If you haven’t had a chance to check out my last two blog posts where I start off my “short story” called- “The Choice”, then go ahead and check that out first! https://emathews2012.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/the-choice/ You can find the second part here: https://emathews2012.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/reflections/
Here is the third part:
The sunlight was blinding, but I welcomed it on my pale skin. I let the warmth sink into my skin as I left the mirror hallway and continued on my journey. It was the same dirt path that I had left when I entered the Mirror room. I continued walking in silence. There was no one to talk too. I had a lot of time to think about anything and everything as I walked. I stopped every now and then to sit down and rest for a short period of time, but I was soon on my way again. After a few hours of almost non-stop walking, I approached a building that was set off to the left. It was huge! It seemed plain, but welcoming enough. I was tired and, hoping that this was the next leg of my journey (or where it perhaps ended for the night), I left the path. Before I made it to the door, a woman yanked open the door and stumbled outside. She keeled over. She was obviously very drunk. And wearing barely any clothes. I looked away. Maybe this wasn’t a good place to stop after all.
“Hello, miss.” She slurred, sticking her hand out for me to shake it. She stuck it out in the wrong direction.
“H-hi,” I stuttered. “I-I think I’ll be on my way now.”
“No wait, miss! We’re having fun inside! Come on, have some rest and some fun!”
I fiercely shook my head. He would not approve of this place. I thought, then backed away from the woman. She clumsily waved and laughed before attempting to open the door. She missed the handle and slammed into the door. Eventually she found the handle and disappeared inside.
What was that all about? I wondered, confused. The King must not know about this place…He would certainly not approve of this place! I found my way back to the path that I had left and continued on my journey. Just as the sun was setting, I happened upon a small cottage that was nestled right up against the path. It looked small and I was sure that the people who lived there would not have room and food for me. But I was tired and the sun was fast disappearing behind the horizon. I knocked on the weak wooden door. Before long the door opened and an old, white-haired man appeared.
His wrinkled face turned into a smile. “Well, hello, honey. Are you hungry?” He motioned my inside.
I nodded. “Yes, sir. Starving! But are you sure it’s okay for me to eat something? Maybe I can work for you to help repay you.” I glanced around at their obviously poor state.
He laughed and shook his head. “No need to repay us.” He motioned to a woman with snow-white hair and wrinkled face. “While you eat, you’ll need to tell us what you have learned so far, though.” He winked at me.
“Margaret, can you make this young lady some food, please?”
The old woman nodded. “I sure will!” She smiled and moved much faster than I expected. Her hands looked very capable in the kitchen. She knew what she was doing in there.
“Why don’t you sit down at the table, honey?” The woman, apparently named Margaret spoke as she moved about the kitchen. I moved toward the table. “Here’s some bread, if you would like. I will heat up the soup that we had for dinner. We had two guests for dinner, but we still have a little left!”
“Are there many who travel this road?”
The man nodded slowly and pulled up another chair close to mine. “There are many who start on this journey.” His eyes looked sad. “But sadly, there are not many who finish it.”
“Why is that?” I asked curiously. My stomach growled.
“Phil, give that poor girl a piece of bread and butter to satisfy her stomach until the soup is ready!” The man grabbed a container with a few slices of bread in it and his wife handed her a container with butter. I eagerly spread butter on the bread and took a bite. It was delicious.
Phil continued his story. “Many lose heart. They give up when the going gets hard. Because it will get hard. It’s not an easy path to follow, but it is so worth it!”
“Did you both walk on this path?” I asked after swallowing a bite of bread.
Phil and Margaret exchanged a look that spoke of memories and love. I smiled just looking at their expressions. Margaret still busied herself in the kitchen.
Phil smiled and looked at me. “Yes, we both walked on this path. We met at the beginning of the journey. I am glad we had each other because both of us were in danger of turning off this path many times. But we kept each other strong and reminded each other of the King’s promises.”
“How will I make it without someone to do that for me?”
Margaret turned from the stove and answered me. “The King will give you strength, child. Just like He gave us strength. He must think that you’re awful strong to send you out on this journey by yourself. Believe me, you have everything that you need to make it to the end of this journey.”
