging his shoulders and staring down at her with a confused look on his face.
"Andrew...It's a very long story," Monica started, her heart pounding loudly in her chest. What was she going to do now? Finally, she sighed deeply and reached for his hand, holding it tightly in her own, although both of their hands shook,
"Look, why don't we just go home and get some rest, all right? You look like you could need it..."
Opening his mouth as if to object to what she just suggested, as she never even answered his questions, Andrew then sighed and reluctantly nodded his head,
Smiling tearfully, Monica nodded her head and then helped him to his feet, trusting that he also take the bag of clothes they had shopped for that evening. As they turned around to leave, after leaving the money on the table to pay for the bill, both pairs of eyes caught site of the paper bag that Monica had dropped as soon as she had seen Rose. The tears now falling from her gentle brown eyes, the Irish angel released her friend's hand and walked over to the bag, kneeling down in front of it. Picking it up with trembling hands, knowing in her heart that the glass angel was irreplaceable, she then stood up and shakily put it in the nearby garbage. Monica then put on a brave face for Andrew, and reached for his hand once again.
Taking it into his own, Andrew lowered his eyes to ground as they walked out of the restaurant. But even as they started back to the beach house, he couldn't get the questions out of his mind. Who was that woman...Rose, she had said her name was the other day? And how did Monica know her?
"Rose, how could you do such a thing?" Tess demanded as she looked down at the grief-stricken angel who was sitting on the couch in the living room back at the cabin. The younger of the two was pacing back and forth in front of the fire, and her temper was flaring,
"How, Rose? HOW?"
"Tess, I know I made a mistake, all right?" The red-haired supervisor sobbed as she reached for yet another tissue, and brought it to her blue eyes,
"I know that I probably caused things to get worse then they were-"
"You sure got that right, Rose," Tess snapped heatedly, clenching and unclenching her fists at her sides,
"I know I shouldn't be passing judgment on you, as that's the Father's job, but I'm furious now, Rose! Furious!"
"Tess, will you just lay off her?!"
Carla's usually sweet voice broke into Tess' rant and the two older angels turned around to see their friend standing at the bottom of the staircase; she appeared to had heard every word of their argument, and for once in that past hour, Tess found herself speechless.
"Tess, she did do a wrong thing, that's correct," Carla continued, stepping off the step and walking towards the angel until they were face to face,
"But she doesn't need you yelling at her for it! She feels terrible enough as it is-"
"Angel Child, don't take that tone with me-"
"You know I love you, Tess...But right now, we all need to just stay out of it!" She yelled, her voice ringing out through the entire cabin,
"All of us! Monica and the Father are taking care of Andrew; the Father hasn't told any of us to get involved, and yet, although Rose made a mistake, you're punishing her for it, Tess! It's not your job! Did He tell you to do this?"
Taken aback by the youngest angel's words to her, the brown-gray haired angel sucked in a deep breath before she spoke, her voice tight,
"No, I don't believe He didn't! I asked Him myself!" The little blonde-haired angel continued, tears now falling from her green eyes,
"I'm worried about Andrew, too, I hope you realize that...I love him as much as the rest of you. But the Father's plans are always perfect, and now He's told us to stay out of it! So we need to do that! Mind our own business! When the Father tells us it's time, then Andrew will remember! Is it that difficult to understand? I can't believe this...I'm younger then you two-by centuries-and yet, here I am, lecturing two angels who are acting like children!"
And without saying anything further, the youngest of the trio turned on her heel and raced back up the stairs to her room, shutting the door tightly behind her.
Once Andrew and Monica had gotten back to the beach house, and the human angel had tiredly headed to his temporary room to get some rest, the Irish angel sighed deeply as she watched him leave and walked back to the living room. Taking a seat on one of the leather couches, she rested her head in her hands and let the tears come freely.
"Oh Father, help him...Please..."
'I am helping him, Monica,' The loving Voice of her Lord spoke down to her heart,
'It won't be too much longer. Just know that I will always love you both, and that I am with you every step of the way.'
All was quiet in the cabin after Carla had gone back upstairs, before Tess finally broke the silence, her voice much softer now,
"Rose, baby, I am so sorry. That little angel is right. It's just that I'm so worried about those two babies right now, but I had no right to take that fear out on you."
Rose wiped at her eyes and managed a shaky laugh,
"It seems we both got told a thing or two by the younger angelic generation this evening. I know Monica must think I'm furious with her, but what she said to me was the truth, and it was right when I needed to hear it."
Tess smiled at the older angel's words,
"I think what we need to realize here is that we are all worried about them, but at the same time, we are all on the same side. There isn't a one of us, Andrew included, who does not want him to remember. Nor is there a one of us who wants to see Monica's heart broken when this is all over. We all want the same things, Rose and fighting against each other is not going to help either of them."
"I see that now, Tess," Rose sighed softly,
"And I know how stubborn he is. His Angel Girl couldn't convince him to stay a year ago, so I don't know what makes me think I could have. He was determined it was the best thing and there was no reasoning with him. I just so wanted to be able to convince him to stay, but it just wasn't to be."
"And maybe there were reasons for that, Baby," Tess offered, reaching for the older angel's hand,
"If he had stayed, Monica wouldn't have gone Home for the past year and that time has served her well. Maybe this amnesia is a blessing in that it is a healing time for them and a time to rebuild a friendship when he is unable to feel guilty for any of the things that have happened in the past."
"With the Father, there is always a plan and I know that. I just need reminded sometimes," Rose smiled sadly, thinking of the rather biting reminder she had gotten tonight,
"I hope she was able to console him tonight, Tess. I had him pretty upset by the time she returned."
"I'm sure she is doing her very best, Rose. There is nothing she wouldn't do for Andrew and though today was hard, with having to face Philip again, I'm sure she was able to soothe him somehow."
"I could see the love she has for him in her eyes when she was talking to me tonight, Tess," Rose replied, beginning to feel more at peace,
"It almost goes beyond my understanding considering that when guilt is eating away at him, he leaves her, but her love for him is unconditional."
"Yes, baby," Tess smiled, nodding in agreement,
"Just like the Father's love is for all of His children. Just like our love is for both for both of them."
The next two days passed uneventfully at the beach house, which for Monica was a great relief. Though she was concerned about Philip making another appearance or Rose showing up to give her what for about the other night, neither of these two things happened.
What was even more remarkable was that Andrew had not said another word about Rose and that as well came as a great relief to her. The two of them spent time talking, well, mostly her talking, though he would occasionally voice his fears about not being able to remember anything. He seemed content once again though, for the most part, to wait it out and to just see what he might remember on his own.
Now, this evening, he had gone for a walk along the beach, leaving Monica alone and she now wandered aimlessly through the house. Flipping on the radio for company, she walked over and stood in front of the large bay window that faced the ocean and sighed softly. The hardest thing about this was the fact that she was lonely. Though Andrew was here with her, the fact that she couldn't be honest, that she couldn't tell him about Philip's visit, nor about her year at Home, or especially about how it felt when he left her out of guilt over and over again, all added to the feeling of being alone with her thoughts.
Though Andrew was here, she was terribly lonely for her best friend.
Tears filled her eyes as she listened to the lyrics of a song on the radio, one that brought back bittersweet memories for her.
[I]The smile on your face lets me know that you need me,
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'd never leave me.
A touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall…[/I]
[I]"Andrew, they're singing about you…"[/I]
The tears fell harder as she whispered aloud to herself,
"But you did leave…you let me almost fall without you…" Covering her mouth with her hand, her shoulders shook with silent tears.
"Monica?" Andrew's voice was tinged with worry. Though it was obvious she had never heard him come in through the kitchen, to find her in tears like this alarmed him. Though he had sensed a sadness about her before, this was something more.
Monica struggled to pull herself together, but knew it was a lost cause. The dam she had been holding in for a year had now burst, and though she tried, she could not stop the tears. Her hand still covering her mouth to try to hold back the sobs, she tried to brush past him to get to her room, but ever so gently, he stopped her.
"Hey, hey," Andrew said softly, taking her by the shoulders, his heart aching to see the deep pain in her eyes,
"What is it, Monica? What has you so worked up?"
Unable to help herself, the little Irish angel leaned her head against his chest as sobs shook through her small frame, as all of the emotions over his leaving her a year ago, combined with the miserable feeling of loneliness poured out of her in the way of tears. She didn't even realize Andrew had led her to the sofa so that they could sit down as her hands just clutched him in desperation.
Andrew held onto her tightly, somehow sensing that she needed this release and that she needed him to just hold her. He stroked her hair gently, feeling the silkiness of it and noticing that how after a few minutes of this motion, she seemed to calm down a little bit. Leaning back, he kept his arm around her as her sobs began to subside, but he remained quiet for a few more moments as her head rested against his shoulder and his hand continued to brush at her hair. It was almost frightening to him-he had only known her a matter of days, but this felt like the most natural thing in the world.
"Tell me," He said softly.
"I can't," Monica whispered tearfully, having no idea how to explain and just knowing that caused more tears to fill her eyes. She just wanted to talk to her best friend!
"Try," Andrew replied gently, deciding he would be as patient as he needed to be.
Fighting fresh tears, somehow Monica found words that were truth. Words that were in fact, the most truthful that she had been able to speak since finding him,
"I had this friend once," She began in a soft whisper, even as silent tears trailed down her face,
"He was my best friend, Andrew, my soul mate. There was nothing we wouldn't have done for each other and when my heart hurt, I just needed to talk to him to feel a little bit better. He knew me better than anyone else ever could. He could finish my sentences for me, he protected me from all harm, or at least tried to. Sometimes, when he couldn't protect me, he'd feel guilty and he'd run away, but he always came back," She paused for a breath, trying to put her thoughts in order,
"He broke my heart every time he left, and was always sorry when he returned and I always forgave him as I loved him so much. But a few years ago…that man that hurt me came into our lives and after he hurt me, my friend blamed himself, even though it was not his fault. What happened to me had lasting affects…it didn't just go away over night and things just snowballed until I was in really bad shape and a year ago… he left me," Her voice trembled on the last few words,
"And I really, really miss him."
Sadness filled his heart at her story even as he felt her weeping softly again,
"He was a fool, Monica," He whispered gently to her.
Monica covered her face with her hands as she wept, feeling that by telling him this truth, that she had somehow betrayed him and even worse than that, was the fact that her story seemed to not bring any memory back to him.Chapter 13
"He wasn't a fool, Andrew..." Monica whispered into her friend's chest as she continued to hold him as tightly as her arms would allow,
"He...He just didn't see any way out, and he thought that running away was the answer. But it hurt so much, and I miss him so much; we've been separated lots of times before, but I miss him even more now...It's only been a year, but it feels like 10..."
