The Protector

::The phone rings::

A man answers the phone.

Man: Hello
Woman: Are you busy?

Man: Not at the present moment, is there something you need?
Woman: I was wondering if you would come up to my room to talk, please?

Man: We’ve talked about things such as this before, it is not proper conduct.
Woman: Please, I can’t sleep and with my big day tomorrow I would like some answers.

Man: There is no reason that we can’t conduct a conversation elsewhere if you’d like to talk.
Woman: I will give you a week’s worth of your normal pay for a bit of your time.

Man: I’m not someone who is persuaded by money over my morals ma’am.
Woman: Please don’t call me that, I much rather you call me by my name after all we’ve been through.

Man: It is the professional courtesy that I’ve sworn to maintain during my time on this job ma’am.
Woman: So what will it take for you to help me at this time? I have so much running through my mind.

Man: You know that I’ll always be there for you, but this particular idea isn’t one that I find appropriate.
Woman: It is fine, I’m inviting you. The rest of the detail won’t think anything out of the ordinary.

Man: That’s not the point Ms. Snow. I’d rather not be alone in your room for my own reasoning.
Ms. Snow: It is typical for someone to check up on me and be around at varying hours.

Man: That’s not what I’m debating. It to me just doesn’t appeal to the correct way of doing things.
Ms. Snow: Please consider what it is I’m going through. I really would like a distraction to this whirlwind of thoughts going through my head.

Man: I don’t know what to tell you. I’m willing to continue on the phone or in another location outside of your room.
Ms. Snow: Being this late, I don’t want to draw any further attention by stepping outside of where I’m expected to be.

Man: So what is it you are asking for exactly?
Ms. Snow: All I want is to speak with you about times past to help lay these thoughts to rest. I’d like to thank you for all that you have done.

Man: This form of gratitude doesn’t involve anything sexual, correct?
Ms. Snow: I wouldn’t define it as that… no.

:: pause ::

Man: I’m not clear as to what you mean by that.
Ms. Snow: Amos, I promise that this matter doesn’t cross any of your moral boundaries. I would never put you into a situation that would alienate our relationship.

Amos: If I do come up there, we are keeping this strictly professional or am I mistaken?
Ms. Snow: This isn’t a typical matter, but does relate to our past. I would really just like you to trust me and meet with me.

Amos: *sighs* Alright, I’ll be there in a few minutes.
Ms. Snow: Thank you, I’ll see you soon.

::They each hang up the phone::

Amos gets up out of his chair and buttons his suitcoat as he walks toward the door.
He opens the door and proceeds down the hall bypassing the other security detail on duty.
Amos arrives at the elevator as he pushes the up arrow.

Guard 1: How are you doing this evening Mr. Willins?
Amos Willins: I’m doing well Steve, I’ve just been called upstairs. On my way to see what the need is.
Steve: Glad to hear, I’ll talk with you later.

::Elevator arrives::
::Door opens::

Amos enters the elevator and presses Ms. Snow’s floor button.
He glances around with a look of curiosity and confusion.

::Elevator stops::
::Door opens::

Amos proceeds to walk out giving a smile and knods toward the other guards on duty nearby.

Guards 2,3 & 4: Good evening Mr. Willins.
Amos Willins: Gentlemen.

Amos continues down the hallway to the room that Ms. Snow is staying in.
He pauses for a second as he hears the slight sound of music through the door.
Amos then knocks.
Ms. Snow opens the door with a large smile on her face.

Ms. Snow: Glad you came! Please, come in.

Amos still unsure as to why Ms. Snow wanted his presence walks into the room and positions himself standing in the lounging area.
Ms. Snow follows in slowly behind him, taking a seat on the couch.

Ms. Snow: Please sit.
Amos: I’m fine right where I stand ma’am. Thank you though.

Ms. Snow: You said you would be there for me, right?
Amos: Yes ma’am.

Ms. Snow: Seeing as I’m not royalty nor am I your elder, if you would please for at least tonight… not call me that. Please, just call me Elaina.
Amos: Ms. Snow, if you remember this wasn’t my idea to come up here. I’m here as a sign of trust and to show you that I do care in helping you feel more comfortable prior to your big day tomorrow.

Elaina: That isn’t what I mean, I just want you to relax and not feel as if you are on the job for this.
Amos: When you’re involved Ms. Snow, I’m always on the job.

Elaina: *sighs* There are things that I’d like to know about that will require you to let down your walls a little bit.
Amos: What exactly are you referring to Ms. Snow?

Elaina: Please, for my sake… just call me by my first name Amos.
Amos: It may be better if I just refrain from speaking, my conduct to be respectful and professional is what has carried me this far. It is hard just to let that all go.

Elaina: No! No, that isn’t what I am implying or want at all. I just… I don’t want this to be of stress. These answers I seek and memories I have all involve you. I just feel with what tomorrow brings, everything will change. I don’t want to go on any further without letting you know how grateful I am. In doing so, I just want you to be relaxed or however it is you are when not around myself and the family.
Amos: I see. I can understand and appreciate that sentiment. However, it is hard for me to look at this situation any different than what it is I’ve been paid to do all these years.

Elaina: That makes sense, but please just allow me to inquire about our past. I’m curious as to some of the events that happened when I was younger. I know you’ve paid a great deal with the things you’ve gone through. I wanted to let you know that I am aware of those sacrifices and am very happy to have had you by my side through the tough times.
Amos: Thank you, Ms. Snow. I appreciate hearing that.

Elaina stands up and walks over to Amos.
She looks up at him and grabs his jaw to pull down so that she can look directly into his eyes.

Elaina: Please Amos, just call me Elaina for tonight.

Amos a little shocked by this action closes his eyes and knods his head in agreement.

Amos: Ok, Elaina.

Elaina smiles and hugs him as she has many times before.
Amos as usual doesn’t hug back.

Elaina: I’ve always been curious as to how you’ve constantly recovered after some of those situations you encountered. Was it hard to almost always be constantly recuperating?
Amos: It was, yes. However, it’s all been worth it to see you succeeding in the way that you are.

Elaina lets go of her embrace and takes a step back.
She is blushing and smiling.
She then grabs Amos’ hands looking down at the scars gently going over them with her own fingers.

Elaina: Were these from surgery?
Amos: It was a mixture of that and doing what was necessary to prevent the threats that were presented.

Elaina in a bit of shock takes a deep breath and has a concerned look on her face.

Elaina: How many more of these do you have? How much have you exactly suffered for my well being all this time?

Amos removes his hands from being held and puts them back behind his back to look her again in the eyes.

Amos: As I said… Elaina. It’s all been worth it to see you succeed.

Elaina has a tear run down her face
She raises her hand to her face and turns away

Amos: There is no need to cry for me. I knew the risks of this line of work when this journey began.

Elaina remains turned away with Amos a few steps behind her.
She continues to cry for a few more seconds as she tries to recompose herself.
She then turns back around dropping her hand away from her face.

Elaina: So you have no regrets of getting into this career, taking this job, or protecting me?
Amos: None at all.