“How did you end up here if you went on the journey and made it to the end?”
“Yes, we made it to the end. At the end of the journey, the King hugged us and gave us rest for a few days. After that, He called us to something new…giving rest to those who are weary on this journey of His.”
“So He called you to do this?”
They both nodded.
“How do you know for sure what He’s calling you to do?” I questioned.
Margaret set a bowl of soup down in front of me before answering. “Oh, you’ll know, honey.” She glanced at her husband. “Right now, I should think it’s obvious what He wants you to do.”
I ate some soup, then looked up at her. “It is?”
“You’re on this path, child. He wants you here. He’ll show you exactly what He wants you to learn. And at the end of this journey, He has something else for you later. I can’t tell you what that is. No one knows except Him himself. You just need to trust Him and He’ll show you when the time is right.”
I pondered this while I ate my soup.
“What is your name, child?” The woman asked.
“Emily,” I answered between bites.
“What is your story and what has the King shown you so far?”
“You mean it’s different for everyone?”
Phil nodded. “Yes, Emily. This journey often looks different for different people. Sometimes some of the experiences are similar, but they are rarely identical.”
“I lived where it was Safe. I built walls around my life so that I wouldn’t get hurt.” Margaret and Phil nodded, encouraging me to continue. “I almost didn’t leave that life.” I stared at my now empty bowl.
“What did He show you before you found us?” Margaret prodded, sitting on a chair on the other side of me.
“He brought me to the hall of Mirrors. Have you been there?”
They shook their head. “I’ve heard about it, though.” Margaret said. “What did you learn there?”
“The King told me to tell him what I saw when I looked in the mirror, so I did. I thought that he would know if I was lying or not telling the complete truth, so I told him everything.”
Margaret nodded. “He would have known that, you’re a smart girl. What happened next?”
I grinned. “He told me what He saw when He sees me. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. And coming from him, everything meant so much more.”
Margaret smiled and nodded. “I went through something similar, though not quite as grand as all of that. Unfortunately I don’t have time to tell you much of my story. I’m sure you’re tired. You can stay the night here and then be on your way early tomorrow. You have much left to do!”
As if on queue, I yawned. I laughed. “Yes, I guess I’m tired.” Margaret led me to a place where I could sleep. It wasn’t anything spectacular. A thin mattress lay on the floor covered by a thin, rough-looking blanket. Still, I was tired. I fell asleep faster than I ever had before. It was much more comfortable than I thought it would be.
In the morning, I awoke to the smell of sizzling bacon. I yawned and stretched. I could tell that it was still very early because the sun was barely up yet. I felt more rested than I ever had in my whole life, somehow. I stood up and walked to the kitchen where Margaret stood in the kitchen, moving the bacon around on a metal pan and Phil sat at the kitchen table with a newspaper. When I walked in, Phil set down his newspaper and Margaret turned from the stove.
“Good morning, dear!” Margaret spoke.
“Good morning,” I grinned. I have never felt like a morning person before, but this morning I imagined that this must be what it felt like.
“Breakfast is almost ready, and then I’m afraid that you should be on your way. As much as I wish you could stay here for a while, the King has bigger and better plans for you, my dear!” Margaret said.
I sat down at the kitchen table. “Thank you for everything, Margaret-and Phil.” I said.
“You are most welcome.” Margaret smiled as she brought the bacon and oatmeal to the table. “I only hope that we will one day see you again.” As we ate breakfast, Margaret and Phil seemed bent on giving me all sorts of advice for the upcoming leg of my journey.
“Keep strong, Emily.” Phil spoke up. “Do not turn off the path. If anything seems to contradict what you know to be true of the King, pass it up. It is better to be tired and hungry than to turn off the path. Remember that.”
I nodded as I ate, trying to remember everything that they both said. They both chatted for a while about what to do and what not to do and, after we finished eating, I said goodbye to the elderly couple and walked toward the humble door. I looked back and them and waved sadly. I would miss them. I said goodbye, then walked outside and continued down the path to my destiny.