A girl’s eyes fluttered open. She had been in the hospital for a month or so, and she desperately wanted fresh air. She smiled to herself. Today was the day she would be going home.
She sat up in the hospital bed, recalling her close visit with death. She didn’t remember much. Mom had said she had slept for two weeks straight, barely surviving.
“Gaby,” Charlene, who was lugging a large bag, giggled, opening the hospital room door. “Guess what?”
Gaby raised her eyebrows, sleepily. “What?”
Charlene pulled something from the bag. “The ladies from the quilt ministry made this for you.”
Charlene stretched out a beautiful quilt. It had several quilted turtles and aquamarine pinwheels for waves over a lush sandy background. And on the seams were tiny hanging threads, knotted together, that represented all the prayers prayed for her.
Gaby sucked in her breath. “It’s beautiful!”
Charlene nodded. “I still can’t believe you survived that drag in the fire!”
“Well I sure didn’t feel anything!”
In the past, Charlene had just been another girl to Gaby, but now, they were inseparable.
The rain overhead roared and grumbled, but Charlene and Gaby just talked and giggled for quite a while, and before they knew it, it was time to go home.
Dad stuck his head in the room. “Time to go!”
Gaby and Charlene chirped happily as a nurse sat Gaby on a wheelchair and brought the group down into the lobby. Down there the whole family cheered and hugged the homecoming girl. It was really happening. Gaby was going home!
“Hey, Nate,” Gaby sat down on the front porch with Nate, regardless of the pouring rain. “Can I talk to you?”
Nate grunted. He was a little tired after the huge “Welcome Home” party guests had left, and he didn’t feel like talking. But on the other hand, Gaby usually did most of the talking.
“Hey,” Gaby continued. “I’m really sorry about what I said to you before… before the fire. Hey, I was a jerk, and I know that. I just — I’m just really sorry, uh, can you forgive me?”
Nate chuckled. “Yeah. No sweat. I was a jerk too.”
Gaby poked Nate. “No kidding, huh! Just kidding you.”
“I know,” Nate smiled.
Gaby stopped for a moment. “I can’t believe I made it. I couldn’t have done it without you.”
“Let’s be friends from now on, I’m tired of fighting. It’s so exhausting.”
“Hmm. Yeah, it was kind of awkward with that verg between us during our time in the hospital. Let’s be friends,” Gaby agreed.
The two watched the pouring rain slide off the roof in silence.
Gaby spoke up again. “You know what? I’m sure your past won’t get in the way of letting you illuminate.”
“Whatever happens,” Nate answered. “I will never forget that.”