This is a fictional story. I would like to dedicate this short story to the families of the people lost in horrific accidents.
The sun glared off the ocean in a peaceful way. The birds chirped and sang their beautiful songs, while Rosey waded her feet in the deep blue ocean. Rosey sat there, enjoying the quite moments, when she heard loud sirens. Usually she prayed for the people involved in the accident, but today she barely heard them. Her watch went off at 5:30am, signaling the time when she had promised Marcus she would be headed home. Rosey began the walk into the forest with happy thoughts. Little Abbey would be awaking by now, and Marcus would go around the house, trying to look for her. Abbey loved these games of “hide-behind-daddy”, as she called it.
Rosey entered onto a street that had probably seen better days. Uniqueness filled each home, as clearly seen from the streets. She started picking out houses that struck her as whimsical or quaint. The two houses she finally picked had large windows and looked very happy.
As she turned left onto Calder Rd., she noticed flashing lights, paramedics, and bystanders standing near the rental home she was staying in. The first thing that came to mind was Mrs. Van-Held, who lived across the street from the rental home. “Poor Mrs. Van-Held, she must’ve had a heart-attack!” Rosey thought.
As her house came into view, she realized that the sirens she had heard earlier were for her family. The sad and shocked looks on the bystanders told her something terrible had happened. She sprinted to the home, tears already coming down her cheeks like an uncontrollable river.
“Miss, you aren’t allowed near there,” a police officer began to say. “Stop! It’s unsafe!”
“My little Abbey! Marcus! My beloved Marcus!”
The ground was still hot after the accident. She baked in the rubble that stood beneath her feet. “I must fight on,” she told herself. “For…my…family!” she felt everything around her spinning. She felt dizzy and suddenly collapsed.
The bright lights blinded Rosey as she awoke in her hospital bed. She was confused and didn’t remember ever being taken to the hospital.
“What happened?” she asked in a weary voice.
A nurse standing in the white sunshine filled room answered, “You passed out. I’m sorry about your family.”
“Why are you sorry for them? They are just home, right? What hap---?”
“Oh, Rosey!” Mrs. Vanheld cried out as she entered the room. “I’m so sorry, dear. This is unspeakably terrible.”
“Where is Abbey?” Rosey asked in a worried voice.
“Oh, you poor thing. You don’t know about the plane crash? Shame on you!” the old lady said, shaking her old, wrinkly finger at the nurse. “You see, sweetie, there was a plane crash. It hit the house and the destruction was catastrophic. They’re gone, Rosey. I’m so sorry, honey.”
Tears flooded Rosey’s eyes and sobs broke out from deep within. Marcus and Abbey were gone forever.
“How could this happen to me?” Rosey thought. “Why did God make this happen to us?”
“Please tell me…it can’t be…,” she suffered greatly. Her whole body propelled into dire places of sorrow, shock, and hatred. “This is all God’s fault!!! Why?!? WHY!!” at this point she lost it and threw a glass with water against the wall and broke down weeping.
The startled old woman took a few steps back, almost tumbling over the shocked nurse. “Get the doctor! Help!”
The forest was cool and inviting. Rosey stared into the trees, wondering whether she should go in or not. Before she could make up her mind, an angel appeared. The angel was adorned in a white and silver cloth, and his eyes were deep blue lakes that sucked you in.
The dark haired, shimmering man said, “I come in peace. Be not afraid, the Lord is with you. Trust in Him and He will give you strength.”
Rosey awoke startled. “What did they give me?” she said in a quiet voice.
“Rosey. I’m glad you are awake. You seem to be doing well. How are you feeling?”
“Good, thanks Dr. LaGrange.”
“You are allowed to leave today. Should I get someone to escort you on your trip home?”
“No, but thank you for the offer,” Rosey said. She thought about her dream. “You really shouldn’t blame the Lord,” the good angel seemed to whisper into her right ear. “No, He is to blame. He could’ve stopped that from happening,” the devil said.
The whole way back she was like a ping-pong ball, bouncing back and forth from right to wrong. In the end, the right persevered, and she knew what she must do.
“Sawubona! Uyaphi?” a gentleman behind the counter asked. Rosey was amazed. She had just arrived in South Africa at the Namazimuzimu Airport.
She told him, “I am American and speak English, sorry.”
“Oh! Sorry, miss. I was just wondering where you were headed?”
“I am headed to an orphanage named Vilakazi.”
“Oh yes! You must be here with the missionary group,” the kind gentleman said. He reached down behind the desk and pulled out a map. “Here is a map with directions to the orphanage. If you have any questions call this number,” he circled a number near the bottom.
“Thank you,” she said trying to understand the map.
“Hmm…I’m here, and that means I should take the main road to---”
Rosey bumped into a man and found herself in a giant heap of papers and bags.
“Sorry!” a man said, helping her to her feet. “I was trying to find my way to the Vilakazi orphanage. Could you help me?”
Rosey started laughing, finding this coincidence hilarious. “I am not from around here, but also am trying to find my way to the orphanage.”
Rosey and the man started laughing again and began talking. As John, the stranger came to be known as, and Rosey walked along they discussed about home life.
“I actually just lost my husband and child in a horrific accident. That is why I am here so that I can get back on the right path and help the children who have lost their parents.”
“I am so sorry to hear about your family. I just got in a terrible divorce over the missionary work I have been doing. My ex seemed to think that doing missionary work wasn’t as important as family. I saw what she was getting at, but God called me to do this.”
“Oh wow,” Rosey said, now staring at the orphanage. “This was not what I expected.” Muddy children ran around, not seeming to realize that what they were stepping in was sewage and broken glass.
“It is pretty terrible at first, but with God on our side, we will make it better.”
John sat in the restaurant, sweating up a storm. How was he going to ask her? Should he kneel? Was this too early for her?
“Well hello, stranger,” Rosey said, laughing at their little joke.
John looked over at her. She looked absolutely stunning in her black dress with her hair pulled back in a fancy up-do. “Hello, stranger,” he responded, a little dazed.
“Am I a little over dressed?” she asked concerned.
“No, but I think I am a little underdressed,” he said pointing to his khaki shorts and short sleeved shirt.
“May I take your order?” an African waiter asked, interrupting their laughter.
“I will have the vetkoek and a bottle of champagne,” John said, looking at Rosey to make sure champagne was alright with her.
“And I will have bobotie.”
“Would you like any soup or salad?”
“No, I think that will be all. Thank you,” Rosey said.
“Rosey, I have something to ask you,” John asked, bending down on his knee. He pulled out a case and held it to Rosey. “Will you marry me?”
Rosey gasped. The ring was gorgeous. The pearl, surrounded by shimmering diamonds, was a rare color of pink. “Oh…could this explain why you’ve been so nervous around me?” Rosey asked with a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
John blushed, and they both started laughing. “You didn’t answer my question.”
“Right, well…I don’t know…,” Rosey said, looking away. “I guess if you really want me too.." She paused, and looking back at him hugged him. "Of course I will marry you John."
“You almost had me there,” John said, jokingly. “But I figured for a man like me, you couldn’t resist.”
“Your food is ready,” the waiter said as he placed the meal of deliciously looking food in front of them. They thanked the Lord for bringing them together and for helping each of them with their sorrows.
Rosey and John were married on the beach in South Africa. They are currently working in the orphanage and adopted two boys. They have been happily married for three years and continue to help others.