2nd place Kim Welch -
By Kim Welch
TWO MONTHS EARLIER
Jason jerked straight up in his bed. His heart pounding, who said that?
He said, “God? Is that you?”
Again, “Go home!”
“Not now God, I just got settled here and I love my new job. I can’t just pick up and leave. I have school loans, and car payments.” He laid back down afraid to sleep, praying it was just a dream.
But it happened again every night for the next month. Jason couldn’t work if he couldn’t sleep, so he put in his two weeks notice and resigned his position, to the shock of his boss. He regrettably packed up his apartment and started the long drive home.
TWO DAYS EARLIER
Chloe tried to hold back the tears. Crying was not the answer but she couldn’t help it.
The rail-thin older man had been getting chemo treatments twice a week for the past three months, his loving wife always by his side. Chloe looked forward to their appointments. They were such an uplifting influence on everyone. Often their conversations were about their only child who had recently graduated from college and was immediately hired at a new tech company on the West Coast. They couldn’t have been more proud! But today, the doctor had given them the results of his last CT scan and it wasn’t good. He would need a blood transfusion immediately and they asked Chloe to set it up for them.
It was dark when Jason’s car pulled into the driveway. Home. The lights were on and he knew his parents were still up. He hadn’t told them he was coming and they were going to be shocked to see him.
Opening the front door, his mom sobbed, “Oh Jason, how did you know we needed you?”
Jason tearfully hugged them and said that he kept hearing God’s voice telling him to go home.
They confided that they hadn’t wanted him to worry so they didn’t tell him about his dad’s cancer diagnoses. Their constant prayer was that God would lead them through this difficult time, but they didn’t know how they were going to manage alone.
They went to bed, Jason’s mind reeling with the devastating news.
He could hear them quietly talking and he realized how comforting that sound was as he closed his eyes.
The next morning he got up early, went outside and sat on the porch. He could hear his mom in the kitchen and knew she was making his favorite breakfast. Jason drove them to the hospital for the transfusion and while he was waiting, decided to go donate blood. He and his dad shared the same blood type and he felt like he was doing something proactive.
The ache in Chloes’ heart was slightly appeased watching her bag fill with blood. She happened to look up just as Jason came in.
It had been months since she’d seen him there and she wondered where he’d been.
When their eyes met, they immediately recognized the pain in each others’ eyes. Kindred souls they both thought. He sat in the chair beside her and broke the ice saying, “We’ve got to stop meeting like this!”
Her radiant smile melted his heart and he knew without a doubt that he would marry her someday.
She was getting ready to leave when something told her to turn around. She handed him her card complete with her name and phone number.
Chloe Jackson RN.
And then she was gone. As soon as he was finished, he ran to find his parents. He couldn’t stop grinning as he told them that he had just met the woman who would be their daughter-in-law, then dialed her number anxiously waiting to finally hear her voice.
A ringing sound came from behind the curtain and he heard her say hello as she came around into the cubicle.
His parents lit up with excitement as they introduced him to their favorite nurse, the one who had always been there to help them and answer their questions, even calling their home to check on them after a grueling round of chemo.
Her parents had been killed in a drunk driving accident six years earlier and she had been alone since then, working long hours to keep from being alone.
Jason knew God brought him home for Chloe, too.
A year to the day, Jason’s father walked her down the aisle and they became a family of four.