Dominique finds me first, of course.
His skin is like a ray of light in the darkness of the Miami night. At first he says nothing, knowing that silence is my one needed ally, but then he starts to open his mouth to tell me something, but I put I hand up in the air to stop him.
"I don't know if I believe any of it." I say simply, hand still in the air.
He nods and allows me to continue.
"They lied to me, I have no parents, I am orphan; an abandoned orphan, and you are older than me." He looks down at his feet and I continue, "What were you doing at the school if you are older? How did you not get caught?"
"In a school that large, anyone can blend in." He answers quietly. I silently thank him for not disturbing the night air. "I swore to protect you when I was younger, and us Angels hold onto our words."
"If that's so," I begin, "then why did you only just appear now?"
"Because I didn't know where you were."
Silence draws in between us; icy and dangerous. If thoughts could kill, the world would be in chaos. "I hate them."
"I know, but hate is not an emotion we must feel. Vengeance, hate, destruction—these aren't parts of us. We must lead by example."
"But they performed experiments on us! On many more of us out there! All hidden Angels are in danger because of humanities stupid greed for more knowledge!"
He agrees with a sad look on his face. "That's why we need you."
I am taken aback by his sudden proposition.
"You are the only one of us who did not know what you are. That can come in handy. Most people don't even know that you exist. We need you; your kin needs you."
I shudder and stand up from where I had considered my safety zone. "What exactly do you need me to do?"
He smiles and grabs my hand, "You'll see."
I am on the beach where the purity of darkness fully covers all the surrounding view. Several meters from the sandy shores a road sits. This road leads me to the houses of my two best friends; the ones I may never see again.
Dominique is gone, he had left after telling me what the Angels thought was occurring and what they thought must be done, with my help.
Connie lives closer to the beach than Sarah so I visit her first. I must be quite the looker with sand stuck to the sides of my shoes, my eyes bloodshot from crying and my hair in a wispy mess around my face, but if I look horrible Connie's dad doesn't say anything. He waves me in and I climb the stairs up to Connie's room. I knock twice and a soft voice lets me, she is studying I presume.
"Didn't we just end the first day of school?" I ask, with a smile in my voice.
“Yes, but homework is homework," Connie responds while turning around, "What happened to you?"
I sigh and tell her that I went for a midnight stroll on the windy, sandy beach. "I have to go somewhere." I blurt out, not meaning to be so straightforward about it.
Connie simply stares at me in silence and nods slowly, "Where to? School just started."
"I know, but I need to go, you wouldn't believe me if I tried to explain."
"—no Connie, I'm sorry, please, try to live up to what we planned for this school year and remember that you will always be my best friend."
Her eyes begin to water and she is up in mere seconds and is holding me tight. "If you're in some kind of trouble you know Sarah and I can always help you!" She mumbles against my shoulder.
"I know." I whisper, fighting back the tears that will cause me to become a coward and not face my destiny. "I'm sorry, I have to go."
Pulling away from my best friend has never been so hard before, but then, when I had done so in the past I knew that I would see her again. I'm not so sure now.
I take a deep breath several minutes later as I walk towards Sarah's house, a quaint bungalow where she lives with just her mom. My knocks echo in the darkness and my eyes almost hurt from the lights from inside. Sarah is the one to answer the door and the whole process begins again; tears, goodbyes, and unanswered questions.
Dominique is beside me again, silent as always when he knows that that is what I need best.
I look up at him and, my voice quivering, I ask, "Do we go now?"
He looks up at the stars that shine by the shoreline, not enough pollution to dull them, and nods.
I take his hand and he holds my hand tightly. Who knew that the wings of an Angel could be so strong?