Wishing that her words to him would somehow bring him to the realization of who he was, and who she was, Monica's heart broke all over again as her wish didn't come true. Burying her tear-streaked face deep into his chest, she forced herself to remain calm as Andrew continued to stroke her long auburn hair with his fingers.
"I wish I knew how to comfort you, Monica..." Andrew finally spoke into her ear, sighing as he rested his cheek on her head,
"But please know that I'm always here if you ever need me..."
Smiling tearfully, and forcing back another round of hot tears, Monica nodded her head against his strong chest,
"I know that, Andrew, and I thank you..." Closing her brown eyes, she only tightened her hold around his waist and the tears started to come harder as yet another song came on the radio and floated through the living room; as it started, the little Irish angel let out a deep sigh and soon, she drifted off to sleep, her head still resting against her best friend's chest like she always used to do in the past.
I don't need a lot of things
I can get by with nothin'
Of all the blessings life can bring
I've always needed something
But I've got all I want
When it comes to loving you
You're my only reason
You're my only truth
I need you like water
Like breath, like rain
I need you like mercy
From heaven's gate
There's a freedom in your arms
That carries me through
I need you
You're the hope that moves me
To courage again, Oh yeah
You're the love that rescues me
When the cold winds rage
And it's so amazing
'Cause that's just how you are
And I can't turn back now
'Cause you've brought me too far
I need you like water
Like breath, like rain
I need you like mercy
From heaven's gate
There's a freedom in your arms
That carries me through
I need you
Oh yes I do
I need you like water
Like breath, like rain
I need you like mercy
From heaven's gate
There's a freedom in your arms, yeah
That carries me through
I need you
Oh yes I do
I need you
I need you
Late that night, right after midnight, Andrew woke up suddenly from a deep sleep and looked around himself. He blinked his green eyes and wiped at them with his hands before he laid back down and tried to recall the dream that he had dreamt right before he had awoken. Closing his eyes for a brief moment, the human angel remembered bits and pieces of the dream that had invaded his mind while in sleep; for some moments, he saw that woman who resembled Monica so much that it was almost spooky. Another part, he saw that woman, Rose, along with two other females...What were their names, Tess and some blonde female. But strangely enough, instead of seeing the red-haired female strike him this time, he saw before his very eyes that woman holding him and comforting him during tough times. The same went for the dark-skinned woman who seemed to call everyone "baby".
Feeling a few tears fall from his eyes, Andrew pushed back the covers and climbed out of bed. Not even bothering to reach for the new robe he had bought earlier that day, he instead just slipped on his slippers and walked out the door. Seeing that all of the lights were still out, and that it appeared that Monica was still sound asleep, Andrew walked slowly and quietly out to the back patio door and stood behind the railing. He closed the screen door behind him and looked out at the waves crashing against the ocean.
"I wonder if I used to like the ocean as much as it seems..." He mumbled softly to himself as he rested his chin in his hands and gazed out at the beautiful view.
"Are you all right?"
The sudden sound of Monica's voice broke him out of his thoughts and he turned around, smiling at the site of her. Although she had just gotten out of bed, she still looked beautiful to him; her auburn hair blew in the night breeze and they matched the color of her eyes perfectly. Sighing softly and lowering his own eyes, Andrew nodded his head slowly,
"Yeah, I'm fine Monica...I'm just thinking about the dream I had just a little while ago..." Seeing her concerned look, Andrew managed a smile for her seek, not wanting to worry her, and he reached out a hand to her,
"Care to join me over here? It's a beautiful view, although it is dark..."
Smiling in return, unable to help herself, Monica accepted her friend's offered hand and joined him at the railing,
"I've always loved watching the ocean at nights like these...When the stars are out, shining brightly, and you can see for miles..."
"I've just been wondering if I ever loved watching the waves crash against the sand, like I do right now. Or if it's just my imagination..." Sighing deeply once more, he glanced over at Monica and spoke softly,
"I've been wondering if a lot of things are just my imagination...You know that woman, Rose I think her name was...?" Seeing Monica nod her head slowly, her brown eyes growing worried once more, Andrew continued,
"Well...I dreamt about her, and those other two females I ran into on the beach before you found me. It was so weird, Monica; I don't know what to make of it anymore!" Frowning, he continued looking at her, as if trying to memorize her face or to try and remember if he knew her from a different time and place,
"She...she and the others, instead of yelling this time, they were being nice and comforting. What do you make of that, Monica?"
Shock overcoming her, the Irish angel stared back at her friend and squeezed his hand tightly. She didn't know what to say, or even if she did she didn't know how to say it. Opening her mouth, Monica was about to try and explain it to him when the gentle Voice of the Father interrupted her and she snapped her mouth shut,
'No, My angel. Not yet.'
'But when, Father? When? I can't stand seeing him so confused and lost like this...' She silently prayed, while all the while her eyes still held Andrew's green ones.
'Soon, Monica. Soon.'
"Monica?" Andrew repeated her name, and this brought the angel back around to face her best friend,
"What's wrong, Monica? You have this look on your face...Is something the matter?"
Forcing a smile on her pretty features, Monica shook her head,
"No, my friend..." Here, she choked on her words, as she hadn't spoken those words to him or anyone in over a year now and it still hurt to even say them as this Andrew still wasn't HER Andrew. Her best friend,
"I'm fine...I'm just a wee bit tired, you know? Why don't we both head back to bed now, and tomorrow I'll take you out to breakfast, all right?" She smiled gently up at him and was relieved to see him nod in reply and smile back.
After breakfast the following morning, Andrew and Monica wandered around the small beach town, window-shopping and laughing for awhile before they decided to head back to the house. They walked down near the ocean, and as always, the Irish angel removed her shoes and allowed her feet to splash through the cold ocean water.
Feeling Andrew take the sandals from her in one hand and reach to take hold of her hand with his other, she looked up and smiled. She couldn't deny the feeling of comfort she felt at having her hand in his, despite the fact that she knew things were not as they seemed. He thought of her as a friend, but he still was not the best friend she missed so terribly, though there were moments when it felt like all really was right with the world.
Andrew looked over at her and grinned, indicating the beach house, which was slowly coming into view. His eyes sparked with mischief as he raised an eyebrow at her,
"Race you back." He challenged playfully.
Her restless spirit leapt at the challenge as a grin spread over her face,
"You're on-." She stopped herself just as the words "Angel Boy" almost came from her mouth, but she pushed that aside for the moment, as they broke into a run, feet pounding on the wet sand. Their hair blew in the ocean breeze as they both raced as fast as they could, Monica smaller, yet Andrew stronger, and he arrived at the house only a split second before she did.
They were both laughing and trying to catch their breath and before Monica knew what had happened, Andrew had wrapped his arms around her and was hugging her tightly. Closing her eyes, she returned the hug, trying to imagine this moment with the Andrew that she remembered.
Andrew looked into her face, seeing her closed eyes as his heart pounded in his chest. What was it about her? Could he be falling in love with her? Gingerly, he took her face into his hands as he looked closely into her eyes once they opened,
"You're so special, Monica," He whispered to her.
For some reason, the Irish angel felt her heart flutter nervously for a moment as Andrew brought his face closer to hers. Something in her eyes must have stopped him though, as at the last minute, he quickly kissed her forehead.
"I'm going to go and make some lemonade," He managed to say, feeling embarrassed and even more confused now. With a half-hearted smile, he darted in the door.
"Father, what was that?" Monica whispered aloud as she turned back to face the ocean, her eyes growing wide at the sight of two very special angels. Racing through the sand, she first threw her arms around Sam, hugging him tightly, before moving to hug Tess as well, her complete joy at seeing them apparent.
"Hello, baby," Tess smiled sadly as she held her Angel Girl tightly in her arms.
"I'm so glad you're here, both of you," She uttered almost tearfully,
"I have so many questions…"
Sam nodded his head in understanding,
"Ask then, my dear," He replied patiently, knowing that she needed to be able to talk without having to worry about how much she was telling, as the ability to not speak freely was becoming difficult for her.
Monica drew in a deep breath,
"Rose? Tess, is she furious with me?"
The older angel smiled, her arm still wrapped around her Angel Girl's shoulders,
"Rose, is much better, thanks to your setting her straight, baby. She needed to hear the things that you said, and I think for the first time, she clearly sees to what extent you love our Angel Boy."
Monica smiled faintly, at least knowing that there was one less thing for her to worry about,
"Why is the Father telling me not to tell Andrew the truth yet? It's so hard to try to answer his questions and not tell him any lies and I feel like he knows I'm avoiding half of what he asks me."
"This time, Monica, belongs to you and to Andrew," Sam stated gently, watching as she turned her puzzled brown eyes to him,
"You have had a year to heal and now he can remember none of the guilt that caused him to leave to begin with. This is your time for rebuilding your friendship, so that hopefully when Andrew does remember, leaving will not even seem like an option for him any longer. So, take your time and enjoy this time given by the Father, Monica, you both are deserving of it."
"Its just that it is so different, Sam. I miss my best friend even now as I can't talk to him about the things I want to talk to him about. It's just so hard and there are moments where I just want the truth out in the open, regardless of the consequences…"
Tess heard the slight quiver in her friend's voice upon saying those words and she sighed softly, seeing the toll all of this was having on her,
"You're doing just fine, Angel Girl," She whispered reassuringly.
"One word of caution, Monica," Sam said softly,
"Just remember that right now, Andrew has no recollection of anything in the past, his angel status included. Be very careful in how you interpret things."
Though a bit confused by Sam's words, the little Irish angel nodded her head as she sighed,
"I know how hard this must be for you, Tess, and Rose and Carla. Having to just sit and wait and trusting that I am helping him. Please tell them that I am doing my very best and thank them both for trusting me with such a special angel."
Seeing tears shimmering in the Irish angel's eyes, Tess pulled her close for another hug,
"We're trusting both of you, baby girl, to take care of each other as you are both so special to all of us."
Andrew's hands shook slightly as he mixed the lemonade into the pitcher, thinking about the fact that he had nearly kissed Monica outside a few short minutes ago. What was he thinking? For all he knew, he had a girlfriend or a family somewhere, who was searching for him, so how could he even think about starting a relationship with Monica?
But for some reason it was all he could think about. Fact was, he couldn't stop thinking about her. Ever since dinner in the seafood restaurant the other night, she had been on his mind constantly. Then last night when she had told him about this so-called best friend of hers, his heart had broken over her pain. How anyone could have walked out on her was beyond him. There was something about the Irish tongued female that brought peace to his heart and an overwhelming urge to protect her from all harm. He trusted her completely, though he had only known her a matter of days. There were just things about them that…fit.
He hated the sadness that he often sensed about her and he longed to take that away, no matter what it took. She had been hurt by others, that much he knew. By her best friend as well as by the man she thought he had seen a few mornings ago. Andrew frowned, wondering why she wouldn't confide in him about what had happened with that man.
