Look at the Stars

Submitted for Contest #96 in response to: Write about someone welcoming a stranger into their home.... view prompt

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Jun 04, 2021

Fiction Inspirational Christian

Day 1

Diary,

It’s been a long time since I wrote to you. Don’t blame me. Things will change now. Don’t expect a lot from me, you know my discipline to diary is inconstant. But I’ll try to write some days. Reason? Today was weird, and I’m pretty sure the next days are going to be weird too.

The morning and afternoon were normal. I wake up early, took a shower, had breakfast (just bread with butter and coffee) and began my routine of reading. I started with the Bible, like always, and prayed. Usually, it takes one hour. Today it took a little more, around one hour and half. After that, I dedicated me to study the classics. Around 11:30 a.m., I started to cook lunch. Recently, a lovely sister from church, called Anaya, brought me some vegetables. I thanked to her and to God, because He knows my cupboard was almost empty.

So, I cooked some vegetables (tomato, onion, bell pepper and eggplant) in the olive oil with a little bit, just to add a special taste, of palm oil. Since meat became luxury to me, I got used to enjoy having a vegan meal. But God knows I’d not complain to have a big peace of beef.

After lunch, I had a rest of forty minutes and came back to my books; this time, to theologians, mainly Augustine. I took shorts pauses to rest the eyes and mind, but, roughly, I read until 6 p.m. Then, I started to cook dinner, that would be a soup of vegetables. When that delicious smell was fulling the entire atmosphere in the house and going out by the windows, I thought listening to something. It was like a whistle, acute and far away, ripping the air. I was concentrated at the stove, so I didn’t give attention. However, in sequence, a thud so strong I could feel a weak tremor on the ground, coming from the direction of the door.

I turned off the stove and run to the door. I put my hand at the door handle and, I confess, I was a little feared. I took a breath, prayed in spirit, and opened the door. Indeed, I got a scare when I saw a little girl fallen down. She was unaware, hurt, dirty and naked. I didn’t think much and acted by instinct; without seeing anyone close, I took my coat off (it was a cold night, really uncommon around here) and covered her. So, I took her in my arms (she was freezing) and put her in the bed; I covered her again with all the blankets I had and tried to exam her health. She was with fever and the hurts seemed like from a fall, nothing really serious. I thought to take her to hospital, but it’d take three hours, at least. So, I decided to take care of her by myself tonight, and, tomorrow, if she doesn’t get better, I take her.

While I write, she’s sleeping and I’m here yawning. She’s already looking better; I think I could sleep a little. I’m exha”

Day 2

Diary,

         I couldn’t even finish the word; I slept before it. Anyway, I woke up suddenly at 7 and I run to look the girl in my bed. I don’t know why, but I feared she could not be there anymore. Soon as I got up, I felt hard the consequences of sleeping sat at a chair; my back was terrible.

         Now, at the daylight and a little calmer, I could observe her more. She had a tanned skin, neither black like the natives, nor exactly brown like me and the most of my people, nor white like the most of the missionaries I had met around here; it was different tone, indeed. Also, she had small and closed eyes (even when opened); when she opened them, though, it was a surprise for me seeing them, deep, not in a physical manner, but… How can I explain? Her eyes made me feel strange, like if I had seen the eyes of an ancient tree, or something like that. I know, I’m weird. Maybe it was Tolkien’s influence. But, also, the color of her eyes was a tone of light brown really similar to yellow, like I’ve never seen before, and it matched with her blond hair.

         Then, returning, when I run to look her, she was still sleeping. I verified her fever and it was already much better. Soon as I finishing the measurement, she forced her eyes to open with difficulty. I took a chair and put it next to bed and waited. When she woke up, she looked at everything in the room slowly, like whether everything was new to her. And, obviously, it was, right?

         When her eyes came to me, she stopped for a while; her still weak and little hand touched my face with a perplexed feature. She whispered something I heard just like “ska tûk strun?” I couldn’t recognize the language, so I tried to ask her in English: “I’m Theodor, but you can call me Theo. Who are you?” She seemed surprised, but she answered stammering: “I… am… Allets”. I’ll try to recreate the dialogue here:

“Can you tell me what happened to you, Allets?”

“…”

“And how about your parents?”

“…”

“Can you tell me who they are?”

“God is my… Father.”

I couldn’t help but make a funny face when I heard that, but I tried to go on. “Amen, He is my Father too. But, I mean… Don’t you have any other parents?”

“God is my only parent.”

“Alright…” I couldn’t think in anything anymore, so I asked: “Are you hungry?”

“Hungry…” She put a hand on her belly. “Hungry…”

“Okay. Just wait a moment, I’ll cook something to us.”

