"Blessing Asaiah" is a fiction short story that exposes a snapshot of a young woman's life. As a Christian, she has a hard time dealing with her self-image and maintaining romantic relationships. After continuously witnessing a homeless girl sitting on the same street, she plans and acts out a good deed in the homeless girl's favor. One year later, the young woman receives a good deed in return and a surprise from the same homeless girl.
As I approached the homeless female, she looked at me suspiciously, as if she did not know whether to ask for food or run. Every day I had driven by this street I had seen this young girl either sleeping or sitting in this same spot, beside the trashcan or leaning against it. I thought I should be afraid of her. She wore a fitted, dirty T-shirt that looked like it had once been white, and I could see the outline of her ribcage under it. Her jeans were torn with one hole in the right knee. As she stood up I noticed a ragged hole exposing her left buttock. She was not wearing any underclothes. Despite her threadbare attire, she looked young and pretty in the face. She was perhaps eighteen years old.
"I bought you something, Miss." I reached into my bag and gave her the slip of paper on which I had written the Bible verse from Titus 3:7, "...justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." Inside the bag I had packed ham and cheese sandwiches, two bottles of apple juice, a banana, carrots and some chocolate candy.
She continued to stand in front of me, making no effort to take the bag. She looked scared, as if she were troubled by my presence.
"I brought this food right from my house for you, so you don't have to be afraid to eat it. Please..."
The homeless girl interrupted me by snatching the bag and placing it underneath her arm. She looked around guardedly, as if someone might have seen her take it.
I can remember this incident as if it happened yesterday, although it took place a year ago. I thank God every day for what I have, because I realize not everyone is as fortunate as I am, to have a warm place to stay, food to eat, a bed to sleep in.
I am twenty-eight years old and I am unmarried. I guess God has not found a mate for me yet. I attend church every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. I read the Bible and I try to live for God.
There was a time in my life when I thought God had sent the man I was destined to marry. He was in the military and had many plans for his life. He knew I was a Christian, but that did not bother him. It did not bother me either until the day he questioned me about our relationship.
"Why can't we at least kiss? You ain't gonna go to hell for that." He sounded hurt. He wanted a valid reason or excuse from me.
"I don't want you to think lustful thoughts of me, that's all," I replied softly. I was not comfortable discussing this subject with him.
"Lustful thoughts!" he cried. "It's just a kiss. We ain't got to lay in bed naked or nothing."
Well, he never got his kiss, and I never got my husband. But the main thing I wanted in life was a child, a little girl I would name Asaiah.
At night I would dream about a baby girl with brown, curly hair, and big beautiful light brown eyes. She had two dimples in her smile. But I don't think I was dreaming about the baby I would conceive. Although I want to have a baby of my own, I don't think I will be able to because I am so skinny-only one hundred and ten pounds on a tall frame. I try to gain weight, but my problem seems to be genetic.
Because I have longed for my own child, but can't seem to realize my dream, I have a job, counseling women who need to learn how to care for their babies. I find deep satisfaction in this job because I get the joyful experience of holding and caring for the babies while talking to their mothers. I also feel I am having a positive impact on their lives, which makes me feel good way down inside.
One afternoon, nearly a year after I saw the homeless girl, I went to the grocery store after work, seeking food with high calories. I don't know why I even try, since my efforts to gain weight are always futile. I walked down the baby food aisle. All of the flavors did not seem real to me. Carrot, pea, peach, banana, apricot, corn, and beef-it's as if the baby could talk and request a certain flavor.
I felt a light tap on my shoulder. "Excuse me, ma'am." I turned around to see a tall, slender girl in a yellow summer dress and a jean hat. She held my pocketbook in her hand. "You dropped this in the diaper aisle."
"Oh, thanks." I wondered if she had looked inside it.
"Do you have any children?" She asked me.
"No, but I work with infants, so I guess this is why I was looking around in this section." I laughed, wondering if she would find this explanation believable. I had the distinct sensation of having seen her somewhere before.
"This is not the first time I've seen you," she said.
Just then I heard a baby crying. The young woman ran to the end of the aisle and got her grocery cart. Her baby was in a carrier, wrapped in a pink blanket.
"She was asleep," she said, when she returned. "She must have just wakened up."
I asked if I could see her baby. As she placed the baby in my arms, I saw her face. She was the exact baby from my dreams. I gasped.
"Are you OK?" the young woman asked.
"Yes, yes," I said. "This baby is so healthy looking. I-just thought I had seen her somewhere before."
"You fed her," the woman said. The expression in her eyes looked as if she wanted to thank me for something.
I looked at her questioningly. I couldn't remember feeding a child in my office. "Were you one of my clients?
"No," the young woman smiled, "But I was pregnant and hungry. You came to me and gave me sandwiches, a banana, a carrot, apple juice and chocolate candy. You saved my daughter and me from hunger. Her name is Asaiah."