The Cleaners

Max and Seph are best friends. Not only are they best friends, but are also both part of the powerful Nephilim race on Earth, which means they are both part angel. Humans make quite a mess of themselves on Earth, and Max and Seph have come to realize this. So what bad could possibly come out of helping irresponsible little humans make less of a mess of themselves? I suppose they are about to find out.

Follow Maximilian and Sephora through tests of courage, loyalty, skill, even love.

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2. Chapter 1

       "Do you ever feel like you're missing something? Like there's something out there just waiting for you to find it, to make your life complete. But no matter how hard you try, it simply can't be found, and you're stuck being the same your entire life? Does that make any sense?"  Seph asked, shifting her head on my shoulder. “Unless you’re talking about the lack of taco places in Chicago, no,” I replied jokingly. She lifted her head off my shoulder and looked at me, laughing. “Oh, shut up. I’m serious!”

                “Me too!” I replied, trying my best to sound defensive. She lightly punched me in the arm, a teasingly angry look on her face. She soon gave in and rested her head back on my shoulder, a thoughtful expression on her face. “ But really, have you ever felt like that?” She asked. I considered for a moment. Did I ever feel that way? I mean, sure, when you have no family, there’s always that feeling of missing something, but is that really what she’s talking about?

                “I’m not sure. Maybe sometimes, but once I realize all the things I do have in life, those thoughts become stupid. Why waste time thinking about how good things could be when everything’s already perfect, and you just fail to see it?” I said. Seph didn’t say anything back but moved her head in a subtle nod. There was silence for a few moments as we both just peered over the river. The water was turned orange and pink from the sun in its quick descent for the night. It reminded me of St. Patrick’s Day the year before; when the river was green from the many gallons of dye dumped into it.

                The scene before us, off the La Salle Bridge looked almost angelic. Like heaven was making an appearance over the water. It was the little things like this that reminded me there was still magic left in the world, always present or not.

 

                “Hurry up! How hard is it to unlock a door?” Seph yelled, growing more and more impatient with each second that passed. “You know, I’ve said about a million times that we need a new lock. It isn’t my fault that it’s impossible for the key to go smoothly into the hole,” I replied, violently shaking the key in the lock. She didn’t say anything back; she knew I was right.

                After about a minute of struggle, the world had finally decided to agree with us and our corrupt lock. Seph went straight to the kitchen. “Mick’s going to be here in an hour. Will you please help me make dinner? I promised him.” She asked, frantically gathering supplies. I rolled my eyes. “Why do you stay with that freak? He treats you like crap.” I told her, walking into the kitchen. “Now what do you want me to do?”

                Seph ignored my last question. “Hey! He does not. He loves me. Sorry you’re jealous.” I put my hands on my hips dramatically. “Oh, right Seph. You got me.  I’m so jealous. I wish I had someone like Mick. To not care about me and act like I’m some piece of garbage,” I said sarcastically. She just glared.

                “Do you want me to help you or not?” I asked, changing the subject. She wore a pleading look. “Please.”

 

                An hour later, there was a knock at the door. Seph’s eyes got wide. All the food was ready, so I wasn’t sure what her problem was. “Oh my god, Max. I forgot to change!” she whisper-shouted. “Why are you whispering? What are you- you look fine! Just wear that!” I replied, raising my eyebrows. There was another knock, this time more aggressive. What a jerk, I thought. “No! I can’t wear this! You have to stall him!” Seph ordered, leading me toward the door before darting into her room. “What? No, Seph. Seph!” I yelled after. She wasn’t coming back out.

`               I braced myself, and opened the door. “Hey swee- oh. Hi Maxi pad,” Mick said, pushing pass me and into the apartment. I clenched my jaw and blinked. “Hello, Mick.” He looked around the room. “So where’s my girl?” “Oh. She’s, uh, in the bathroom?” I said casually, hoping he would buy it. He didn’t say anything, just sat down, so I decided the conversation was over. Fortunately.

                I turned my Xbox on and sat on the couch, starting up Call of Duty. I didn’t get much time to dwell in the silence before Mick opened his mouth again. “Are you playing video games? Oh, look at wittle Maxi pad playing his wittle video games,” he said, “you know, at your age- Hey babe!” I got confused for a moment and turned around. He was standing and walking toward a newly dressed up Seph.

                He planted a goober on her lips and grabbed for whatever he could, like every time they got within three feet of each other. “What a douche,” I said under my breath. I wanted to take one of the guns from my game and use it on him.

               

Having to listen to their “date” was pretty much torture. It was just Mick the whole time. Big shot Mick talking about his big shot job and his big shot house and his big shot car and his big shot everything. I wanted to put duct tape over his mouth. “So, uh, when are you going to kick that tool Max out?” he asked her, and I started to listen more closely. “I told you already. I’m not. He’s my best friend, and that’s it,” she replied with a bit of finality in her voice. But of course Mick kept it going. “How do I know that? How can I be sure that you and him are only friends? You’re mine, and only mine,” he told her forcefully.

“Are you serious?” I turned around and said, raising my eyebrows. “This doesn’t concern you. Go back to your game,” he said. I rolled my eyes but turned back around. Me getting involved would only make things worse. “ Well maybe you can’t be sure, but that isn’t my problem. Nothing’s going on between us. I’m not kicking him out,” she told him, sounding a bit annoyed. “Well that isn’t fair to me, now is it? You know what? Whatever, Sephora. I’m done.” Mick stood up and walked out of the apartment, slamming the door behind him.

Seph started to cry. When I say cry, I mean sob. “Come here,” I told her gently, opening up my arms. She sat down next to me and I wrapped them around her. “It’s ok. You can’t listen to him. You’re better than that.” I said. The tears continued to stream down her cheeks, and her eyes were getting puffy. “Remember when we first met? You were so brave. You took down that guy like he was nothing. You’re a rock, Seph. Don’t let someone like him take that away from you.”

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