When Connor came down again, he was clean, and had new clothes on. He stopped and looked at me, just noticing that I was there. I moved over to him and he swept me up in a hug and buried his face in my hair. I hugged him back, hoping that maybe it would give him some measure of comfort.
Eventually he disentangled himself from me and moved over to his mother’s dead body. He carefully picked it up and brought it outside. He laid her in the grave then knelt down beside the hole he had dug. What came next surprised me even more than what he had done earlier when instead of cursing God he had thanked him.
“Please Lord,” he said his voice still wobbly with grief, “please forgive whoever did this to her…and help them to come to know you.” He swallowed hard as a fresh tear ran down his face then got up and started to shovel the dirt he had dug up back over his mother’s dead body.
When he had finished, he walked over to me and I saw that, though there were still tears in his eyes, his face was peaceful. I hugged him again, and he pressed his face up against my head again, “Thank you,” he whispered, “for being here for me…it—“ he stopped to swallow a lump in his throat, “—it means a lot to me,” he finished.
I hugged him tighter, “You did the same for me…” my voice became too choked with emotion for me to go on, so I just let it hang.
Eventually he took me to his room and laid me down on his bed. He pulled the covers over me then went out. He came back a couple minutes later with a pillow and he laid down on the floor next to me.
“Connor, you should take the bed…you’ve been through much more than I have today…you need it more than I do.”
“I wouldn’t be able to sleep knowing that you are stuck on the floor.” Connor replied. I knew he wasn’t lying; his mother had brought him up to well. So I didn’t bother him about it anymore.
I watched as Connors breathing evened out and he pretended to sleep. I did the same, and about twenty minutes after I did Connor got up and waved his hand in front of my face. When I didn’t react, he quietly got up and left the room. I followed him at a distance as he went down the stairs to the garage. He got his djembe out and began to sing Blessed Be Your Name. If anything, he sang it with more emotion than he had last night, praising God with all he was worth.
I continued to be amazed as Connor defied the normal human reactions to the loss of loved ones, and showed more and more Godly qualities. I quietly thanked God for blessing me with such an amazing friend.
When Connor finished the song his shoulders hunched over and his head bowed down and I heard a tear fall onto his djembe. I quietly moved over to him and began to rub his shoulders. As soon as I touched him he tensed up and I quickly drew my hands away...afraid I had disturbed him or something. But he quickly relaxed again and turned to me.
He drew me up to him again and I sat beside him. He leaned his head against my shoulder started to rub his back. “Your mom would be so proud of you right now,” I whispered.
Connor swallowed hard, “I just miss her so much…and knowing that I won’t see her again until I get to heaven…well, it’s just so hard.”
I hugged him hard and he hugged me back as he screwed his eyes shut, and I felt his warm tears as they landed on my cheek.
“I love you so much,” he whispered in a shaky voice.
“I love you too,” I said as tears started to form in my eyes as well. I wished that I could somehow end his pain. But I couldn’t so I did the only thing that I could do, I stayed with him…comforting him as well as I could.
I woke up the next morning and I was back in Connor’s bed. I got up and went downstairs. There was a sheet over the bloodstain on the carpet and Connor was in the kitchen frying some bacon. I could see a plate of pancakes in the oven.
I looked him over, his eyes were dry, and his face smooth of any lines of grief. I moved up to him and slipped my arm around his waist, “How are you feeling?” I asked.
“Between your comfort and God’s I think I can make it, yeah.” Connor replied as he put his arm around me and leaned his cheek up against my hair. “Thank you again for being here for me…I am not sure I could ever recover from this if it hadn’t been for you,” Connor said, his voice tight with emotion.
I blushed; it felt very nice to be needed. I hugged I pressed harder against him, “You are the toughest person I know…I think that you could have made it eventually.”
“No…I may have lived on but I would have been scarred emotionally. Probably for the rest of my life…I might still be for a while, but I think that I will eventually heal,” He gave me a little squeeze, “so long as you stay in my life that is,” he added, and I could tell he meant every word.
“I will do everything in my power to stay with you,” I replied quietly but urgently.
For a while we just stayed that way…listening to the bacon sizzle. Eventually Connor released one hand so that he could use a fork to pick the bacon up and put it on a napkin which was resting on top of a plate. After putting more bacon on he returned the fork to its place beside the stove and put his arm back around me.
I sniffed the air lightly, “I smell syrup,” I commented.
Connor laughed…it was good to hear him laugh after what he has just gone through, “No, you smell the maple in the bacon…the syrup is still in the fridge waiting to be taken out and put on the pancakes in the oven,” he smiled.
“Mmmh! I love Maple bacon!” I said excitedly I couldn’t wait to feel the moist thick slabs of maple-sweet bacon on my tongue. My mouth started to water in earnest, “When will this be done so we can eat?” I asked.
Connor laughed again, “It’ll be done when it’s done,” he said still smiling and his eyes were twinkling with the leftover mirth. Connor pulled me back into a full hug and I realized that we had half separated while we were talking.
Connor planted a quick kiss on my forehead then let me go to finish the bacon. When it was all done he brought it to the table along with the pancakes and syrup. Then he brought two plates and we sat down, “Thank You God for providing us with this meal; and thank You for saving both of us yesterday.” Connor prayed. Then he lifted his head up, “Let’s eat,” he said then began to cram as much food down his thought as he could fit.
