I was wide awake that night. My diary... I hadn’t written in my diary for like a year. Honestly I thought I lost it. Where did he even find it? My room was a messy maze, most of the time. I hopped out of bed and started my search. I needed to find that open story of my life and burn it before another one of my imaginary demon friends got a hold of it. I searched every crock and cranny of my room in the middle of the night. After hours of grueling crawls I had finally found my purple overly used diary way in the back of my closet. I had papers and pictures popping out of every corner and wondered how Cal navigated around my scribbled words. It was practically unreadable.
I flipped to the very beginning. It started five years ago when my grandmother gave me her special medallion. It was a sacred necklace that had the power to capture evil entities. I had worn it every day since she gave it to me. It made me feel safe and I couldn’t even count how many times it saved me.
I captured the unique crystal in my hand and continued reading. Grandmother had also explained to me the many evil creatures stuck in limbo through my medallion. My ancestors were hunters and very determined at that. Apparently my medallion had been passed to me through generations of demon fighters. It made me shiver just thinking about how many evil things were wrapped around my neck right now.
I forced myself not to think about it. Not like I could do anything about it. I’d rather have them contained than out and about terrorizing innocent people.
Before I could even change the page Miriam barged into my room. She was dressed in a floral pink and purple printed baby doll dress that covered her plump pregnant belly just right.
“What are you doing still in your pajamas? We’re going to be late.”
“Late? Late for what?” I guess I lost track of the hours when I was searching for my diary.
“The girls garden party. Remember, the one we have every year.”
I smacked my forehead. How could I forget? “Oh course. Oh gosh. What should I wear?”
“It’s ok. I figured you’d forget and bought you a new dress.” She smiled going into my closet.
My sister was a shopohalic. When I was little she practically claimed me as her personal Barbie doll and dressed me in five different itchy outfits each day.
Miriam walked back into my room with a beautiful baby blue one shoulder dress in her hands. Ok, this could work.
“You got 30 minutes to get ready.” She announced.
I just needed 15 minutes. I wasn’t much of a girly girl so my makeup was mostly natural. We made it to Clara’s house just as they were taking their seats. Clara was one of the most OCD people I knew. Every event we had at her house was off the charts. She always went beyond expectations; that was why when I saw all the decorative flowers hanging off the corners of the patio I was not surprised. I suppose being married to a doctor helped her expensive taste. The table was set in a coral, lime green theme that matched her own outfit.
Clara greeted us with a hug. “Oh Laken it’s been ages. Where have you been?”
“Hiding away in a cave with her man candy if she had any sense,” Bianca answered for me. She shrugged off my pointed stare. “I mean that’s what I’d do with that beautiful boyfriend of yours.”
Clara’s eyes lit up with shock and wonder. “You have a boyfriend? My, it has been too long.”
Oh gosh, here we go. I loved Clara but she needed to have a baby or something to occupy her time. She was always waiting on the latest news or trying to hook me up with some guy she knew. Once she even went as desperate to throw me in a blind date with her cocky, overly cologned, and pig headed cousin. Worst date of my life. He actually made me sit through 20 videos of him racing in his 5 series BMW. Like I even cared.
Let’s just say Clara was almost as bad as my own mother.
“Bianca is exaggerating. Don’t listen to her.” I took a seat next to Paige before grabbing a fruit tart. I was famished.
“Bianca’s not even scratching the surface. God knows I love my husband but Laken’s boyfriend puts supermodels on GQ to shame.” Paige continued.
“The bluest eyes to ever exist, this sharp chiseled jaw, big broad chest, and...” Bianca was motioning the features as she explained. “He’s so tall too-”
Clara butted in before Bianca could give any more juicy details. “When did this happen? And why haven’t I met him?”
I sighed and stuffed my face with cucumber finger sandwiches. “We didn’t come here to talk about my love life-”
“Love? Already?” Estelle, my cousin, teased me.
Love? Did I really say love? “You know what I mean.”
“Well most people say business or relationship but you choose to say love life.” My sister elaborated like the traitor she was. Wasn’t she supposed to be on my side?
“Ok don’t go all psychologist on me now. I am not in love. Cal and I have barely started dating. I’m still finding things out that I don’t like about him.”
“What? Are his teeth too white?” Kristy interjected.
“Is his butt too round and prefect for your liking?” Bianca mocked.
I rolled my eyes. This was not going to be an easy subject to get out of. There was no dodging the boyfriend conversation with these curious hormonal women.
“Honey we know how hard it was for you to let go of Alan. If it wasn’t meant to be it wasn’t meant to be. Don’t let it hold you back from starting something new with this man.” Clara was genuinely concerned for my happiness.
If only they knew. “Cal is a very complicated person. He has these demons lurking-”
“No one is perfect Laken, besides I saw no huge threat in his aura.” My sister was pushing me on the edge.
