August 30, 2010

The Falling Angel of Fire Part 6


As she opened her luggage and put her clothes onto the bed, a smile decorated her face. A box of gift was laid  on the bed, next to clothes neatly folded. She saved it for someone whom she loved the most, although that someone might not have realized it. At least, she's finally here: far from Sunset Valley and her luxurious villa which surrounded by marbles sculptures and finest paintings. Compare to it, the place she was staying appear more like a shack. Even though, she must admit, sometimes, she only exaggerated things. Actually, a few meters away, there were three sculptures stood in the corner, made by her son-in-law. Of course, those sculptures were not perfect as works of art, but beautiful enough to decorate the house and the main thing was: she was finally home, so close to her only child.

August 23, 2010

The Falling Angel of Fire Part 5

She never thought that the day would come like a cloudburst falling unexpectedly and uninvited into one point in her life. Everything became blurred. She kept denying for she could only believe it if her eyes witnessed it.

"It was a dream, it must have been...". She whispered as she looked through the dewy window by the falling rain. Her mind caught tranquility by playing tricks on her vision and brought the figure she was desperately eager to touch. However, after the sound of thunder awakened her conscious thoughts, the figure soon disappeared and made her realize that everything was real.


Twinbrook, 9:00 a.m.
"Lila, what are you doing?"
"I'm helping you. I am putting out the fire."
"But you are off duty now."
"I know,  but I don't care. No one can stop me."

Lila stood beside her husband, unprotected, with  extinguisher on her hands. Instead of listening to him, she kept  squeezing the lever handle. She knew as well as everyone did that it was a foolish thing to do, but she could not sit and  watch the neighbor's house got burned.

"Back away, Lila! You may get hurt!"
"Let me do it, Dave....  for the last time!"

The heat was getting worse, and she came closer to the fire. Dave stopped and looked at his wife. He could not keep his focus when she stood beside him without any personal protective gear. She must leave the place immediately, before things got worse.

"Go back, Lila! Don't be a fool!"

"Lila!!" Dave shouted and pulled her away.

With that last yelling, he managed to make a distance between her and the fire. But unaware to him, Lila rushed off to the front door to help a woman getting out of her house.

She knew must go inside before the fire reached the living room. Unfortunately, the door was being locked, and the woman was deeply drowned in panic to grab the key. Lila had to open it by force.

"Ma'am! Get out of there!"
"But.! My house... … fire..."
"It's okay. It's safe now." Lila reached the woman's hands.

"Mrs. Sargeant, there's still a fire in the basement. It's very dangerous here. You should go outside now!"

Upon hearing her, the woman  ran outside.

Her pale face shone. Finally, she was completely safe  without any wounds on her skin. But, after she had reached  the stairs to the front yard, her face turned  blue again. "My husband... my husband is still in the basement!!"

Dave heard her. Sleek and agile like a gymnast, he ran into the house. Inside, he tried to break down the door that  led to the ground floor. First kick, nothing happened; second kick, dust fell on the floor;  at the third kick, he knelt on the ground, holding his ankles.

But, he tried it again. He grabbed an axe and swung it to the door's padlock.

After a couple of strikes and a strong kick, finally the door opened.

His sprained foot knocked against the door harshly, and when it landed on the floor, he felt the awful pain on his ankles. Without wasting a moment, he immediately ran into the basement.

"Lila!" Dave said when he had rescued Bobby Sargeant out of the house.

"What were you trying to do? You know how dangerous it was."

"I know.  Thanks for worrying me."

She held him closer. He could only sigh, knowing how easy it was for her to divert his attention away from the matter.

"Lila, you were  brave, but if anything happened to you, I could not forgive myself. Could you imagine how I am going to live without you? That was... stupid." His tone was a bit harsh and made her realize a mix of anger and worries within.

"I know..." She smiled like a spoiled child, hugging him tighter.

"No! You don't know. If you knew, you wouldn't do that." He loosened up her hug. "Lila! I don't want to lose you." His lips became hardened and flat. He tried to avoid the thought about the worst possible outcome that could have happened. He had been there before, and he did not want it to happen again to her.

On the contrary,  after hearing her husband's words,  flowers grew in her thoughts. She was paralyzed  for hearing such affectionate words. A tingle lurked in her stomach.

"I won't die that easily..." She chuckled. "And I could not live without you either." She lifted up her feet, pressing her lips against his. But, she leaned a bit  forward, and  made him lose his balance.


"Honey, what's wrong?" She quickly held his shoulder. She bent over, looking up to see his face.

"It's okay. It's nothing." He turned away, but "Damn!" He bit his lips. No matter how hard he tried to conceal it, it was already too late, she had already knelt down on the floor.

"Which one hurts?" asked Lila.
"The... the right one."
"Honey,  I think you should sit now."

She removed his shoes and carefully examined his foot. It was going to be hurt, but she must do this to know  which ligament had been hurt or torn. She tried to do it gently, but he spontaneously clenched his teeth.

"I think it's still in Grade one. Few days and it will be okay. We should get  ice and bandage. I am going to get them."

"Wait, Lila..." Dave stopped her from taking another step to the kitchen to grab ice.

"Back there you said 'for the last time'. What did you mean? Is there anything you haven't said? Did they....?"