He sighed softly, knowing he may be headed for trouble. Even as he tried to imagine his family, if he indeed did have one, the one thing he could not ever imagine was leaving Monica.Chapter 15
As the end of the week drew nearer, the two angels, one in complete human form and the other in temporary, miraculously grew closer as the days went by. Much to her surprise, Monica actually started to understand what the Father had been trying to tell her about now telling Andrew the truth just yet; their friendship started to grow and blossom once again, and after that day when she had revealed her feelings to Tess and Sam on the beach, there had been no tears from either of them. Each day, Monica had either taken her friend out to breakfast or just to walk on the beach; or Andrew had wanted to repay her kindness by going shopping with her.
Now, as Andrew was gone from the beach house for an hour, as he had claimed he had to go and pick something up, Monica took a seat on the leather couch. Her mind wandered over what she could do to pass the time. The little Irish angel's brown eyes floated across the room, and then they suddenly landed on the thick book she had started to look through over a week ago. Her curiosity rising, as she had only seen a little bit of it, Monica rose to her feet and walked over to the bookshelf, and took it into her hands gently.
Holding the book to her chest, Monica took a seat back on the sofa and slowly opened up the book. The first page immediately caused tears to fall from her brown eyes and she reached a shaky hand out to stroke the photo. There was a little white piece of paper, dating the time the picture had been taken: Over 50 years ago, back when the Irish angel had been promoted to Supervisor, and years before Denise had turned away from the Light.
She slipped her hand into the picture page, and took out the photo, looking at it closely all the while a tearful smile appeared on her lips. All three of them had not changed that much; Andrew was on her right, and Tess was on her left in the photo taken outside of the Country Club that night of her promotion. Her best friend's arm was draped around her shoulders and his forehead was pressed against the side of her head, as her own arm was wrapped around his waist. Tess was holding onto her other hand and all three of them were smiling brightly at the camera.
"Oh, I had almost forgotten about that picture," She whispered to herself before turning the page. Page after page was filled with colorful photos taken 50 years ago, and more. Most of them had only herself and Andrew in them, and they were always either smiling at one another or at the person taking the picture. As she turned the page, she nearly burst into fits of laughter. There before her eyes, was a photo of Andrew standing above her, as she sat on the couch in the cabin, and his green eyes were crossed. His hands were lying upon her shoulders, as her own tongue was sticking out at the camera,
"Oh Andrew, you are such a goofball..."
"Did you say my name?"
Andrew's voice caused her to nearly jump out of her skin and she slammed the thick book shut before setting it beside her on the couch. Her friend was standing in the doorway, one hand behind his back and although his eyebrows were raised at her, a smile was apparent on his handsome face,
"What are you reading?"
Blushing slightly before heading quickly back to the bookshelf to replace the book, Monica replied softly,
"Definitely not 'War and Peace'..."
Laughing at her remark, the blonde human angel shook his head and remarked,
"Sorry to say I've never read it...But if it's that thick, I don't think I wanta. I don't think I'm much of a bookworm, ya know?"
Giggling, Monica walked up to him and wrapped her arms around him in a quick hug,
"Where've you been?" She released him then and headed back to the couch, sensing him behind her and taking a seat beside of her.
"I wanted to get you something...Something to show my appreciation for what you've done for me this past week and a half," Andrew blushed a deep red, and Monica couldn't help but smile as she saw the redness growing on his cheeks. Oh how she had missed seeing her friend blush. But before she could say anything, he had reached behind his back and in his hand, he withdrew a bouquet of roses.
Monica's brown eyes widened in total shock and her mouth dropped open as she saw the beautiful flowers in his hand,
"I know, this must not be what you're expecting, Monica," Andrew lowered his gentle green eyes and then slowly lifted them to meet hers,
"But you've been so kind to me, and I wanted to give these to you. Please. Take them."
With shaking hands, the Irish angel grasped the flowers into her hands and lowered her nose down to smell them. Yes, they did smell lovely; but a sudden uncomfortable feeling appeared in her stomach and she didn't like that feeling. What was Andrew trying to tell her? Forcing herself to push aside the uneasiness for now, she smiled slightly at him and leaned forward to give him a quick kiss on the cheek,
"That's really sweet of you, Andrew-"
"Monica, I also wanted to tell you something." He interrupted softly, taking the roses from her shaking hands and laying them down on the coffee table. As he did so, he then took her cold hands into his own and held them tightly in his own. He lowered his lips to each of her hands and kissed them both tenderly before he lifted his green eyes and met hers once again. What he didn't notice however, was the almost scared look in Monica's eyes. Taking a deep breath, Andrew let it out slowly before continuing,
"Monica, I know that we've only known one another for a short time; just a little over a week, maybe..."
"Andrew," Monica started to object, as she knew exactly where this was going to lead. She blinked back a round of tears as she stared into her friend's hopeful eyes and her heart started to break. She knew she was going to break his heart, and she just didn't know how to do that.
But before she could continue, Andrew interrupted softly,
"Please, Monica...Let me finish, honey..."
Monica's eyes flew to Andrew's face and then the tears fell nonstop down her pretty face. As soon as the name 'honey' had come out of his mouth, images of her Andrew flashed before her mind. He had always called her that, along with other affectionate nicknames: Angel Girl, sweetheart, baby girl...What was this Andrew doing calling her that? He wasn't the Andrew who was her best friend, not until he remembered who he was and who SHE was.
Seeing that she was now quiet, all the while not seeing the look in her eyes, Andrew kept a tight hold of her hands and scooted closer to her,
"Monica, you're one of the most beautiful women, and one of the sweetest, I've ever come in contact with..." Here, he stopped a moment to laugh slightly,
"But then again, I don't remember who my other friends were, so you're the first human being I've ever come in contact with!" Seeing a small smile on her pretty face, Andrew smiled back.
"Andrew, please..." Monica whispered, but Andrew laid a finger against her lips to silence her.
"No, Monica, I want you to hear this so that I won't have to continue carrying this around with me for the rest of my life...Honey, I love you, and...I want you to be mine."
"Sam, I'm getting a terrible feeling about something..." Tess and Sam stood on the beach overlooking the beach house where two of their closest friends were now currently residing,
"I don't know how, I don't know why...but I'm getting that feeling, you know?"
"That feeling you get when something is about to happen to one of them?" Sam concluded and his best friend nodded her head, even as tears fell from her brown eyes,
"It won't be long now, Tess...Today is the day."
There was complete silence in the beach house after Andrew professed his feelings for her; professed what he thought were his feelings for her, Monica reminded herself shakily. How could she not have seen this coming? She had blinded herself to it as she had begun to see more and more glimpses of her best friend coming from him, but that was what she had wanted to see. In reality, all those things she thought she had seen were really this Andrew falling in love with her and she so did not want to hurt him.
"Monica?" He said softly, his thumbs running lightly over her hands as he still grasped them in his own,
"Honey, what is it?"
"Please don't call me that," She heard herself whisper, unable to bear that this was not her best friend when she so wanted him to be. How could she have been so stupid?
"Monica, what is it? What's wrong?" Andrew asked her worriedly, his heart pounding in his chest.
Tears falling like the rain, the little Irish angel struggled for words, all the while hating herself for letting things get to this point,
"Andrew, while I'm flattered and so deeply touched by how you feel about me….how you think you feel about me…it can never be. None of it is the truth, Andrew and one day you'll see that."
"What do you mean, 'how I think I feel about you'?" He released her hands and placed his hands firmly on her upper arms,
"I know exactly how I feel about you, Monica. You are the one thing that makes any sense to me. I can't remember any of my past, but I do know that I want my future to be with you. I love you, Monica…" Leaning in closer, he moved to kiss her.
"Andrew, no!" Monica cried out as she pushed him away and rose shakily to her feet,
"I'm sorry. I know you don't understand this now, but one day you will…" Blindly, she wiped at her tears with the back of her hand.
"You've been leading me on, haven't you?" A hurt, then angry look crossed over his handsome face.
"No, no, I haven't been, Andrew. It isn't like that at all!" She wept, trying to make him understand what she knew he never could, not while he didn't remember who they were,
"Things are not always what they seem…"
Feeling angry and betrayed, Andrew felt his hands clench and unclench, the desire to hit something overwhelming him,
"You have no idea, do you? To not remember anything at all? To wonder where you came from, who you knew, why you are here? When you lose your memory, Monica, you lose everything! Everything!" His hand collided with the glass vase of flowers on the table and sent it crashing to the floor, causing the Irish angel to cry out in fear,
"The only thing that kept me hanging on was knowing that I had you! I'm not losing that too, Monica. I won't lose that too!"
There was a look in his eyes that chilled her to the bone and Monica knew she had to get out of here for the time being until he cooled off. Eyeing the door, she raced towards it, only to be caught around the waist by Andrew and dragged back to the sofa,
"Andrew! Please, let me go!"
"I won't lose you too, Monica! I love you and you are all I've got and I'm not letting you go…"
As he tried to pin her down, horrible images of Philip filled her anguished mind and Monica fought like a wildcat against him, despite the fact that he was so much stronger. She was sobbing openly now as she pleaded with him, and in one last act of complete desperation, she hit him as hard as she could muster across the face. Though she doubted she did much harm, it did startle him enough as she watched him draw in a quick breath.
"Dear God, what am I doing?" He uttered under his breath, releasing his hold on her as his face paled.
But Monica didn't waste another minute in getting away. Tears blinded her as she raced out the door of the beach house and fell down the steps into the sand. Darkness had fallen over the last thirty minutes, but she didn't care as she rose to her feet, sobs tearing through her as she raced down to the beach. She wasn't even able to see where she was going, as her fear and grief were too great and she screamed as she felt a pair of strong arms wrap around her,
"No…no…" She pleaded, trying to get away.
"Shhh, baby girl," Tess' rich voice broke through her distress,
"We've got you, baby, we've got you."
The younger angel's legs gave out from under her as Tess lowered them both to the sand, exchanging a worried look with Sam as the Irish angel sobbed brokenly in her arms,
"You're shaking like a leaf, baby girl," Tess whispered, watching as Sam shrugged out of his jacket and wrapped it around the youngest angel's shoulders.
"Andrew…he tried…how could I have been so stupid!?" Monica wept. Despite how terribly he had frightened her, she still knew she was responsible and it broke her heart.
"You were just looking for your best friend, sweetheart," Tess replied gently, as she stroked Monica's tangled auburn hair,
"And there were moments when you saw a glimpse of him or thought you did, but he doesn't remember any of that, baby. That's why Sam told you to be careful. We knew that the potential for him to develop very human feelings for you was there."
"I'm sorry, Monica," Sam stated softly, rubbing her back gently,
"Perhaps I should have more specific, but I thought you understood."
