Angelia, always up by seven even when sick, looked at the clock, surprised to see it was after nine. The long drive home must have plumb tuckered me out, because even after a good night sleep, I still feel tired and out of sorts, she thought, as she arched her back and stretched.
Suddenly remembering her uninvited guests, she wondered if they would still be there when she opened her bedroom door, or had they disappeared as mysteriously as they’d appeared? Dressed, she glanced out the window at the spectacular, jewel encrusted landscape, relieved to see the sun was shining brightly. Smiling at the sleeping children, she headed for the kitchen. She suddenly felt light hearted and hungry!
She had always loved children! Their presence meant today, she wouldn’t be alone. The thought suddenly put a spring in her steps and a smile on her face, as Angelia started a fire in the cookstove and sat a pot of coffee to perking.
Glancing up, she saw two tousled headed children peeking around the doorway.
“Are you an angel?” The little girl asked.
“Are we in heaven?” asked the little boy.
Neither Kimmey nor Billy could remember ever smelling anything so delicious in their entire life, and were fascinated by the white haired lady cooking delicious smelling foods at the stove.
Puzzled by the children’s remarks, Angelia watched them enter the kitchen. Her heart wept at the sight of their frail, undernourished bodies, as they gradually inched to a stop in front of her.
“Why on earth would you think me an Angel or this heaven?” she asked them.
“Mommy Martha said, we’d never be hungry again, once we got to heaven, because heaven was brim full of all kinds of food,” said Billy and Kimmey looking expectantly at her, then at the food cooking on the stove.
“We were hoping this was heaven, because we sure are hungry!” said Kimmey.
Their stomach growled as they watched Angelia put bacon, eggs, fried potatoes and a buttered biscuit onto two plates, before setting them on the kitchen table.
The children looked questioningly at the food, then at Angelia.
“I thought the two of you were hungry.” said Angelia smiling at them.
With one last look at the Angel, both children scrambled for the table. Quickly realizing the little boy could hardly reach his plate she plucked him up, and sat him in the highchair.
Filling two glasses with milk, she sat them in front of the children.
“I knew she was an Angel,” said Kimmey taking a big swallow of milk from the glass she held in her hand, “and this is heaven, cause that’s where Angels live,” Kimmey said nodding her head up and down as if confirming her statement as fact.
I’ve been called many things before, but never an Angel. Angelia thought, fixing herself a plate, then joining the children at the table. She suddenly realized how very glad she was that they’d broken in to her home, the night before. She hoped they’d stick around for a while. She sure was enjoying the children’s company!
Both children said they were hungry, and the girl is tackling her food like there’s no tomorrow, she told herself, so why is the boy just picking at his food?
Taking a closer look she suddenly noticed how pale and sickly the boy actually looked. She also heard him wheeze softly every time he took a breath.
A sudden longing to hold him overcame her, and on impulse she picked him up. Sitting him on her lap she gently rocked him in her arms.
“My name is Angelia and you are?” she asked, smiling at the children.
“Kimberly,” said the little girl, “but everyone calls me Kimmey. I’m almost five and Billy‘s two.”
“Is that you’re Mommy asleep on my couch?” ask Angelia.
“One Mommy,” said Billy, holding up one finger.
“We had lots of Mommy’s before we ran away from the bad man,” said Kimmey.”
“Mommy’s our ’petle Mommy!” said Billy, ’cause she ’tects us.”
“I think Mommy’s our real Mommy,” said Kimmey with wisdom far beyond her years. “Cause we love her best!”
Angelia was instantly curious. Why would they have lots of Mommies, and why was she on the run with them? What in the world could she be running from? What did the boy mean when he said Mommy tects us? She wondered.
“Mommy’s scared,” said Billy.
“She is not!” said Kimmey. Bringing Angelia back to the present.
“Uh-ha,” two-year-old Billy argued back, “Mommy said so, ’member, Kimmey? Mommy said, Mommy’s fraid too, then I saw here and it was heaven. Don’t you ’member? Mommy gave us crackers and juice from that box you fell over, because we were hungry! ’Member Kimmey?”