|The Gift of an Angel
Author: Mac Vicchrilli PM
Camael tells the story of his Mother, Layla Rose Williams, and his father, Anael, and how they fell in love. SHORT STORYRated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Romance - Words: 1,709 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 04-30-08 - Status: Complete - id: 2511569
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Gift of an Angel
They say my mother was in love once—only once. The man wasn't with her for very long, he died shortly after meeting her and falling in love with her. Though "short" for most people was incredibly long in their eyes. Many people still aren't sure he even existed. They call my mother a common whore. Mom has taught me to ignore such comments saying they don't bother her.
"You and I know the truth Camael, that is all that matters."
Yet people's comments still bothered me. I am writing this to give truth to what happened to my mother—to tell her love story, how she met my father, fell in love with him, and lost him, all in such a short time. This is the story of my mother, Layla Rose Williams, and her one true love, Anael, the Angel that changed her life.
Layla Rose Williams lived alone on the Eastern Shoreline. The village that lived several miles inland from the Eastern Shoreline was always concerned about the young woman living by herself. It wasn't right for a beautiful young woman such as herself to be living alone. She should be living with her Aunt and Uncle up near the Western Forest.
For Layla Rose had once lived with her family in the house on the Eastern Shoreline. A Father, Mother, three older brothers and one younger had once been enough company and a handful for the entire village to handle. But when Layla Rose was only thirteen years old, her Father's ship was caught in a summer storm and did not survive—nor did the crew, her father and her four brothers. Not long after, her mother passed away from grief.
Not since the day of the funeral held on the small cliff near the house had any of the villagers been near the Williams Eastern Shoreline home. So on that day, the first warm day of summer that year, when the man appeared asking for a place to stay, no one could believe their eyes or ears when the discovered that Layla Rose had offered him a room in her home.
"But you live all by yourself!"
"What if he tries to—oh, you know!?"
"What if he steals from you?"
"Men are only after one thing!"
"He could be on the run!"
But nothing any of the villagers said to Layla Rose could change her mind. She bought what she needed from the market, paid her respects to her friends and their families, then met with the man (who had taken care of his own errands) and traveled with him down the road.
On the way, the man told Layla Rose, "My name is Anael. Thank you for letting me stay in your home."
"Well, we aren't even there yet." Layla Rose said. Her smile was wide.
"Yet still, I owe you thanks."
Layla Rose simply smiled more—she was famous for her warm smile. "I like to think that all people are Angels in disguise. If anyone needs help I am always glad to offer it."
"Angels in disguise, hm?" Anael said thoughtfully.
"You think I'm strange."
"I think you are very imaginative. I like it."
"Well then I like you." The two strangers smiled at one another, forming a kind of friendship. "What would you like for dinner Mr. Anael?"
It was that night that Layla Rose discovered the truth about Anael. As they sat at her table for dinner (pasta, as he had chosen earlier) Anael suddenly cried out in pain and, as fast as he could, ran from the house out to the shore. Layla Rose followed, alarmed, and watched as the man ripped off his shirt, and fell to the ground as his back ripped open in two places to allow two perfectly white wings, streaked with the blood from his back, to sprout from his body.
Anael felt Layla Rose's eyes on him. He turned and smiled—a smile laced with immense pain—and said, "They're growing in."
When Layla Rose turned and ran back to the house Anael thought she was running away from him. He had frightened her, and how could he not? He had hoped too much to think that she would understand. But even his thoughts were proved wrong when she rushed back out to him with a bucket of warm water, soap and a towel and immediately began tending to his back.
Anael was so touched by her actions he turned around, took her face in his hands, and kissed her. His affections were returned as Layla Rose closed her eyes, succumbed to the kiss, and wound her hands around his neck; the lovers' first kiss in the moonlight, in the sand, with the sound of the ocean in their ears.
When the kiss was finally broken, Layla Rose placed a hand on her fast-beating heart and looked into Anael's eyes. "That was more than a little unexpected."
Anael colored slightly, still looking into Layla Rose's eyes. "It surprised me as well. You surprised me."
"How? By rushing to get something to clean your wounds?" Layla Rose asked, confused.
"Because most people would be horrified at the sight of wings sprouting from a man's back."
"You aren't normal."
"Obviously, neither are you."
Anael laughed aloud. "I didn't believe there could be anyone like you."
"What do you mean? Extremely impulsive women?"
"No. Someone who is able to trust a person they hardly know."
Layla Rose became quiet, her eyes on her hands. "I feel like I do know you. Here." She took his hand and gently placed it over her heart."
It only took one night for the two to fall in love. She cared for his growing wings yet asked him no questions. Layla Rose knew he would tell her in time. Until then, she took pleasure in memorizing his face, his smile, his eyes, the way the right side of his mouth was higher when he smiled or the way his tongue darted in and out of his mouth when he concentrated.
Anael looked at Layla Rose the same way. He memorized every aspect or her. The way her arms moved gracefully as she cared for the garden around the back of the house, how her eyes lit up when she smiled, the faint smile she still wore as she slept.
Layla Rose and Anael were fascinated with each other—her about what his past could be, what their future could be, and he about how to tell her his past, what her reaction would be, and if she would still care for him the same once she knew.
It wasn't long before Anael told Layla Rose his story. He had been sent to help someone, to aid them in achieving their dream. It was supposed to be a test, to see if he could help people and become a Guardian Angel, which was the status of both his father and mother.
Layla listened, nodded, and understood. "It all seems like a fairy tale to me."
"Forbidden rules and all."
Layla looked confused. "What do you mean?"
"I mean," Anael said, searching for the right words. "There are rules. There are lines I have to follow exactly or I will fail. I've already broken one of them."
"The most important one. I don't think it would have happened but… I told my Father I wasn't ready… My wings are still growing and I can't control when they come out all the time—"
"Anael," Layla Rose pleaded, "What is the most important rule?"
Anael looked into her worried eyes. A tear rolled down his perfect cheek. "Never fall in love with your charge."
"I was your… You were supposed to… Me?"
"You are pure of heart. My Father deigned you worthy to receive a gift from an angel."
"But I did! I thought… can't you be my gift?"
Anael laughed, the sound seemed out of place next to the lovers' tears. "Layla Rose, if only I could stay with you I would in a heartbeat—"
"Then why can't you?" She was desperate now.
"Once an Angel breaks a rule—" Anael collapsed into a chair. Saying it would make it a reality.
"What? Please, tell me, Anael." Layla Rose knelt next to his chair, both hands on his knee and eyes pleading with him to tell her the truth.
"When an Angel's wings grow, it is very stressful on the body. It was made that if a training Guardian Angel broke a rule, he or she would not make it through the process."
Layla Rose gasped, a hand flying to her mouth for a second before she wrapped her arms around her love and kissed him—everywhere she could find.
"How long do you have?"
"I'm not sure. Maybe a week."
"Then we will live in that week—we will live."
And they did. They lived. She took him to all her favorite sites, to everywhere he wanted to go, but mostly they lay in each other's arms, wishing for more time but taking everything they could get. Each day Anael lived was another day that was blessed in their eyes. Anael lived for two weeks after he told my mother what would become of him. My mother buried him next to the rest of her family. She invited the villagers to come. When they saw that she was already swelling with pregnancy, they looked down on her, not even sticking around long enough to listen to her story, to how much she loved him—that angel that touched her life.
When my mother first told me the story, I asked her if Anael, my father, was ever able to give her the gift he had been sent to give if it wasn't himself.
She looked down at me, Layla Rose Williams, and said. "He told me to name you Camael, after the Angel of Joy. You are his gift to me."
She smiles and takes my hand. "You are the gift of an Angel."