"I just…I think I thought that Andrew would never do anything like that to hurt me, memory or no memory, and that was wrong of me," She whispered, her sobs beginning to subside, though she still clung to Tess tightly.
"I don't think he would, baby," Tess replied softly,
"He stopped himself tonight, but you were too scared to realize it."
"He needs to know the truth now, Monica," Sam said gently after a moment.
Monica was quiet for a long moment, closing her eyes as she felt Tess continue to soothingly stroke her hair,
"Sam, when he remembers and realizes what he tried to do tonight…" She whispered, her voice trembling,
"I'm going to lose him again, aren't I?"
"No one knows the answer to that, my dear," Sam replied softly, watching as she nodded her head in misery,
"But tonight, he needs to know who you are, who Philip and Rose are, Tess and Carla and he needs to know who he is. Be patient, Monica, regardless of his reaction. He may feel betrayed, but you have done exactly what was asked of you. Remember that."
Tess pulled away gently and took her Angel Girl's face in her hands, seeing the lingering fear and deep sorrow in her eyes,
"I'm proud of you, baby," She whispered, tears in her own eyes,
"And we're all going to be praying that soon you will have your best friend back, as that is what the Father has wanted all along for both of you."
A small sob escaped her,
"I wish you could come with me…"
Tess smiled sadly as she brushed Monica's hair back from her eyes,
"This has been your assignment since it started, baby, and you're going to be just fine. Our Angel Boy needs you to tell him the truth and nobody tells the truth better than you do, sweetheart."
Monica starred at Tess with tears in her eyes, thinking back to a year ago, when she had lied, drank and stolen Tess' car. Now to hear Tess putting her faith back into her again, touched her more deeply then she would have ever thought possible. Seeing Tess looking right back at her, understanding what it was she was thinking, Monica threw her arms around her one last time,
"I love you," She whispered into her friend's ear.
"I love you too, baby girl. I love you too." Tess whispered tearfully, watching as Monica rose to her feet, a bit shakily still and handed Sam back his jacket. She managed a smile as the Angel's Angel touched her cheek tenderly, before she turned and headed back towards the beach house.
With shaking hands, Andrew picked up the glass from the vase that had been shattered onto the floor and deposited it into the trashcan. He was fighting back tears over what he had done, or had nearly done and he could barely fathom that anger of that magnitude could even live within him.
He had scared Monica half to death, he knew that. He just didn't understand, as she had seemed to be returning his feelings. There had been nights they had sat up watching old movies and she would snuggle close to him. The night she had cried so bitterly for the loss of her best friend and had allowed him to comfort her and then her falling asleep in his arms. All of these things had convinced him that she loved him too.
But there were things about her he could not begin to understand. She had been so grieved tonight when he had admitted how he felt. Why? Did she just not want to hurt him, or was there something more?
"Andrew, you are such an idiot," He sighed to himself as he picked up the roses he had bought her earlier. He starred at them through tear-filled eyes for a moment before he prepared to throw them into the garbage as well, but a soft voice stopped him.
"Don't Andrew, please?"
Turning around, he saw Monica. Her eyes were red and swollen from crying and all he wanted to do was to take her in his arms and tell her how sorry he was, but he dared not do that. He saw how her hands trembled as she reached out and took the roses from him, her fingers touching the delicate petals, as if reminding herself of something, before she took another vase off the shelf and placed the flowers within it.
Turning back to Andrew and seeing the tears in his eyes, she found her voice once more,
"We need to talk, Andrew. There are things that you need to know."Chapter 17
"I don't see why we have to talk now, Monica," Andrew whispered as he looked at the Irish angel in front of him, and then lowered his green eyes immediately, unable to look into her face,
"I don't deserve to have you forgive me, or much less even ask for your forgiveness...I don't know what got into me, and I think it'd be best if I just get out here-"
"No Andrew," Monica interrupted, placing the vase filled with the roses onto the coffee table and then stood upright to face him head-on,
"We really do have to talk. There are some things you don't know about, and I have to tell them to you. Here and now."
Gulping, Andrew lowered himself down onto the couch slowly and stared down at his hands,
"What is it?"
Not all too sure of how she was going to say this, or even how to begin, Monica tentatively took a seat beside of him once again as she had done several minutes ago, only this time she kept her distance. Folding her hands in her lap, she sucked in a shaky breath and tried to look him directly in the eye; but Andrew refused to meet them. Finally, with a shaky hand, she rested her hand on his arm causing his head to snap up.
"Andrew." She started shakily, removing her hand like his arm was on fire,
"Andrew, there are some things that I know-about who you are-that I didn't tell you...And I didn't tell you was because I couldn't..."
Frowning in confusion, Andrew whispered,
"What-what do you mean, Monica? How could you know something about me when we only just met a week ago...?"
"That's just it, Andrew," Monica lowered her brown eyes and sighed deeply as she contemplated what exactly to say to him,
"We didn't just meet a week ago...We actually met a long time ago, a very long time ago."
Raising an eyebrow at her, Andrew backed himself up against the couch and looked directly into her face,
"I don't get it...What are you trying to tell me?"
Monica closed her eyes tightly and lifted up a heartfelt prayer for strength and courage, and as soon as she opened them, she felt God's love shining down on her and she was glowing brightly in front of Andrew. A trembling smile appeared on her lips as she slid closer to him and laid her hand on his, although her own shook madly,
"Andrew...I'm an angel. From God."
"What?!" Andrew gasped, his mouth dropping open and he pulled his hand slowly away from Monica's touch,
"What do you mean, you're an angel?"
"That's what I mean," The little Irish angel whispered shakily back, feeling tears filling her eyes all over again as she looked directly at him,
"I'm an angel, from the Lord God Himself. And so are you, Andrew-"
"No." Andrew interrupted, his voice barely recognizable anymore,
"No, that's a lie..."
"It's not, my friend," She confirmed tearfully, reaching for one of his hands and holding it gently in her own, although a part of her didn't want to touch him as she just wanted her best friend back; and this Andrew wasn't her dearest friend in the world,
"We both are angels. And..." Here, she stopped for a moment to gather her courage once again before continuing through her hot tears,
"And you were the best friend that I told you about last week. That was you, Andrew-"
"No!" Andrew cried, feeling tears rush to his own eyes once again and he pulled his hand from Monica's grasp once again, only this time he rose to his feet and backed away from her,
"That's a total lie! A lie! I know it is!"
Without saying anything else, he turned on his heel and ran out of the beach house, and onto the beach. Monica inwardly sobbed as she watched him through the plate glass door as he ran until he reached the water's edge and collapsed on his knees, sobbing.
Andrew sat on his knees at the water's edge, his shoulders shaking with heavy sobs. How could what Monica had just said be true? She couldn't be an "angel", and neither could he! An angel would never do what he had almost done to Monica; there was no question about it! Lowering his head in his hands, his body trembled as he was overcome with guilt over what he had just done, confusion, fear and anger all at once. Suddenly feeling a soft presence next to him, he lifted his tangled blonde head and stared up into Monica's own tear-filled brown eyes.
"Go away, Monica," He sobbed as he turned away and ignored her.
"I can't, Andrew," She objected softly, kneeling down next to him,
"I was told to tell you the truth, and that's why I'm here..."
"If this being an...'angel' IS the truth, then why in God's name didn't you tell me earlier, huh?" He choked out, finally turning back to her and glaring at her,
"Because I was told not to, Andrew. You have been my best friend for centuries, and a year ago, you ran away from me during a dark time and I hadn't seen you since. I wanted so badly to tell you, Andrew, I really did..." Monica's tears came faster as she felt herself scooting closer to him and resting a hand on his shoulder gently,
"But the Father told me not to-"
"The FATHER?" His mouth turned downward into a frown and he crossed his arms in front of his chest, ignoring the waves splashing against his knees and the sand on his jeans,
"Is that the way you angels call God or something?"
The tears making their way down her cheeks and falling off her chin, the Irish angel, who's glow had disappeared now, ignored the sarcastic remark as she knew he didn't believe her and continued,
"Andrew, you had been feeling so much guilt for so many years over something you couldn't control, and none of it was your fault, my friend. Philip was the one that harmed me; you know, the one you and I ran into the other day...And Rose-Rose is one of your closest friends, Andrew-"
"Now stop right there," The human angel snapped, pulling himself away from Monica's gentle touch,
"That...WOMAN who was there at the restaurant the other afternoon, you say she's a friend of mine?!" Seeing Monica nod her head slowly, Andrew shook his head instead,
"No...No, that's not true; she's not a friend-"
"Yes, she was, Andrew; she's always been like a mother to you, and she was your Supervisor for a long time. So was Tess-you know, the other woman that you ran into on the beach the day you lost your memory-"
"Monica, stop it!" Andrew cried out, covering his face with his hands again and shaking his head.
"And Carla is also a friend of yours; the little blonde angel with big green eyes that matched yours...She's been a close friend to all of us over the years, my friend," Monica started to sob openly, even as she spoke, feeling her heart break at how her friend was reacting to this,
"You've been human for a whole week now, with no memory of who you are, or who your friends are; but God has used this for something good! He's giving us a chance to rebuild our friendship, despite of what had just happened up there. You didn't know, Andrew, and I was just thinking of you as the Andrew who was my dearest friend in the entire angelic realm...Please know that what I'm saying is the truth, and that I'm not lying..."
Not wanting to hear anymore, Andrew rose to his feet shakily and turned away from the angel who claimed to be his "best friend"; the best friend that he had supposedly walked away from a year ago...But he just needed some time to sleep right now, and some time away from her to gather his thoughts and feelings,
"I need to get some rest right now, Monica...I'll be in my room."
"Andrew-" Monica started to grab his arm, but he only held up his hand and hushed her.
"Later, Monica," He replied in a thick voice, turning away again and heading back to the beach house. His walk soon turned into a run, and before the Irish angel knew it, he had slammed the back patio door, leaving Monica alone on the beach, the waves splashing against her ankles. Feeling a gentle hand on her shoulder, she turned around tearfully and saw Tess and Sam standing behind her.
"You did the right thing, Angel Girl," Tess' eyes filled with tears as well as she exchanged a look at Sam, who nodded his head,
"He'll remember soon, I have it on the Highest Authority."
Andrew lay awake late that night, after many hours had gone by when he had left Monica on the beach to get some sleep. The sleep came in only bits and pieces; one minute he had caught some shut-eye, and the next minute he was wide-awake. Now, he stared up at the ceiling and was trying his hardest to remember once again the stuff that the angel had told him that afternoon.
But none of it came.
