It’s been a while, but this year has been…well, you know. I haven’t forgotten about the Hall of Fame series. I have a few more people I want to present.
For today, I want to present an excerpt from my book, Texts from an Angel. I decided to do this one because, with the way things are going now, I want to go in a closet and hide until about 2022. I hope you enjoy this story. You can pick up Texts from an Angel on Amazon either in kindle or paperback. Enjoy!
Angel of Peace
Bryan shivered in the corner of his closet. He hated coming home from school in the afternoons to an empty house. It would be hours before his mother made it home. Even longer before his brothers, which was fine by him. If they knew how he spent his evenings, they would tease him mercilessly.
Bryan set the alarm as soon as he walked in the door; he always felt like, at any moment, someone or something would jump out and attack him. To make matters worse, every sound the house made while settling (though he didn’t know that) made him even more anxious.
He knew no one was in there, but he had a routine. After making sure the alarm was set, Bryan double-checked the locks. Then he would go around, check every place with a door – including cabinets and closets. Once he finished that, he would use the restroom, with the door open, wash his hands, grab a snack from the fridge, then retreat to his closet.
Today felt weird to Bryan. Something was off; it was like he was feeling anxious yet peaceful as if something big were about to happen. This was a new feeling for him. Being the shortest in his sixth-grade class, he was teased often. He also spoke with a slight stutter which only manifested when he was nervous. He didn’t have any friends, and truthfully, it hurt. He wanted nothing more than to have at least one friend. Someone he could play basketball and possibly baseball with. But he was awkward, at least to them.
Bryan thought he was making a good friend last year, in the fifth grade. Shawn was a guy he’d known since kindergarten and lived a couple of streets over. But because he enjoyed baseball, he joined the other guys on the block in teasing Bryan about it. They told him black boys didn’t play baseball. Bryan figured he was better off; apparently, they didn’t know the sport or read, for that matter.
Bryan decided to take another peek in each bedroom. He didn’t understand what he was feeling. Maybe someone was peeking through a window? It felt like someone was watching him. He felt a warm breeze flow past his cheek. He looked up. He couldn’t see anything, but he felt a presence. What the heck?
He began to think. For some reason, he began to remember going to church with his grandmother this past Sunday. He enjoyed going to his Mama Doll’s house. He went as often as possible. She was loving and funny. He laughed a lot with her. His mother was fun as well, she just had to work a lot of hours to make ends meet. Whatever that means. What ends is she trying to meet?
Mama Doll said she was too young and too fly to for him to call her grandma, so Mama Doll it was. He had lots of fun when he stayed weekends with her. Although he had chores like raking leaves, washing baseboards, sweeping the porch, and sidewalk he ate extremely well over the weekends he spent with her.
Three square meals a day at Mama Doll’s house was rewarding enough for his hard work, so he worked without complaining. Besides, he felt all the heavy lifting would eventually produce the muscles he desperately wanted to have.
Because of his mother’s work schedule, they didn’t frequent church much. It was on the weekends when he stayed with Mama Doll that he went to church. The last few times he went, they talked about angels. They told them about the angel that visited Mary. They told them about the angel that spoke to Daniel, who passed out when the angel Gabriel talked to him. They told them about the angels that ministered to Jesus while in the wilderness. The funniest story to him was about the angels going to see Abraham and Sarah to announce the fact that Sarah would have a son within a year. A couple of old people having a baby? “Eww,” he said.
He had been thinking about this as he sat in his closet. This past week, he had a question for Mrs. Hicks, the Sunday school teacher.
“Mrs. Hicks,” he said, treading lightly. He knew his question could be misconstrued as rude, but he wanted to understand the things she was telling them. Since he didn’t come to church much, Bryan knew he wanted to believe and wanted to ask questions to understand. “I don’t want to be disrespectful, and I know my question may be weird, but why does God need angels? He’s the almighty, powerful God. He created the whole world with His words. Why does He need assistants?”
Mrs. Hicks laughed. She didn’t tell him, but she enjoyed his inquisitiveness. She said, “Oh, Bryan, that’s easy. God is a family man. He doesn’t need them; He wants them. Life is more fun with family, don’t you think?”
Bryan thought about that. What would his life be like if he had an angel as a friend? That would be way cool.
“Finally! It’s about time you engaged me!”
“What!” Bryan shrieked. “Who are you?”
“I’m Mike, dude. What’s up? I’ve been waiting for you to want me here so I wouldn’t scare you too bad. Looks like I did it anyway, huh?”
“You’re an angel? Angels wear baseball hats?”
“Yeah, you like it?”
“Well … yeah,” Bryan couldn’t seem to get his words together.
“Hey, I’m sorry to scare you. I’ve been hanging out here for weeks, watching over you. Hoping you’d feel peace. I know you don’t like being here by yourself. But Chief doesn’t want you to be afraid. He wants you to have fun and enjoy life. You don’t seem to be doing much of that lately. Why?”
“In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t have any friends. Am I really talking to an angel right now? Can anyone else see you? I’m not going nuts, am I?” Bryan asked in a rush. He didn’t want anyone to come home and catch him “talking to himself.” He would never live that down. Furthermore, he said all of that without stuttering!
“Whoa, one question at a time, okay? Yes, you’re talking to an angel.” Mike said with a boisterous laugh. “No, one can see me. However, Mama Doll knows I’m here with you although she can’t see me. Some people can see me, while others can sense me. Either way, it’s okay. The knowledge that Chief cares enough to send us around is comfort enough for most people. No, you’re not nuts.”
Bryan heaved a big sigh of relief. “What now? What do I do?”
“Nothing just be confident in who you are. Chief has special plans …”
“Well, God, of course!”
“You call God Chief? That’s cool!”
“Yeah, He’s cool. As I was saying, Chief has special plans for your life. Stick with us. I can’t promise you everything will be easy, but Chief and I will be here for you every step of the way. I can’t tell you everything, but I will say you will make a friend soon. You will be BFFs, as humans like to say, for many years to come. You should know I am mostly here because of Mama Doll. She prays for you every day. She knows Chief has great plans for you.”
“Wow.” Bryan was speechless. “I don’t know what to say.”
“Let Chief know you’re thankful and do your best to make Him proud, though you should know that He already is. “
Tears welled up in Bryan’s eyes. At that moment, he heard keys in the door, then his mom yelling, “Bryan, I’m home! Where are you?”
Mike shushed him, “Don’t tell her yet; we’ll talk later.”
Gathering himself, Bryan ran out to meet his mother. “Hey, Mom! You got home early tonight! Awesome!”
“Boy!” she said. “It’s eight o’clock. I’m late. What have you been up to that you didn’t notice the time?” Bryan was usually upset if she was a minute past seven-thirty.
Mike gave him a salute then held his finger up to his lips.
“I was in my room playing, Mom. I promise.”
“All right, help me get these groceries out the car. I’m hungry.”