Welcome Friends and New Subscribers! We pray you had a blessed Resurrection Remembrance Day! Today, we have the first of a new 3-part story for you: “Get Ready” short story chapter 1. (Please see our notes after the story)
by D.I. Telbat
Jill Baxter ignored the security guard who yelled after her as she continued to run through the small-town airport. Laramie International had only one terminal, so she didn’t need to stop and check overhead monitors for Syd’s departing flight. She prayed he hadn’t left yet!
Leaping past a family with a towering mountain of luggage balanced on a single cart, Jill skidded to a halt and gasped for breath. With Syd Garson in sight, she rested her hands on her knees to calm down. Thank the Lord, he hadn’t left yet! But she didn’t really want him to see her like this—frazzled and winded, appearing desperate.
A rough hand gripped her arm and yanked her around. It was the security guard, and he thrust her wallet into her midsection.
“Next time I tell you to stop, young lady, you stop!” He scowled and wiped sweat from his brow. “You dropped that passing through security.”
“Sorry.” Jill accepted the wallet she hadn’t realized she’d lost. “And thank you. I had to try to—”
“I know, I know.” He glanced toward the lone man who stood at the window. “You’re the Baxter girl. I figured you were after something important.”
She felt her face flush as he turned away, still shaking his head. The delay had fortunately not cost her too much; Syd Garson was still at the window, his backpack over his shoulder and a spare pair of boots tied around his neck.
For a moment, she regretted coming, especially knowing she’d be leaving disappointed. He’d never stay for her. To him, she’d been the scrawny kid his little sister invited over to ride horses. Now, almost twenty years later, she wasn’t little, but she knew some people still thought she was too skinny.
Approaching him from the side, he didn’t notice her until she said his name.
“Oh, Jill.” He smiled weakly, not moving toward her as she’d hoped. “I’d wondered if anyone would come see me off.”
“Everyone at church—they just don’t understand why you’d go to a place like Africa.” She felt herself on the verge of crying, but she held back the tears. “Part of me, I think, came to ask you to stay.”
“I can’t do that, Jill.”
“Not even for me?” The words tumbled out, and the tears came too quickly to hold back now.
She’d come to tell him her heart, not to make a silly mess of herself. “Did you even think to ask me to go with you?”
He looked at her with sympathy, and she despised her hasty words. Stay, go—she wasn’t making any sense. And he still hadn’t moved, even to comfort her.
“I don’t pretend to know the will of God for someone else’s life, Jill. I’ve told everyone at church for a year that this day was coming. No one approved, let alone told me God had called them to go to Libya with me.” He sighed through the saddest smile Jill had ever seen. “Except you, today.”
“I couldn’t let you leave thinking you were all alone here, especially since your parents passed away.” Jill noticed a flight attendant at the gate check her watch. “But I guess I’m too late.”
“It’s never too late with God, Jill—not while you’re still breathing.” He backed away toward the gate. “Thanks for coming!”
“Wait!” She walked after him. Not even a hug to remember him by? “What if God calls me to go with you?”
“Then I’ll come back for you.” With his one free hand, he kissed his fingers and waved. “But you’ve got to get ready. Get ready, Jill!”
And he was gone. But Jill was still thinking about the kiss. He’d blown her a kiss! It was the closest thing to affection she’d gotten from him since he’d picked her up after a horse fall twenty years earlier. He’d checked her elbow and assured her after a brief inspection that she’d be okay. She’d been seven and he’d been thirteen, studious and serious even then.
The plane took off, and Jill watched until she could no longer see it. Libya was a place of danger, where Americans weren’t too popular and Christians were despised. Why would she expect God to call her there? It was wishful thinking to expect to be called to the same place as the man she loved.
Turning from the window, she wiped her face and wondered if her heart would ever heal. As a veterinarian, she’d found animals to be more faithful and compassionate than people. If God did call her to Africa, could she expect the same lack of support from her friends and family as they’d shown Syd?
And yet, as she walked back up the terminal, she felt the warmth of hope. If God called her to Libya, she’d go even without support from anyone around her. Syd would understand, even if no one else did!
End of “Get Ready” Short Story, Chapter 1
NOTE1: Watch this short video about true forgiveness from a father toward ISIS who killed his son. (Thanks Jan for sharing this.)
NOTE2: The WINNER of the COIL Book Set Giveaway at Christian Bookshelf Reviews is JAN H! Congratulations, Jan! Thanks to all who entered!
NOTE3: Dark Liaison, COIL Book 1, was nominated for the 2016 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award! Winners will be announced on their site on April 25th.