“Disguised as an Angel” By Tara Rengert

Waking up, Ann felt her nightgown shift as she stretched. She walked to the window overlooking her family’s farm, white as a piece of paper, white with the snow from the past week, with evergreen trees peeking out. She felt ardor towards her family farm. She passed her mirror on the way. She stared at herself, her ruffled brown pixie cut fluffy from being slept on. Her pale skin seeming to glow, as it always did in the morning. She had just turned 16 two months ago, an eternity. To turn 16 had been a crazy idea a year ago. She put on a dress from of her dresser, a new birthday present, as new as the thought of aging, and went downstairs.

She walked past her mom, who was cooking breakfast; ham, bacon and eggs. They exchanged glances and said “Hey, Mum.”

“Hello, Ann.” She walked down her front steps onto the wide, cobbled street that was full of people, who were bustling away to do what they had to do. She walked past her former friends, who were talking in a huddled clique, like bees surrounding a flower. They were probably talking about her again, about her and Bruno. She frowned, still feeling the hurt from the betrayal from when Michael was in the picture. He had been a true wound to the heart.

They all exclaimed, “Hi!” and she responded with a “Hey!” She thought about Bruno, her best friend who was now her boyfriend. She had actually developed a crush on him after he had helped her get rid of her vituperative boyfriend, and had helped her come to terms with reality. Her boyfriend had been the Devil disguised as an Angel.

She loved him, with his pale blue eyes, and brown, crew cut hair.

He had seemed like a perfect friend. He loved to talk to her, and hang out with her, even with her friends. He had become sad when she became Michael’s girlfriend, and even more devastated when he learned that he had hit her occasionally. He treated her like a sibling, and she treated him like one too. Although her other friends had only smirked about this, they never acted the least bit like Bruno. They never acted like true friends. Running away when she needed help seemed to be their favorite activity.

Bruno had also approached Michael on her behalf. He had stood up for her, and fought Michael on the old train tracks, where they had agreed to meet. The rails had glistened with the falling rain. Although Michael was definitely stronger, and would have won easily probably anywhere else, Bruno had more wit, and more determination, and therefore had won. None of her former friends, not even Bella or Clarice, her better friends, would have even dared to lift a finger of contradiction towards Michael.

Ann recalled how Michael had hurt her, and how Bruno fought Michael with so much spirit. Regrettably, she remembered each punch, as if it was her fighting Michael, and not Bruno fighting Michael. Then, she remembered the final blow that Bruno had laid, that knocked Michael out, causing him to fall on the tracks. She felt a tiny bit of regret for not telling them that there was a train approaching, but she knew Michael deserved it.

All things considered, he deserved to die for what he had done.

Bruno was extremely lucky to have not gotten the life sentence, and it was partly because of Ann, and what she said. Because she convinced everyone, including the court that Bruno had been acting in self-defense when he knocked out Michael, and told everyone about Michael’s abuse towards her he got off without charges. She thought about Bruno’s face when he had received the adjudication of “not guilty”, about the smile on his face, the genuine smile

that she rarely saw. He had been genuinely happy.

At this point, she knew she loved him. Now, Ann saw Bruno approaching, looking down. She called out his name, “Hey, Bruno!” and he looked up, with an immediate smile and “Hey!” He jogged over to her, greeting her with a passionate hug and kiss.

 

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