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Inspirational Mystery Christian

One Final Good-Bye

The morning was crisp and cool.  It was a perfect day for a flight.  Alan awoke early and after a light breakfast (he had learned long ago not to have a heavy meal before a flight) he drove the short distance to her apartment to collect her for the flight.  The her was Polly, Alan’s long term love interest.  They had been friends, close friends, for years.  They had comforted each other through both of their family’s tragedies and mutual broken relationships, but in the last few months they had realized the inevitable.  They were soul-mates.  They confided everything, took long romantic weekends and enjoyed traveling together to exotic locations, though their jobs limited extended trips.

            Now they were traveling to a tropical island for that long awaited week-long trip.  Polly was awaiting his arrival.  Her bag was packed and by her front door.  After a final check of the apartment, she was ready for the trip.  Polly gave Alan the usual peck on the cheek and bounded to the car.  Alan noticed that she seemed just a bit quieter than usual.  Her bubbly personality was there, but she seemed a bit, well, a bit wistful.  Alan was sure that the excitement of the trip and the long relaxing vacation would bring her back to normal state.  

            At the airport, the TSA lines were mercifully short.  They breezed through the gates with minimal delays and had a few moments to sit together in the seats at the departure gate.  

Alan began what he hoped would be a momentous conversation.  “Well, at last we’ll have a full week of uninterrupted time together.  I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am.”

            Polly seemed to not to hear his statement and was staring out the window to the tarmac.  Alan restated his enthusiasm for the trip and she agreed.  “Yes, of course, This will undoubtedly be the most eventful trip of my life.”  She reached over and gave Alan an unexpected kiss—a long and passionate kiss.   It was certainly a more romantic display than the usually reserved Polly was known for.  She was usually a private person, reserved in public, but warm and loving in private. 

            Alan looked at her questioning and she only gave him an enigmatic look.  The boarding began before he could further explore the change in Polly’s emotional state.  Polly had the window seat.  She always enjoyed looking down on the green earth.  She was always amazed at how green most of the earth was in spite of the threats of man-made climate change.  Alan was happy for the middle seat just to be close to Polly.  They sat holding hands.  Alan was bubbling with anticipation of the trip and its meaning for their relationship.  Polly griped his hand tightly but said very little.  

            When the plane had reached its cruising altitude and the seat belt sign was off, Alan could not contain his self any longer.  “Polly, do you know how much you mean to me?”

            Polly looked lovingly at Alan, but remained speechless.

            He reached into his coat pocket and withdrew the small velvet box that had been secreted there for weeks.  He retrieved it and opened the lid to reveal to Polly the engagement ring he hoped she had been awaiting.  “Polly, I can’t get down on a knee here, but I just couldn’t wait a minute longer.”  He gulped and tears began streaming from his eyes.  The passengers surrounding them in the crowded cabin became silent as they gave the couple their rapt attention.  “Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife and life-long companion.” 

            Tears were streaming from Polly’s eyes as well as those of several of the fellow passengers.  “Alan, you know I love you; I love you with more of my heart and soul than I knew I could.  But …”


            Polly was gone.  A huge split had opened above Polly’s seat.  A gapping hole consumed her and her seat in a moment.  The plane went black for seconds before the emergency lights engaged.  Oxygen masks dropped down with another loud bang, but Alan’s ear drums were ruptured so he could hardly hear a thing.  The plane went into a severe dive, but the pilots were able to correct and were diving to a lower altitude where there was breathable air.  Several people were unconscious, many were screaming, including Alan, but he was unable to hear much of that.  He reached over for Polly and was waving his arms frantically till he remembered that she was no longer there.

            He didn’t remember the rest of the flight.  It was all a nightmarish haze.  He remembered the severe pain in his head and ears.  The burning pain in his lungs due to hypoxia and the extreme empty feeling of the loss of Polly.  

            It was days before he was well enough to leave the hospital.  His family and many well-wishers had wanted to visit him, but he sent them all away.  His first visit post discharge was to Polly’s family.  He had known them for years, but had not considered them to be a close family when he and Polly had become a serious item.  Now he needed to see them.

            They greeted Alan as if he was a close relative.  Hugs abound and continued with both happy and sad stories of Polly as a lively and happy daughter.  They brought out the family photo album and regaled Alan with stories of Polly’s youth.  He saw her in her confirmation dress.  Photos of family trips were a big part of the family, including Polly.   “Here we are in Paris.  She loved France.  When it came time to pick our vacations there was no question that we would go anywhere else but France.”  She loved the culture, the food, the wine, but she especially loved the people.  Here she is on her semester in Paris at the convent of Saint Cecilia.”

            Alan had to ask the question that had been burning into his soul.  “Did she ever talk about me?”

            “She spoke of you often, and always with love.   We assumed that you and Polly would someday—Well, it’s no use dreaming of what might have been.  When she came back from her last visit to Paris, she kept telling her mom and I that we should care for you.  It was kind of a strange statement, but she was concerned in particular for your welfare.”

            At that moment, Alan knew that he was bound for France.  Polly had found something in France, something that had been so important to her, more important than him.

            Following a period of rehab, Alan arranged a leave and flew, yes, flew to Europe.  He stayed in Paris, but moved about the country.  He kept the photos of Polly in France and tried to find every spot she had visited and try to absorb her essence.  He wanted to replicate the love of things French as she had.  He visited many cathedrals and met with many clerics along the way.  He began to understand not only her Francophilia, but also her faith.  As he copied her route through France, he began to develop a relationship with the Almighty.

            He had been there almost a year, when he reached the end of her album, The Convent of Saint Cecilia.  He found himself praying at the altar of a small chapel in the facility when he felt a presence in the room.  He turned and saw a small figure behind him.  “I’m sorry to impose.  I didn’t know I was disturbing the order of the convent by praying here,”

            “You’re not disturbing anyone.  Prayer is always welcome here.  Can I help you?”

            “Someone very special to me spent time here several months ago. Tragically she is no longer with us. This place seemed to be very special to her.  I felt that by coming here that perhaps I could feel closer to her.”

            “You must be Alan.  I’m Sister Anne, Mother Superior. Polly told me about you.  She loved you with a deep and abiding love.  Here, I have a letter she left for you.  I think she knew that you would eventually find your way here, though I doubt that she could have predicted her death.  Few can?”  With that she pulled a white envelop from beneath her apron and handed it to Alan.  “Stay as long as you wish or need to.  I will be near.”

                        Alan, My Love,

                        You are the kindest and most understanding man I have ever known.

                        My relationship with you has been the joy of my life.  Only one

            Joy could compete, the joy I know by serving the lord.  I know you 

            may find it difficult and It’s the most difficult decision I’ve ever made,

            but I will serve the lord here—here in the quiet peace of Saint Cecilia’s.

            God bless you Alan,

            Love forever.

Sister Anne appeared again when Alan had ample time to read and absorb Polly’s letter.  

“She was here and made her plans to enter the convent as a novice shortly before her last return to the states.  She wrote this letter and trusted it to me.  She was to tell you of her decision to commit her life to Christ on that visit, but was concerned that you might not accept it and would search for her here.  Perhaps her spirit is here.  I can feel it.  Can you?

He could.

February 21, 2024 05:01

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1 comment

Karen McDermott
14:45 Feb 24, 2024

Passion, drama and an unexpected religious twist. I'm glad we got to know the rest of the sentence Polly couldn't finish through Alan's travels.


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