I couldn’t believe what aunt said about existence of Angels. What she is saying has to be fables, it can’t be real, but the look in her eyes said it was true. From every glance she cast at Dr. Mac a sense of doom settled over my heart that what I was hearing was only the sugar coated version. There was something very major which I was yet to know. The minute Dr. Mac stopped aunt from informing me about my parents, a chill ran down my spine and fear settled that I didn’t want to hear it. If I did everything would change and I never could adapt to change. I hated change. Change brought chaos and uncertainty and this was not acceptable to me.
Ralf walked up to me and handed me a plate of fruits. Taking the plate I looked at him, his eyes were somber and worried. He said “You should eat them; it will help with your weakness.”
“On the cliff when you saved me, I saw your wings. It was not a dream.” I stated looking at him.
He looked into my eyes and said “Yes”, and walked out of the room. From the look of his slouched shoulders I could feel his tension and sadness.
“Solange, before I tell you about your parents, I have to apologize to have kept you in dark for so long. It was necessary to keep you safe. You may feel deceived but we had to do it.” Dr. Mac said.
“We? Does it also consist you aunt?” I asked getting angry at everyone to have kept things from me and for still keeping it from me. If I had not seen Ralf and Dr. Mac may be I would still have been kept in dark.
“Angel dear, I am sorry. It was to keep you safe.” Aunt said almost in tears.
“Angel, Gretchen was just doing a favor to a friend. She is not to be blamed.”
“Dr. Mac, this is between me and my aunt, I would rather prefer to talk to her alone. If there is any truth to my parentage, I have all the right to know it and nobody should keep it from me.”
Dr. Mac moved so fast and came in front of me; I flinched and tried to sit up straight on the bed. I could feel his anger radiating towards me. “Solange, as your father I have the right to decide what is right or wrong for you. Your life was in danger so we had no choice but to request Gretchen’s help. She didn’t have to accept the burden of raising you but she took you in and raised you as her own child, placing her own life in danger and that doesn’t allow you to raise your voice at her.”
“Michael, she is but child who is confused. Don’t go all archangel on her.” Aunt said sitting next to me and taking my hand in hers gently kissing me on my forehead.
My hands started shaking and tears started rolling down my cheeks without me noticing their presence. The man in front me is my father. All my life I thought my father was dead and today he was standing in front of me. I had always felt his presence but dismissed it as my need, but now it was not just me imagining him, but he actually was there all this time. Not being able to control myself I flung myself at my father for the first time and cried till my hiccups started. I wouldn’t let him go for fear I might be dreaming again and if I let go now I might never see him. My father sat on the bed holding me telling it was ok. He is back for me and was really sorry to have left me. Listening to his sooth voice, my exhaustion over took me and I fell asleep.
“You never said Michael; you had a daughter hidden in human realm.” I said to Michael.
“Ralf, lets walk to Kitchen so that we can talk.” Michael said me pulling a blanket over Angel’s fragile form whose lips were curved into an innocent smile, like a child’s smile who just found a candy.
Gretchen settled into a chair next to the bed and Michael walked out with me to the kitchen. Grabbing two bottles of beer we settled in the chairs. I let the silence continue until Michael was ready to open up.
“Do you remember about 23 years ago when I had to travel to Asia to meet with archangel Anita, on a sighting of Luther.” Michael said gazing out the window.
“Yes, I remember it very well. It was the last we heard of you and Gabriel went to meet Anita many times to form a search party to look for you, but it was like you were wiped out of the face of the earth.” I said remembering the day very clearly.
“On the way to Taiyuan, I stopped at Shey Monastery in Leh to meet an old friend. That’s when I saw her.”
“Who are you talking about Michael?”
“Savita Abhaidev, Solange’s mother.”
“She is an Amazon warrior’s daughter.” I stated immediately remembering Gab telling about a warrior whom the black-ones’ were looking for.
“Yes, but how do know that?”
“Her name is beautiful. Do you have her picture?” said Angel from the bottom of stairs leading into the kitchen.
Surprised both I and Michael stood up from the chairs. I walked immediately to her, pulling a jacket over her shoulders as she was shivering. “Angel, you should be in bed.”
“Thank you Ralf, but I missed Dr. Mac’s, sorry Dad’s presence. It feels so weird. All I ever wanted was to shout mom and dad on top of my lungs but now it’s stuck in my throat.” Angel said looking at Michael.
I could see the hurt and guilt in Michael’s face. But he masked it immediately for Angel’s sake and walked up to us. He put his hand on Angel’s shoulder and walked with her to the chair. As she walked away with Michael, I felt a pang of jealousy. I muttered to myself “What’s wrong with me. For god’s sake Michael is her father.”
“Did you say something Ralf?” Michael asked from across the dining table.
Saying it didn’t matter, I opened fridge and poured a glass of orange juice for Angel. Just then Gretchen walked into kitchen. Turning on the coffee maker, I walked towards Angel and gave the juice to her and helped Gretchen to her chair. She looked to have aged in a matter for few hours. Poor thing was exhausted and worried for Angel. Putting my hand on her shoulder I smiled to her assuring everything will be ok. As I walked towards the counter to get Gretchen’s coffee, Angel asked Michael to tell her about her mother.
“I met you mother at Shey monastery. She was the most mesmerizing creature I had ever seen. The first time I saw her, she was performing Kathina Yoga on the high rock close to monastery. Her graceful movements were captivating and I just stood there watching her. While performing one of the routines, she looked at me but ignored and continued to do her yoga. It was the first time a girl was not affected by my presence and it intrigued me.” Michael said laughing at his memories.
