Tuesday. A day like any other day; at least, it started much the same.
Melody woke shortly before her alarm sounded at 5:30am, as was her habit. This allowed plenty of time to read the Bible, pray and write in her journal. By 7am she’d finished her daily devotionals, fed the cats, and consumed half a pot of coffee. She was ready to get busy.
She hummed as she showered and dressed, spending little time on wardrobe and even less on make-up and jewelry. She liked to keep things simple.
She walked down four flights of stairs to the street, avoiding the temperamental elevator that often trapped those sluggards who chose to ride rather than get a little exercise. She was careful not to judge them, though; she was grateful for her good health.
When she reached street level, she burst onto the sidewalk, paused, drew in a deep breath of urban air and merged into the bustling flow of foot traffic. As she neared the end of her block, her day became anything but ordinary.
“You’re not…” she said to the man standing on the corner. A man, but not a man. An angel?
“Yes, I am. Yahweh. Emmanuel.” he said. “Come. Follow me.”
“But I’m not ready.”
“You are. It’s time.”
This was ridiculous. She was not ready and she surely wasn’t intending to go before her time. When the light changed, she proceeded to cross with the surge of pedestrians. She glanced over her shoulder and was relieved the man was gone. She questioned her perception of his glow, the almost blinding white of his clothes and his skin. Maybe she should consider cutting back on her caffeine intake.
As she stepped up onto the curb, she once again inhaled deeply, ready to renew the vigorous cadence of her morning walk. Instead, she stopped mid-stride, her lungs full, her mouth open, her eyes wide with surprise.
How could he have crossed ahead of her? Yet, here he was, waiting for her. His smile was patient, his eyes kind, and he shone with the purity described in the Book of Revelation. She blinked and exhaled.
“Why?” she asked.
She shook her head again. Her cats needed her. Her houseplants. Her neighbor, Mrs. Birch. Her boss. Her customers. She couldn’t go. Who would take care of everything?
“Excuse me. I wish I could. Really, I do. I just…can’t.”
She felt him touch her shoulder as she pushed past him, his hand resting gently there for an instant. A warmth spread through her, radiating from his touch. She glanced at her shoulder, imagining that he was somehow still holding her, although she was once again moving briskly, keeping pace with the others around her. He was gone, but his presence traveled with her.
As she continued along the same route she took every weekday morning, traversing the six short blocks from her apartment to the bookstore where she worked, she couldn’t ignore the changes taking place around her.
The sounds of the city receded. She heard what must be a babbling brook, but there were no brooks anywhere near this part of the city. And she could hear birds. Not the pigeons she was used to, but birds she couldn’t identify, tweeting and twittering, making joyful noise. A breeze, cool against her skin, carried the scent of honeysuckle. She knew that smell from her childhood, long-forgotten but unmistakable.
All of the familiar sights were gone, replaced by an infinite scattering of rainbows so refined that every molecule bore its own distinct prism that both radiated and refined the myriad. She began to count the colours; they were everywhere.
She stopped and turned, reaching out to touch the passing shapes but unable to grasp anything tangible in this new landscape. The individuals sweeping by were like clouds of dark and light. One, mostly black and brown, made her cringe. Another, swirling shades of pink and mauve, created a sense of need. Amazed, she looked down at her own blend of yellow, gold and green. The colours were pure and beautiful.
Where was he?
And he was there beside her, white light, warmth, love.
“I’m ready now.”
For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, femmefauxpas challenged me with “She began to count the colours; they were everywhere. ” and I challenged Hannah Pratt with “Sunday evening you realize you’re wearing the same clothes you wore on Friday. Where did the weekend go?”.