Elaina: What was it that made you want to get into this line of work?
Amos: To put it simply, there were just some things I experienced growing up that strongly influenced me to tap into my protective instincts as a man. I never wanted to feel as if I couldn’t help someone in need. I never wanted anyone to feel as if they weren’t safe when I was around.

Elaina has a slight smile reappear on her face.
She steps closer to Amos again, putting her left hand on his shoulder.
Amos remains in eye contact with her.

Elaina: That is very interesting. I am glad that you went the route you did. If it wasn’t for you I may not still be here. There have been some very tough times and I couldn’t think of anyone who put forth more effort to ensure I was taken care of.

Amos then raises his view back up to look straight ahead in his normal form of stance.
Elaina lowers her head and removes her hand from his shoulder.
She begins to walk back and forth wrestling a thought in her head.

Amos: What’s wrong?

Elaina stops pacing for a moment.

Elaina: I have something more to ask of you, but I know you won’t be for it.
Amos: As long as it doesn’t cross certain boundaries of this arrangement.
Elaina: That’s just it, to me it helps give me answers to further help me understand or remember. To you though I can only imagine it being viewed totally different.
Amos: What is it that you are trying to ask?

Elaina approaches him slowly and reaches for the buttons on his jacket.
Amos then quickly grabs a hold of her hands.

Amos: I thought we had an understanding to where I could trust you.
Elaina: It isn’t what you think, please just trust me. I want to see the extent of what you’ve suffered for my wellbeing. I have the right to see what happened to you over all this time.

Amos still standing there with his hands grasping hers.
He looks down at his hands and back up into her eyes.
Takes a deep breath and looks up.
A few seconds later looks back down to her with a concerned look on his face.

Amos: Knowing you as long as I have you may not really be ready to see what it is you are asking for.
Elaina: It’s fine Amos, I’m not the little girl you first encountered all those years ago when we first met. We have been through so much together and I am now a grown adult. I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t think I couldn’t handle it.
Amos: This is against my better judgment, but I won’t willingly help you do this.
Elaina: What does that mean exactly?

Amos then let’s the grasp he has on Elaina’s hands loose.
He puts his hands to his side and looks forward once more.
Elaina looking at Amos a bit confused.
She reaches for his suit coat’s buttons once more.

Amos: I don’t think you really know what you’re in for here.
Elaina: Relax, this is something I have to see. After noticing your hands these last few years and recollecting the rough times we’ve been through. I can only imagine what else has happened to you that reminds you of those circumstances on a daily basis. We went through that stuff together, it’s only fair for me to see the results of your involvement.

Elaina removed his suitcoat and set it aside on the chair next to them.
She then loosened his tie and removed that as well.
She began slowly unbuttoning his shirt after that.

Amos: It doesn’t make me feel any more comfortable with you seeing the wounds. I’ll only allow you to see certain areas.
Elaina: I didn’t plan on over stepping my bounds Amos, just trust me.

Amos remains still as Elaina continues to unbutton his shirt.
As each button releases, his chest and abdomen begin to reveal.
She can start to see some of the remnants of wounds he’s endured.
Tears began to well up in her eyes again.
She untucked his shirt to reach the remaining buttons.
As she got to the last button, she paused for a moment to wipe the tears away.
Amos then whispers to her…

Amos: No need to cry for me Elaina, your safety is all that mattered.

Elaina has a slight smile as she closes Amos’ shirt for a brief moment.
Her eyes close as she pauses again.
She undoes the final button and pulls away his shirt.
The destructive canvas of surgeries, knife wounds, bullet wounds, and bruising appear.
Elaina then opens her eyes to view this for the first time.
She gasps and backs away slightly in surprise as Amos’ shirt falls away from his arms to the floor.

Amos: I told you, you wouldn’t be prepared for the reality of what it was you were asking to see.
Elaina: It is overwhelming, but I’m fine. The flood of memories comes pouring in to the times that you would have suffered these injuries. I can’t believe you would still want to continue on after what had to of been a plethora of agony.
Amos: It comes with the job, I’m honestly happy to have taken all of these upon myself so that you never had to endure at least one instance of this for yourself.

Elaina smiles again with tears continuing to run from her eyes.
She then steps closer to Amos reaching out to touch one of his scars.
The first scar she ran her finger along was just under his right collarbone.
She ran her finger slightly along what was a knife cut.

Elaina: Was this one from the time I was nearly taken during our family vacation at the beach in Italy?
Amos: That is correct.
Elaina: Wow, I remember being so young and seeing it happen right in front of me.
Amos: Yes, that was one of the unfortunate times where you had to actually witness the violence in such close proximity. I was saddened that you had to see such a thing.

Elaina continuing to let her eyes wander at all of the differing scars and marks.
She begins to walk around Amos slowly touching certain parts as the memories ran through her head.
Once she fully got behind Amos, she noticed some burn marks and a large stitching point on his upper back.
As she ran her finger along this wound, she remembered the point in time it occurred.
When her fingers ran the course of the scar she leaned in and kissed the wound.
Amos was startled and quickly turned to face her grabbing her shoulders, forcing an arms length distance.

Amos: What are you doing?! I thought we were clear on there to be nothing sexual.
Elaina: I’m sorry! It wasn’t anything like that, I just feel so bad that this happened to you. That particular scar was from the time we were caught in that building fire and you shielded me when the ceiling collapsed. My emotions got the better of me.
Amos: I remember.
Elaina: And… and… *crying begins*

Amos lets go of her as she puts her hands to her face.
He reaches down for his shirt as Elaina takes a seat in the chair next to her.
Amos sits down on the coffee table in front of the chair looking at Elaina.

Amos: I tried to tell you it was bad.
Elaina: It’s not the plain sight of your wounds. I just can’t believe you’ve gone through all of that pain and have always acted as if it hasn’t happened. I never noticed a change in your attitude or demeanor.
Amos: God is good, Elaina. God is good.

Elaina again removes her hands from her face to look up at Amos.
She smiles once more as the tears continue to fall.
Amos for the first time smiles back.

Amos: You’ve turned into a wonderful woman. Don’t let whatever doubts are running through your head deter you from pursuing your goals. I won’t allow them to hinder your success much like I haven’t let anyone or anything else harm you.

Elaina leans back in the chair.

Elaina: Thanks, you’ve always been there for me and I know I can always count on you. I appreciate you having come up here tonight, this is helping me deal with the panic attack I was having.
Amos: I am glad to be of help.

Amos then proceeded to go from scar to scar telling Elaina at what point in time he suffered the injury or got the surgery.
Each of the scars he mentioned were only from the times that he was being of service to her wellbeing.
She had varying emotions spanning from shock, elation, sadness, and happiness in hearing these stories.
Overall the explanations all lead to how Amos was able to overcome the pain and setbacks each and every time.
As Amos told the final story he looked over to the clock noticing the time.

Amos: It is very late, you don’t need to be too tired to enjoy your big day tomorrow.
Elaina: You’re right, time has flown by. I really appreciate you doing what you did for me here tonight. Hearing all of those stories and revisiting them with you finally gave me some closure to those events. For the longest time I was just struggling with them on my own and constantly wondering how it was you felt.

