BANISHED ANGEL by Aruoriwo Igwe
“Don’t you go running off upstairs, young lady!” Elena’s mother Maria yelled from the kitchen, as she made her way to the living room.
Elena stopped in her tracks. She had not expected her mother to be awake so early. Knowing she is not a morning person, Elena was surprised to see her mother out of bed and approaching her just now. She always had to be careful about not getting caught, but today it seemed she had run out of luck.
“Mom, why are you up so early?” Elena asked, smiling sheepishly at her mother.
She was trying her best to distract her mother from asking about her whereabouts.
Maria crossed her arms while giving her daughter a stern look.
“Where are you coming from?” Maria asked, ignoring her daughter’s question.
“Well, actually, I was … Um. … I …”
“Don’t you dare lie to me, young lady!” Maria firmly demanded.
Elena quietly exhaled, then took in a deep breath before she spoke.
“I was at the old factory,” she mumbled.
“Clearly,” Maria replied, looking down at her daughter’s shoes, which were stained with mud.
“How many times have I told you that place is not safe?”
“But, Mom, that’s not true,” Elena insisted. “I love the peace and quiet there,” she added.
Maria shook her head, “You don’t listen to me,” she muttered. “But for right now,” she continued, “I want you to clean the carpet, and then, please, take a bath.”
“Sure, Mom,” Elena responded, kissing her mother’s cheek.
Maria smiled at her daughter as she went back into the kitchen.
Elena speedily cleaned the carpet, then promptly made her way upstairs to her room. She took a quick shower, changed into a new outfit and returned downstairs, where she joined her mother at the dining room table. Both began eating breakfast.
Elena kept glancing at her mother as she ate. She noticed that there was something off about her.
“Are you alright, Mom?” Elena asked.
Maria dropped her spoon and looked at her daughter.
“No,” she finally admitted.
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“Why? What’s wrong?” Elena asked, now giving her mother her full attention.
“It’s just that I miss your father,” she uttered, looking forlorn.
“I know. I miss him too,” Elena gently said to her mother, rubbing circles on her back while speaking the words.
“I could not sleep very well. That’s why I was up early.”
Elena nodded her head in response. She paused briefly, then inquired, “Did he say when he is coming back?”
“He said soon, but he did not say how soon it will be,” Maria answered.
“Well, let’s hope he comes back very soon,” Elena cheerfully suggested.
After they finished eating, Elena washed the dishes and rejoined her mother in the living room.
“Mom, why don’t you go upstairs and get some rest,” she urged.
“Okay,” Maria simply voiced, standing up and leaving for her bedroom. Elena, remaining downstairs, comfortably rested her back on the couch, watching a TV show.
“What are you doing here?” Raguel asked without opening his eyes, because he could sense his friend Raphael standing in the room.
Since being banished from heaven, Raphael has always come to earth to check on him. He was the one being who did not turn his back on Raguel.
Raguel was very grateful for that, but today he was not in the mood for his friend’s visit.
“It’s good to see you too,” Raphael said with a grin.
Raguel glared at him, making Raphael burst into laughter.
“Come on, loosen up!” Raphael blurted out.
“What do you want, Ralph?” Raguel huffed, though not annoyed enough to neglect using the diminutive he’d given Raphael.
Raphael was silent for a moment as he observed his friend. He knew Raguel could be difficult at times, but Raphael did not blame Raguel for that. Right now, he was just concerned that his friend looked as though something was bothering him.
“What’s wrong?” Raphael asked.
“I never said there’s something wrong,” Raguel responded.
“You don’t need to say anything for me to know there is. You have a worried look written all over your face,” Raphael pointed out, while simultaneously pointing at Raguel’s face.
“I’m fine, Ralph,” Raguel ineffectively tried to assure Raphael.
“No, you are not,” Raphael asserted. “You know you can talk to me,” he added reassuringly.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Raguel answered back.
“At least you have admitted that something is actually bothering you. When you are ready to talk about it, I will be here for you,” Raphael repeated his reassurance to Raguel with a smile.
“So, what have you be up to?” Raphael continued on.
“Nothing much,” Raguel shrugged.
“Well, if you like, we can explore the earth together,” Raphael suggested.
“Ralph, you know you don’t have to come to earth every time just to check on me,” Raguel stated matter-of-factly.
“I know, but I want to,” Raphael persisted.
Raguel turned away from his friend in order to hide the sad expression on his face. He just wanted to stay indoors and feel sorry for himself.
Raphael softly sighed. He had caught Raguel’s downcast countenance, but momentarily brushed it off. “Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Raguel,” Raphael soon advised, as he placed his hand upon his friend’s shoulder.
Raguel took a deep breath and turned back to his friend with a forced smile on his lips, which Raphael noticed, but decided not to give it any attention. Instead, he again asked, “What do you say about exploring the earth with me?”
“Okay,” Raguel relented.
“That’s it, then. Let’s go!” Raphael cried out, as he flashed his magnificent wings. Raguel did the same. He felt extremely grateful to have a friend like Raphael. And together they soared high into the sky.
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