Image copyright: MachiavelliCro (DeviantArt)
…………in continuation of The Price #4 (This part contains major spoilers. To understand the plot and characters properly, you need to read all the previous parts if you haven’t already.)
“It’s a tragic story of one such ill-fated angel, who underestimated the gravity of his duty to his master,” he said but didn’t lift his eyes. “Underestimated the rules.”
“He dared to fall in love with a human girl and told her about his secret,” she said what she had already guessed.
“Yeah,” he said, still not taking his eyes off that sketch with strokes of red. “He didn’t regret it, until his angel wings were ripped out from his back and he was banished to earth. Until the gates of heaven were closed for him for an eternity. He still loved her but it wasn’t enough for someone who was torn apart from his essence.”
“What happened to the girl?” she couldn’t keep herself from asking. She heard the curiosity and concern in her own voice.
“It was part of the punishment,” he said and his eyes appeared to bore holes in that page. “He was commanded to wipe out memories of him from her mind. And he had to do it, for her sake. A fallen angel. That was what he was now. A fallen angel with black feathered wings. Though still not visible to humans, those black feathered wings were a hideous reminder of what he had lost,” his throat bobbed but he hardened his jaw and continued without looking at her. “And he had lost too much, not only his white angel wings. It was the price he had to pay for underestimating the rules. The price for revealing the secrets of his existence.”
He was right, the story was tragic. An uncomfortable silence followed and he just stared at the sketchbook. The air had turned so thick that it would not have been a surprise to be able to slice it with knife. He finally lifted his eyes.
“I hope you’re satisfied with this much information,” he said blankly. The mask was still in its place.
“Was that glamour so powerful?” she said ignoring him in an effort to take their mind off the sad part. “Hiding such big pair of wings must have been hard for angels.”
“Glamour was powerful, yes” he said. “But it had its limits. It could only conceal the wings when they were attached to the angel’s body.”
“You mean if a few feathers were dropped here and there unintentionally, they became visible to humans.”
“Yeah. But angels didn’t bother with it because they knew a human mind would assume they belonged to a bird or something,” he said in a rush. “Look, it was nice talking to you but I have to be somewhere. I really need to go.” he said getting up and started picking up his stuff.
“Will it have a happy ending?” she asked and got up from the chair. Cliff-hanger was one of those things she hated the most. And she didn’t know why but she felt she needed to know the whole story.
“I don’t know,” he said and shrugged, feigning boredom. “I haven’t completed the book yet. And as I said before, it’s fiction. I would advise you not to get so involved in it.”
“Well…..okay,” she said, perceiving his flat tone as a sign that she was not going to get the whole story. “So…um….nice to meet you.” It came out as a question.
He was about to turn around and leave but then stopped. As if he forgot to say something, he faced her again. Something had changed about the way he was looking at her, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. Slowly he took a few steps towards her. So slowly, as if he was fighting an inner war. He closed the distance between them. She opened her mouth to say something but closed it again when he lifted his arm and touched her face gently with his hand.
She forgot to breathe. His palm felt warm against the cold skin of her cheek. Her heart fluttered and then started beating faster.
He looked into her eyes and she saw his pupils dilating. “Yeah, it was nice to meet you,” he said softly. And for the first time since she met him, she saw raw emotion on his face; felt it dripping from those words.
Something cool was touching against her temple and cheek. Opening her eyes, she found herself leaning towards the window and her head was rested on the cold glass pane. She groaned and then sat straighter in the chair.
Great! Falling asleep while reading in a café! What an excellent way to spend my weekend!
She adjusted her hair and prayed that no one noticed her sleeping. Still running her fingers through her hair, she took in her surroundings and found that everyone in the café was busy. No one was looking at her side.
Thank God! No one saw me sleeping like that. It would have been so embarrassing!
Her coffee lying on the table before her was already cold and she had no idea how long she had been asleep. Getting up, she closed the book she was reading. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, the cover read.
How the hell did I fall asleep in the middle of an interesting book?
She blamed it on the weariness after the hectic week.
And that dream I had just now?
She looked towards the far corner table and found it unoccupied.
So it was really a dream. Though she didn’t remember what the dream was actually about, she could have sworn that everything was happening for real! That she was really talking to some mysterious guy. She again shook her thoughts off. Gathering her stuff, she quickly made her way towards the exit. She had wasted too much of her time today.
Maybe she was in a hurry or still half asleep. Maybe that’s why on her way to the exit, she didn’t give a second glance to the long black feather lying on the floor near the far corner table.
©sakshi~the escapist, 2017
Category: Story series