I looked for something more delicious in the kitchen, but I really was with few options. So, I made bread with butter for me and fried the last egg to put in bread to her. And coffee, obviously, it can’t miss. While I was preparing it, I heard steps approaching. I turned back and saw her, still having my coat on. She came rubbing the eyes, sleepy, but, apparently, curious about everything around. “Are you feeling any better?”, I asked. She confirmed with head and sat in the chair of the kitchen.

I served her and she, before eating, closed her eyes, like praying silently. I thought cute and joined me in pray. Then, she started eating. It was just egg, bread and coffee, but it seemed she’d never eaten anything so good.

After finishing it, I had to ask. “Allets, I need to know about your family. Could you tell about them, please?”

“I have no family. God is my only parent.”

She didn’t seem lying, but also she didn’t seem sad. So, she asked: “Could I stay with you?”

I confess I felt a little uncomfortable. “I don’t know… Don’t you think a real family would be better for you? I’m alone, you know. You could have a mom, a dad, and some siblings. I could try some family at church to adopt you.”

“No!” I was surprised with the firm way she spoke. “I want to stay with you.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know, I just…” She put a hand on her heart. “I just feel it.”

Disconcerted, I just decided to let this subject for later. Even worried, I think it’s not a problem to let her staying here a little bit.

It’s late, I’m sleepy, so I can’t give more details of what happened next. To resume, I said I needed to study, because I’d preach at church tomorrow. She nodded so nicely that I felt strangely pride and glad for her; she also stayed by my side for hours, observing me and, I guess, reading everything I was reading. I can’t guess if she understood something, because they were complex readings, but I got surprised by her being so silently and focused.

Day 4

Diary,

Yesterday, I got home so much late I couldn’t write. I was really undecided if I should take Allets to church or not. To be honesty, I was imagining the reaction of the people. But, by the other hand, how could I leave her alone at home? So, I ended up taking her. At the path, I bought her some clothes.

The reaction was kind of better than I imagined. Obviously, everyone was surprised. I can’t blame them. But they didn’t judge me. They reminded me from the biblical hospitality and encouraged me saying I had done correctly. I got so happy, I don’t know if I can explain why, you know? I’m a young pastor, from other country, other culture, there are various people older than me at church, so I was always worried about if they’d respect me or not, see me like a leader or not; I was always worried in give the example, being a mirror in who they could mirror up… So, seeing them happy and pride of me let me happy and pride of them. I think that’s a truly community.

Some people also offered help to take care of Allets, but she got so disturbed by the mere mention of that that I said to them I’d think more about it.

Day 8

Diary,

         Today, Allets asked me to let her help me in the kitchen. She was a little jumbled with the hands, but she looked so happy! She’s starting to feel more comfortable with me, I can see that. Actually, yesterday I saw her smiling for the first time, while reading Narnia. And today she laughed while cooking. She has a wonderful smile, it’s like it really shined.

Day 11

Diary,

         You know about my old habit of looking at the stars before sleeping, around 11 p.m., or midnight, right? Since Allets came along, I wasn’t doing that, because I had so much in my head to think. But, yesterday, I missed that. So, I went outside and sat on the ground; that pure air, those rustling trees, that dark, deep bluish black sky, that refreshing breeze, that song of silence so typical of the nature and those tiny, shining and twinkling stars… I love it.

         Allets followed me like my shadow and sat by my side. We stayed in a peaceful silence, that silence of contemplation, you know? Like when you don’t need to speak with someone to understand her; it’s like a kind of telepathy, a feeling with no words.

         But, suddenly, when I looked at her, I saw her crying, silently. No voice or groan, just tears rolling on her face. “What is it wrong?”, I asked her. She got a scare, like if she had come out of trance. She shook her head, got up and came in home. When I came in, she was already in bed. I’m still confused.

Day 14

Diary,

         I realized I was procrastinating about the issue of Allets. Due to reaction of her to my questions, I avoided asking her again about her life. But, if I really want help her, I can’t avoid it. I’ll back soon.

         I’m back. Well… She was weird again. Now, she said me she didn’t remember her past accurately. The memories were messed. But she really doesn’t have parents (except God, as she insists to say) and have lived completely alone until meet me. I give up. Whoever she is, she’s my little sister now.

Day 24

Diary,

         Since I internalized Allets as my younger sister in my head, I don’t see her like a stranger anymore. I took a longer time to write here again just because, now, I feel my life normal again. How can I explain it? Allets came along here like a stranger, indeed. So, everything was weird to me, and I thought necessary writing somethings. But, now, it’s like she had always been my family! And, although my life is different now because of her presence, I regard this “difference” as my “normal life”. Am I making sense? You’re my diary; it’s your function understanding me.