Amos: As time went on here tonight, I could see how much it meant to you. As I said prior, I’ll do anything to help you succeed. Even if that means revisiting some of those painful times of our past.
Elaina: This has been nice, I really enjoyed this time that we shared. Thank you again!

Amos smiled as he stood up to button up his shirt.
He tucked the shirt back in, while Elaina stood up from her chair to hand him his tie and suitcoat.
As Amos continued to put together his outfit.
Elaina just stood there watching him silently in awe of what this man has been through for her.
Once Amos completed buttoning up his suitcoat, Elaina immediately hugged him.
For the first time ever Amos embraced her in return.

Unpredictable

Many people were wondering how it is that I had proposed, so we decided to reenact our engagement for some of our closest family members. The problem was with the wedding not too far off being only a few months away, how we were going to be able to afford getting some of the family members to the particular location. We felt that this would be a good way for our parents to get to know each other better and for there to be a celebration of the wedding plans being completely finished for our friends and siblings. We wouldn’t be able to make it exactly as it was since the location I had picked to propose to my fiancé requires a specific reservation far in advance. So to emulate the setting that we had been in for the special occasion, we are simply going to attend a wonderful event at a nearby resort. This will also allow for everyone to be in a central location during their stay since there are discounted rates leading up to this event that is taking place. The other major factor that will be different other than having family and friends being present is the fact that I will now be able to present my beautiful fiancé with what it is she truly deserves, which is a real state of the art diamond ring. You see with the economy being how it was and coming straight out of college entering the work force I had to take a lesser paying job within my career field just to make ends meet. Being she was still in school initially when I decided to ask for her hand in marriage, I needed whatever source of income as well as field experience locally that I could acquire to lay a foundation down for the beginning of our lives together. Since that time, this particular business has taken off and allowed my superiors to offer me with a substantial raise in pay. I believe this will be the best surprise of all since currently she just wears the special designed band that I designed for a jeweler friend of ours to manufacture. This particular friend is also the one that I am working with on the new ring that I will be presenting to her within the reenactment of our engagement.

Her and I being blessed with our parents taking care of the wedding expenses we were able to take out a small loan in order to make this gathering a reality. We began working on the details of the arrangement and it just so happened that there were still enough openings within the resort to allow for everyone to stay there. My two siblings would be sharing a room, my fiancé’s two siblings would share another room, my parents their own room, her parents also their own room, and then we set up for our friends who weren’t in the area already to have a suite. This worked out wonderfully in regards to all of them being in close proximity of one another. The resort was one that had plenty to do within it and being located not too far from the city there would be a plethora of other things that each of them could do for entertainment and recreation. When we presented this to each party involved their schedules all allowed them to attend with only a few of them having to make the necessary changes to open up a day for travel. My fiancé was so excited that she would be able to physically share the memory of this moment with the rest of her family, still with no clue as to the surprise she herself would be getting during that night.

The process with the ring was going smoothly with my jeweler friend and he let me know that the ring should be ready in plenty of time for the reenactment with the loved ones. Something inside me just felt everything seemed to be going far too smoothly as sometimes I tend to worry about signature upcoming plans that make an impact upon the lives of those I care about. None the less I moved forward with my days continuing to finish projects at work so that I could fully enjoy the time off when my family arrived in town. My fiancé was so excited that she could hardly contain herself by continuing to go over the plans of the days our loved ones would be in town. She tends to be in the mode of a perfectionist having that common sense of worry much like myself for things to go well. Fortunately, she too has a good paying job that allows us to lay the worry of paying off that loan to rest in because we can do it easily and efficiently. The only real reason we had taken it out was so that we had the money up front since this idea was somewhat spur of the moment after the plans for the wedding had been finished. The overall idea behind all of this was to not only share the experience personally with loved ones, but to have it be recorded to be included within the wedding video we were going to have played at our reception. We felt that this would add a certain spark within that presentation and to easily have the questions answered. Not to mention that with the fact of me presenting a real ring as a surprise her reaction would be very similar to the first time without much if any “acting” being necessary.

The weeks went by while my fiancé and I continued to meet up after work at her place to allow for our collective worries to be eased by the time we spent together. It was only a few days away from when it was our loved ones were to arrive. Everything was still going smoothly as the conversations I was having with my jeweler friend were all going positively as he said the process was still going on as planned. The last time I had spoken to him, he informed me that I would be able to pick up the ring the day before the reenactment was to take place. The reason I didn’t mind this is because I then wouldn’t have had to worry about keeping it hidden away from her as we continued to spend time together each night after work. However, the day before it was scheduled for me to go into the store to pick it up I received a phone call telling me that the arrival of the ring was going to be delayed another day. This meant that I was going to have to try and find time to get to the store amongst the arrival of all of the loved ones and still get to the resort in plenty of time to set everything up with how the ring was to arrive in her hands. You see with the first proposal I had which involved the band, it was the standard reveal with it being in a case while I was down on one knee with her still sitting in her chair at the restaurant table. This time I am going to have it be similar, but act as if the case was forgotten prior to the servers delivering us our desserts. This is where it was I then plan for a specific song from our first time ever meeting at a dance social to be playing in the background. The song being played will be more for the essence of the video shoot as I imagine that when I pretend the case is forgotten she may be focused more on that aspect then the music playing in the background. The “server” who is to be bringing us the dessert will also be her Father as he agreed with me prior to arriving in town that as I “forget” the case he will slip over to the kitchen area to acquire the dessert plates placing the opened ring case on it. It is at that moment when he arrives back to our table to deliver the dessert decorated plate with the case in the center that he will say something along the lines of “This must be where you had left it”.

I was a bit frantic at the fact of figuring out how it was I would be able to get away from not only her but also the others without them figuring out the surprise. You see the only other person who knew about the ring surprise was indeed her Father who planned to help me out. I wanted the reactions of everyone else to be genuine for the sense of the film, so hopefully nothing crazy will end up happening. The only thing that I could think of that sounded legitimate enough to not cause suspicion was the fact of work needing me to come in for an emergency tweak to a project before it was to be sent out that same day. I went over in my head a few different scenarios for answering certain questions of people being disappointed or wondering about why work would contact me after having set up with them that I needed this time off for something of this magnitude. With the weather having been nice up to this point I didn’t see any real cause for worry in regards to getting to the jewelry store and back without problems. The only factor then would be potential traffic, but I think I figured out an alternative route that would allow for that to be avoided. With these solutions coming to my head I began to feel a little more comfortable with the delay taking place and figured it to no longer be much of an issue.

