Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fire Girl (Part 7)

     Even though  she was directly in front of him, Roger asked if they'd located Brianna.   Mookie and Chet gave each other worried looks; Brianna had a look as though she was waiting for entertainment to start.
     "I want to pray for the both of them while we're here. It seems like the right thing to do, " said Mookie.  "Kneel?"

     Chet held his brother's hand on his left with Mookie on his right, Mookie between Chet and Brianna, then Brianna and her father.  Roger was still confused.  He knew he was in a hospital, knew he had a headache, but Chet's name kept slipping on him.  At least he knew Chet was family: to him,  Mookie was "some strange punk rock girl" who was hanging around, presumably under the guise of dating Chet.  Fair enough, but his inability to hold on to his short term memory was heart-wrenching.... events  from shortly before his head injury to the present were watery, fading in and out.  He knew he'd taken a blow to the head --- he still had the headache --- but most everything else was like the channels on a TV set that was constantly being changed: flip, click, flip, click, flip....
     What drove Mookie to tears was Roger's inability to consistently grasp who Brianna was.  Brianna, his own daughter was simply a young woman in the room.  And it was clear he knew he should know who she was, but there was simply no comprehension: she was someone he met at a party after a few too many  drinks that you meet a week later.... A vague visual connection, but no name or any kind of connection.  To Roger, his daughter was all but a stranger.... Was a stranger, really, a pleasant girl he'd met in the past at some point.
      And  Brianna was perfectly pleasant.... An obedient girl around age eight (an improvement, she'd been five or six before) who was there to see her father, who was sick.  Mookie missed the girl in her teens who couldn't stop talking about the hellhole she was trapped in and escaping this sandpit was job one, how her grades were high so she could get away from the shit-pit  Evanston, WY., truly was, she had plans, Mookie, big ones.  She'd never mentioned how ugly some of those plans could be.

     "Shall I?" asked Mookie.
     "You've got a gift for it, Mookie.  Lead on," replied Chet.  Mookie closed her eyes, bowed her head, and spoke.....

    "Lord, please hear us, hear our prayers to you.  Roger is conscious, but lacking his memory, the memories of his family and friends and the world around him.  As we miss Roger, he surely misses the love and companionship of his family and friends.  Please, please don't deprive him of the world around him.  Dammit lord, we love and miss him, we want him back!
     Mookie paused briefly to clear her throat and sniff.  She continued:  "We have located Brianna, and we give our deepest thanks.  However, she is having.... Neurological problems, very complex ones, things I don't know how to explain.  All I know is her personality shifts, to violence and anger, to being a child.  I know her to be a stable young woman.
     "Again, we reach out to you, in our time of incredible need, to please, please, fu--- flippin' please provide succor, provide healing for this father and daughter.  Your power is great, your power is almighty.  You know what needs to be done to provide lasting health for the two of them.
     "Lord, we love you just as we love them.  Please  do not deprive us of their companionship any more than you would deprive us of your faith and love."
     "In Jesus' name we pray, amen."

     Mookie kept her eyes closed and her hands clenched on those around her.  She became aware of something strange: there was no sound.  The ambient noises one expects in a hospital --- P.A.s, carts rolling past, the beeping of equipment --- was all gone.  She opened her eyes to darkness.... then an increasing light which filled the room with no source to pinpoint.  She cried out, "We love you, Jesus!  We love you, God!"  and her voice seemed to go nowhere, lost in an ether.  The light grew brighter, yet her eyes felt unaffected.  In a voice she could barely hear, Chet cried, "Mookie, what's happening?"  "I don't know!"

      Then the light died, slowly.  Gingerly, everyone let go of hands.  Mookie and Chet embraced, kissing deeply.  They broke apart and Chet said, "The Lord loves us."
     "There is never any question, dude.  How.... How are you two feeling?"
     Brianna said, "I... was having an.... episode, wasn't I?  But they never pass so quickly, they last for days....  What happened?"
     Roger said, "Whoa, I've never had Early Times land me in the hospi---- Bri?  Did you hit me in the head?"
     Brianna threw herself on her father's chest, sobbing.  "Daddy, I had one of my violent episodes!  Please forgive me!  I'm so sorry!"  And continued crying.  Roger comforted her and held her tight.
     "How are you feeling, Roger?"
     "I'm.... Doing okay.  Everything was a blur for  a while, but I feel like I'm with it now, like I got my brains back, y'know?  So what happened to me?"
     They explained about his head injury and loss of memory, and how....Something had happened, and he had miraculously recovered.  So had Brianna,  her episodes usually lasted for days.  She would miss school for up to a week during her episodes, and now this one.... Stopped.  Brianna was a normal sixteen year old girl, with a father who knew who she was.

     Saying a miracle had happened would be the only honest  true description, but it seemed like everyone was afraid to use the word.  But still....

      ....."Miraculous" is the best word to describe what happened.  The Lord can show his love in very direct ways.

     They all said goodnight to Roger, promising  they would pick him up the next day.  Down a corridor, down an elevator, along a second corridor, then in a hallway to an open door where a TV was playing.
     "Didn't expect to see you at this hour!   Visiting hours ended quite a while ago!" said Pappy, turning off the crime drama he'd been watching.  "Another nine days...."
     "I  have the security guards spooked," said Mookie.  "We have the run of the place."
     "I believe you, little girl, I believe you!" laughed Pappy.
     "We also came to see Roger," said Chet.  "He had a head injury---"
     "Uncle Chet, can I tell him?" said Brianna.   "Grampa, I had one of my violent episodes.  I hit my own father with a shovel.  Then I tried to run away.  Also, I'm the reason you're here.  I'm the one who sabotaged Mookie's car.
     "Out of selfishness and fear, I've committed acts of violence against people I love over the last couple days.  My behavior is inexcusable and all I can do is ask for your forgiveness.  I believe I've been forgiven by the Lord, the Almighty, and I beg your forgiveness too.  Please find it in your  heart to forgive someone who has acted in a cruel and destructive manner against those who love me, and who I love back."
     Pappy reached down and held her hand, saying, "You sound like someone who has come to the Lord."
     "I believe I have, Grampa."
     "How did this come to be?"
     Chet smiled and said, "Thanks to a crazy city girl who cusses when she prays.  I believe we've witnessed a miracle."
     "Tell me, tell me...."

     They told him.  And were believed.


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