         Anyway, I just want to say you to get used to not to see me here so often from now on. Oh my God, how many “to” in one single sentence!

Day 45

Diary,

         When we were looking at the stars last night, we had an interesting conversation I want to write here.

         “What do you think when you see the stars in?” I asked her, curious.

         “You first!”

         “Alright!” I laughed. “I think in how majestic and huge and beautiful they are.” Curiously, she looked embarrassed when I said that, so I felt uncomfortable too. I continued then: “But, at the same time, I think in how small and shy they appear to us, at distance… Your turn!”

         “I think… They may feel alone.”

         “What do you mean?”

         “They are so far from one another and so far from humans in a deep and astounding dark void…”

         “That’s a… ‘Different’ way to think.” I tried to disguise my amazement, but I think she realized that, because she completed.

         “But, at the same time, I think they get really happy when we stop doing our affairs to contemplate them. It’s like we showed we care about them.”

         I smiled. Now, I have a new reason to look at the stars.

Day 82

Diary,

         Last night, Allets had a terrible nightmare and she asked me to let her sleeping with me. I couldn’t recuse her, because her skin was pale and cold and she was sweating a lot.

         She lay down by my side and embraced me so strong; I could note her tremoring. I tried to comfort her, caressing her, and I asked to her to tell the nightmare. “I was in the dark”, she said, “I couldn’t see anything. Then I started to feel cold, not just cold, but really freezing. And then, I felt alone, so alone that it was like I was suffocated me.” She cried. “I preferred a thousand times more to have a nightmare with terrible monsters or demons, than having one with nothing, just a void devouring me.”

         I felt powerless to comfort her. I just could say “I’m here”, “everything will be okay”, etc. If I could do it, I’d enter in her heart and rip off every fear from there, just to see her happy again.

Day 89

Diary,

         Do you remember that Allets’ nightmare? She said today that last night she had a similar dream, but at this time, it was a good one. She was in that same place, dark and freezing, with a horrible feeling. She started seeing a light at distance, though. That light was so tiny, like a little star, but he (she called the star “he”) made her feel different. She began to feel warm and, among the darkness, billions of little dots of light came along. That same place was not scary anymore, either void. It was overflowing with life and beauty.

         It may look foolishness, but I realized the difference in her. Along this week, she was sad and quiet. Today, she’s radiant like never! She asked me to hang out, so I decided to go to the beach. I’m writing while I’m waiting her getting ready.

         I love this place! It’s a small beach, but it’s so tranquil. The sand is white, water is clear like crystal, sun is dangerously hot, but the shadows of the trees offer a fresh rest the sun can’t take from us.

It’s night now. We’re already at home. Allets thanked many times to me for taking her to the beach, but, actually, I could do the same: I didn’t remember the last time I went there. Alone, I had no mood to do that. I forgot how I really needed it.

She asked me again to sleep with me, even without nightmares at this time. She just wants it. Why not?

Day 100

Diary,

         I’m writing just to keep it registered, even though I know I won’t forget it ever. The night after the beach’s day, Allets called me outside, to the place we used to look at the stars, and told me a nonsense story, but I can’t speak that’s a lie. I’ll try to transcribe it here:

         “Theo, I need to tell you something…”

         “What did you do wrong?” I was still kidding, but she was serious.

         “Before I get here, months ago, I made a wish to Our Father. I asked him to me not feel so alone like I was always feeling. I didn’t know if He’d attend me, but… A sometime later, He sent me here, to you.”

         “Where do you want to get?”

         “It’s time say goodbye, Theo.”

         “What?” I didn’t understand what she was talking about, but I could already feel a pain in my heart.

         “God attended my request. I’m not feeling alone anymore…”

“What are you-”

“Thanks to you. Before I leave, I just want to ask you something. Continue looking at the stars. We really appreciate it.”

“We?”

“Goodbye, sunshine!”

She smiled, and then she turned so shining I couldn’t keep my eyes open. When I opened my eyes again, she was not there anymore. I looked at the sky, instinctively, and I saw a bright star twinkling. “Allets… No… Stella”, I whispered. Psalms 147:4 and Isaiah 40:26.

I took a long time to write that because, you can imagine, how depressed I was. Now, you can say I’m crazy, or that I had a hallucination, whatever. Maybe I had. But, if that’s right, where is she?

I only know that now I look at the stars, just like she asked me, and I can feel her with me. She thought God attended her, but, actually, He listened to my pray I never did with words, but my heart screamed out loud.

I was alone. I’m not alone anymore.

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