The next day, which is the day before everyone is arriving and the reenactment is to take place some bad weather had moved in causing an added essence of chaos to the jam packed day of the “party”. I began to wonder not only of how this would affect my own travel, but also that of the others scheduled to come in tomorrow. This day at work was kind of dreadful because tomorrow was the only thing I could really focus on as I wanted it to be extra special for my fiancé and our loved ones who made the special trip out to partake in this mini event. As the hours went by the work day finally came to a close and I was able to get back on track of getting everything settled for tomorrow. I talked it over with my fiancé and we decided that tonight we weren’t going to get together because there were some things each of us needed to get wrapped up before tomorrow came. Luckily this wouldn’t draw any suspicion and much like myself I knew she would be worried about everything on her side of the arrangements. I made the necessary calls to touch base with my family and friends informing them of the weather that came through. The ones that were flying made a few calls and were told that there weren’t any plans yet for delays or cancellations. The ones that were driving decided that they would take the precautionary measures of leaving earlier than they originally had planned to make sure they would arrive at a sufficient hour. Then the final call that I had to make regarding tomorrow was that to the jeweler friend of mine. It was then that he told me it was going to arrive early tomorrow morning so any time after they open it would be possible for me to obtain it from them. This was great news, but I still had to create a timeline for the day that would allow me to go get the ring. I decided it would be best that everyone would get settled into their rooms first and then break the news to them that I had to take my leave for work during the time we had planned for a family lunch.

The day finally being here the weather was still pretty ridiculous and the roads weren’t exactly the greatest. Shortly after I woke up I went to meet with my fiancé so that I could get the band from her and we could head to the airport for the next few hours awaiting the arrival of a few of the loved ones. While there we received a few phone calls from the ones that were driving letting us know they arrived at the resort and were getting situated. This was a great relief to the both of us as we again had a little bit of worry with the new changes in the weather. None of the flights looked to have been cancelled or delayed and soon enough everyone’s planes had landed. Once they finished arriving we set them in each of our cars and headed toward the resort to meet up with the others who were already there. When we had arrived it was closer to the planned lunch time than I had expected the night prior and just before arriving to the resort the visibility for driving conditions became a little suspect. I didn’t know how well it would be received let alone accepted at the fact of me saying I had to leave for work of all things during this time with these circumstances. Once I broke the news to them I had to deal with a lot of what I expected and then some. Thankfully there were a few people that understood and stepped in to help alleviate all of the tension resting on my shoulders alone. Walking out of the doors it was at this time that I made the call to the jewelry store just to make sure that the ring had indeed arrived at the store as it was planned despite being told that it would be just last night by my friend. The call went well as the engagement ring was at the store awaiting my arrival to take it back to the resort and begin my exciting night that my fiancé and I have been anxiously awaiting.

I began the journey of traveling toward the jewelry store taking the alternate route in hopes that I would avoid any traffic that may be in the way. With the weather it seemed that there were a few other people that had the same idea as it seemed this route wasn’t any less populated than some of the main roads/highways. The other downside of this route was that it was probably a little worse as far as driving conditions due to the fact of there being less attention given to them by plows or salt trucks. Given the circumstances I was comfortable with taking my sweet time during this period because I just wanted to ensure the fact that I would return to the arms of my fiancé and loved ones that were waiting for me back at the resort. I tried to focus on the positive of the excitement on her face once she saw the ring instead of the worry of the amount of time this would take because of the less than stellar elements to drive in. Finally, I was to the jewelry store and began to find my way around the parking lot for a spot. I got out of the car and met up with my friend inside to acquire the ring from him. We talked a little bit about the process and how well we thought that it had turned out. I was happy that it was finally in my possession as we both agreed she would be extremely happy to receive it tonight. As I was leaving I thanked him again for getting this taken care of for me and told him that I would talk to him again soon. Walking out of the door I felt the cold wind abruptly pass what felt like was right through me. I shivered a little bit and continued on to my car so that I could get back to the resort and finish this night out.

Driving down the road all I could feel was the nerves in relation to my earlier thoughts of how surprised she will be to get this ring and how the family will react to the festivities of it all. I remained focused on the roads though as visibility became a further issue and the roads appeared to be even slicker with this constant array of terrible weather overtaking the area. Much like when I was on my way to the jewelry store there was quite a few people driving this particular route. Looking down at the clock it was way later than I had expected it to be and felt a little panicked knowing there was still a lot I had to get settled prior to the reenactment taking place. There wasn’t much that I could do in order to speed up the trip though as all I was concerned with was just getting there no matter the time. As I remained in line with the flow of the rest of traffic I reached over to grab the case to take another look at the ring. I opened it up and held it near the wheel in front of me so that I could get a good look at it, seeing the ring put a big smile on my face. However, behind the image of the ring and the case I noticed a blurry image of shining lights of a police car with great speed appearing out of control. It was as if time was in slow motion as I gently closed the case of the ring with my hand and saw that the police car had swerved toward me to the effect of inducing a head on collision. With the weather how it was I was going of moderate speed to begin with considering the conditions, but this officer was going a much greater speed due to the response of his emergency. I braced for impact tightly gripping the ring as there was no way out of this predicament.

As the collision took place all I could feel was the warmth of memories that I had generated over the course of my lifetime and the love that was shared with me from those that I was closest with. I briefly felt the loss of the moment that I was preparing for and awaited to produce for my lovely fiancé just too then be filled with a great peace and joy that is inexplicable. God having always been with me throughout the course of my life was now with me in a greater capacity as I was entering His kingdom. I felt a great transformation take place as I felt embraced by a new reality, a new life, and a new home.

(Ambulances raced to the scene of the accident where this police officer had lost control of his vehicle resulting in the collision with an unsuspecting driver. Only those two vehicles were involved in the form of a collision where as others went off the road to avoid the chaos that the collision created. Upon arriving to the scene it was evident that neither driver was in good shape, however the police officer showed signs of life when he was checked by the paramedics. Unfortunately the man that was on his way back to participate in one of his lives greatest moments was pronounced dead at the scene. Not knowing initially who this man was or where he was headed, one of the paramedics noticed a case in his hand which contained the engagement ring. After extracting the body and finding the identity of this man they began making calls. It was then on the phone that the father of the deceased was contacted and notified of the accident that occurred and told of the loss of his son. The father then relayed the information to his wife and the rest of the family and friends that were there to celebrate this once joyous occasion they were initially all at the resort to experience. The fiancé of the deceased fell to the floor on her knees weak and in tears of what had happened being in vast disbelief. The father then said that there was an item found on his son that needed to be returned to the family urgently. Only the father of the fiancé knew what this item could have potentially been as he was going to help with the surprise of his daughter receiving the engagement ring she had no idea was even coming her way.

With all of the sadness surrounding the group of people each of them made plans to head toward the hospital where the body was being held. The parents of the deceased walked into the room where he lay and asked what the item was in which the paramedic felt the need to give back to the family so quickly. With an outstretched arm the paramedic gave the case to the father and mother as they then both looked at each other and then embraced. Outside waiting was the distraught fiancé wondering what it was that was given to the parents of her now dead fiancé. Awaiting their entry in the arms of her father the parents of the deceased walked out into the waiting room. The father of the deceased said to what was going to soon be his daughter-in-law, “I believe this was meant to be given to you”. Looking at him with a questionable look on her face he then reached into his pocket and pulled out the case containing the ring. As she held it in her hand and looked upon it her body began to shake and again more tears rolled down her face. All that she could think about was the actual event of the proposal that occurred many months prior back when she said yes to commit the rest of her life to be with her fiancé. After a brief moment she opened the case expecting to again see her band that he had custom made for her, but instead was met with the surprise of the actual gorgeous diamond ring he had acquired to be its replacement. Even with the situation surrounding her she smiled at the beauty that was before her and read the writing within the case that said, “Always together within our hearts and memories”. This made her fall back into the arms of her father as her mother and siblings also came over to hold their weeping family member.)

