"Miss Rodriguez?" The secretary called, looking out into the lobby. Angel stood, noticing the woman's expression as she took in the clothes she was wearing. The same black dress that she had worn to Emanuel's funeral hung on her athletic, high-heeled shoes and a business jacket, golden cross around her neck, hair up in a high bun. She smiled at the woman.
Detective Franks was sitting at his desk, looking over paperwork, his bald head shining in the sunlight that was streaming through the window. He looked up, abruptly and a worried expression sat across his features. She smiled.
"Detective Franks." She offered her hand out to him and he stood, surprised and took it.
"Angel." She corrected him, sliding into the seat that had seemed so threatening before. Now, it was comfortable and took her in graciously.
"I have a few questions." He fumbled for a pen and paper.
"I have answers now." She replied.
That caught his attention. His gray eyes met hers and he nodded, encouraging her to talk, the clicking of the pen her cue.
She began to talk…her words pouring from her mouth and even when she felt tears wetting her face, she kept going. She talked for almost an hour and his pen never stopped flying. And in all twenty years on the force, Detective Franks never shed a single tear, until she came to her last words.
"This isn't for revenge, Detective. I'm doing this, because Emanuel's up there in Heaven looking down on me and I know he's proud. My baby is proud of me, because I'm being strong with my head up high, just like he always wanted me to be. I thought I let him down that night, I thought that I let him down…but I didn't. And I'm not going to let him down now. He's proud of me, Detective, I know he's proud of me."
He looked at the woman sitting in front of him, one last tear rolling down her cheek and felt one glisten down his own. "I'm sure he is, Angel, I'm sure he is." Was all he could say, his throat tight with emotion.
"I love him more than I can explain and I love Tito."
Detective Franks looked down at his short fingers, the ring that sat on his left hand and looked back at the courageous woman in front of him. "You want to marry him?"
She thought about what she had just told the Detective about the drugs and about the gang life, it was enough to put Tito behind bars for twenty years. She nodded, her heart pounding, "I do."
"I won't touch him." He said, watching to see if she understood. "The three of them only, I'll take them in, but I won't touch him."
"Thank you." She whispered, her eyes filled with admiration and respect. He felt something lift off of his heart and he let a breath out, relaxing in his chair. "Thank you."
She stood, taking his hand one last time and then looked down at the picture of his two boys. "They're beautiful."
"I love them very much."
"They love you, too." She said, knowingly, studying their faces again, seeing their Father reflected back. "You can tell they're your boys."
He looked back at the closed file on his desk with Emanuel's name written across the top. "I can tell he was yours."
Their eyes met and she smiled, "Thank you."
She turned and walked out the door, but Detective Franks would always remember that day, the quiet understanding in her eyes, the way her fingers had traced his boys smiling faces. He would always remember that case…and she would always remember what he did for her and Tito.
Later, she would see a story in the paper about his retirement. When asked about the one case that had changed his life, he replied, "An angel and her boy, that was the only case that made me remember what was important." The article went on to state he was looking forward to spending more time with his two sons, Billy and Thomas. And she would smile.
Later, he would see a clipping in the paper announcing that proud parents, Angel and Tito Hernandez had given birth to a baby boy, Emanuel Hernandez on July 3rd. And he would smile....
HA HA! I finished it, I'm so proud of myself. And I actually made myself cry. Okay...well I hope everyone enjoyed it.