Cheryl, Thank you for the birthday gift! I had wanted this very much.
Sincerely, Andrew Boyd
“Was that all?” My heart dropped to my toes. I searched the page for more, but there was nothing. Why he didn’t even seem surprised that I gave him something. This is so short and stiff… An inner voice cut into my thoughts. “Why’d you want more? Do they mean anything to you? You don’t even know him.” Mother’s voice broke into my thoughts. “Let me see it.” I handed it to her. She gave it to my father. Foreheads touching, they read it together. Mother burst into a smile. “That was nice of him. When’d you send him the gift?” “That’s what weird. I sent it a year ago.” She raised her eyebrows and turned to Father. His eyes still stared at the paper. “How you know him anyway?” I fumbled for words. “Well, uh, you see…” I cleared my throat. “I don’t really know him. I saw him in a picture and then there was an address and—“ “So you send someone something without knowing nothing. I thought I could trust you better, Cheryl.” I rubbed my face; a bit disarmed by his disapproval. “Father look, I’m not lying. I know I knew him before. It’s really weird I know, but I’m not lying.” That night I could not sleep. I was so exhausted, but Andrew’s note kept me awake. Oh God, bless Andrew. Help him to grow into a godly young gentleman. Give him humbleness, strength, wisdom in everything. And Katie, bless her too. Help her not to fear anything. Give her submission. Bless—Andrew…he…………..I sank deeper beneath my lavender fleece blanket. My eyes shut. ----------- “This Tuesday we’ll be having ladies’ class at the Shank’s home.” Brother Michael’s eyes searched for Sister Sara who sat in the audience. “You’ll know more details, right?” She smiled and nodded. He continued to read the announcements as he stood in the pulpit. For some reason, I happened to look behind me. There he is! I blinked hard. My jaw dropped to the ground. He leaned against the white brick wall, his hands deep in his pockets and his back straight against the wall. What’s he doing here? Does he recognize me? My mind whirled and my heart beat like drums. “In Jesus’ name, Amen. You’re dismissed for Sunday School.” I jumped up. A few heads turned and few giggles erupted. Oops. With flaming cheeks, I glanced around and was relieved that I hadn’t caused that many heads to turn like it had seemed. Then the whole room burst into a lively murmur as each person greeted one another. I looked back again. He was still there. I took one step to him, and then froze, suddenly shy. But I shook it off and with determination, walked over to him. Nine other people stood beside him. That has to be his family. He glanced curiously at me. I smacked my lips. My hands began shaking. I shoved them behind my back. “Are you—you Andrew Boyd?” “Yeah.” He started. “You are?” My face lit up. “But how’d you know?” “I’m Cheryl. You know me, right? Esther…Cheryl?” His forehead creased as if in deep thought. His eyes widened. “Cheryl! From…” I bobbed my head up and down, interrupting him. With his elbow, he nudged his brother. “Jim! Here’s Cheryl! I shook hands with both of them. Beside them was their little brother and I bent down to grasp his tiny hand. Two girls, who looked older than me, smiled at me and we embraced like old friends. “This is my father and mother.” Andrew stepped towards me, holding out his arm. “How’d you ever get here? You live so far. This is unbelievable,” I said, laughing. Andrew said, “I know, right? Well, you see, we didn’t—“ It became dark. They looked up in confusion. Then the lights opened again. I explained, “It’s just the signal that Sunday School’s about to start. You know, for people like us who keep talking,” I said, grinning. On a normal Sunday, each class—the men’s class, the ladies’ class, the children’s class, and the youth class’, were each held on a different floor. Yet this Sunday all the children, youth, and lady classes gathered in the basement. But in the first place, this wasn’t a normal Sunday. This different arrangement didn’t affect me because I attended the ladies’ class. I was the only girl, yes, but when I had turned twelve years old—the age my parents believed that I was an adult, my parents had removed me from the youth classes and placed me into the ladies’ class. I liked it that way. Around me, the ladies’ class formed the biggest circle of chairs, the youth (where Andrew and five other friends were) formed the second largest, which left the children to the smallest circle of chairs. My minds refused to listen to Mrs. Yoder teach the class. I stared at her, trying to listen, but that didn’t help. But Sunday School passed as fast as a hummingbird. Normally after the discussions ended, everyone would find someone to pray with. But today, for the first time ever, I had no one to pray with. Everyone had someone else to pray with. How strange—as if this isn’t a strange Sunday in general. Mrs. Yoder realized that I was alone and summoned Andrew and five others of my friends from their circle. “Why don’t you pray with Cheryl?” We gathered together and shared our prayer requests. Then something bizarre happened. No longer were we sitting together amidst a low murmur of prayer, we were on the other side of the room standing amidst a chatter of laughter. Neither of us questioned our misplacement. In fact, no longer were chairs strewn about the room, they were stacked against the wall. Boys ran towards and away from us, rolling hula-hoops on its edge. A large square machine stood in the middle of the room. As each boy passed it, a spark of electricity boomed. Peals of laughter exploded too. Please! This is dangerous. Stop! My mind screamed. Andrew stood beside me. “Let’s go. We still haven’t prayed yet.” I whispered to him and my other friends; I must escape this atmosphere. We gathered in a smaller room. I prayed first, “Oh God, bless Andrew. Help him to grow into a godly young gentleman. Give him humbleness, strength, wisdom in everything…” For a moment I halted for my words confused me because they seemed so familiar and not coming from me. But I continued, “And for Jacob, make him a wonderful witness for you as he travels. Make Sallie keep growing into a beautiful young lady. Thank you so much for what is to come. Amen. ------- Argh, who was he? He wasn’t at the doorway before—was he? Our eyes met. “Cheryl, remember the gift you gave me?” The gift. What g—the Settlers of Catan! Memories tumbled back so quick… I didn’t know what to say. “I—yes, I remember…Andrew Boyd.” He looked so familiar…like someone I saw in a picture before—many times. Someone I would enjoy meeting. “Well, I have something for you.” “For me?” “Yep.” He grinned as he walked over to the upright piano leaning against the left wall of the living room. For the first time, I noticed a backpack on his shoulders. He shrugged it off. Bending, he brought it to his knee and unzipped the backpack. I tiptoed to get a better look. He pulled out-- of all things he could pull out, the “Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer” DVD case. It was not a normal DVD case—it was too thick for just a DVD to be inside. He handed it to me. I tried opening it, but my finger struggled to slit open the casing. He was gazing steadily at me – which didn’t help. “Here,” he said. “Let me try.” I gave to him. He struggled too. “Aww, I really wanted to give you this but—“ “…No wait! Look, it’s opening!” I nearly shouted. He bent back to his work. Slowly; very slowly, it opened a crack. Gleaming forth was a blue light. I leaned forward. And then I woke up.
Notes: Okay, I did have this dream. This is not exactly, exactly my dream, but it is tweaked a bit for better reading. I did know who "Andrew" was, at once, for instance. And of course, I woke up at the worst possible time. Also, in my dream everything was in the present, I didn't dream IN A DREAM. But to make this read easier, I made it like this. Cheryl's prayer was really what I prayed when I fell asleep, but it's too confusing to put what is present and what is a dream, especially since I didn't want anyone to know it is a dream until it is all over...it's really confusing. One more thing, I didn't have any one edit this yet, so please feel free to do it! :)