A half hour passed by before sleep slowly started to come and he really became tired. Closing his green eyes, he rolled over onto his side and just a few moments later, was sound asleep. As he slept, dreams invaded his mind...only this time, they were dreams that didn't involve anyone slapping him or hurting him. They weren't as snippy as his past dreams had been, where he had only seen bits
and pieces; these were more detailed and Andrew felt himself drawn into them.
"I want to give the Father a chance to answer my prayer."
"To give you your sight back," She stated, knowing without even having to ask,
"Just so you know, Andrew…I've been praying for that to happen too."
A tearful smile crossed his face at her words as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders, careful to avoid her arm,
"Thank you, sweetheart," He whispered, kissing the top of her head,
"And thank you for all you've done for me the last few days, though no offence, but I sure would like to be the one looking out for you again."
"Tess always said you enjoyed that," Monica teased gently.
"You need to get some rest, Angel Girl. You've had two long nights and I think tomorrow will be a long day."
Sitting down on the edge of her bed, she reached for his hand, her tired eyes pleading,
"Stay with me? Please? If I have another nightmare, I don't want to be alone."
"I wasn't going anywhere," He replied softly as he walked around to the other side of the bed and sat down, waiting as she curled into his arms. Arranging the blanket over her, he rested his cheek against her head, accustomed to this arrangement when she was afraid or hurting.
"Good night, Andrew," Monica murmured, already drifting off as she listened to the sound of his heartbeat.
"Good night, little one," He whispered lovingly in return,
"And only the sweetest dreams tonight, Angel Girl."
"Philip can only take from you what you allow him to take, Monica, so don't give him more than he deserves, and he deserves nothing from you." He knew in his heart, she needed to forgive this human who had hurt her, but he wasn't about to broach that subject just yet. Folding her back into his arms, he continued to rock her still trembling form.
Resting her cheek against his chest, she closed her eyes for a moment,
"I'm so tired, Andrew…I'm tired right down to my soul."
"I know," He responded gently, realizing that the last hour had exhausted him as well,
"Why don't you try to get some sleep, sweetheart?"
"I don't want to be alone," Monica replied, her voice trembling.
Andrew thought for a moment, thinking that after the terrible nightmare, a change of scene might be good for her,
"You know, that spare bed is still in my room," Feeling her nod her head, he pulled away and stood up, helping her to her feet, tears stinging his eyes once more as she immediately wrapped her arms around his waist. His arm securely around her shoulders, he led her down the hall to his room.
Pulling back the comforter and sheet on the bed, he waited as she climbed in and laid down, then he pulled the comforter securely around her before sitting down on the edge of the bed,
"Better?" He asked softly.
"Yeah," She whispered, feeling a little more secure now,
"I'm sorry to be so clingy…" she added sheepishly.
Andrew smiled as he brushed her hair away from her face,
"You know that is something I don't mind, sweetie. I'll always be here for you, you know that. Now, try to sleep, okay? There is nothing here that will hurt you."
"All of those things you just said, Andrew, are how I feel about you," Seeing tears spring to his eyes, she held firmly to his hands as she continued speaking,
"Like the sun, you fill my soul with warmth that surrounds me and when I hurt, not only do you hurt with me, but you lift my spirits. Like the breeze, you calm me and when I feel your hand in my hair, I feel such peace and such love. You, Andrew, are that quiet song that speaks to my heart and you're a gift from the Father. We compliment each other too, I think and combined with God's love, when I am with you, I feel that all is right with the world. I couldn't find the words to tell you, but I knew that God's creation could."
"Oh Monica," He whispered softly, moving closer to her, but she backed up one step with a shaky laugh.
"Give me a minute, I'm not done yet and I'm trying to get this out without crying, because then you won't be able to understand me and all that," She waved her hand in an effort to make them both laugh, but his green eyes never left her face and she could see the deep love that radiated from them,
"I told you once that I didn't know if angels could have soul mates, but I've made a decision on that. I think we can, because the bond I feel with you, Andrew, is deeper than that of friend. You're a part of me…a part of my soul; a part I never want to lose. Just the fact that we know when one of us needs the other tells me that the bond is a much deeper one and the two things that make me happiest in this world are doing the Father's work and being with you. There could be no greater gift, Andrew and I'm so thankful to have them both."
With a start, Andrew's eyes sprung open and after rubbing his eyes, he gazed down at the alarm clock, noticing that it was now 3AM. Glancing around him, he frowned as he saw the room that he was in. Rubbing his tire green eyes once more, he blinked them sleepily as he remembered the dreams that had invaded his mind. Dreams that for a reason he had no idea why, he remembered happening...
'God, those really happened, didn't they?' He thought to himself, and as soon as he thought those words, he heard a loving Voice speak down to his heart.
"Yes, My son, they did."
Everything soon flashing before his eyes, his eyes opened wide and he gasped...everything that had happened that past week and a half flashed in front of him: Him being pushed by Philip, and hitting his head against a rock; losing his memory and running into Tess, Rose and Carla; remembering how frightened he was of all three of them; and then finally, "meeting" Monica and not remembering who she was...
"Monica..." He whispered and he turned his eyes to the door,
"Oh Monica..." But before he could say any more, another vision flashed in front of him, one from earlier that day-him pushing himself on his best friend after claiming his so-called "feelings" for her, and then the frightened, desperate look in her soft brown eyes.
"Oh my God, Monica!" He broke down into sobs then and covered his face with trembling hands,
"Angel Girl, I'm so sorry...I'm so terribly sorry!"
Turning on his heel, the angel was about to bolt out the door when a firm grip on his arm stopped him for the moment,
"Where are you GOING, Baby? Can't you see she needs you now more than ever, Andrew?"
Meeting Tess' sad, brown eyes, Andrew once again shook his blonde head,
"Oh, she doesn't need ME, Tess. Not me…After all, if it wasn't for ME…Patrick wouldn't have beaten her like he had!"
"Angel Boy, it's NOT your fault!" Tess cried, refusing to release her hurting friend's arm and let him walk away,
"It's not, Andrew! And she does need you – "
"Just leave me alone, Tess!" Andrew shouted in the most pain-filled voice Tess had ever heard from him,
"Leave me alone!"
Wrenching his arm out of his supervisor's grasp, Andrew turned around and ran towards the door, Tess right behind him, and out of the house,
"Andrew! Baby, don't! Come back!"
"What's that for?"
Feeling himself start to get shaky at that question, but knowing that he had come into her bedroom that night to say goodbye for the time being, Andrew raised his hand and brushed her cheek with his fingertips,
"Angel Girl…I don't know how to say this, so I'll just say it. I came up here tonight to tell you goodbye for now. I-I need time to myself and I just can't…I can't face Rose and Tess…" At the mention of the two older angels, Andrew felt burning rage churn inside of him once again, but he forced himself to remain calm for his best friend's sake,"I will be back, sweetie, but I don't know when…I just need some time to think-"
"You're leaving me?" She squeaked, finally sitting up on the bed and staring into his eyes,
"Honey, I'm not going to be gone forever-" He started, but he was interrupted as Monica yelled into his face.
"You promised me you wouldn't leave me, Andrew!" She snapped, her eyes never meeting his,
"You promised a long time ago! And now here you go running away again-"
"Monica, that's not what I'm doing," Andrew objected, trying to take her hand, but cringed as he felt her yank it away,
"Angel Girl…I'll be back-"
"Will you?" She retorted, backing up against the bed and staring at him coldly,
"You made promises to me before, but you still haven't kept them!"
"I think it's time for the two of us to separate for the time being and let you spend some time with her…starting soon, whenever she comes back…"
"What?" Monica choked out, her heart thudding at his words. He couldn't mean this! Could he?
"Andrew, you don't believe this, do you-"
"Yes, I do, baby girl," He replied tearfully as the tears came hard from his eyes and Monica noticed the great pain this caused him to have to tell her this.
"But Andrew…you can't just-you can't!" She stuttered, taking a step closer to him to try and wrap her arms around him again as her own tears fell from her eyes, but she watched painfully as he stepped away from her,
"Andrew, what are you talking about?" She cried out, her doe eyes showing her panic at the things he was saying.
"I'm saying you deserve better and I wasn't going to tell you this until you were feeling a little better, but Sam left me with no choice. It's time for us to go our separate ways, baby. When you are finished your assignment in Records, don't try to find me, all right? You are better off without me around to complicate things and to get you into situations you never should have been involved with in the first place," Blindly, he wiped at his eyes, his own heart breaking at what he was forcing upon them both.
Monica's eyes were wild with hurt and pain as she listened to what he was saying, the slim thread she was holding onto, beginning to fray,
"Don't I get a say in this at all? What about how I feel? I need you, Andrew! You're my best friend and that is the only thing that makes any sense to me at the moment and you're going to take that away too?"
"I'm doing it for you, Monica," He argued, his heart aching at the additional pain he was causing her,
"If it weren't for me, Philip never would have happened! I never should have let you go down there that night and everything since then never would have happened! Even before that-you nearly died in that hospital because I left you to go with Brianna all those years ago-."
"Why are you doing this to me?" Monica sobbed, no longer trying to hold back the tears.
"Because I love you so much." He replied, now crying openly himself,
"You'll forget in time, Monica, and you'll be fine."
"Is that what you think?" She countered, her Irish voice thick with her tears,
"That in time I'll just forget all about you? It doesn't work that way, Andrew! You are not responsible for the things that I have done!"
"I'm sorry, Angel Girl," He whispered, knowing he had to leave now or he never would. He got up shakily and once again turned to face her, his hand moving to wipe one of many tears from her cheek.
"Don't do this," She whimpered, her voice catching in a sob,"Andrew, please don't do this…"
Andrew stood beside of the couch, watching the expressions that crossed his best friend's face and he wondered what she was dreaming about. Pain and sorrow crossed her lovely face and as he knelt down beside of her, he noticed her hand was reaching out for something or someone in her sleep. Gently, he grasped her hand in his own and watched, as she seemed to relax a little as her fingers curled around his hand.
He smiled a bit sadly as he thought of how natural her hand in his felt, as if God had made them to belong together. With his other hand, he softly smoothed back her windblown auburn hair, taking in every aspect of her as if he was seeing her for the first time in over a year. He wondered if she had healed over the past year, he wondered about her conversation with Rose the other night outside of the restaurant and he wondered if Philip had paid her a visit as well. She had been unable to tell him any of those things the last week and a half and now with his memory intact once more, he now understood the looks of sadness he often saw from her. He had walked out on her a year before and now in the last week and half, she had pushed aside most of her emotions over that time in order to help him and he felt tears escape his eyes as he continued to gaze down at the sleeping angel,
"I was a fool, baby girl." He whispered softly.
"And you know she will forgive you, baby."
Looking up, Andrew saw Tess standing there with tears in her eyes and he slowly released Monica's hand as he rose to his feet and moved to embrace his friend tightly,
"It's so good to see you, Tess," He stated softly, not wanting to awaken his sleeping friend.