Connor finished his food in record time then got up and washed the pancake batter bowl and the pan he had fried the pancakes and bacon in. By the time he finished washing all those dishes I was done as well, so after I washed my plate we headed outside for a walk. The sun was bright and what little birds there were, were warbling away in hopes of finding a partner. We walked about half a mile and then turned back and headed toward Connor’s house again.
As we turned the corner and Connor’s house came into view we saw to people, a boy and a girl, entering it. “Who are they” Connor wondered aloud as he quickened his pace from an easy walk to a brisk pace that I could barely keep up with.
As we reached the house Connor pushed me behind him. He stepped in stealthily, and when I stepped in behind him I saw the boy and girl. They looked roughly our age and they were looking around the living room. They were from the ‘upper class’ I could tell by their clothing.
“Is there anything I can do for you two?” Connor asked respectfully but warningly.
They both whirled around surprised, “Uh, is this the house our father visited?” the boy asked hesitantly looking at Connor in a way that suggested he expected Connor to attack him any minute.
“Depends on who your father is…if he is the one who killed my mother; then yes,” Connor replied without emotion.
“I believe that is him…ah, we came here to apologize for what he did and to see if there is anything we could do to help…” the boy trailed off as the girl, I assumed she was his sister, hid behind him.
“We’re fine thanks,” Connor said simply, would you two like a drink perhaps? I have Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, or Mountain Dew.”
Both the boy and the girl looked very surprised at Connor’s offer, “Um…do you have Coke?” the boy asked.
“Nope…sorry me and my friends are diehard Pepsi fans, won’t drink Coke unless we are forced to.” Connor replied with a friendly smile.
The boy, who was starting to feel more comfortable now that Connor was being so nice, heaved a sigh, “I suppose I’ll go with the Dr. Pepper then,” he said with a martyred look.
Connor laughed and got up to get the drink, he paused halfway to the kitchen, “You want anything?” He asked as he indicated the girl.
“What flavor of Mountain Dew do you have?” she asked hesitantly.
“Just Code Red I’m afraid…personally my favorite is Baja Blast…but that isn’t available to us anymore.”
“I’ll take that then,” the girl replied with a smile.
“What about You Kate?” he asked me.
“I’ll take a Dr. Pepper,” I called then turned back to the two kids.
The more I looked at them the more a suspicion that they were twins was etched into my head. Finally I just couldn’t help myself, “Are you two twins?” I asked.
They smiled, “Yeah…no one has ever guessed that before though because I’m a boy and Julia here is, well, a girl,” the boy answered.
Connor came back and handed out the drinks, then came and sat down next to me. The boy looked at Connor like he was trying to ask a question but wasn’t sure he should, he eventually decided to go ahead and ask it anyways, “Why are you being so nice to us?” he asked, “No one from the working class is ever this kind, let alone someone who’s mother was just killed by our father...” the boy trailed off not wanting to rub it in,
Connor looked thoughtful for a bit then answered, “It is because God commands that I treat everyone with respect…He also commands that we forgive others as He forgave us…so I have already forgiven your father, and I treat you with respect because you are people to.”
“God? What God?” the boy asked curiously, “are you a Jew?”
Connor laughed, “Close, but not quite…I’m a Christian.”
“Oh, I’ve heard of them…my Protector says that they are the ones that always follow the rules…he likes them a lot.” The girl, Julie, piped up.
We both laughed at that one, “Yes, the Bible also commands that we follow authority.”
“The Bible? What is that?” The boy asked.
“It’s the Christian holy book.” Connor replied.
“It sounds hard and burdensome to follow all these rules you guys are talking about…” the boy said uncertainly.
“Hard…sometimes…burdensome…not really. The thing is, when you really, truly accept God into your heart you want to be more like Him…the Bible just tells you what He is like so you can strive to become more and more like Him. If you make a mistake, no matter how bad, God will forgive you, so there is no stress involved either.” Connor explained.
The boy kept asking questions and Connor answered them, happy that he could spread what he believed. I took the time to get a good look at the two. They looked like they were counterparts of each other. They both had the same dark brown hair, brown eyes, and oval faces. The only real difference between the two was that Julia’s hair was longer and of course the physical differences between every male and female.
“…so how do I become a Christian?” the boy asked earnestly.
“All you have to do is ask God to forgive you for all the wrong things that you have done and ask him to come into your life,” Connor replied…I could see that he was overjoyed that this boy was thinking about becoming a Christian.
“And God will hear me?” the boy asked incredulously.
“Yup, God is not only everywhere at once He knows everything.”
“C-could you help me?” the boy asked.
Connor smiled widely, “Of course! Just repeat after me.” Connor went through a simple prayer asking for God to forgive past wrongs and fill the boy’s life.
When he had finished, the boy looked up, his face was practically shining with glee, “Thank you so much!” he exclaimed happily.
I smiled, it was really amazing to see how transformed the boy looked, and knowing that God had used Connor to do it! It was amazing, I wanted to hug him, and almost did before I remembered that we weren’t alone.
The boy focused his brown eyes on Connor again, they were still scintillating with the joy at his newfound faith, “Before…you mentioned a holy book with instructions on how to become more like God…you wouldn’t happen to have an extra would you?” he asked.