Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 8

(Continued from part seven)

The next morning I awoke to two ninety year-olds who wanted me to take them for a walk. After 73 years of waiting they were feeling vindicated. However much I hadn’t wanted to play holy man, I had to admit that it made a huge difference to these two. Yes, the benefit to them could have come earlier and by what I thought were better means, but they were nothing less than blessed by it.

Truth be told, it wasn’t a bad day for a walk. The temperature had risen to a balmy 42 degrees and the piles of snow were melting, complete with slush in the streets and dirty ridges on the tops of the piles. The sidewalks were mainly clear.

And so we ate a breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast and juice, then took a walk up and down Lawrence Avenue. About halfway through I realized what they were doing. It was as if they were back in 1905 and they had walked to the center of town. They were entertaining themselves, slowly critiquing the items in the store windows.

1905 was well before my time, of course, but I knew people who lived through that era, and this was as they described. It also made sense for people who had held to a dream for so many decades to return to the beginning in some way… to reclaim their young selves. I soaked it in as best I could. There was a peculiar healthfulness to it.

As we were almost back to their apartment, walking east, a white Mercedes 450 with a red leather interior pulled up next to us. This was a high-end sports convertible with its top down. In it were an exceptionally good looking couple, the man seemingly 40 years old and the woman perhaps 30, both perfectly dressed. They stared straight at me.

We missed you in ‘63,” the woman said, “but we’re glad we didn’t miss you this time.”

I stared back, first absorbing what she had said (initially it barely registered as real) and then considering what it might mean to Micah and Dorthea.

Yes,” she added, answering a question that was still forming in my mind, “we’re friends of Robert’s.”

I nodded an acknowledgement to her, then leaned in to the Corwins. “These are advanced beings,” I whispered to them.

Angels,” they muttered to each other in awe.

Before I could look back, both the man and the woman were out of the car and stepping briskly up to us, taking Dothea and Micah by their hands, and saying, “Greetings, our long-suffering friends. May we walk you to your home?”

The Corwins squeezed out yeses, and all four turned to continue east. But before the man turned fully, he looked back at me and said, “Would you please bring the vehicle?”

Of course,” I said, and proceeded to do so.

* * * * *

This couple… at first they looked like over-aged and overly-pampered rich kids, albeit beautiful ones. But with the Corwins they were as authentically warm and loving as anyone I’d ever seen.

I drove the Mercedes (a stick) around to the apartment the long way, using the few extra minutes to digest what had just happened.

As I stepped up the short stairway to the first floor where the Corwin’s lived, I felt a surge of appreciation and love. To me it seemed palpable, and so powerful that it stopped me in my tracks. I remained still for a second or two, and then it subsided. I walked through the door to find Dorthea and Micah laying back on their couch like a couple of 1970s stoners.

The pretty couple were standing in the center of the room, smiling. As I found out later, Micah had asked them something about Jesus. The couple, Lara and Jens, hadn’t ever met Jesus, though they knew of him. But what they knew of him was in the deeper-then-words way that Robert had previously explained to me, and so they did in fact love him.

Knowing that Jesus was a very sensitive topic to these people, they said, “Better than words, why don’t we show you how we feel about him?” The Corwins agreed, Lara and Jens made them sit down, and then they let loose.

I accompanied my new friends into the dining room while the Corwins lay on the couch absorbing their experience.

What a beautiful thing to bless such people,” they said to me, almost in unison, “thank you.”

I barely knew how to respond, but I did say “You are most welcome.” There was something about this couple. They were a wholly unexpected but immediately recognizable combination of warm, open and otherworldly.

The three of us sat at the table and Jens began to explain things to me.

We’ve never met your friend who is bringing you to these momentary worlds,” he said, “but Robert passed along what he knew, and we were intrigued. Not only does this make your world better, but it gives us a chance to see things we never could have otherwise.”

Things that are like your own people’s remote past?”

Precisely,” he said, “and we wouldn’t have come unless someone from this world was also coming. That has always seemed too much an intrusion for us to undertake, given the carry-over effects… even for a short stay.”

I nodded my understanding.

So,” Lara interjected, “is it all right with you that we explore your world a bit?”

It’s consistent but still shocking, I thought, that the more sublime the creature, the more gentle they are. Still, I had to take the request seriously.

Is there is something you might do that would cause damage?”

They responded, in overlapping statements, that they didn’t think so, and that they’d be careful.

Then I have no objection… and if you find a circumstance where you can create improvement, please feel free to do so.”

Thank you,” Jens said, “but we’ll start slowly.”

Okay,” I said, “but the door remains open to you.” It was a little strange to grant permission to beings such as these, but I did it all the same.

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