"We've all missed you, Angel Boy. It's been a long year, even for angels, without you two around. But it does this old angel good to see your smiling face again, baby." She pulled away enough to look at him,
"Rose and Carla cannot wait to see you either…both of you for that matter, once you two have resolved everything here."
"We have a lot to talk about, Tess," He admitted softly, before a crestfallen look appeared on his face,
"Do you know about what happened last night?"
She nodded her head as she wrapped her arm around his waist,
"Yes, baby. Sam and I know everything that happened here last night. Now, I know you feel terrible, but that baby right there does not blame you for what happened. Yes, you frightened her, but she knew it wasn't you, baby," She met her eyes squarely with his, wanting to make sure she had a bit of an influence on whatever decisions he made today,
"That little angel was just missing her best friend so badly that sometimes she forgot that you didn't remember anything about her or about yourself."
"I have so many questions, Tess," Andrew sighed softly.
Tess turned him around gently so he was once again facing Monica's sleeping form,
"Then ask her, baby boy, and once you two work this all out, the rest of us will be here."
Andrew nodded his head as he gave her one last hug before she vanished from the room, leaving the two angels alone again. It was at that moment, Monica stirred.
Sleepily, she opened her eyes as she rubbed the sleep from them with her hand and her expression became immediately guarded when she saw Andrew looking at her.
He saw the apprehension on her face and a sad smile crossed his lips,
"Angel Girl." He said simply, watching as her eyes immediately filled up with tears.
"Andrew…you remember?" She whispered, watching as he nodded his head. Without another thought, the little Irish angel detangled herself from the blanket and threw herself into his arms full force as tears made their way down her face.
Andrew held onto her as tightly as he dared, his mind going back to the past year of missing her so terribly,
"Yeah, baby girl, I remember. I remember all of it…" Reluctantly, he pulled away and took her face into his hands,
"Last night, sweetheart…Monica…I'm so sorry. I'm just so very sorry."
"I'm the one who is sorry, Andrew…I let things go too far. I couldn't see the truth, I guess," She held his gaze as her tears continued to fall.
"We have a lot to talk about," He said hoarsely,
"About the last year and the last week."
She drew in a trembling breath as she gently pulled away from him,
"I have something I need to say first, Andrew," She began, her hands shaking as she wiped at her tears,
"And please know that this is really hard for me, but I've given it a lot of thought and it has to be this way, because every time it happens, you break a little piece of my heart."
Confusion flooded his features, noting the way she trembled and how she looked as if she might just dissolve into sobs at any moment,
She tilted her chin upwards, trying to give herself some strength,
"I need a promise from you, right here, right now…a cross your heart promise, that you are never… never going to leave me again because you feel guilty about something that has happened to me. You do this, Andrew, and you never give one bit of consideration as to how I feel about it. When you left a year ago, it felt like you were all I had. The only thing that made sense to me was your friendship and you took it away and made me feel like it never mattered to begin with. You make me feel when you do this that our friendship means nothing to you as it is so easy for you to toss aside. Not that I think that is the truth, but it is what it feels like when you do this," Her eyes had welled up with fresh tears as she spoke and they now made shiny paths down her cheeks,
"So, unless you can promise me that this was the last time…." Her voice trembled as she choked on a sob and tried to continue,
"If you can't promise me that, then I want you to leave, right now…and stay out of my existence for good. I want you here, Andrew, but I can't keep doing this…I can't…so the decision is yours…" Feeling her heart breaking all over again, Monica met her teary eyes with his as she awaited the answer.Chapter 19
Neither angel spoke anything more after Monica had finished saying her piece, and her eyes remained on Andrew as he lowered himself down onto the couch. The Irish angel didn't miss the trembling and shock that seemed to overcome her best friend, and just watching broke her heart all over again. But she was determined to stick with what she had just said, and she hoped and prayed with all of her heart that he would make the right choice. She didn't want to lose her dearest friend forever; that was the last thing she wanted...
Allowing the tears to continue falling from her doe-like brown eyes, the youngest of the two took a seat beside of Andrew and stared at him, her eyes pleading with him.
Catching her look, Andrew turned to face her and gulped as he saw the seriousness in his best friend's eyes. Finally, he replied almost too softly,
"You're serious, aren't you?"
Sucking in a shaky breath, Monica forced herself to nod her head, although it was slowly, but her eyes were still filled with deep love and affection for him. She just hoped that he could see it, and also see that if he chose to never leave her again, that she would forgive him for all that had happened that last year,
"I am, Andrew..."
Sighing deeply, Andrew leaned forward and rested his head into his hands, forcing himself to breathe. Although he was in shock over what his friend had just laid on him, he knew he couldn't blame her for feeling this way; she was just telling him the truth, unlike himself. The angel didn't want to lose his dearest friend; just the thought of it shattered his heart, and as he raised his head, he knew what he had to do,
"Angel Girl..." Here, he reached for her hands and was relieved to feel her lay them in his and clenched them tightly. Staring deep into her brown eyes and looking straight into her soul, Andrew took another deep breath, said a quick prayer, and replied,
"I cross my heart, Monica. We still do have a lot to talk about, and I have a lot of questions to ask...but I cross my heart that I will never...NEVER...leave you again. I've learned my lesson, baby girl, and I don't want to lose you..."
Before he could continue, however, he felt the little Irish angel fling her arms around him once more and sobbed against his shoulder. Wrapping his arms tightly around her waist in return as tightly as he dared to, Andrew sighed in relief upon knowing that they would get through this, and that he would never do something like this again, the older angel ran his hands through Monica's auburn locks lovingly and kissed the top of her head.
Silence passed between both angels before Monica whispered against her best friend's shoulder, four words that she hadn't spoken to him in what seemed like centuries...and words that she had almost feared she would never be able to say again,
"I love you, Andrew."
Holding onto her tighter, Andrew smiled weakly and closed his green eyes tightly,
"I love you too, little one...So, so very much..."
"So he remembers everything now?" Rose's eyes flooded with tears of relief as she stared up at Tess, fumbling around for Kevin's hand next to her and grasping it into her own. Upon seeing her nod her head with a small smile on her mahogany face, the eldest of the trio sobbed openly,
"I have to see him, Tess; I have to know whether or not-"
"Oh no you don't, baby," The other angel scolded gently, laying a firm hand on her shoulder to keep her seated for the time being so that she could explain everything in detail,
"Not yet. Yes, he remembers, and yes you, Carla and Kevin will see that boy again; but now he needs time to sort things out with Monica. You two know what has happened since he lost his memory..." She looked gently over at Rose and watched her sigh softly,
"He needs to also sort things out for himself, and he has a lot of questions to ask our Angel Girl and also be completely honest with her now. He has come to a few decisions, and that's good, but they still need time. It could be a few more weeks, or just a few days! We don't know yet, babies; only the Father does-"
Before she could continue, however, the front door flew open and Carla appeared, her blonde hair in her face as she trotted over to her friends, a beaming smile on her pretty features,
Raising an eyebrow at the little blonde angel, Tess smiled back at her gently,
"What is it, Angel Child?"
"Remember Karen? You know how I've been working with them for a long time now, and I was wondering if I could ever get through to them?" Seeing all three angels nod their heads, Carla beamed as she continued, moving her hands around as she talked,
"Well, Karen has finally agreed to go to rehab, and her father, although he was arrested a few weeks ago, I was able to talk him into getting some counseling! Tess, it's a miracle! This assignment really did have a happy ending after all..."
"I'm so proud of you, baby," The dark-haired angel walked over to her friend and wrapped her tightly into her arms before releasing her and smiling herself,
"See? Didn't I tell you?" Giving her a wink, she chuckled as she saw Carla let out a small laugh.
Finally, her face turning serious once more, Carla looked between Tess and Rose and back to Kevin,
"Are you guys all right? You appeared to be in some serious discussion..."
"Yes, we were, Carla; but it's good news, honey." Taking her hand gently into her own, Tess locked eyes with the young angel and said,
"Andrew has his memory back."
"What?" Carla's mouth dropped open and she was about to throw her arms around Tess with a cry of joy, but upon seeing the sad look on Rose's face stopped her from doing that,
"Rose, what's wrong? This is terrific news!"
"I know it is, honey..." The red-haired supervisor sighed deeply and glanced down at her hands,
"But I want to see that Angel Boy more then anything in the world, Carla...And it doesn't help that I'm still worried that he'll still be afraid of me."
Unbeknownst to the trio of angels around him, Kevin sighed softly and rose to his feet. He needed to be alone for a few minutes and think about all that had just occurred; when Tess had explained it all to them a few minutes ago, it had taken both Rose and him by total surprise and he wasn't sure what to think right now.
Climbing the stairs and up to his bedroom, Kevin pushed the door open and walked inside. Once he closed it, he immediately went over to the bed and knelt in front of it, folding his hands and staring up to the Heavens. His voice was quiet, but he knew that the Father could hear him and that was what was most important,
"Father...I'm really worried and confused right now," He began his prayer, sighing softly as he talked to his Father,
"I'm really concerned about what's going to happen once Andrew returns. Tess told us that his memory is back, and I don't know how I'm going to face him once I see him again. We didn't get off to a good start, I know that, and part of it was kind of my fault, as I allowed Denise to tempt me and I didn't listen to Tess and Rose...Lord, I need your strength in the days or weeks to come; and also be with Andrew and Monica. Please especially let Andrew stay with us, and not run away again...His best friend needs him, as do all of his friends. He's your angel, and I do want him to be my friend sooner or later. Please, Lord, if you will, be with us." Closing his eyes and letting a small smile come to his mouth upon hearing a soft whisper from the Heavens, the young angel finished the prayer off with a heartfelt, "Amen."
Andrew awoke from a nap that afternoon and he wandered out into the living room, in search of his friend. Though there was much left for them to discuss, neither of them had slept well the night before. He had thought Monica was going to try and rest as well, but concern filled his eyes when he awoke and found the beach house empty. Immediately looking out of the window his eyes came to rest on her, sitting in the sand down near the ocean, her knees drawn up to her chin and her arms wrapped around them. Her hair blew back over her shoulders from the cool breeze that was coming off of the ocean as she appeared to be watching the waves crash onto the shore with a combination of interest and awe.
Smiling softly to himself, he grabbed her jacket from the coat rack and headed out the door and down the deck steps. He had briefly thought of not disturbing her, but after the last year, he craved her company now. He had noticed she seemed quieter of late as he looked back over the past week, but just as she had fascinated him without his memory, she fascinated him now, just as she always had. Time spent with Monica was always special, regardless of the situation.
She looked up at him as he approached and a smile crossed her face,
"Hello. Did you have a good rest?"
