Christian Mystery Friendship

Ady felt the drain from months of traveling, but knew that clarity was just on the horizon. When you spend extended time alone, it has a way of bringing a brightness….inspiration even. Her final stop was just hours away, the Sanctuary of Asclepius. Greece had always been on her list of travels, and somehow this journey, work related but also deeply personal, finally led her here. As the guide droned on about the distant mountains of Attica, Ady reached into her bag to look for her itinerary, and pricked her finger on something sharp. “OUCH!” she murmured, under her breath, as she pulled the object from the depths of her oversized purse.  

The sight of the silvery star brought tears instantly to her eyes…Joanna. Ady hadn’t thought of her, or that Christmas, in what felt like forever. The distance between where she was now instantly vanished and it was as if no time had passed at all. But where….how…? It’s not as though she would have packed this obscure item for her trip…

As Ady’s mind wandered to where it may have come from, she noticed that the scenery around her looked odd. Was that snow? In September? It couldn’t be! But there it was, falling steadily like rain all around the bus as the road continued scaling upwards. Ady couldn’t help but feel unsettled. “Maybe I shouldn’t have come here…What if my daydreaming and self-indulgence has finally taken me too far…I don’t know what I was thinking! I just wish I was home…”

Tears were close as another passenger tapped her and pointed out the window. There, not more than 50 feet away, was a brown bear. She had heard that bears were common in certain parts of Greece, particularly in the North, but here? At this exact moment? What are the chances!? 

The driver slowed slightly as the tour guests gaped in disbelief at the sight. Vaguely, Ady heard the tour guide mutter something about the bear population and where they are typically found. But her mind wandered back to the star. It can’t be here - that keepsake has been safely guarded inside her bedside drawer since that fateful day. 

Joanna - her favorite cousin. They grew up together, went on vacations every summer, celebrated holidays together. Any time their family was together, Ady always looked for Joanna. Then, one day, her world was shaken to the core. It was Christmastime, and she assumed the family would be together for Christmas Day, like always. But it wasn’t like always. Joanna never came. Everyone was there, except her. Sure, they didn’t always stay in touch throughout the year, but at the holidays, they all got together, it was a given. What really made it upsetting was that no one would say anything! Nothing! As if it was no big deal, like it was normal for her not to be there. Anytime Ady would ask, everyone would shift uncomfortably and change the subject. Nothing became clear until Christmas morning - when mom opened the star. “I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” The quote left enough unsaid that Ady knew she would never see her dear cousin again. The family refused to discuss it. It has been this unspoken thing for years. She has been this unspoken thing for years.  

Now, here, 8 years later - in Greece, of all places - this reminder clouded every inch of clarity she believed she had gained on her travels. Ady carefully reached back into her bag to retrieve the token. What? Where is it? She pulled her itinerary and wallet from her bag and turned on her flashlight to look inside. Nothing. It is gone! Feeling flushed and dizzy, Ady reached for her water and took a deep, cleansing breath. These had always helped her in moments of stress, and this bus ride was really starting to feel like a bad dream. Was this really happening? Or had she just fallen asleep?  

The road began to plateau as they entered Trachia. “Rough”, its meaning in Greek – somehow that meaning was feeling all the more appropriate. A brief, final stop to eat and experience some local cheeses on their journey to Epidaurus, Ady realized she had started to feel a bit hungry. Maybe that was what was causing her dizziness. Glad to finally get her feet on the ground, Ady gathered her items and her bearings as well. Maybe she had drifted off, or zoned out enough to wander into a dream state...who knows?   

Resolving to leave those thoughts behind her on the bus, Ady maneuvered past the rows of passengers and exited through the open door. As she took in the landscape around her, she noticed that the thick snow that fell steadily during their drive was now entirely absent. Not a single snowflake on a single blade of grass. How could that be? Bewildered once again, she turned towards the guide to ground herself. That’s when she saw her. It couldn’t be! Unmistakable, walking from beyond her group, towards edge of the snow-free wheat field...Joanna. Joanna! Her voice sounded unfamiliar as she said her name aloud. “Joanna!?” As she turned, the familiar face took her breath. How could this be? “Ady? Is that you? What are you doing here?” An embrace seemed only right, but Ady felt frozen, unable to move or speak. “Did you know I was here? I didn’t think anyone knew…” 

Finally Ady moved closer to her long lost cousin. A shiver ran down her spine and gave her a chill. A moment she never imagined. Never even knew to long for. As other tour guests wandered off in search of cheese, Joanna soon explained her incurable diagnosis, the darkness that followed, and her family’s inability to handle any of it. Then it all became clear - The sanctuary. What had brought Ady to Greece for her own spiritual journey had been the same ancient structure that brought her long lost cousin here, so many years ago. “Once I came, and I was healed, I found a new home here, where I could let those old hurts go. I didn’t mean to leave everyone without a word…it just…happened.”  

Without thinking, Ady reached into her purse and ,miraculously, again divulged the star from inside. Their eyes met, and Ady knew that none of this had been a dream. Whatever brought her here, whoever brought her here... no one but God could have orchestrated this. And in an instant, without even reaching her intended destination, Ady’s journey was complete.

February 05, 2023 06:09

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Wendy Kaminski
01:46 Feb 12, 2023

Really heart-warming story about reunion and divine guidance, Kristin, and the culmination of a quest. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Great first entry onto the site, and welcome to Reedsy!


Kristin McDavid
18:33 Feb 12, 2023

Thank you! I’ve never really tried creative writing, so this is new for me..I have a lot to learn but I am enjoying it! I appreciate the thoughtful comment-thanks for the welcome!


Wendy Kaminski
18:55 Feb 12, 2023

My pleasure! :)


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