Azrael stood in the shadows of Lila’s room, watching her sleep. The moonlight shone into the room, making her face glow slightly.
He felt wrong for watching her sleep, but he was fascinated.
She triggered a spark in him that he thought wasn’t there and it made him slightly uncomfortable.
Ever since he could remember, he had been alone. He hadn’t had anyone at his side or knew someone who was so trusting with him. Not even Anubis was comfortable around him and he considered him a close ally he could rely on.
The sleeping woman before him intrigued him.
She was fresh and full of life.
Compared to her, he was the darkness that took hold of a soul and clenched it tightly, never letting go.
He brought darkness wherever he went, and it made him depressed. Lila gave him feeling again.
It was really strange and new.
When he was drawn to her soul, he expected the reaping to be like previous ones, but this was different. As he laid eyes on her for the first time, he was surprised.
She gazed at him with understanding, unafraid. The young woman looked around to see what had happened before looking towards him for answers. He didn’t respond but held out his hand, hoping she would go easy and she wasn’t just fooling him, like many had done throughout the centuries, but she hadn’t.
Her small hand touched his and her fate was sealed.
That’s when things had gotten weird. He had never seen anything like it.
Once in a millennium were a new deity reborn. He still was unsure of her place, even though Anubis had solved a great deal of his questions.
Azrael stretched as he sat in the soft cushion chair next to the bed, gazing at her intently.
He was very tired, but he didn’t want to leave the room out of stubbornness.
Instead of getting some rest, he decided to visit her dreams. She didn’t know it was possible yet, so he would take advantage. He could get a sneak peek of who she really was.
Within seconds, he was standing in a field of wildflowers on a sunny day. He couldn’t make out a specific time or date, but the weather was a perfect sixty-five degrees with partly cloudy skies. On all sides in the distance were mountains with snowcapped peaks, one so high it was lost in the clouds to the north.
Everything was so detailed and colorful; it was unlike anything he had ever seen before.
Looking to the south, he spotted Lila, plucking daisy petals in a little cleared area. She wore a white flowy dress with her dark hair woven in a flower wreath on her head, her feet left bare. Her already creamy skin practically glowed beneath the sunlight, giving her the appearance of an angelic creature.
He made his way through the field to stand before her.
His shadow caused her to look up, she jumped a little.
“Azrael, join me.” She smiled at him, patting the ground next to her.
Unsure of what was going through her mind, he sat beside her and stretched his long legs.
Lila gazed at him with a shy smile, tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear before working some more on the flower crown she was making.
“You’re a very vivid dreamer. I don’t see that often.” His gaze missed nothing as he watched her nimble fingers weave the stems into each other.
Smiling a little, she said, “I’ve always dreamed like this. Sometimes, when I was little, I would dream of things that would happen later. I grew out of it eventually and my dreams grew more vivid as I grew up.”
He nodded, watching how she practically glowed under the sunlight.
The sight took his breath away and he couldn’t help but stare at her. He was so intrigued by her.
Looking into her past, he saw she had dreamed like this, a lot. Not many people did so. Dreams were normally muddled and vague, but hers, it was like real life.
Immortality had no part in beefing up her dreams. Lila was already a gifted dreamer, which was something he admired.
After being around for so long he had grown bored until meeting Lila.
He was going to push her in the right direction to be a great goddess.
The following days Lila progressed quicker than Azrael anticipated, quickly learning everything he taught her, absorbing the information with eagerness. Lila was such a gifted learner that by the end of the week, Monday being her death, she was finished with her training.
Usually, it took him months or years to teach new deities, but she was different.
“So, what will happen now?”
It was a rainy Saturday and Lila sat with Azrael, sipping a cup of hot green tea. They both were still in pajamas and unkempt looking but in good moods.
Azrael swirled his spoon in his coffee, gazing into the mug. “You are now free to leave and go about whatever you want to do. The world is yours.”
He couldn’t help but leave the sadness in his voice. Once she left, he would be alone again, and life would go on as usual. Life would go on.
“Maybe I’ll start working on my bucket list. There’s so much I want to do.” A small smile appeared before she drank more tea.
“What’s first on your list?” Azrael drank his coffee and leaned back in the chair, stretching his long legs outwards. He was a big man and hated being confined to a small space.
Lila looked at him with a bigger smile on her face, “I want to see the Bahamas. I was never able to afford to go until now.”
“I’ve been there, many times. It’s quite nice when you need a long break from everything. In some areas, the water is so clear that you can see the sandy bottom. I happen to own an island out there, where the beach has pure white sand and the surf gently comes in. The island is secluded with the house hidden deep in the trees near the beach.” He stared off into the distance remembering when he first bought that island twenty years ago.
It had been an impulse thing after being annoyed with his always dark realm. The sun had been refreshing and warm on his skin. His island had the perfect view of endless blue ocean that was situated exactly right for a beautiful sunset every afternoon. He had never taken anyone there before and he thought he may take her there; but he dismissed the idea.
She wasn’t his to keep here.
Now that she had a second chance, she should make her life how she wanted to rather than sitting here talking to a moody spirit.
He had nothing to give her. Being what he was, he wasn’t sure he could even reproduce.
The skin he wore went away for several months of the year since his real form was so powerful. Nothing could contain the energy for long.
Those who had seen his true form rightfully feared him for he was the real being of nightmares, the being people had feared for a millennium. His friend Anubis had seen his true form and even he was frightened of what Azrael was capable of.
If Lila ever saw him she would be frightened, too, and she would keep her distance like everyone else. She was vibrant and full of life, so young. Compared to him, she was a dot in the expanse of time.
“It sounds lovely. I may just buy a place out there if I like it. Thank you for helping me. Life would have been very confusing without you. I’m glad that I accepted.” His heart skipped a beat when her eyes met his.
Not many people complimented him but coming from her, it was different. Something within him felt something alien, yet he liked it.
“You’re welcome. It took some time to get you to agree but look where you are now. You’re ready to go out into the world.” He gathered their empty dishes, cleaning up the table as Lila turned to watch him.
“I’ll miss hanging out. You’re a good person, despite what you think of yourself. I’d always be up for getting together and doing stuff if you want.”
He shut the dishwasher and said, “That’d be nice when I get the chance every now and then.”
She smiled and he had to look away since her smile set him on fire, his being was all nerves.
The next day they parted ways but before she left, her gave her a gift. He cured her of the disease she had been born with and he left her in tears.
It would haunt him, doing that, but he figured it was the best thing he could do.
That was the only thing he could give her, and he felt satisfied that he had at least been able to give her something.
Quickly life went back to its usual routine but with Lila haunting his days.