This was an unexpected and unplanned event that struck the lives of many people I loved and cherished. Being able to see her obtain the ring was a special gift that I was able to still enjoy. It is unknown to me now what will result with the rest of their lives, but I am glad that they were all there with each other during this time of tragedy. Everything happens for a reason and God works in mysterious ways. If my fiancé and I hadn’t planned this gathering and this accident would have still happened, the grieving process for each individual would’ve been different not being surrounded with family and friends. The ring wouldn’t have reached the hands of my fiancé because it wouldn’t have otherwise been ordered and ready until the wedding. I wouldn’t have had the chance to spend that little time with my friends and family before my passing. With the future being uncertain I can hardly wait to embrace them once again in welcoming them to this new wonderful home. Until then I will carry the memories with me of what was and continue to enjoy this around me that is the now.

Blur Entwined

The wind that blew through the forest awoke the abandoned and lost young man. Opening his eyes looking to the sky laying there in disarray not knowing where he was or what had even happened prior. He slowly worked his way to his feet looking around finding himself in the heart of some sort of wilderness. “Why am I here?” he quietly asked himself. With slight pain running through his body, he felt around analyzing what could be causing his discomfort. After looking back down onto the ground he noticed he had lost some blood, which would explain his initial feeling of disorientation. Trying to figure out where the loss of blood had been coming from he was unable to fully grasp his injuries. Still unaware of what exactly took place to put him into this position, he had realized that nothing was stolen from him. He wasn’t carrying any possessions other than the clothes that he was wearing, which were all in tact upon his reawakening.

Experiencing minor memory loss he began walking towards the direction of the setting sun. The temperature was bearable for the young man currently, so he wanted to find his way out of the wilderness before sundown to prevent any type of dramatic temperature drop. After walking for a few hours the young man began to flashback to what he thought were memories of the previous day. The first flashback he experienced took place in a Church where he had decided to go in order to accompany a friend who was new to the area seeking a place to worship. The young man was so rattled given this situation, the name of what was his long time friend was a blank in his memory. He was unable to remember what took place while being at the Church other than where he sat and how everything around him looked. The second flashback moved back in time from the first flashback, but seemed to the disoriented young man that it was still an event of the prior day to his current situation. The second flashback showed the young man an event with a young girl who told him how much she cared for him and requested some life changes of him if they were ever going to become a couple. The third flashback in real time would have occurred inbetween the first two flashbacks, but to the young man the order of these flashbacks are what he assumes happened progressively the day prior to his current endeavor of being lost. The third flashback showed him sitting on a bench along a sidewalk of the main street of the city he lived in near a couple of bars. Not recalling ever have taken an alcoholic drink in his life, this flashback made the young man feel the emotion of anger and temptation to enter one of the bars for a drink. In his flashback he stood up from the bench and began walking to the entrance, just as this happened his cell phone rang. It was his friend talking to him about an event going on at a local Church that night.

Just as the third flashback ended some of his memory began to come back to him of where he might be. With the messages within his flashback memories he remembered driving out of the city to venture out and be alone to get away from a sort of problem he was facing. Trying to piece the events together the young man fell to his knees and over onto his back due to the lack of strength he had from his travels as well as blood loss. The sun was now on the horizon and the wilderness grew darker. As he lay there feeling drained of any possible energy, he began to hear voices off in the distance. A ray of hope flourished through his body and he began to rise up off the ground to try to acquire where it could be coming from. A few dogs were barking along with the voices off the in distance. The young man didn’t know whether to yell for them or run away. Even though he had the trauma of being lost and alone, he feared possibly being in some sort of trouble since his memory cannot fully explain why he is in the wilderness. The young man had decided to take shelter in some brush near a few of the big trees that shadowed him to his left. The voices of the people and barks of the dog drew closer and closer. The young man full of different emotions suddenly began to feel dizzy and fainted.

During this sort of blackout for the young man, the people and dogs that were in the forest near the young man turned out to be a search party looking for any sign of him. There was a report of a man being held at gunpoint after a car accident on a nearby street who managed to escape into the woods. The search team travelling through the woods have been trying to find this man who was said to have been shot at seven times in the report. Drawing closer to the location of where the young man had passed out, the team had no idea of where the man might be. One of the members spotted some blood on the ground that appeared to be fresh and noticed a trail. Just as this happened the dogs became silent rather than excited and stared into the direction of where the young man had been passed out. The people searching who are local police officers wondered what was wrong with the dogs since they were very loud throughout this particular search. They began looking around completely ignoring the blood trail as to what could have caused this form of calm within the dogs.

Through the eyes of the dogs is seen an aura of bright shining light surrounding the bush in which the young man had passed out. Considering the eyesight of dogs this presented them with a different type of visual experience. There was obviously a graceful presence calming the dogs that was also causing this to happen around the young man. Everyday we hear the term “guardian angel”, yet this slips the minds of many with all of the noise that occurs in such societies we experience today. The dogs frozen in position staring towards where the young man is laying just all at once sat down. The odd thing was that there were seven dogs with the search party of seven people in this particular group. From an aerial view the formation of the dogs facing this angelic aura that was only noticed through their eyes was the shape of a cross.

Suddenly one of the female officers snapped to attention and focused on the blood once again noticing it lead in the direction of where the dogs were staring. She was the only one to move towards this location and when it got to the brush she pushed them back to notice the young man laying there. She immediately called out to the other that she found a wounded man and they all rushed to his side to check to see if he was still alive. His pulse was very slow and fading as the time ticked by, they rushed to get him situated onto a carrying board so they could get him out of the wilderness and to a local hospital. They were all relieved to have found the man and that he was still alive. Once they reached their cars parked alongside the road of the woods, the young man’s body grew colder. Worried about the time it was going to take to get to the hospital they quickly got him secure and began to drive very fast towards the location of the hospital.

Without having any identification with him, the police officers were unable to figure out who the man was or even who to contact about the finding of this young man. Arriving to the hospital the man was rushed to the ER to evaluate all of his injuries. The procedures took place as he had been hit with three bullets in his back, but miraculously none of them were of fatal caliber. The problem was that he had been missing for a few days and exposed to an array of potential harmful elements to open wounds in the forest. The doctors and nurses rushed to continue his treatment over the course of the rest of the night.

While this was taking place the young man was experiencing dreams of times in his life aiding him in his recovery of his memory. The girl in his flashback was his long time close friend who had mentored him through tough times growing up in his teenage years. She was a few years older than him and attended the same Church as him growing up. Recently they had expressed feelings for each other on a level greater than friendship in conversations, but some of the man’s tendencies she wanted to see changed. Her name was Faith, which ironically is what she always had for the life of this young man to make a difference. The young man then began to remember the relationship with his friend who had always tried to get him back into being involved with a Church. Over the course of the past few years they were separated because of college. The two of them now having been living in the same area, his friend whose name was Amos tried finding a home Church for himself. He recently moved there and started attending some events of different Churches and inviting the young man in this predicament to go with him. In each varying memory the elements of his life began to surface on who he was as a person and then it was revealed back to his conscious that his name was Ezra. The common tie to all of these names made him think about the Bible and how he had wandered away from Church because of three major instances that occurred earlier in his life.

