“I love you!” Edith shouted before she closed her eyes and fell to earth.
Angela had trouble focusing on the scene. Her vision marred by tears that streamed off her burning cheeks. Even her nose ran like a sieve, and normally that annoyed her, but this time she was too distraught to care.
“How could she?” Angela wondered even though the answer was obvious.
Edith wasn’t the kind of person to stand back and let others risk their lives. Even if doing so risked her own life on several occasions. That was Edith’s greatest strength, one shared by many saints.
“How can I hate her for that?” Angela asked herself.
She closed her eyes and then used some of her limited training from the Tower to focus. As her self-control began to reassert itself, the wave of anguish and anxiety began to wane.
“I’m good now” Angela said as her eyes opened.
Edith was no longer visible by then, gone along with that shockwave originating from the mortal realm. Her heart sank to the bottom of her stomach, but she did her best to remain centred. What good was she to anyone as an emotional wreck?
From the corner of her eye, Angela caught the glimpse of a pale brunette hovering over the mortal realm. Despite the woman being roughly thirty years older than she remembered, Angela knew exactly who this was.
“Clara!” Angela exclaimed.
The woman did not respond, instead she closed her eyes, and just like Edith before her, dropped like a rock.
“What’s going on?” Angela yelled out.
“Is there a problem, child?” Gabriel asked.
Angela turned around to find the archangel Gabriel facing her, which immediately explained why he referred to her as a child. Only those who came into existence as angels were capable of seeing a soul’s true form.
“Did you come back for something?” Angela asked while dispensing with any civility.
“Child?” Gabriel asked.
“You left the moment Edith dropped to Earth,” Angela replied.
Gabriel was like an immutable statue, a trait that was common among the natives. It was so frustrating to bare your soul, and see no empathy reflected in the recipient. Her frustration with their kind provided an unexpected reprieve, so Angela channelled this emotion to gain some focus.
“Edith?” Gabriel asked. “Edith was never here.”
That statement almost threw Angela for a loop, but a part of her was expecting to hear such a response. The appearance of Clara from out of the ether did much to lay the groundwork for a working theory. Clearly there was something wrong, but she had no way of proving it.
“Apologies,” Angela said. “I meant to say Clara.”
Gabriel did not respond, although a hiccup in his movement caught her eye. For a fraction of a second, Gabriel had been facing away from her. The movement had been so fast that any ill-timed blink would have meant missing the clue.
“Edith will… shortly… I’m sure,” Gabriel said, even though his lips never moved.
The words appeared to have reverberated from off of some invisible structure. While uncertain of the source, she knew it did not originate from the depths of her mind. Angels were not known to have that ability, besides that sort of communication was experienced differently.
After the hiccup ended Gabriel said, “Clara will be back shortly.”
“I’m sure,” they said in unison.
While Gabriel remained unperturbed by her guess, it did little to help Angela’s state of mind. At this very moment, her heart was migrating from the pit of her stomach to the very tips of her toes. Perhaps she should have been more studious back at the Tower. If only Edith had not been so beautiful.
“Please come back to me,” Angela pleaded before rhyming off a quick prayer that she hoped was heard.
Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!