"Yeah, I did," Andrew replied, wrapping her jacket around her shoulders before he sat down in the sand beside of her,
"Whatcha doing out here all by yourself?" He asked softly.
She shrugged as her eyes rested on the waves once more,
"Just thinking, I suppose. I couldn't sleep, so I came down here," She sighed softly, almost contentedly,
"I love it here."
"It's beautiful," He replied honestly, before he looked over at her,
"I want you to know that my friendship with you has [I]always[/I] mattered, Monica. I'm sorry that I ever gave you the impression otherwise, but I never…"
"To be able to do something more than once, my friend, would indicate that it was an easy thing to do," She whispered, smiling through her hurt.
Reaching over, he wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close,
"Never," He responded softly, seeing the contented smile that played on her lips,
"It was the hardest thing I had ever done, especially this last time, Angel Girl. I could see how lost you felt," His fingers ran through her hair gently as her head rested against his shoulder,
"Did the year at Home help, baby girl?"
"Yes," She replied in a whisper, thinking back over it,
"The first few weeks were hard and dark. Despite the fact that I was home, I felt so alone when I got there and I kept trying to talk to you, but…" Her voice trailed off as she remembered and a tear escaped her eye, though she struggled to move on in her thoughts,
"Anyway, Sam was really there for me, despite our rather tumultuous past. He spent a lot of time with me, asking me things about the last few years, letting me cry when I needed to, he became my friend, believe it or not." She smiled slightly, thinking about the Angel's Angel.
Andrew chuckled softly, thinking of how intimidated Sam used to make his friend and now she spoke of him with a gentleness that amazed him. But something was still not quite right and Andrew knew it. There was still an aura of sadness about her, of hurt, and maybe it was time for him to do some talking,
"You know, nothing this past year was the same without you," He began quietly, resting his chin on top of her head as he spoke,
"I saw a lot of incredible places in the Father's creation and so many times, I would wonder about what you would say about it or what your reaction would be to something. I missed you unbearably, Angel Girl. I missed your chatter and your laugh. I missed the feeling of you snuggling close to me because it always filled me with such peace," He pulled away to look into her face, great love and sympathy filling his eyes as he looked at the tears that slid down her cheeks,
"I'm sorry for leaving you," He whispered, as he placed his palm against her cheek while his fingers worked into her hair,
"I know you were lost and scared and crying out for help and I was too busy being jealous of Carla working with Rose to deal with it and that was wrong. I treated you terribly when you were already so deeply hurt and not just this last time, sweetheart, but all the times I have walked away from you in the past. After I found out what Philip did to you, I left because I was mad at Tess," He shook his head sadly, even as a sob escaped her at the terrible memory,
"I thought that being mad at her for what happened to you justified my leaving so I wouldn't have to deal with her, but here you were, going through the worst time in your entire existence and…" His teary emerald eyes met with hers, his voice filled with deep emotion,
"I am so sorry, sweet Angel Girl. You mean so much to me and I never want you to doubt that again…ever."
"As long as you keep that promise, I won't have to," Monica uttered tearfully, as he wrapped his arms tightly around her slight form and held her close as she released the last of her tears over the hurt he had caused her. But she knew in her heart that he would keep his promise to her.
"I'm keeping that promise," He responded tenderly.
"I know," She whispered in return,
"Thank you for reminding me that I am important to you."
Andrew closed his eyes as a tear escaped them,
"Of course you are and from now on I'll make sure that I don't have to 'remind' you for you to know that, baby girl."
Pulling back, Monica reached up and kissed his cheek as her eyes rested on the ocean once more,
"Do you think I'll still be working under you when we go back to work?"
Surprised by her question, he answered as honestly as he could,
"I don't know, sweetie. I haven't worked in a year…as a matter of fact, the Father and I need to have a long talk too," He sighed thinking of how he had not spoken to his Creator in so long, before he focused again on Monica's question,
"What if you were? How would you feel about that?" His heart raced, not wanting any friction between them if that would be the case.
"I have no issues with it, Andrew and to be honest, I haven't done casework in a year and my last few cases I made a mess out of. I honestly don't feel deserving to go back to supervising just yet. I think I'd rather look forward to working with you, under good conditions of course." Her lips twitched in a playful grin.
"Of course," He replied with a wink her way. He knew he still needed to discuss Philip with her; how he had tried to help after Monica's accident with Tess' car, how it had been Philip who had caused him to lose his memory. He also wanted to know if she had seen him, and more importantly, if she had forgiven him. But there was no rush and he didn't want to bring it up just yet. He just wanted to enjoy a little time with his dearest friend in the angelic realm,
"You up for a walk?" He asked softly, hoping with time she would come out from under her veil of quietness, as he just wasn't used to it from her, but he also knew she had dealt with much the past year… without him as he had left her and his heart still ached at that fact.
Monica nodded her head with a smile as he rose to his feet and extended his hand to help her to hers. Getting up, she took his proffered hand and slipped hers into it as wordlessly, the two friends walked down the beach, just as the sun was beginning to set in the blue sky.Chapter 21
The next three days passed relatively quickly, and with each passing day, Andrew was pleased to see that Monica was starting to chatter more and wasn't as quiet as she had been during the last several days. Each morning, they had gone out for breakfast and caught up on all the things they had missed during the past year and the Irish angel was now talking almost like her old self again about her time at Home. Her story of how she was welcomed back into the Father's arms brought a huge smile to Andrew's face and his heart filled with joy.
It was weird, though; after the morning he had gotten his memory back, the older angel didn't seem to be filled with guilt as he had been for that last year. He knew that he had made a huge mistake once again, but when he realized that his best friend had forgiven him and that he knew deep down into his soul that he would never run away again no matter what, the Father seemed to had healed them both where to there was no more guilt left.
As they walked hand in hand back to the beach house, Monica chattering away about everything and anything, Andrew stared up at the robins blue sky as he listened to her. Suddenly feeling a tug at his heart, a light bulb went off in his brain and he heard the Voice of the Father telling him to do something...something that he had not told Monica about back when they were at odds a year ago, and how he lost his memory to begin with...
Glancing over at his friend and smiling gently down at her as she smiled back, Andrew stopped walking and turned around to face her, his green eyes showing seriousness over what he needed to say,
"Angel Girl...I need to tell you some things. Some things that happened right before I lost my memory last week, and-and something that happened while we were at odds a year ago..."
Concern filling her brown eyes, the younger angel squeezed her best friend's hand tightly and nodded her head,
"What is it?"
Knowing deep down he had nothing to worry about, Andrew looked straight into Monica's eyes and started to speak, his voice along with eyes showing nothing but seriousness,
"Monica...This is about the car accident that you were in a year ago; you know, when you ran head on into that tree and Tess' car caught on fire..."
A few tears filling her eyes as she remembered this, the little Irish angel summoned up all of her courage and refused to let the tears fall onto her face. She nodded her head, giving the signal for him to continue speaking.
"Sweetheart, there are some things that you don't know about that night...about what occured before Patrick found you in the woods..." He stopped long enough to see her expression, and seeing that she was waiting patiently, he continued gently,
"Baby girl, I was still very angry about all that had happened those last few days after you were assigned to Karen, and also at Rose and Carla. I wasn't willing to believe anything that anybody-human or angel-told me...which would make sense I think, that I wouldn't believe anything that Philip told me..." A few tears forming in his own green eyes at the mere mention of the demon who had chosen to find him so that he could help Monica after the car crash, Andrew shook his head slowly,
"Monica...Philip was the first one to find you after the car exploded. He was with you when you crawled through the window and escaped into the woods. That demon...He didn't leave you alone to fend for yourself; instead, he came and found me so that I could help you...I was furious at him, Angel Girl, and didn't believe him for one minute. But...I finally decided to follow him to the spot where he had left you; but Patrick had already taken you to his house...I didn't know what else to do, Angel Girl; I realized then what a stupid mistake I had made-in everything those last couple of days..."
"Philip..He-he helped me...?" Monica's brown eyes widened in slight fear, but Andrew didn't miss the hint of shock and relief in them either,
"Andrew, he really did that...?"
"Yes, baby, he did," Releasing her hand, the older angel gathered his best friend close to his body and held her as tightly as he dared to,
"And there's more too." Feeling her wrap her own arms around him tightly in return, Andrew sighed softly and ran his fingers through her hair comfortingly as he spoke,
"The day I lost my memory...I remember fully now what happened that morning. Philip was there again, and he was trying so hard to get me to go back, and being the stubborn angel that I am, I refused." His voice grew quieter as he spoke into his best friend's ear,
"I just yelled at him, and accused him and I would've beat him to the ground if given the chance...But he ended up pushing me away and I ended up knocking my head on a rock...I guess you can say, the memory loss was a good thing after all, Angel Girl; it's caused me to see things so much more clearer, and appreciate your friendship even more. I don't want to lose that with you, Monica. Not now, not ever..."
"You're not going to lose me, Andrew, as long as you keep that promise," Monica started to sob happily against her friend's strong shoulder,
"Thank you so much for telling me this...Thank you."
"I love you, baby girl," Andrew kissed the side of her head gently before pulling back and looking straight into her eyes,
"And I cross my heart that those days of running are over for good."
As they walked back into the beach house several minutes later, both angels were startled, yet surprised, to see Tess standing there in the living room. A wide smile came across Andrew's handsome face as his supervisor came across the room to embrace both he and his best friend tightly. Wrapping his arms around his older friend, Andrew asked,
"What are you doing here, Tess?"
Kissing both of her babies' heads gently before releasing them, the mahogany skinned angel's eyes twinkled in delight as she looked back and forth between her two friends,
"Well, babies, I came here to tell you some good news."
Raising an eyebrow in question, Andrew looked straight into her eyes and asked,
"What is it?
"My car is out front and ready to load two little Angel Babies back to the cabin whenever you're ready. Rose is more than anxious to see you, Andrew, as are Carla and Kevin-"
"Kevin too?" Monica and Andrew repeated the youngest angel's name at the same time. Glancing at Monica, the blonde angel's green eyes widened in surprise,
"He's there, too? And...it's time to go back?"
Nodding her head while all the while still smiling brightly, Tess replied,
"Yes, he is, baby. And believe it or not, he wants to see both of you so badly." Seeing the happy looks exchanged between her Angel Babies, Tess extended her arms and asked again,
"So are you ready? Rose hasn't had much patience lately, and I think it's high time we head back there..."
The smile still on his face, Andrew was about to reply; but suddenly a realization came to him and the smile disappeared, causing Tess' mouth to turn downward into a frown.
"What is it, Angel Boy?"
Gulping, Andrew lowered his head before looking back up at his older friend,
"Tess...Rose isn't, you know, angry about how I reacted to her this last week, is she?"
