The stars were out in full force that evening. The air was so still. She could hear an owl cheering on the display, Who? Who? Who? It asked.
Angrily, she answered, “It’s me, you moron. Just me!”
“All alone, me.” she whispered under her breath. She was walking with her head down, towards her house, out of sheer instinct.
Suddenly, out of no where, he was there. She bumped into him hard, walking in a complete daze. She screamed!
He put his hands up in shock, and stepped backwards in fear.
“What is going on?” He said to her. “Why did you run into me so hard? Why are you screaming? Who are you? Why am I here?” He stammered and put his hands on his head.
“Huh?” She answered. “Why are you here, is the better question! Why would you ask me? You just appear out of no where, right in front of me, in the middle of the night – and you are asking me why you are here? I am a girl, walking by myself, and you are scared of me?” She was speaking exasperated.
“Who are you?” She asked. “Did you just jump out of that bush over there? Are you here to attack me? That would just be the icing on the cake tonight wouldn’t it!” She threw her hands up in disgust.
“I am not sure who I am,” he said. “I don’t really know much, my mind is foggy. I may have hit my head? I don’t really know much, I don’t even remember my name. But to answer your questions, no, I did not come from behind the bush, and no, I am not here to attack you. You, in fact, attacked me, did you not!?” His answers were soft and steady.
She normally would have taken off, run for safety, but in the state she was in, and from the way he looked in the moonlight, she had nothing to lose. She was alone, and so was this stranger. In that split second she made a very quick and rash decision, they might as well be alone together.
“I’m sorry,” She said. I didn’t mean to run into you. It’s been a tough night. I don’t live far from here. I am on my way home and you could join me if you have no where to go.”
He rubbed his head, as if nursing an injury and thought a moment.
“Hang on,” he said, “I may have bumped my head pretty bad, but I do know one thing for sure. It is not okay for a girl walking alone at night to meet a strange man who doesn’t have a name or much of a memory at all and ask him to join her for the night at her home. You know nothing about me,” he added, “and well, I guess, I know nothing about me either, why would you do that?”
“Well, I guess, I have nothing left to lose,” she answered. “I really don’t care, and it seems like you have no where to go right now, except for that bench over there. She pointed to it haughtily. “You seem harmless, I’ve been wrong about men before, but right now, like I said, I have nothing to lose, and I simply don’t care.”
She started to get frustrated and began to walk off, she quickly turned her head back to him and snapped. “Do you want a place to stay tonight or not?”
“Wow, that was amazingly rude and sad at the same time,” he said. “Yes, I guess, however, I don’t have much choice, seeing that I am somewhat lost and I don’t seem to have a wallet or money. It appears that you are my only salvation tonight. I will go with you and hopefully I will remember more about myself in the morning.”
As they walked, the light from the streetlights revealed more of her new housemate for the evening. He had very gentle and beautiful blue eyes, his skin was perfect, not a blemish on it and his hair was full and groomed. He wore a simple cotton t-shirt, a wrangler jeans and a well worn pair of cowboy boots. His attire seemed totally out of sorts for the city. She shrugged and kept walking. “Nothing is making sense tonight,” she thought, “so this is perfectly strange.”
They didn’t say a word to each other for the entire walk. It wasn’t far, a mile, and still the silence seemed to be what they both needed. Perfect for the throbbing pain in his head, and soothing for the pain she felt all over, stemming from her heart. She was tired of that pain, it was all too familiar and all too exhausting. All she wanted was her bed, her cozy home, and time so she could sort out the most recent events.
They walked inside her front door and she gestured toward her couch. “You can sleep here, it is comfortable, believe me I know, I’ve spent many nights there.”
“Thanks,” he replied, “I appreciate your hospitality.”
His response was kind of dry, or maybe just sleepy and disorientated. In any case, she didn’t care. She was tired and felt so heavy. She somehow dragged herself to bed, and passed out from exhaustion. Any thoughtful attempt to sort out the events of the evening were forgotten the second her head hit her pillow.
She woke to the sounds of birds chirping and the sun blazing through her bedroom window. Normally this would have made her happy, but the crushing weight of reality hit her chest like a freight train. The memories of the previous evening came rushing in like a thief and stole any ounce of joy. She smashed her pillow over her head.
“OUCH!” she said, “dang.” She had been clutching the key her mom gave her in her angry outburst and hit herself in the head. Her knuckles were white from holding it so hard. She got out of bed and looked at the welt she had growing on her forehead. “Great,” she said, “insult to injury.”
She placed the key on her dressing table and looked at her reflection, she gingerly touched her swollen red eyes. “Double ouch,” she thought.
She took her brush and passed it through her perfect golden curls. She remembered back when she was a kid how she hated everything about her hair. She threw a fit every time her mom would have her sit and brush it for her. She would sing to her and remind her that when she was older, she would love having such beautiful hair. The tender memory stung with another rush of pain. She slammed her brush down and bit her lip. “Why!” she screamed in her head.
She grabbed her long, cozy, sleeveless white robe that fell to the floor, wrapped herself up tight with a quick knot and went down to the kitchen. She felt pleasantly surprised to see her new stranger already bustling in the kitchen.
The smell of freshly pressed coffee was the best thing she had experienced in the last 24 hours. She could also see he was freshly showered and the kitchen was spotless. She had left in such a rush yesterday when the doctors called, she had no idea what messy state she had left her house in. She was too distracted by the smell coffee to be embarrassed.
He turned after hearing her enter the room. Those same eyes she saw in the lamplight shocked her. His eyes were the softest shade of blue she had ever seen. They were almost white. She shook her head and mumbled, “What have I gotten myself into now…”
“What did you say?” He asked.
“Coffee?” She asked. She already had her favorite cup in hand.
“Obviously” he replied. He poured both of them a steaming hot cup.
First, she wrapped both hands around the familiar cup, held it under her nose and filled her lungs with the delicious aroma and cozy steam, then she took her first sip. It was the best coffee she had ever had. “What did you put in this?” She asked.
“Not sure, he answered, “it’s just stuff I found in your pantry. There isn’t much in there by the way. Not much of a cook?”
She sat in her favorite chair by the bay windows and pulled her feet up to her chest and hugged her knees. She sighed and put her head down. “I’m not much of anything these days.”
It was so out of character for her to be acting so dejected, but this was not a normal morning by any means. She was in a moment by moment event in her life, and there was nothing she could do but exist in each one. She was in survival mode and he had no idea he was along for the ride.
“Oh, come on,” he replied. “What does that mean? You have this great house, seems like you are doing well for yourself. What’s so wrong with what you are doing? I mean, I’m starving, and there is no food, but other than that, this place is great. The couch was perfect last night, by the way. I slept the second my head hit the pillow. Thanks for letting me stay. I still can’t believe you invited me here. But I am grateful nonetheless.
He stopped babbling when he saw she was crying. Her shoulders trembled from the uncontrollable sobs. In that second he could see her. She had a white glow all around her from the morning sun streaming through the window behind her. She was small. The chair she was sitting in seemed almost too big for her. She was small, but he could tell she was strong. Her arms that clung to her legs were beautifully fit. Her strawberry blond hair softly hung down her back in the most beautiful curls he had ever seen.
He shook his head quickly and snapped himself back to the situation at hand.
“What is going on?” He asked softly, “Can I help? Did I say something wrong?” He sat down at the table with her and passed her the clean towel he had draped over his shoulder.
She brought her face up, took the towel and wiped her eyes. She could see he was genuinely concerned.
She couldn’t stop her mouth if she tried, (to be continued…)
20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[a] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[c]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendorwas dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.