Gage Park, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America- Earth, 7:17 A.M, May 3rd, 2018 A.D.
“Selena!” Lonan’s voice echoes.
I sit up with a gasp, blinking repeatedly.
My eyes adjust to my surroundings and I find myself tucked under the covers of my bed. Lonan sits beside me, clutching my hand.
“You’re awake!” he cheers, his grip tightening. I manage a crooked smile. A headache digs into my brain, and I grimace.
Lonan’s eyebrows scrunch. “Are you okay?”
I nod. “Yeah... just a small headache.” I grin assuredly.
He leans in closer to drape his arms over my shoulders in a hug. I tense but slowly sink into his embrace. “I’m glad you’re okay,” he whispers.
I grip him tighter. “Me too. But what happened?”
He pulls away to run a hand over his dark locks. “Leilah was somehow able to strike you with her curse power.”
I cock my head. “But I thought she wasn’t able to move with so many Moonwalkers there.”
Lonan shrugs. “Beats me.”
“What happened to her, anyway?”
“The archangels chained her in Hell.”
“How did that happen?”
“For some reason, they just appeared out of nowhere and took charge of everything. They used some sort of liquid and spilled it over her wings. Her wings burned off and then she was gone.”
The door bursts open to reveal Amá. She brings a hand to her mouth. “You’re okay!”
Amá marches up to me and slaps me on my head.
“Ow! What the heck, Amá?” I whine, rubbing over the tender spot on my head. That certainly doesn’t help my small headache.
“Don’t you ever do that again!” she shouts, putting her hands on her hips. Her eyes start to water and she leans over me to squeeze me with her arms. “But I’m so relieved! I was so worried!”
I pat her on the back, then squeeze her back. “I know, Amá. I’m sorry.”
She leans back, her arms still around me, to say, “And you’re grounded for a month.”
“Wha- But I literally just saved our kind!” I complain, my bottom lip jutting out.
“I don’t care. You went somewhere without permission.” She pulls away to give me her “mom” stare.
I sigh. “Okay.” Pain shoots through my skull again and I groan, clutching my head.
Amá hands me a bottle of Holy Water. “Here. Your Apá went back to Heaven just to get this for you since I finished the vial trying to heal you yesterday. He’s so tired, so you should go thank him when you feel better.”
“Apá went to Heaven?” I ask, opening the cap of the bottle to down half of it in one go. The pain starts to subside and I sit back into my bed, sinking into my pillows.
“Yes. It’s been so long,” Amá says, looking out my window wistfully. “I haven’t been there in 33 years.”
I screw the cap back on the bottle, placing it on top of my bedside table.
“I haven’t been there in 40 years,” Lonan adds, crossing his arms.
Amá rolls her eyes. “Well, you deserved to get banished for what you did.”
I quickly sit up again. “What did Lonan do? And how do you know Amá?”
“Well your Apá looked at Lonan’s records right before coming back down, and apparently he-”
“What’s in the past is in the past. Anyway, did your pain go away? You should go see your father,” Lonan cuts my Amá off quickly, chuckling nervously.
I raise an eyebrow, but let it go. He’ll tell me when he’s ready, I guess. “Yeah, I’m feeling better. Let me go see Apá.”
I usher Amá off the bed and remove my covers, slipping on my chanclas. Amá grabs onto my bicep to help guide me out the door to Apá and Amá’s bedroom.
When we get there, his door is closed. I knock tentatively, hoping he’s not asleep. “Come in,” comes his soft voice.
I turn the knob to find him in the same position I was in. He coughs, then smiles at me. “Selena! ¿Como estás, mija?”
I scamper over to him with Amá, then lower down next to him. “I’m good, thanks to you. I heard you went all the way to Heaven for me.”
Apá laughs, sending a pointed look at Amá. “You didn’t have to tell her that.”
Amá scoffs beside me. “Of course I did.”
“Anyway~” I drag out, hunching over to give him a peck on the cheek. I pull away. “Thank you.”
Apá smiles, patting my cheek softly. “No need to thank me.” His lips form a thin line. “Your Amá told you, you were grounded, right?”
“Yes,” I mumble, my head drooping. Pain shoots through again and I squeeze my eyes shut. I will it away. I want to continue just long enough to finish this conversation without being ushered back to my room. “I’m sorry.”
“I’m so proud of you, though, mija,” he states, cupping my left hand with both of his.
A soft smile eases onto my lips. Tears spring in my eyes. “Thank you.”
The headache becomes more prominent and I do my best to hide it, grinding my teeth together. “Well, I must get back to my room.”
“Why? So you can go kiss that fallen angel boy of yours?”
The tips of my ears flush with heat. “No!”
Amá and Apá both laugh. Amá tugs me off the bed and I comply, my ears still burning.
“Get better, mija,” Apá calls to me, once I shut his bedroom door.
“You too,” I respond, shuffling the rest of the way back to my room.