"No, they didn't, at least hasn't." She smiled. "I was going to tell you about it. I've received a letter from the Chief. Looks like, I will be off duty until next week, or at least until the Council reaches a consensus about the effectiveness of the policy. The Chief asked me and you to wait. He personally wrote that I should not give up on this, and that I should tell you about it."

He did not know to feel glad or not to hear it, but... "What's wrong?"

"Nothing. " She chuckled. "It's funny that he asked you not to give up when, in fact, it was me who he would give up on."

"Actually..." He slowly rose up from the sofa and stood with his sore foot. "I have something to discuss with you. I have sent the  papers to the Chief, but he …"

"Sent the papers?"

"I know...I know you would not agree with it, but it's the only way. They would keep you here. I will apply for a job at another fire station. Both of us will still be working as  firefighters."

"But...  Dave, I thought we have agreed on this. We should have talked about it before you make a decision like this."

"I- I don't want you to lose everything you have achieved here. Even if I stay, I will not be happy here."

Dave almost tripped. He realized that he should have talked about it sooner. "Lila, I just want you to have what you wanted. It would not make any big difference. I know I should have talked about it, even though  I was confused  of leaving you here. I believe you can do the job, but no matter how I tried, I would be worried of your safety. I thought you wanted this job so.... so I decided to leave the department. I'm sorry."

His words sunk into her brain. She finally understood his reasons. If they were standing on the floor of their own living room instead of the Sargeant's, she would have probably kissed him and hugged him tenderly.

"Dave, it's okay, but I do hope that you will talk to me before you decide anything,  and you should not be saying sorry. I know you did it because of me. Thanks for being supportive, but to leave your job is not what I wanted. I want you to keep it, no matter what. Besides," Her voice softened. "I could not stand to be far away from you if you decided to work in Sunset Valley."

Dave felt woozy in a sudden. Intentionally or not, she had led his blue eyes into hers, made him  completely paralyze within seconds. He almost forgot about the awful pain on his ankle and even forgot about his helmet when he tried to kiss her on her forehead.

"Dave, you're still wearing your helmet."
" I forgot." He chortled.
"Lila, you're beautiful. My fearless Lady who's able to put out the blazing fire. You are, undoubtedly, my angel of fire." He flattered her with beautiful words, "But, you should have seen your face when you were angry, and... since you are wearing red, I am going to buy you horns."

He laughed. Of course, Lila did not buy it.

"It wasn't funny, Dave." She said with her arms akimbo, threatening him with a crafty grin. "Want to feel more on your ankle from this devil?"

He cleared his throat. "Okay, I will stop. Could we continue this at home? My ankle felt like something had  broken. I need attentions.. and love."

Lila smiled, getting his signals. "We should go home  to take care of your foot, but can you walk?"

"A help wouldn't hurt." He winked. Actually, he could walk, as long as he did it slowly. However, it's not every day he could get extra attentions like this.

"Dave." She said, before he put his arms around her shoulder.

"I forgot. We will have a company tonight. My..."
"Don't tell me. Your mother, right?"
"Yes, my mother." Lila was a bit surprised  to know  he could actually read her mind. "I - I don't get it. She'd - she'd  never been there for me and suddenly she visited here, drowning all her attentions towards me, my life, you. It's ... weird."

"Baby, maybe she has changed."
"Perhaps, anyway, she's going to stay with us for a few days."
"S- Stay?!"

"Why ? Do you mind about it?"
"Eh, no, of course not...."
"You seem  so nervous, Dave." She narrowed her eyes and watched him closely.

"Nervous? Nah …" He shrugged. "I am just thinking maybe, maybe  I have to put the sculptures in the living room and... the sink! I remember that I have to fix the sink, toilet, and...closet and... " He rambled and his face turned yellow, knowing how much lists he had to do to prepare for her mother's coming. When Lila stared at him, a smile perched on his face, but it felt awkward. Lila must have known that it was a fake.

"It's okay, my mom won't bite."

Dave only bit his lips hearing that.

To be Continued

August 11, 2010

The Falling Angel of Fire Part 4


They went to the Bistro, and she ordered a bread with peanut butter and jelly while Katharina ordered a plate of stir-fry. They sat together at one table, so close to one another. Still, the woman in front of her, the one who gave birth to her, felt so distant and  foreign. It's weird indeed, especially when she recalled her friends's stories about their mothers who seemed so near and real, or when she saw her best friend, Janice, spent a day with her mom, hugging and making silly jokes almost the entire time. While ...that day, she barely had not touched her mother's hands. Pathetic, wasn't it?

August 8, 2010

The Falling Angel of Fire Part 3



After several weeks of waiting,  the City Council responded to the issue. It had been quite heavily exposed in news headlines, attracted the mass power from the community and a group of advocating organization interested in Human Rights. Those voices urged men and women in City Hall to retreat and settle together on a round table discussion to discuss the rights of these firefighter women.

August 1, 2010

The Falling Angel of Fire Part 2

"As much as I regret to say this, but according to the new policy, one of you must leave this department before January  the 1st."
"We could not possibly let you go, Dave. I think she will be okay with it. She is a married woman and going to have kids. She will be safer if she doesn't have to deal with fire."

Inevitably and annoying, those words followed along her steps. It kept coming back inevitably no matter how hard she tried not to think about it.