I wrote this story as a Sophomore at an SDA boarding Academy. Yes, I know it’s terrible.
This is the last chapter (finally)
I still have not re read this. You’ll have to tell me exactly how terrible it is as I try not to think about it.
That night everyone sleeps on the cold concrete floor. There is only one bed.
“Normally we switch off every night.” One of the older girls says to me, “but since your pregnant—“
“I don’t need it, really, I’m fine–”
“Your taking the bed.” Older one says in an authoritative tone that just shouts, “argue with me and you die.”
The guards wake us all up the next morning right after I have closed my eyes. We are given no food, just march us off too an adjoining factory where they force us to work. I am so hungry I feel I’ll die right there, and the baby needs food too. I feel it kicking inside of me in protest.
Soon, little one, hold on…
I am forced to carry huge and heavy boxes and stack them, which, since I have quite a stomach, is a huge pain.
The guards like to laugh at “The pregnant girl” struggling with the huge heavy boxes. Its embarrassing and demeaning, and there are times when I would march right up to them and say, “let me go! I’m moving in with Matt!”
Matt visits me every day to see if I’ve changed my mind. Sometimes, I want to give in to him so badly. Some of the girls in our cell have already given up and decided to renounce God, which always brought on crying and lamenting in the cell. Soon, Tori, , and I are the only ones left.
But I pray for strength every time I feel that. I will not give in to satan. I’ve tried him, and his way is no good. Its either jail now and heaven later, or heaven now and jail later. I’ve made my choice.
The seventh day soon approaches. It is the sabbath, but it is also the day that Matt will give up on me. Tori, , and I join hands and pray earnestly that the Lord will give me strength to resist. I’m crying. I don’t think I can do this. I’m 8 months pregnant and I’m being forced to lift heavy boxes and I haven’t been fed for the last week except for lunch break and that’s not good for the baby. And I’ve been experiencing some pains in my stomach lately…. Could it be contractions? Am I beginning to go into the early stages of labor? Is it possible that all this physical work has brought on premature labor? My baby is going to be premature?
The door to the cell opens. The guard puts her hand on my shoulder and brings me out of the cell and into the visiting room.
Matt is standing, pacing back and forth around the room. Soon as he sees me he falls to his knees and says, “Holly, please I’m begging you! Give in to them and we can go home! Will you….” He starts sweating, “Marry me?”
Do it… do it… it’ll be so much better
“I’m sorry.” I whisper, tears spilling down my cheeks, “I can’t.”
He gets up, puts his hands behind his back and walks toward the wall.
“You won’t take my offer.”
He sighs, then breaks down into tears. “Holly, I love you so much!”
See! He loves you and he loves the baby! Just do this for him! You know you want him.
My heart melts at the site of his tears.
He’s crying! See! He wouldn’t be crying If he didn’t mean it! I mean, come on Holly, do you know how hard it is for a guy to cry?
Jesus! Help me! Immediately I feel something. I can’t quite describe it, but it was like this…. This force surrounding me, telling me I was gonna be ok. Telling me that Jesus still loves me. Telling me that its gonna be over soon. I’m happy.
Matt isn’t. he can feel the force only he doesn’t feel its love. Only its perfection and holiness and his own shame and guilt. He is slumped against the wall, his eyes wide in fear and his mouth open to call for help, but no sound comes out.
The guard feels the same emotions Matt does. She throws herself face down to the ground, “No!” she screams, “No! please! Take me back! I’ll love you! Take me back!” she’s in tears.
And inside I feel such waves of compassion for her and Matt. And I can tell that God is feeling them too, because the force around me has a sadness that I can tell is mixed with love.
And then, as soon as it begins, its over. The Force leaves, and I feel energized. Everyone else feels depressed and depleted. The guard is still weeping her heart out. Matt is still staring in shock and shame. I quietly excuse myself from the room and return myself to my cell, which is locked, of course (duh, what was I thinking!) so I sit outside the door, feeling refreshed and loved.
A passing guard sees me .
“Why are you not in there with the others?!” he jabs his club into my stomach.
The baby kicks in protest.
“The other guard just left me here.” I say.
“And your not escaping?”
I shake my head.
“You Adventist are so stupid!” he snaps, unlocking the door and pushing me into my cell.
I hit the floor hard as he slams the door shut with a loud bang!
To my surprise, Matt hasn’t’ totally given up on me. He visits me once a week to see if I’ve changed my mind,
and each time the answer is still the same. Meanwhile, the contractions are getting closer and closer together. An hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, and then, one terrifying day; 10.
“What am I gonna do Case?!” I cry as I clutch my abdomen. “I mean, it doesn’t hurt, but…”
“No, why is it supposed to?”
“Is it bad that it doesn’t?”
That scares me.