“Dad, was it love at first sight?” Angel asked with a twinkle in her eyes.
Michael smiled and said “I did not know at that time. All I wanted was to pursue a girl who refused to be affected as I was. You see Savitha was a warrior and a strict believer in her oath and principles. She was the sweetest and gentle lady I had ever met but under all that gentleness was a furious warrior. She protected you with her life. You look just like her.” Michael said touching Angel’s cheek.
The temperature in the room dropped down as everyone waited for Michael to continue. “ My friend a monk at the monastery introduced me to your mom. He said she had travelled from south with her “guru” or master to help her learn the mastering of elements. Those three days which I had spent in your mother’s company were only the wonderful moments in my life, until the day you came into my life. When I met Savitha I was on my way to meet the archangel of Asia. She had called for back up to help in a crisis. For the first in many centuries, black-ones’ were in Asia and it had been cause of worry. Due to my work I had to leave your mother at the monastery and travel to Shanxi province.”
“Michael, when Gab met with Anita, she denied of your arrival to her fort?” I asked.
“When I met Anita at her fort to work on our plans to weed out the black-ones’, we found there was a traitor amongst us. The black-ones’ had already left from their hideout when we reached. In our meeting it was only the trusted members of Anita and myself, but we could never find out which one these most trusted one’s had turned against us. We decided let others believe it was just a miscellaneous sting operation and not an actual mission.”
“Miscellaneous sting operation! Hmm that’s why Gab never found out of your presence in Shanxi.” I said.
“Sorry to break the bubble, but you see I am an illiterate in Angels’ and their world, so a little explanation please.” Angel said looking at us.
Michael and I looked at each other, asking how much should we reveal to her.
“Will you both stop looking at each other and tell me.” Angel said exasperated.
“Sting Operations are conducted as per high council’s order. But if it is a miscellaneous sting operation, it is more of an keep under wraps from council thing.”
“Oh ok, I get it. Anita said all the members present were her confidants and until you reached Shanxi the mission was known to the council. So isn’t it possible then the traitor might be amongst the council itself.”
Michael’s and my eyes bulged as it had never crossed our mind to doubt the council.
“It never occurred to us that there could be a traitor in the council itself. We have to meet with all arch angels’ to discuss it. I should call the meet immediately” Michael said.
“Michael, Let me call all the arch angels’. You have been out of contact for almost two decades and they might not trust it to be you.” I said already reaching for Gabriel telepathically.
“Dad, how did I come to be with Aunt Gretchen instead of you and mom?” Angel asked Michael.
“After my mission, I went back immediately to the Shey monastery to look for Savitha, but when I reached I found she was gone. My friend informed me that her sisters’ had called to her as their sanctuary was attacked. When I asked for the sanctuary location, he informed no one knew it, except that it was due south. I travelled for many days looking for her, with no luck. After looking for her for almost a year I reached San Francisco to find you at my door step. The man who brought you to me said you needed to be kept safe. Savitha had to bind your powers as they were increasing every day and attracting all evil. When I confronted him to tell me about your mother, he said she was killed protecting you, but I could read his lie. Before I could call his lie, he disappeared without leaving a trace to follow. You were but a three months old baby when you were brought to me. The joy I felt when I saw your smile and the way you held my fingers in your hand is indescribable and I still regret the day I had to leave instead stay and watch you grow.”
“Why did you have to leave?” Angel asked almost on verge of tears finding out her mother was no more.
“I feared for your safety, so I had not informed anyone of my return. Not even my brothers. To keep you safe, I placed protection around the house, but one day I got a message from a friend in Amazon forest. He had seen female warriors who had saved few villages from the night creatures, but were looking for someone called Luther. He had forwarded me a picture of their leader and she has very similar resemblance to your mother. In my heart I always knew she was alive. I needed to find her, but couldn’t drag a few months old baby along with me so I asked a favor from Gretchen to look after you till I returned.”
“Did you find mom?”
“No Solange, I have been searching for her all my life and nothing will stop me from finding her.”
“Dad what can I do to help in finding mom?”
“Right now, you need to care for yourself darling. Build up your strength. We need to train you soon. Your birthday is in nine months and on your 21 birthday all your powers will be unbound. You should be ready to control and use your powers.” Michael said just as I finished my talk to Gab.
“Michael, all the arch angels’ will be here tomorrow morning for the meet. In the meantime we need to take care of the black-one in the barn.” I informed Michael.
“Let’s have Gabriel a go at Bune. He will open his mouth the minute Gab will walk into the barn.” Michael said with a gleam in his eyes.
“Is this Gabriel that scary?” Angel asked her eyes big wondering at our mirth.
“Very. Better stay clear of him and most of all stay clear of his wife Caitlin.” I said
“Dad..” as Angel started to say Gretchen cut her off and said “Angel dear, you should rest now. Michael is not going anywhere. You need rest or else you will keel over the table.”
Angel reluctantly agreed and walked towards the stairs. I immediately walked to Angel and picked her up in my arms and carried to my bed upstairs. Placing her gently on the bed I told her to rest and I too will answer her questions but tomorrow.
Dreading what I might have to reveal I walked out closing the door behind me only to come face to face with Michael. He had an amusing expression on his face, between anger and curiosity.
“Ralf, why do you care for Solange so much?”
“It is none of your business.” I said angrily and started walking away but he blocked my path and said “She is my daughter and that makes it my business. If you try to hurt her, you will have to face the Arch angel Michael Aodh, not your friend.” Michael said standing to his full height but he fell short of me by two inches.
“I would rather die than hurt her. She is my mate.” I stated looking him in his eyes and telling him this conversation was over.