Key Four: Lenalee:
She keeps getting drawn back to this place. Deep down, she knows the reason but refuses to say it aloud. It’s like something or someone is keeping her from speaking. Maybe it’s in her nature to be here. She was the angel of death after all.
Lenalee kept hearing the faint wailing from the graveyard. The cacophony of wails sent chills down her spine. Her hand reached out for the gate.
The angel of death turned her head. Komui stood watching her.
“Oh,” she said. “It’s you.” Her brother shook his head.
“Why do you keep coming back here?” he asked. Lenalee put her hand to her chest.
“Something keeps calling me here,” she said. She turned and looked at the graveyard. Her brother frowned.
“What do they say?” he asked. Lenalee shook her head.
“Nothing,” she said. “They sound like they are in pain.”
“This is normal,” Komui insisted. “Those doomed for hell will always weep out to the living world.” His sister shook her head.
“It’s not just them,” she said. Komui froze.
“What do you mean?” he asked. Lenalee didn’t answer. Her brother put his arm around her shoulders.
“Never mind that,” he said. “Come on. You have work to do.” His sister didn’t respond. She took one more look over her shoulder before they vanished.
She has to reap more souls today. That’s her job after all. Accidents, nature causes, health problems, murders, suicide. They all had to come with her in the end. Lenalee should be used to all of it by now. It never gets any easier. But lately, she’s been distracted.
Close to two years now and nothing. Most of the angels in Heaven had written Allen off as lost.
“He’s gone,” they would tell her. “Let him go.” Lenalee wouldn’t do it. She just knew that he was still alive. But she couldn’t trace him. He was not in the living world at all. That must mean…
Komui quickly shook his head.
“No!” he shouted. “You will not go there. There would be no way to get you back.” The older angel wouldn’t hear of looking into the Fallen City.
She did have someone to help her.
This morning, a small breeze caressed her ear. The angel of death glanced behind her.
“Is he there?” Lenalee whispered. A low buzz tickled her ear. The angel quickly looked behind her. Komui’s attention seems to be elsewhere.
“I knew it,” Lenalee whispered. She looked behind her again. What could she do? Komui was right about angels going into the Fallen City. The angel of death couldn’t go do there herself. But she couldn’t leave Allen down there.
Still, she had her duties to perform. Today was no different.
First, there was an old woman who died in her sleep in the nursing home. Next was a twenty-five-year-old man had overdosed on pills in his flat. He didn’t want to die after all.
“I’m so sorry,” Lenalee told him. He said nothing. It felt like he had resigned himself to his fate. The young man lowered his head. Who would even find his body? Lenalee made an anonymous phone call to the police.
Next up was a group of shooting victims. Seventeen people total. There could possibly be more on the way. The oldest had to be at least twenty-nine.
“It was my birthday today,” a girl with blonde hair complained.
“Happy birthday,” Lenalee said. She would have to get her a little cake later. The angel of death had to go and get the teddy bear of the four-year-old girl she was taking with her.
“Thank you,” the little girl whispered. How could something so simple like a blood-splattered teddy bear be a source of comfort to a child ghost? Some angels of death wouldn’t even bother. But Lenalee cared that much. Some angels thought too much.
“You can’t get attached to them,” Komui said. “Please keep this in mind.”
“Yes, brother,” Lenalee said in a hushed tone. But she has to care. It keeps her mind off of Allen and his predicament.
Next was another suicide victim. A woman in her forties tried to drive her SUV into a lake with her son in the passenger seat. The boy survived but she didn’t. He would have to carry those scars around for the rest of his life. He would get to live with his grandparents until he got older. Lenalee isn’t there to judge. That isn’t her job.
Oh look, three more from this morning’s shooting in Wales have joined on this route. That’s going to be four souls to take. The other three, two women and a small boy, look at the suicidal mother.
“What happened to you?” the younger of the two women asked. The mother looked at her wrinkled hands.
“I drove my car into the lake,” she said in a quiet voice. The older woman noticed the living little boy sitting in the grass. Tears streaked his little face.
“Is that your son?” she asked. The mother froze. The older woman, a nurse in her fifties, glared at her.
“You left that little boy alone?!” she shouted.
“No!” the mother snapped. “I was trying to take him with me.” The younger woman’s eyes widened.
“What?!” they asked.
“How could you?!” the nurse asked.
“You wouldn’t understand!” the mother shouted. Tears welled up in her eyes. Lenalee drowned out their arguments. Her mind went back to Allen.
She needed a break.
The angel of death went to the hospital in London. Sure enough, there was little Amelia sitting on the bench in front of the hospital. She looked up when she spotted Lenalee. The little girl smiled and waved.
“Hi!” she cheered. Lenalee flew down to her.
“Hello,” she said. Amelia gave her a strange look.
“What’s the matter?” she asked. The angel forced herself to smile as shook her head.
“It’s been a long morning at work,” she said. Lenalee flew up and sat next to the girl.
“How are you?” she asked.
“Tired,” Amelia said. “I want to go home.” Lenalee pulled her close to her side. Amelia rested her head. They watched a car driving by.
“It never changes, does it?” the little girl asked.
“No, it doesn’t,” Lenalee said.
Komui could see it himself. This job around England was getting to her. She really wanted to rescue Allen. But that didn’t look like it was possible. No angel had ever went into the Fallen City and came back out. Still, he needed to do something for Lenalee.
The angel went to the angel of death station. The receptionist looked up from her phone call.
“Good afternoon, can I help you?” she asked.
“I would like to request a transfer for Lee Lenalee,” Komui said. The receptionist lowered her phone.
“May I ask why?” she asked. He sighed and lowered his shoulders.
“It’s getting worse,” he said. “She needs a distraction as I try to figure out what to do with the Allen situation.” The receptionist frowned.
“I don’t know if there any slots open this late in the year,” she said.
“Can’t you help her?” Komui asked. “She really needs this.” The receptionist sighed and rubbed her forehead.
“I’ll see what I can do,” she said.
That evening, he found Lenalee at that cemetery again. She looked ready to open the gate.
“Lenalee!” Komui called. The angel of death jumped and turned around. She gasped and stared at him with big eyes.
“Oh, it’s you,” Lenalee said. Komui shook his head.
“You can’t keep doing this,” he said. His sister lowered her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she said. He patted her on the head.
“It’s fine,” Komui said. “I came here to tell you something.” His sister tilted her head.
“What is it?” she asked. He took her by the cheeks. She looked so cute even now. Komui could still see that scared little girl who first came to live with him.
“I put in a transfer for you,” he said. “You will be working from another location tomorrow morning.” Lenalee looked so confused.
“What? Why?” she asked.
“You aren’t focusing too well on your work,” Komui reasoned. “I know that you are worried about Allen. But you can’t let that get in the way of your duties.”
“But…” she began to protest.
“No, just listen to me,” her brother said. “You are going to Ikebukuro in the morning. You will stay there for six months. You might come back to London when your time is up.” He held up his free hand before she could speak.
“I already put in the paperwork,” he said. “Don’t worry, we will try to find out what to do with Allen.” Lenalee closed her mouth. She lowered her shoulders.
“Aw, come here,” Komui said. He pulled her into his arms. Lenalee just stood there silent. His lie hurt. She knew he was lying too. That wasn’t on her mind, however.
There’s no light over London today.