The reason my family couldn’t sense the evil on Cal was because, I guessed, he is an angel. Well was at one point. It was different for a fallen angel. I didn’t sense an evil entity in him either. It was masked by his angel eyes.
“God sends certain people in our lives for a reason. Nothing is not on purpose.” Estelle preached to me.
I took in their advice because I hate to admit it but they were right. God saw what was happening. There had to be a good reason why Cal was still in my life.
“I didn’t know I joined an AA meeting?” I got up and scanned my friends’ faces. “I’m Laken and I have a problem. I can’t seem to keep guys longer than it takes me to slit a demon’s throat.”
Miriam shook her head disappointedly. “Cal’s different Laken and you know it.”
I raised a brow and sat down. “What do you mean?” Was she starting to see the real picture?
“He’s tougher than Alan. Don’t get me wrong we liked Alan but look at the way Cal stood his own against your beast brothers. It took Alan at least a year before he even dared to talk back.” Paige said while casually sipping her tea.
That was because Alan had respect for my family. Was Paige really encouraging this? What was it about Cal that allured people to like him? Maybe it had something to do with his half angel self. I mean who wouldn’t be intrigued by an angel; even a fallen one.
It took everything in me not to roll my eyes…again. I did not love Callias but I suppose I could give them some hope. “You’re right. Cal is more than I could ever ask for or want.” Literally.
“Just remember,” Kristy tried lightening the mood, “kids in the back seat cause accidents; accidents in the back seat cause kids.”
We laughed and I was relieved the conversation was shifting.
“Speaking of children. What are you calling your bundle of joy?” Clara asked while rubbing my sister’s belly.
Miriam’s smile shined brighter than the sun, if that was possible. She was so excited to have a baby. “Joey.”
“Babies are such blessings.”
My eyes quickly drifted to Hannah. I was sure talk of babies was still a sensitive subject for her. Her eyes averted to the fruits on her plate. Should I change the topic?
“They are God’s reminder that mankind can be restored even after all the cruel horrible things we do.” Estelle commented so seriously.
“What’s it feel like?” Bianca asked inching closer.
“It’s incredible; to think something so amazing is growing inside of me. It’s beyond my greatest comprehension. I mean I can sit and think for hours; what is he going to look like, will he have my love for food or my husband’s passion for cars. There are so many things swarming through my mind.”
Hannah got up abruptly, spilling a glass of punch on the table. “I got to go,” she hastily said while flying out of sight like a bat.
“What’s that about?” Clara asked cleaning up the mess Hannah made.
“I’ll go find out.” I said quickly before anyone else could volunteer.
I sprinted out of there and reached the driveway just in time. Hannah was pulling her keys out frantically when I called her name.
She hesitated but I grabbed her arm to force her to a halt. She yanked her arm out of my grasp and for some reason that hurt me. Did she not trust me?
“Leave me alone Laken.” She continued the search for her car keys.
“No Hannah. Talk to me. Just talk.” She needed to get it out of her system.
I knew the baby talk was painful for her. I was the only one who knew. She needed to realize she could open up to me.
“Talk! What if I don’t want to talk about it? Huh! What if I don’t want to talk about how I murdered my own child?” The sad regret in her voice was heart breaking.
Suddenly I was at a loss for words. What could I possibly say to give her any sort of comfort?
“Every time I close my eyes it haunts me.” Hannah exhaled in agony. “And I don’t know how much more I can bear?”
“Hannah God can take that pain away.”
She laughed hysterically like I said some kind of joke yet I was completely serious. “I have defied God. I knew better Laken. I was brought up in a Christian home not on the streets. How? Why would God take my pain away? I have done nothing but reject his teachings.”
“God loves you despite what you have done. He takes your sin and tosses it into a sea of forgiveness and forgetfulness. He doesn’t hold anything against you if you come to him asking for forgiveness.” I dug into my heart to find the right words.
“I killed another person Laken. My own child.” She cried, clawing at her scalp.
My heart cried with her. I loved Hannah to the end of the world. We grew up together and she was always there for me. Her pain was my pain.
“I am so ashamed. I couldn’t...” tears ran down her face. “I couldn’t bear my sin for everyone to see. My mistake would have given others permission to judge me.”
“No,” I shook my head. “The only one worthy of judging you is our merciful Lord. If others condemn you they are not followers of Christ. Just as Christ as forgiven you so should we.”
“I regret it now.” Her faint whisper echoed into my ears.
I moved forward and embraced her. I wish I could shield her from all her fears and misfortunes.
“Pray for forgiveness. God can heal the empty, tortuous feeling you have in your heart. All you have to do it pray to him.”
She held onto me tighter and we cried together. We cried for her loss but also for her gains. God was not going to forsake her. He was going to comfort her in her time of need.
My medallion glowed and I saw a darker tear trail down her cheek like dead weight. I could feel it. That dark tear was her fear, her regret, the very demon holding her down. She was finally letting it go and I watched as the evil thought was consumed into my necklace where it would forever be kept.