Mya was the first to arrive at the scene of the accident. She ran the whole way and was not tired in the least. She never ran in her life before, her foot being the way it was. Now, maybe she was making up for lost time, or at least she never before had such a reason to run, and she grinned at her own thoughts.
She stopped just before she got to the gate and noticed something she had not expected. The young man and the suicide bomber were sitting side by side on the curb, talking quietly. She could not hear what they were saying, and she did not intrude, knowing that would be rude, so she did what she could. She said a little prayer that somehow they might find a way out of the pit they had thrown themselves into – that they might find a solution to the mess they had made of their lives. Her heart went out to them, but she could do no more.
Mya looked down and saw that her high heels had become flats, and she was grateful, knowing that she was going to have to climb up the grassy knoll that held the park bench. She stepped up to the gate and smiled. It was not that long ago she would have had to stand on tip-toes, and even then it would have been hard to open that big, heavy iron gate. Now, she simply reached out, and it was an easy thing to do. As she stepped on to the grass, she was filled with joy and gently closed the gate tight behind her.
She noticed right away that the park bench was taken. The minister was there with his newspaper neatly folded beside him, and she almost clapped to see the burly man beside him. The man’s arm looked fully restored, and most of his face was whole as well. “Thank you, thank you.” She lifted that prayer as well. Clearly, the minister still had some work to do, and just maybe he could add another name to that book of his in heaven. She thought it was good that everyone had someone, and she had Nathan, except right at the moment she did not have him. She nearly doubled up for want of him, and she cried out.
“Nathan!” When she heard no response she almost collapsed. She yelled, “Nathan!” It was as loud as she could, and then she heard an answering call.
“Mya! Mya!” He had come in the other gate and he was running to her. He was running! Mya jumped and started to run as well, but she did not get far before they were wrapped up in each other’s arms and he was kissing her everywhere on her face, on her forehead, eyelids, cheeks, ears, on the tip of her little nose, and he did not neglect her lips, and she kissed him right back before she finally pressed her head into his chest and shoulder. They were crying, but there were no more sad tears left in them. These were tears of pure joy. They had found each other and they held each other so tight it was almost as if they were trying to absorb each other into the depths of their souls.
“I am so happy. I am so happy.” Mya kept repeating her words into his chest, and he also kept repeating the same phrase.
“I love you. I love you.”
After a while, Nathan took a step back in order to look into Mya’s eyes where there was no hiding that special smile that showed everywhere on her face. Nathan returned her smile as they wrapped up in each other’s arms and kissed for a very, very long time. When the earth began to tremble beneath their feet, they thought it was only a result of what they were feeling. When that trembling increased, though, they thought they had better look. There was a hole opening up on the green between this world and someplace else, and they separated to stand side by side and watch in wonder, though they never quit holding hands.
Neither knew where that other place might be, though they both knew very well. All they could see was a brilliant light, pure and holy so it made them tremble, but warm and inviting so they knew they were welcome. As usual, Mya was the first to speak.
“Perpetual light,” she named it, but it sounded like a question so Nathan responded.
“Do you know how much I love you?” Mya asked.
“I do. And how much I love you?”
“I do.” Mya and Nathan squeezed each other’s hands. “But I was thinking, now that I know what love is, do you know how much I love the one who first loved us?”
“Exactly.” Nathan affirmed her feelings and confirmed his own. “With all your mind and all your heart and all your soul and all your strength.”
“That is the first commandment.” Mya looked up at Nathan once more to seek Nathan’s assurance, just in case she got it wrong.
He nodded for her and that brought out her most radiant smile, and they turned and walked into that perpetual light, side by side and hand in hand, forever.