“I hope you always believe that,” I say, and I mean it, even though I know that most faiths of this sort are just inherited.
“It is NOT some foolish belief that has been passed on to me by my family and friends,” she adds sharply, as though reading my mind.
“Then why do you believe?” I say.
“Because I have … experienced … this.” She refuses to say more on the subject, though I press her. She says only one thing.
“How could a big bang make that sight?”
With Mai, I learn something new every day. To think that Christianity – or a form of it – has reached another planet! Life is full of wonders – and Mai is one of them.
“Can you walk?” I enquire. I don’t want to push her, but she seems so much stronger now. That sight has leant her energy.
“Yes, I can.” She is steady when I place her carefully on her feet, and despite an occasional wobble, she is reasonably steady as we begin to walk.
“It’s so beautiful,” I whisper to myself. “I don’t want ever to forget this sight.” Mai hears me.
“No, nor do I. Our creator is good to us, is he not?” To which I have no answer.
“Come, we won’t get anywhere at this rate,” I say. “I’ve booked us a hotel for tonight, but it’s about ten miles away. We need to keep moving.”
“When did you do that?”
“Book a hotel – when did you do that?” Mai looks confused.
“Oh, this morning, before you woke up.” I smile. “I still have a mobile phone, you know.” I tap my jacket pocket. “Always with me, it is.”
“There was signal in the cave?” She is astonished. I wonder how much she understands about phones, and then remember that she has been on Earth for a while. I daresay she knows more than I do.
“No, I had to pop outside for a moment.” She frowns slightly.
“All right,” she says at last, seeming to believe me. “Let’s go.” I take her arm – her uninjured one – to lend her strength, and we set off.