As the mist faded, Mya felt utterly lost and alone. The fact that she found herself in a graveyard did not help one bit. When she looked down, she saw it was the grave of her own grandfather. There was a space beside him for her grandmother when she died, but Mya knew Grandma was still alive because so far the space was untouched. So why am I here? She asked herself. She could not see anyone around. It was a slow walk in those heels to get to the top of the little hill, but she made it without mishap and there she looked all around and saw that she was not far from a canopy tent. There were chairs set up there, and a little grave with the coffin waiting to be lowered to its final resting place. Mya knew whose grave it was before she saw the stone that would be set up. It was her own, and she tried to cry. She felt she should cry for herself, but she could not cry. She was much too happy about Nathan.
Nathan! That thought ran through her head like a shot. She had to get back to him, but just then cars began to pull up on the narrow, one-way gravel drive. People got out and came to the graveside. Mya recognized a couple of her childhood friends, her best friends, her only friends. As a child with a crippled foot, she did not have many friends, and that did bring a tear to her eye.
Then she saw her mother and she ran to her and stumbled once because of the heels. That caused her to think before acting, and in the end she decided to accompany her mother from a little distance and again she cried because she wanted a hug so badly.
She stood a step back and watched the others come. Her relatives sat in the chairs. The others stood, making nearly a full circle around her little grave. Then the priest came and he talked about the love of God. She knew that was true, absolutely, and she lifted up her heart to the almighty in thanksgiving for Nathan. She realized then what Nathan had already figured out in the bathroom; that this whole thing was a set-up from the beginning. God knew all along that she and Nathan belonged together, but they never would have met if she had not missed the school bus, and they never would have even been close unless they died.
“Thank you,” she cried out to God. “Thank you.” And she felt then and there that she truly loved God even as he loved her and she felt warm and unafraid and never alone. Still, she understood that for those gathered around the grave, these were hard words to hear. If only she could tell them. If only she could assure them of God’s love; but then she knew that they would learn some day, even as she had, and she prayed for every one of them that was sitting and standing there.
She heard the priest talk about perpetual light, and she thought of the angel who glowed so brightly she could hardly look at him, and again she felt the love of God flow through her, and she reciprocated and loved God all the more, and then all at once she understood something she had not quite understood before.
The priest gave the benediction and Mya drew near to her mother, and she spoke, even knowing that her mother could not hear her. “Mother,” she said. “I know what love is. Mother. Do you understand? You did a wonderful job. You have nothing to be sad about. I know what love is, Mother. God is love. I am all grown up now, Mother, and God has given me the most wonderful man in the whole world to love. And I do love him, Mother, with all of my heart, but first I loved you, only I did not understand what that was.” Mya paused and reached out toward her mother’s face, but she did not touch. All the same she saw her mother turn briefly to look in her direction. “First with you, and now with Nathan, I know what love is, Mother. God is love.” And Mya watched while Sam, Mother’s friend, came up and placed his hand gently on her mother’s shoulder.
“Sam.” Mother reached up and patted that hand and then kept her hand there as if not wanting him to go away. “She would have made a beautiful woman,” Mother said. “I can almost see her all grown up and all filled out.” Mother tilted her head to the side a little, just the way Mya did once and though she was not looking at Mya she spoke this way: “I see her in a purple sundress and lavender heels to match, and she is lovely. No, she is beautiful.”
“I am so sorry.” Sam said as Mya leaned forward and kissed her mother on the cheek. Mother paused and put her hand to her cheek and then began to weep as Sam helped her back to her feet. Mya watched while Sam escorted her to the waiting limo, and Mya finally cried for her mother. She knew her mother was only twenty-seven and Sam was not much older. She hoped and prayed that they would be good for each other and she hoped and prayed that her mother would never forget about love.
“You did I good job, Mother.” Mya repeated herself. “I know what love is.” Then the cars pulled off and Mya thought to run. She pulled her heels off to run faster because she knew where Nathan would be and she felt if she did not see him soon, she would burst for the love of him.