When he was young he always took part in activities in his local Church that his parents took him to growing up. Then when he was about ten years old Faith moved into his city and arrived at his Church and was introduced to him. She was 14 at the time so was in a different group of the church than he was for activities, but they became best friends quickly since they lived across the street from each other. Ezra was a bigger kid for his age being quite tall and athletically gifted, so with that he took a protective role of Faith whenever she was faced with harsh circumstances from other guys. Ezra felt the need to fill this role because Faith’s Dad had passed away serving in the military one year prior to moving across the street from Ezra. They both were quite mature for their ages being strong in their faith for Christ and both taking a leadership role in their Church groups. Once they were both in the teenage department they began spending a lot more time together to help enhance the experience of the other kids they were going to church with and to try and bring more kids there. Then when Ezra was 14, Faith moved into the city away from the suburb to be closer to the college she was attending. Fortunately for Ezra they both still attended the same Church. The reason this was fortunate is because this was the time that Ezra was faced with the three tragedies that altered his life leading to this recent event.

When Ezra was 14 his brother and parents had decided they wanted to go on a family vacation. When Ezra had to decline to attend with them because of a Church obligation he had committed to they didn’t argue with him, because it was such a mature thing for him to do. They were happy that he was willing to put serving the Lord ahead of having fun at the theme park they planned on attending during the trip. Ezra’s younger brother was just a few years younger and they were really close not having any sibling rivalry like you see in most instances these days. So the family left for the trip two days prior to when Ezra had to go and fulfill his obligation at the Church. The days went by with Ezra being home alone by himself for the first time. Once the day arrived to meet at the Church he felt a little off on his original plan for his role in speaking at this activity. Something else was tugging at his attention, but he couldn’t fully grasp what it was. Then a few hours later in the day, exactly one hour before he had to go to the Church for the get together he received a phone call informing him that his family had been in a car accident. This struck Ezra right in the heart and that is when his initial awkward feeling exploded consuming his entire mind with fear and uncertainty. He was unsure on what to do and all of the responsibility that came with it, it was said that they were all in critical condition with their chances looking slim of making a recovery. Ezra quickly hung up the phone and began to pray for healing and aid for his family.

The hour passed by and Ezra was still praying with tears running down his face. He walked out of his house to ride his bike down to the Church, as this happened Faith yelled from across the street. She just happened to be home for the weekend to visit her family from college. Ezra waved and began riding his bike down the street to the Church. Faith had noticed the tears in his eyes and got in her car to catch him to see if he wanted a ride to wherever it was he was going. Ezra just waved her off and kept took and alternative route that a car could not possibly take. This got Faith curious, but she felt giving Ezra his space was needed in this time. So she turned the car around and went back to her house. When Ezra arrived at the Church everything began to change in his demeanor. The event went on as planned, but Ezra didn’t have the same passion he normally carried during his roles in the activities he was a part of.

These memories quickly faded in Ezra’s mind as he continue to lay now in his hospital bed after the surgery. He slightly opened his eyes to see an empty room with lights shining down upon him. Then quickly went back into a sleepy trance due to the drugs that were running through his IV. The memories that stemmed at this point were of his college years where he had been separated from all of his friends and his Church for quite some time due to his life struggles. Amos had tried keeping in touch with Ezra since they use to be very close when they were growing up. Unfortunately one day when Amos left Ezra a message it was about their former Church that had recently closed down due to some problems involving matters of which were unknown to Amos. Something at this point sparked Ezra to get back into reading the Bible at this point in his life for some guidance. The memories of him sitting in his dorm room reading the Bible under the light of his lamp night after night kept flashing before him. This then lead to the day he first got back in touch with Faith who had always sent him letters in which he never returned. Even having been in the same area all these years she never felt comfortable going to the placed he lived because of a bitter falling out the two of them had face to face when Ezra was a senior in high school. Even with that event she still sent encouraging letters that oddly enough impacted Ezra greatly in his day to day life.

The memories of being reintegrated into the Bible faded and fast forwarded him to the time of him and Faith’s reuniting. They shared old stories and talked the night away about the past few years that they missed spending together because of a fight that now seemed meaningless. This is where Ezra poured out his heart and thanked Faith endlessly about how much her letters meant to him and aided him in tough times. The two then grew closer together after this reunion reacquainting a strong bond that they shared back when they were younger. About a year and a half later Amos had given Ezra another call in which Ezra finally decided to answer and the two talked about Amos moving back into the area since he was now done with college and had found a career nearby. Ezra had still not quite implemented himself back into a Church along with Faith, but Amos somehow got Ezra’s interest peaked in helping him find a new Church since their old one had been awhile back. This memory then abruptly ended as Ezra woke up in severe pain in his hospital bed.

Ezra’s heart raced as the nurses ran in to his aid. They then were able to have a short conversation with Ezra finally finding out his identity and who they could contact for him about his condition. The hospital got a hold of Faith and Amos who were the two people that Ezra saw fit since he wasn’t close to his other family after his parents and brother had passed. The two of them arrived at the hospital a few hours later ten minutes apart. They both expressed how happy they were to see that he was alright and would make a full recovery no matter how slow it may be. They both began to fill in the blanks Ezra had as to exactly what had happened that lead to his situation. Faith spoke and told him of why he left his home in the first place, which was to go help a family that had gone through a similar situation that he had when he was younger. Ezra then realized the problem he left to deal with wasn’t a problem of his own, but that of the others he wanted to help. When Amos spoke it then revealed that the family he was going to help happened to also be visiting the same Church the two of them were at in his first flashback.

The other two flashbacks remained a mystery in his head until Faith reached out and took his hand where he saw an engagement ring. Ezra asked her who it was she was going to marry and with a shocked looked on her face she revealed to him that it was him she was engaged to. The nurses had warned the two of potential memory loss due to the trauma Ezra faced during his experience, but she was still surprised. The more Amos talked it then came back to Ezra that when he was on that bench and angry it was the same day that his family had passed away many years before. The timeline of these flashbacks proved to be in differing orders and not at all linked to the day prior to his disappearance. Visiting hours were approaching their end so Faith and Amos had to leave the side of Ezra.

