“Aunt Randy?” J knocked on the window of the little Ford compact in the parking lot of the church. Randy rolled down her window as a tear rolled down her cheek. “You’ve been crying? Are you going in?”
“Yes, no and it’s not what you think.”
“Slide over, let’s talk.”
Talk is all she had been doing the last six months. To her therapist, church friends back home and her family who’d helped her relocate after the accident. But she slid over and let her nephew in anyway.
“So why are you out here? I thought you were ready for church again.”
“I was. I even got here early. I was having coffee with your mom when Roger walked in. I knew him back in high school and had a huge crush on him. He found me on Facebook a year ago. We’ve corresponded occassionally but I never changed my status so he doesn’t know about the accident. His job relocated him. I apologized for keeping it from him but I feel like such a heel. He actually understood. But I don’t.” Randy buried her head in her hands.
“Buckle up.” J said as he turned on the car. “I’m taking you home.”
Not a word was said on the drive through the Chicago suburb. “Thanks J. I think I’ll just go lay down.” Randy headed to her retreat, not noticing the look of concern on J’s face. He checked his watch. Church would be over in about an hour. He’d call his father then for a ride.
Randy rolled over and noticed the shadows of dusk on her wall. She’d slept all afternoon. She hadn’t done that in months. There was a note lying beside her.
“Aunt Randy, Roger was standing right there when I called Dad. He’s quite concerned. He gave me his number.” Randy stared at the name and number. Could a schoolgirl crush have any importance in her adulthood? “P.S. I don’t think it coincidence that he’s here.”
Oh J, there he goes again. Randy knew he was figuring God set this all up. She picked up the phone and dialed. She heard a faint ring from the other room. She went in to find J sitting on the couch.
“I thought I should stay.”
“Then why the note?”
“I have to leave for work soon. Why were you calling me?”
“To chew you out.” Randy raised her voice. “How dare you think this could be of God. Just like when I came here with you spewing that God has a plan for everything. I’m still not buying it. How could ripping out my heart by ending my 10 year marriage and taking away my son be part of a loving God’s plan?”
“I thought we’d been through all this.” J replied.
“We had and I thought I’d accepted it. I even went to church today, not because I believe in this being part of God’s plan but because I still love Him. God wasn’t the drunk behind the wheel. I know that now and I’m over the anger but it still hurts so bad”
“I know. I just believe Roger’s here for a reason. Maybe he’s part of the healing.”
“So God takes away my family and gives me an old crush? It’s official—God’s weird.”
“Look Aunt Randy, I can’t pretend to know God’s ways. Just give Roger a chance to be a friend. That’s all he wants.”
“But he admitted this morning that if he knew he would’ve wanted more.”
“Not right away. He’s willing to wait for more. He says he wouldn’t have pursued anything more but wishes he could’ve been there for you as a friend.”
Randy buried her head in her hands. “I can’t think anymore, it’s giving me a headache.”
“I think the headache’s from not eating. I’ll stop and order some Chinese to be delivered on my way to work. Are you going to be okay?”
“Yes, thanks.” She hugged J goodbye.
A half-hour later the doorbell rang. Randy opened the door to a familiar looking delivery man. “Roger, second time today you’ve surprised me.”
“The Chinese place doesn’t deliver so J called me. I hope it’s alright.”
“Of course. The kitchen’s right through that door. Can you get the food ready? I just have to make a phone call.”
“You’ve reached J. I can’t come to the phone right now. Leave a message after the beep.”
“J, it’s Aunt Randy. Thanks, thanks for everything.”
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