That night in my cell bed I was having them every 7 minutes, then 5.
“Tori, Cass, I think…. I think this baby is coming.”
They didn’t get a chance to respond. Suddenly, the ground starts shaking.
One by one the concrete slabs crumble and break down around us, but surprisingly, none of it lands on us. Everything is dark outside, as dark as the cell, so at first we see no thing, then, a rainbow, shining with glory from the throne of God, spanning the heavens and surrounding us with God’s love.
Suddenly, I feel my pants are wet.
“Guys, I think my water just broke.”
finds her voice, “well shove him back up there! Jesus is coming!”
“I don’t think the baby cares!” I groan. This is not how I pictured meeting Jesus. I did not picture meeting him pregnant.
“I think that’s why he wants to get out in the first place.” Tori starts saying.
We gaze up at the sky, at the bright light surrounding the throne on which sits the Son of God.
Suddenly, I notice that I am rising. We all are. Jesus himself comes over to me, and lies me down on a bed of air. He gently delivers the baby, cutting the umbilical cord. He cradles it gently in his arms as he sings to it a song of love. He is telling it that he loves it, and that it is perfect. Then, he hands me my brand new baby girl.
I’m laughing and crying. I help the baby find her way to my breasts and start feeding her. Jesus smiles, and says, “So, what are you going to name the first child ever to be born perfect?”
“The first one?”
He nods. I feel so special. I can’t believe that God turned something so awful into something so… good!
“Who’s the father?” he asks gently. I bite my lip. I wished that the baby could have a real father. Then I realize something.
“You are!” I whisper. He nods.
“Yes, and I’m glad you didn’t give in to Matt. He didn’t really love you, you know that, right?”
“Well,” Jesus continues, “Matt was offered a huge sum of money from the government to wrench the child out of your arms.”
“Then he would have killed you.”
Tears stream down my cheeks. I’m so glad I listened to God instead of to Matt!
Jesus takes my hand and leads me over to someone. I recognize her… I gasp, “Kahu Anela?” He (she? It? Do angels really have gender?) says, “Welcome home.” Then gently pulls me off to two people who I almost remember but have been transformed. They are wearing red on the hems of their robes
“Mom! Jaimie!” I hand the baby off to Kahu Anela and run and jump into my mother’s arms. She laughs and twirls me around. I’m laughing. She holds me like that for a long time. Jaimie also picks me up and twirls me around.
“See darling, you did make it!” I laugh and nod into her chest.
Then Kahu Anela walks (floats???) over and hands my mom my baby.
I hold my breath. My little girl reaches out her hand and clasps my mom’s Finger. Tears of joy are streaming down my mom’s eyes.
“Oh honey! She’s perfect!”
“Holly.” Kahu Anela speaks softly, “You didn’t answer Jesus’ question. What are you going to name her?”
I think for a moment.
“Her name is Carmen.”
“Carmen.” My mother says. Only the way she says it, it sounds like a caress.”
“Come.” Kahu Anela says. My mom places little Carmen back into my arms, and we rise up to the celestial city, where a table as far as the eye could see is stretched out.
But there is one more surprise for me.
“Wow! She is adorable! What’s her name?” I whirl around,
“Mandy!” I fling myself into her arms, noticing that she too, has red on the hem of her robe.
She laughs, “You named her Mandy? After me? Wow, that was really nice of you.” She jokes.
I laugh, “Carmen. Jesus said she was the first child born perfect!”
“Wow! That is so awesome!”
“Here.” I hold out Carmen. She takes her in her arms. Carmen opens her eyes and laughs, reaches up and yanks Mandy’s hair. I can tell it doesn’t hurt her though.
“She’s adorable!” she says, handing it back to me. I smile.
“So this is the Little One who got you into so much trouble in the jail.”
I turn around. “Hey Case.” I gently hand Carmen over to her. smiles. Tori comes up to have a look at it.
“Yup!” I smile proudly, “The first perfect child.” Tori gently takes Carmen into her arms and rocks her.
A little girl with long blonde hair, who used to have glasses, runs up to me and hugs me. I pick her up and twirl her around.
“See! I told you God loves you!” she nods. Her sisters with two strange people walk over. Her parents.
Aralyn comes up. “Oh, so this is the baby!” I nod.
All the angels are assembling. Everyone is coming together. Tori hands me back my baby, and we join them in singing their song: Holy Holy Holy, is the Lord almighty. The one who was, and is, and is to come.
And so the end is here, and it turned out happier than I thought. For the longest time I was so sure I was going to hell because of all the things I was doing and that I could never pull out of it and come back to God.
But you know, your heart may be dry and crusty, or it may be moist and soft. But it doesn’t matter to God. He still loves you and he wants you to be with him, and no matter what the soil in your heart is like, Jesus can plant seeds of love, and watch them grow.