The alarm clock rang, rolling over Brian hit the snooze button. He looked at the woman lying next to him, man, he was a lucky son-of-a-bitch. He stroked the soft hair that lay tangled over her face. It was as soft as the first time he had stroked it nearly 20 years ago, she had a few more fine lines on her face than she had then, but she was still his beautiful Mel. Her eyes opened.
“What you staring at fella?” She smiled as she spoke softly.
“Oh nothing, just the most beautiful wife a man could hope for.”
“You’re so soppy.” She laughed as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
“What’s the plan for today?”
Mel kept hold of her husband as she rolled her eyes up to the ceiling and thought. Jumping up in the bed she looked across at the clock.
“We have the meeting at the community centre, remember? I’m so excited! Are you?”
“I am, it feels good to give back. I always felt a bit of a cheat when I got so much cash after the accident, feels good that we have put it to good use.”
The meeting went as they hoped it would. The mayor stood at the podium, his round face red with pride as he began his speech.
“Welcome all, to this special occasion. Stand up Mr Felling, Mrs Felling. Give a warm applause to our wonderful benefactors for this, the opening of their 8th homeless shelter. Not only will it provide the unfortunate with a place to hang their hat, but it will also, as the other centres do, provide these young people with a place of learning. Now, to cut the ribbon, we are delighted to hand over to one of the first young men to have used this lifeline in the flagship centre, Benjamin Hampson. Get up here Benjamin.”
The audience clapped and cheered as the man, of around 35 stepped up to the podium.
“To say this saved my life, well it seems too small a phrase. As many of you have read, I was a runaway, in trouble with the law and quite frankly headed nowhere fast. Brian and Mel took a huge risk with me, I’m happy to say that risk paid off. They put me through college where I found my interest in medicine and science. From there I joined a pharmaceutical company, worked my butt off, I might add, and 5 years ago was in charge of the department that lead the way in new treatments for cancer. All of this, I owe to you guys. All of our patients that have had their lives changed, they owe their lives to you.” With teary eyes, he cut the ribbon.
Azrael sat in the seat beside the rest of the committee, their purpose here today was to introduce Dumah to his new counterpart. He beamed with pride as the Angels stood before them. He had been on the committee for a while now. Dumah had no idea that the human was his test, Azrael had great faith that he would do the right thing and he was proved right.
“Come forward. Do you know why we have called you here this day?” Boomed the familiar voice of the middle seat.
Dumah stepped forward, Azrael thought his features seemed softer now, less taut.
“Excellent. This is Raguel, Raguel, this is Dumah. Work well and in harmony. Go with the blessing of the Almighty.”
Dumah waited for Azrael to finish his other business.
“Old friend, it has been too long. How are you faring up here, do you miss our time together?”
Azrael smiled, he had missed the Angel in his own way.
“You are pleased with my replacement?”
“That remains to be seen. I came here to beg a favour if you would be so kind.” Dumah crooked his finger, Azrael followed.
They stood quietly at the back of the crowded room, listening to the man speak. The woman held his hand tight, her face glowing.
“I often wondered why this one, now I see. I look back on the time and see how it all had to be so, the chinks in the armour as the humans say. I have watched this one carefully, so many that he has saved, so much those he has saved have done for the betterment of their kind. Did you always know?”
Azrael watched the face he had come to feel a fondness for, there were few like this one.
“I was part of that lesson?”
“I hoped, Dumah. I always hoped.”
As Brian walked to the back of the room he felt a rush of warm air that enveloped him in the strangest of feelings, it was a feeling of great comfort felt only when a mother hugs a child. A familiar feeling, that told you everything was as it should be and would be just fine.
The End…or the beginning
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