“You seem pretty honest to me,” I said, beginning to rub Sarah’s back with the palm of my hand.
“You don’t know me at all!” Sarah exclaimed and pulled away from, beginning to turn pink with either anger or embarrassment, I couldn’t tell which, and frankly…I didn’t care. Being close with Sarah again had made me realize just how much I had really missed her. How much I needed her. I had managed to convince myself before that I really didn’t need her, that she was just a stupid girl…and who needs girls anyway? But I had been so wrong. I did need her, and I wasn’t going to let her go again.
“Give it time Sarah,” I started, trying to calm her down. I thought about putting my arm around her and “reclaiming” her, but it didn’t seem right and I didn’t want to worsen the situation, I was already treading on egg shells.
“I’ve not been totally straight with you Josh,” Sarah said quietly.
What did she mean? What was she hiding? What was so bad that she thought it might break our relationship if she told me? Or was it some other reason? What other reason would there be? “Why not?” I finally asked, still trying to process this latest piece of information.
“Well I’m not the kinda person you think I am,” Sarah trailed off. Oh yeah, that explained so much…not. Now I had even more to think about. But I could tell that she didn’t want to talk about it, and so I didn’t prod anymore.
“You want to know something cool?” I asked, changing the subject completely, hoping that maybe Sarah would warm up again if maybe I just took her mind off of whatever it was that was bothering her. “The rumors were sort of right, I did die…” I trailed off.
Sarah’s eyes widened and she started backing off a bit…wrong words…”What do you mean?” she asked incredulously.
“I…I saw Him. I saw Jesus, sitting on His throne. He…He sent me back though, He said it wasn’t my time yet…” I trailed off.
At that, Sarah started crying again, a big fat tear ran down her cheek and she sniffed loudly. I went over to her and wrapped my arms around her, hugging her close. I had been going over different possible reactions to that in my head…this had not been one of them. “I’m sorry,” Sarah apologized after a short while, “It’s just…knowing how close I came to losing you…after everything you did…” she trailed off and buried her head deeper into my chest, “I’m so sorry.”
I didn’t say anything, instead I just held her close. I was trying to comfort her as best I could, but I also was enjoying her closeness again. Rejoicing in having come back from another close call. Eventually, she quieted down and just rested her head against my chest. She even fell asleep for about half an hour. During that time my computer screen caught my eye. On it was an IM from one of my best friends from back home in England.
They both died.
I carefully set Sarah down and moved over to the computer. Hey, this is Josh. I know what Sarah told you, but she was wrong. The doctors were wrong actually, I survived and am still here. Just writing this quick note so that you will know ASAP. We can talk more later I guess…when we are both on at the same time.
After finishing that I went back to Sarah and laid her head gently on my lap. I began to softly stroke her warm, damp, chestnut hair. I actually did it more for me than for her however. The stroking had a calming and comforting effect on me. I was able to put aside all the problems that were going on at the moment and just focus on this warm, pleasant girl who had apparently cared enough about me even after all that had gone on, that she had come to my house and mourned me when she thought I was gone forever. That meant a lot to me and went a long way towards helping me recover from my father’s recent demise, although I loved my father and his death would likely leave a very permanent, if not always visible, scar on me.
Eventually Sarah woke up and lifted her head sleepily. “Mmmhh, what time is it?” she asked sleepily.
I looked at my watch. “3:45” I replied.
Sarah shot up, immediately awake. “Oh no! I have to be at work in fifteen minutes!” she exclaimed, getting up and looking at me apologetically. “I have to go! I’m so sorry!”
I smiled wistfully, all good times had to come to an end I suppose. “No problem, I’ll drive you,” I offered.
Sarah hesitated for a few seconds, but then she looked at the clock and decided to let me. We hopped into my Ferrari and were soon on the road. “So, where is your work-place?”
“It’s the gym by the school,” Sarah replied.
“Really? I go there every once in a while,” I replied, quite surprised…I hadn’t seen her there before…but then, maybe that was because she had been avoiding me.
Sarah blushed and looked away. “Yeah…I know…” she muttered embarrassedly. I didn’t push the subject.
All to soon I pulled up in the parking lot of the gym. Sarah got out and began to slowly walk toward the building. I quickly got out and caught up with her. I wrapped my arms around her waist to stop her for a little bit and pulled her up against my chest. “I still trust you Sarah,” I said quietly into her ear. I knew she would understand what I was referring to.
I heard her quick intake of breath as she realized the significance of what I had said. Then she turned around and buried her face into my chest again. “Hey,” I began softly and began to pull away slightly, “You need to get to work now. I’ll pick you up after you finish for the day?” I asked. I brought my hand up and almost stroked her cheek before remember what had happened last time I had done that. I quickly brought it down to my side instead.
Sarah cringed a little before answering…I wasn’t sure why…did she not want me to pick her up? “If you don’t want to that’s ok…” I offered, hiding my hurt that she didn’t actually want to be with me behind an uncertain smile.
“No!” Sarah cut in anxiously, “that would be awesome,” she finished with a smile. “Work ends at 5:30.”
“Oh, then you can stay for dinner at my place!” I enthused.
Sarah smiled. “Yeah,” she sighed happily.
“See you then!” I said, half-turning and walking toward the Ferrari again. Sarah nodded and entered the building.
It was kind of sad that it had taken my death to patch up our relationship…but whatever it took.