Ezra began to contemplate what it was that occurred to lead to his wilderness experience to begin with. He began to feel sleepy again due to the amount of medication he was receiving for his wounds and recovery. Drifting into his sleep this time it was almost as if he was watching a movie of what exactly happened to him prior to waking up in the woods. What he saw was himself driving down the road in his car listening to his favorite Christian radio station observing the view around him. At the time the roads were empty all except him moving along. Then it the road approached the wilderness in which he found himself lost in and a few miles into the surrounding forest on the road as an accident. Ezra stopped his car and went to see if everyone was alright. As he went to the first car he frantically called out to those that were inside. Then when he looked into the car he saw a family similar to his own a Father, Mother, and their young son unconscious in their seats. Awestruck at the similarity of the car and ages of the family he took a few steps back and bumped into the driver of the other vehicle. This man was shady and saw the cross that Ezra was wearing around his neck and overheard the radio station from Ezra’s car. The man grew angry and had pulled a gun because he knew in his mind that he would be going to jail over this incident since he was an ex-convict violating his parole being in the part of the state he was in. Ezra arriving was what the shady man felt was a free get away, little did he know what would happen next. Another car began to appear off in the distance that triggered the attention of the man holding the gun on Ezra, this is when Ezra began to run for his car and the man turned and shot twice missing both times. This caused Ezra to change his path to the woods where 5 more shots rang out in which three connected with Ezra. With the adrenaline and grace of God Ezra was able to continuing running instead of remaining near the man. However, the man stole Ezra’s car and drove off leaving only the two cars involved in the collision in the road. The people in the car approaching had their windows down to hear the shots, but were unclear of where Ezra was when they got to the location of the accident.

Ezra woke up and realized everything that had lead to his predicament. He began to pray for the many blessings he received at this particular trial he was faced with. Little did Ezra know that the family that was in the crash he came to that day had made it out alive. As he was laying there praying the family that survived the crash were walking by and the little boy tugged at the arms of his parents saying “Look Mommy and Daddy that is the man that scared away the monster!” Not fully knowing was the little boy meant it did come to the attention of the Mother who had faintly saw Ezra running into the woods as the shots rang out. The family then talked to the doctors to see if they could visit with Ezra. The doctors allowed it, so they made their way towards the room where Faith had just arrived to be at Ezra’s side once again. Once the family arrived in the doorway Ezra gazed in disbelief as he thought for sure the family had shared the same fate his own had many years prior. Faith noticed the looked on her fiance’s face and wondered what it was that caused such a reaction. They all then began to discuss the event and events that lead them together this fateful day.

From that day in the hospital forth Ezra and the family had formed a strong relationship. It was almost as if Ezra had become a part of their family and when the wedding for Ezra & Faith came, they arrived as if they were sent to be the gift of Ezra’s family for his most special day. This had filled a gap that was in Ezra’s heart ever since the day he had proposed to Faith and reflected upon the thought of having no family there to share in his union with the love of his life. Later on during the reception Ezra began to cry when he first danced with Faith looking over to his new found friends in the family he met during that trying event a few months prior. The only words that came out of his mouth to his lovely bride were “God works in mysterious ways my love, very mysterious ways.”

Ascension

The wind blew accordingly to the swiftness of the leaves swaying in a matter of clarity. The sky loomed overcast in a state of light red unlike ever before. The whirlwind of mixed emotions filled the air around him as he contemplated what was at stake. The deliverance of evil from his skin arose like a vapor from a sea unkind. The beat of his heart slowly vacating the realm of his chest. His hand covered in a warmth like never before experienced. The howling sound of the gusting air was like a whisper in his ear telling him of all he never knew and what was of the life he had lived. Sirens off in the distance chime to the words like a melodic gift to a song of joy. He blinks frantically without a question as to why or how, just knowing the euphoric feeling is unlike what any prior person had ever explained to him.

Views of grace and serenity flickered in his mind like a projection of a cinematic classic. His body lies in position of sleep with his spirit kneeling at his side looking down on where it once had reside. Feeling his breath getting shorter and shorter with the pain vanishing from his side. No longer could he flea the thought of possibility to revive, because his essence of earth began to slowly fade. Rushing through his last frame of human thought was the sight of looking up into his own living eyes. With a shimmer of transition from one view to the next, he now was looking back at his slowly fading life of humanity on the ground holding his own hand.

The sirens drawing closer the ambulance comes to a screeching halt. The EMT’s rush to the man’s side as his spirit slowly fades up and back into a light unseen to their eyes. They scramble to patch his wounds and revive him back to consciousness of this worldly life. His spirit vanishing into the distance watching as his body is lying their helpless. The EMT’s look at each other doubtful of saving the man’s life. One says to the other, “I think this man is no longer with us”. While the other implies, “I agree, I cannot get a pulse and his wounds appear too severe to come back from”. In this moment the spirit of the dying man feels an overwhelming comfort and wave of joy as he breaks through the clouds and up into a place of peace like nothing he has ever felt before. In a slight daze of shock his thoughts draw blank as a voice comes into his senses and says to him, “Welcome home my child, Welcome home”!

Sacrifice (S7)

One fateful day in late December a mother was pregnant and due with twins. She was rushed to the hospital where everything was appearing to be normal. The future Father nervous as this would be the first time the married couple had children before. The process began as she went into labor in the ER. A few hours later the first child had come, which was the Daughter who they named Nevaeh. After her successful delivery something went tragically wrong as difficulties began to present themselves. Nevaeh had to sacrifice her mother to 6 more hours of excruciating circumstances and pain to try and deliver her baby brother. Special procedures needed to be done in order to finally have a successful delivery of the baby boy who was named Emmanuel. The only problem was because of these difficulties that were presented in his delivery he is now faced with the potential for disabilities as his brain had been damaged in the process. Uncertain of the extent to which this damage could end up causing to this young child, the doctors assured the Mother they would keep a close eye on his progression in the years to come. Alas, the family was now complete and all safe after the entire process had finally been completed. The odd thing was that after being tested both children had the rarest form of blood type, neither of which the parents had. The parents being a young Christian couple were over joyed that their children had arrived and were now safe. They knew how blessed they were even though Emmanuel may face difficult times ahead.

A few years later when the twins were close to 3 years old Nevaeh began to speak very well and could understand much of what you told her. Little Emmanuel however wasn’t as fortunate as he couldn’t really put together any sound whatsoever let alone a word. The parents grew suspicious as to what could be his circumstance. Nevaeh was also very mobile and capable of doing many things at such a young age, while Emmanuel could hardly even move across the floor to crawl. Emmanuel’s legs just didn’t have the ability to aid him in his movement. This being the case Nevaeh had to sacrifice much of the cuddle time with her mother because Emmanuel needed to be carefully looked after as he appeared to be fragile. The little boy kept bruising as a result of his movements, which led to further suffering for this poor little boy. Each of them were nourished very well, but Nevaeh kept progressing normally as Emmanuel kept showing signs of difficulty in development. The parents decided to take him to the Doctor’s on a regular basis to try and figure out if there could be anything done to help this little child along. Money began to spill away from the family toward the treatment and monitoring of little Emmanuel. This led to Nevaeh having to sacrifice many of her toys to help come up with more money to support Emmanuel’s hospital visits.

As the children both grew older to about the age of 8, Nevaeh was in school doing very well. Emmanuel had yet to have a normal school experience as his Mother had to home school him because of his disabilities. Emmanuel had to learn sign language because he was unable to speak and was in a wheelchair because his brain just wasn’t able to send the signals to his legs for them to work properly. This was difficult on both parents knowing that one child is flourishing in her development doing so well in school and acquiring many talents along the way, but their other twin is unable to enjoy life’s normalcy. The hospital visits continued to try and ease the pain for Emmanuel, but his body seemed to continue to experience difficulty as a result of the damage from his birth process. Nevaeh would always rush home to show her parents the great things she had done in school that day and they were very proud. However, the attention was short lived because Nevaeh had to sacrifice bonding time with her parents because her Mother was busy taking care of Emmanuel and her father was working more than one job to help with the expenses. Emmanuel was showing improvements and was never happier than when he was in Church as the family had continued going to Church over the course of all these years. It wasn’t until now the Children were introduced to the story of the Sacrifice and Passion Christ had in order to surrender his life for ours. This seemed to have a huge impact on Emmanuel based on the emotions he was able to show considering his condition. Nevaeh however was kind of entranced away from the story because she had so much else on her mind.