Sympathy flooding her features, Tess reached out and gave her "Angel Boy" a reassuring hug before looking straight into his face,
"Baby, Rose isn't angry at all. Although, I think it would be best for you to explain to her why you reacted like that, though...I finally realized why, but I think she and Carla need to know. Right now, though, she just wants to see you so much; you're like a son to her, Andrew, and she loves you like one as well." Offering him a smile, Tess beamed as he returned it. Extending her hands to both Monica and Andrew, the angel took both of them into her own and lead them out to the waiting vehicle.Epilogue
"Andrew!" Rose cried out as Tess walked through the door with the two young angels. Relief and love were evident in the older angel's eyes as she enveloped Andrew in her arms and held onto him tightly,
"Oh sweet Angel Boy, I missed you so much!"
"I missed you too, Rose," Andrew replied, blinking back the tears in his eyes as he held onto her just as tightly.
"I wanted so badly to just go to you, honey, but you didn't know me…you were actually afraid of me!" Rose pulled away to look into his clear emerald eyes.
"It was Rosaline I was seeing in my mind, Rose, but with losing my memory, all I knew was that the scattered memories I had were of her and unfortunately, you two look an awful lot alike," He smiled sheepishly as he moved to hug her once more.
"The important thing is that you are here now," She whispered fiercely,
"And if you ever attempt to run away again, Andrew-."
He cut her off with a smile and a look,
"That has already been taken care of, my friend," He replied as Rose smiled knowingly.
"Monica! Andrew!" Carla cried out as she came tearing down the steps like a little blond fireball, straight into her former supervisor's arms,
"It's been forever, Monica!"
The Irish angel laughed softly,
"Not quite forever, Carla," She replied as she pulled away to smile at her friend,
"Tess told me you finished the case with Karen…thank you."
"You are so welcome," She replied softly,
"I wanted it to come out right, not just for the Father, but for you too."
Monica smiled as she blinked back tears,
"I think Andrew would like to see you," She nodded in her best friend's direction, seeing him watching them, even as he talked to Rose.
"Hey Carla," He said softly, as he hugged the youngest angel tightly,
"I missed you."
"Yeah? Well, that goes both ways, buddy," She replied with a wink,
"I'm so glad that everything is okay now."
Andrew nodded his head in agreement as he glanced over at his friend who was speaking softly with Tess,
"Things are getting closer to normal every day. Where's Kevin?"
"He'll be down in a minute. He wanted to give us a little time first, but then he really wants to talk to you both." Carla explained carefully.
"Yeah, I need to talk to him too," He replied with a nod before he wrapped one arm around Carla and one around Rose,
"But right now, it is just so good to see you guys again."
Tess wrapped her arms around Monica and gave her a tight squeeze,
"You did well, baby girl," She told her softly, watching as the younger angel smiled back at her.
"Yes," Rose said softly as she approached them,
"Rose," Monica began her dark eyes filled with uncertainty,
"About the other night outside of the restaurant…"
"You had every right to say those things, sweetheart," Rose interrupted her gently,
"I needed to hear them and to listen to what you were telling me. Thank you for setting me straight." Seeing Monica's hesitation, the older angel pulled her into a warm hug,
"Thank you for taking such good care of him, Angel Girl. Tess was right all those years ago when we all first met; the two of you are very special angels and together you share something very special."
"I'll second that," Andrew replied as the two angels separated and he wrapped his arm around his best friend's shoulders, kissing the top of her head,
"At least the part about us sharing something very special. Something that I plan on taking much better care of in the future."
"Well, I'm pleased to see this reunion," Sam's voice sounded as he appeared in the room with them, a smile playing on his normally stern face.
Andrew watched as Monica's face lit up with a smile and he shook his head in amazement as the angel who was once so afraid of the Angel's Angel, went over to give him a warm hug.
"Sam," She said softly, as she pulled away from him,
"I don't think I ever thanked you for everything you've done for me the past year. I'm not sure I'd have gotten through it without you."
The older angel smiled as he looked down at her,
"You are quite welcome, Monica," He responded warmly, pleased with their new relationship. Looking over at Andrew, he saw a small trace of sadness on his face that he had not been the one to be there for his friend as he had left a year ago. Approaching him, Sam laid a hand on Andrew's shoulder,
"It's good to have you back, Andrew, and now we can all go forward from this point on."
Looking into the older angel's brown eyes, Andrew smiled in Sam's direction and nodded his head,
"It's good to be back."
Nodding as well, Sam removed his hand from the younger's shoulder and held his arms out,
A few happy tears trailing down his cheeks, Andrew smiled at his old former supervisor wrapped his arms around him in a fond hug. Returning the embrace, the angel gave him a fond squeeze back before pulling away and smiling at Sam. As the six angels started chattering with one another, unseen from the top of the stairs, Kevin watched them and a small smile played on his mouth.
Finally summoning up his courage to head down the stairs, as he really wanted to talk to Andrew and Monica, Kevin came out from around the corner and headed down the stairs. Rose was the first one to spot him and a gentle smile appeared on her lips,
"Hey Rose," He quietly replied, although he didn't look at the red-haired supervisor. Instead, his eyes were on his own supervisor and his best friend,
"Hi Andrew. Hi Monica..."
"Kevin..." Andrew smiled somewhat sadly in his direction and, remembering what Carla had explained to him just a few minutes ago, he turned to the rest of his friends and asked,
"Uh, can Monica and I have a minute alone with him, you guys?"
"Of course, Angel Boy," Tess wrapped her arms gently around her young charge and gave him a tight squeeze before turning and following Carla, Rose and Sam outside and onto the porch, leaving Andrew, Monica and Kevin alone in the same room. As soon as the door shut behind them, Kevin stepped closer and spoke a bit louder this time.
"I really need to talk to you two...I want to tell you something."
"Of course, buddy," Andrew nodded his head and, grabbing Monica's hand in his own, they followed the youngest angel over to the living room couch and sat down. Kevin took a seat at the stool in front of the fire, and as soon as they were all comfortable, he began talking.
"I first wanted to apologize for all that had transpired last year...I wouldn't listen to Tess or even Rose about what was going on with you, Andrew, no matter what they told me." Sucking in a deep breath, he forced himself to continue,
"I know that you two know a demon by the name of Denise, right?" Seeing the two older angels exchange looked with one another and then nodding their heads, Kevin continued,
"She...she made an appearance to me last year. Monica, please believe me that I wasn't the one that beat you up, no matter what she said. I was so messed up that I wasn't thinking clearly; and when I chose not to do it, Denise decided to take the matters into her own hands...I'm so sorry she did that, Monica..."
Reaching for his hand, the Irish angel smiled tearfully in his direction and nodded her auburn head,
"Deep down, I knew that you would never do anything like that to anybody, Kevin, no matter what has been going on. Please don't feel you need to apologize for that; all of us were confused then, you know?"
"Yes, and none of it was your fault, Kevin," Andrew's words caused the brown-haired angel to look in his direction with tears shining in his eyes,
"I was jealous of Carla and Rose, as you already know now. And my actions caused Denise to show up; she does that all the time, whenever problems occur. She's a troublemaker all the way, buddy, and a liar..."
"I know that now, Andrew," Kevin whispered, still looking at his supervisor who opened his mouth to continue talking.
"I also want to apologize to you as well," Andrew glanced from his best friend to his young pupil,
"And I hope that you will give me another chance as your supervisor. I promise that nothing like this will ever happen again, and I want to teach you all there is to about being an angel of God. That is...if you'll let me." The oldest of the trio held his hand out, hoping that Kevin would accept it,
A broad smile spreading on his mouth, Kevin clasped Andrew's hand with his own and gave it a firm shake,
"Friends, Andrew." Glancing over at the Irish angel, who still held his other hand, the youngest angel smiled over at her as well and nodded his head. No more words were spoken, as none were needed.
The silence was broken, however, as the door opened once again and Tess, Rose, Carla and Sam appeared in the living room once more. The Angel's Angel was the first to speak and a smile a mile wide was on his lips,
"Andrew, buddy...I have some news from the Father I want to share with you."
The three angels who had been seated those last couple of minutes rose to their feet and Andrew raised his eyebrows in question,
"Good news, I hope...?"
Chuckling and nodding his head, Sam reached out and patted his former pupil on the shoulder,
"While we were outside, I just received the Word from the Father that He wants you back as a Supervisor. Only this time...He requests that you supervise both Kevin and Monica." He looked over Andrew's shoulder at Andrew's best friend and the youngest angel. They looked at one another, shocked looks on their faces, before turning back to the dark-skinned angel,
"What do you say, buddy?"
Almost finding himself speechless, Andrew soon allowed a slow smile to appear on his handsome face and a few grateful tears to appear in his green eyes,
"I'd...I'd be honored, Sam. Just honored..."
Patting his shoulder one last time, Sam nodded his head,
"Very well then." Turning towards Monica and embracing her gently and quickly, he spoke again,
"I've better get going now, gang; but I'm looking forward to seeing everyone of you again, and Andrew...I'm proud of you, son." Smiling at his friends one last time, Sam then disappeared from the room, leaving the six angels alone.
Turning around and facing his dearest angelic friend, Andrew grabbed her around the waist and twirled her around in a circle. Wrapping her arms around his neck as he spun her around, the little Irish angel listened as he spoke into her ear,
"Oh baby girl, I do love you so much."
Still holding tightly to him, Monica smiled through her tears, feeling total happiness now over Sam's news,
"I love you, too, my friend. Forever."
At the Beginning-Sung by: Richard Marx and Donna Lewis
We were strangers
Starting out on a journey
Never dreaming what we'd have to go through
Now here we are
And I'm suddenly standing
At the beginning with you
No one told me I was going to find you
Unexpected, what you did to my heart
When I lost hope
You were there to remind me
This is the start
Life is a road, and I want to keep going
Love is a river I want to keep flowing
Life is a road, now and forever
I'll be there when the world stops turning
I'll be there when the storm is through
At the end I want to be standing at the beginning
We were strangers
On a crazy adventure
Never dreaming how our dreams could come true
Now here we stand
Unafraid of the future
At the beginning with you
And life is a road, and I want to keep going
Love is a river I want to keep flowing
Life is a road, now and forever
I'll be there when the world stops turning
I'll be there when the storm is through
At the end I want to be standing at the beginning
I knew there was somebody somewhere
Like me alone in the dark
Now I know my dream will live on
I've been watiing so long
Nothing's going to tear us apart
And life is a road and I want to keep going
Love is a river I want to keep flowing
Life is a road, now and forever
I'lll be there when the world stops turning
I'll be there when the storm is through
In the end I want to be standing at the beginning
And life is a road, and I want to keep going
Love is a river I want to keep going on
Starting out on a journey
Life is a road and I want to keep going
Love is a river I want to keep flowing
In the end I want to be standing at the beginning