The two grew and moved onto their 13th Birthday where now they had both been saved by grace through their faith in Christ and Nevaeh’s attitude toward life had changed. Nevaeh sacrificed doing basketball in school one year so she could focus on learning sign language to have the ability to communicate more with Emmanuel. This developed a very good relationship between the two and because Nevaeh’s attitude had changed they were finally able to spend some quality time together. It was then that the Father came home with very good news telling his wife and two children that as a result of his hard work and side research he had been given a huge opportunity which led to further financial success. Now he didn’t have to work multiple jobs and was able to spend more time with his family as well as support them easier. Nevaeh still had to sacrifice the clothing trends of her friends and the newest equipment for sports because a lot of the money was still being directed toward Emmanuel’s hospital visits. This however didn’t seem to effect her much anymore because she was happy her family was able to have this improvement. The Mother was very happy about the news and continued her closeness with Emmanuel in his home schooling. Nevaeh and her Mother were also now able to bond further because the Father was home more often to help with Emmanuel. Things appeared to be going very well for the family as the 13th year of this journey showed signs of improvement in a few different ways.

Later on as Nevaeh was now a Senior in High School trying to decide whether or not she would go to college, Emmanuel began showing signs of fading. This weighed on Nevaeh’s mind a great deal because she and her brother had become so close over the course of the past 4 years. This recent change in his health brought sadness and sorrow to both of the parents because he had been doing especially well since his 13th Birthday. Nevaeh didn’t know how to take it and decided to sacrifice her college experience because she felt with more money going toward Emmanuel’s visits that possibly he could become better. Over the course of these past years still going to Church she began to direct her focus on family and relationships rather than herself. This simple change in mind set encouraged her to do more volunteer work around the community and reach out to those in similar situations. She had grown up so fast and became very mature for her age because of what has gone on within her household growing up. Money wasn’t really the issue with the health condition as much as it was regular occurrences just building up over the years for this poor young man. Unfortunately one day Emmanuel had been taken to the hospital for trouble breathing and had to remain there for a few days. This hit Nevaeh really hard because her brother became her rock of confidence and motivation for moving forward in life even when it gets difficult. The parents remained at the hospital every waking moment with Emmanuel, but Nevaeh had not because of school and other engagements. She didn’t know how to take it and began feeling ill herself.

A few days had passed and she finally went to spend the day at the hospital as Emmanuel’s condition kept worsening. Nevaeh was still having a little trouble herself not knowing what was wrong. The parents had noticed their Daughter was a little discolored and looking a little ill. So they began to question Nevaeh about her eating and if anything else may have felt wrong. Nevaeh answered to their liking, but as she got up to go get a drink of water she fainted. This led to her being put into a hospital room for precautionary testing. What they thought may have been dehydration from the circumstances surrounding Emmanuel became much more serious with further testing. What had shown up through blood tests and EKG readings was that Nevaeh herself had a heart ailment that was very serious. She had grown up being very active and never showed any signs of heart trouble, but there is a history in the family of varying heart diseases. Being as young as she was and athletic as she was the doctors were very surprised and began questioning what to do in order to improve her condition. The parents were now overly devastated as both of their children were lying in hospital beds beside each other fighting for their lives.

Sunday had came for that week and it was the only time the parents left the hospital so that they could go to Church. The twins lying near each other had both finally been awake at the same time. They each looked over at each other and put a smile on their faces for the first time in what seemed like forever. No nurses or doctors were around and that is when the miracle began to take place. Emmanuel reached up and took off his oxygen mask and spoke clearly for the first time in his life saying “Hello” to his sister. With a look of complete shock on Nevaeh’s face she was too confused to comprehend what was going on, but responded with a question “Emmanuel how is it that you are able to speak?”. Emmanuel had then began to go through all the sacrifices he knew his sister had made in order to preserve and improve his life that she otherwise thought went unnoticed. This made Nevaeh reflect back on all of the days in Church and time in the bible she spent as to how this was happening. This surreal experience didn’t seem possible because a lot of what she did wasn’t near or around her brother, so how would he have known she wondered. Emmanuel went on to speak that the reason he was here was to preserve and extend her life. Nevaeh didn’t know how to react wondering what it is that he meant by this. Emmanuel then went on to say how he was put here to be her guardian angel specifically for this specific moment. The Lord knew she would face this unexpected trouble and the only way for her to live was to have someone so close to her whose heart and blood type was not only pure and healthy, but also compatible. Nevaeh continued the conversation with her brother because it was the first time they were able to do as such. She did not want this experience to come to an end and began to cry at the thought of one of them dying. Emmanuel comforted her with his words and to increase her faith another unexpected action took place. This young man who could never speak had spoken and who could never walk proceeded to sit up in his hospital bed, stand up, and walk to his sister’s side. The angelic feel of his hand on hers made Nevaeh overwhelmed with a sense of calmness. Emmanuel then said to his sister “This is my sacrifice to you, for you to have my heart and continue to live in order to shed light into the lives of others the way you have to me”. Nevaeh then began reminiscing about the time she first heard the story of sacrifice being spoken about Christ. Now slowly fading back to sleep, Nevaeh’s last image of her brother was him standing beside her holding her hand with a smile.

As she then awoke she felt very different this time around. Little did she know what had transpired between the time she experienced her brother speak and walk. When she woke up she was connected to even more machines and being monitored by more personnel. The parents were by her side crying in happiness and sadness. She felt a slight pain on her chest and put her hand there to feel stitches from an incision. Her parents had then informed her that her brother Emmanuel had passed away and his heart was used to be put inside her in order to save her life. Nevaeh began to cry as all of the sacrifices she had made in the past didn’t seem to matter to her anymore. Nevaeh wanted her brother back, but she knew this happened for a reason and was extremely pleased to be alive. Nevaeh then went on to recover over the course of the next few days with her parents being there every step of the way.

After all of this Nevaeh went on to go to college and become a motivational speaker later in life helping teenagers across the nation who were neglected and in troubled homes. She also started an organization as a memorial to her brother entitled “ES: The Dream” which was made for disabled people to experience an event of their choosing that they normally could not afford. The “ES” stood for Emmanuel’s Sacrifice that impacted her so much and “The Dream” symbolized the final moment she shared with her brother that felt so Heavenly. Nevaeh over the course of the years always went to Church with her parents every Sunday and went out for lunch afterwards. Each meal they shared together would have an empty fourth seat with a picture of Emmanuel drawn as Nevaeh had last seen him before her surgery laying where his plate normally would. The family would say a prayer and as they did it was as if they could feel Emmanuel smiling down from Heaven shining a light on them.

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