Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fire of my heart

The sound of the sirens woke her up.  Four year old Missy’s bare toes touched the floor.  Her long white nightgown was a strong contrast to her wild long black curly hair.  She padded over to the window and pulled the curtain to one side.  She could see many people running with long hoses.  The bright red and white lights of the fire trucks made the front yard look like it was Christmas.  Missy unlatched the window and gave a hard pull.  She peered out and someone yelled up at her.  ‘Jump Missy!  We’ll catch you!  Jump!’


Missy turned back to her room to grab her night robe and slippers.  Mother always told her not to go around in the house barefoot.  She decided to grab her stuffed animal Beasty too.  Suddenly, the air grew thick and her eyes burned.  She couldn’t see to find the window.   She heard the shouting but her eyes were so watery she could not see.  Suddenly, she couldn’t breathe well.  She heard yelling and then a loud bang.  Someone’s feet were in view.  As she wondered why she could see only feet, hands came down and scooped her up.  


Suddenly she was flying through the air into someone’s arms.  She looked up and her eyes began to clear.  Jimmy was running towards her.  Missy didn’t know anyone else but Jimmy.  He was fourteen years old.  A grown up.  He had long legs and big feet, but he was nice to her.  ‘What’s going on Jimmy?’


‘If she is ok, can I take her over to my house? We live across the street.’  he asked one of the guys in a big yellow coat.  Soon Jimmy picked her up and carried her to his house.  She noticed his hands were bright red and he had a few scratches.


‘What happened Jimmy?’  Jimmy didn’t answer as he opened the door to his house.  His mother ushered them both to the kitchen.  She sat Missy at the table as she put Jimmy’s hands in ice water.  She put a cool cloth on Jimmy’s face and tended to the scratches.  


Meanwhile, Jimmy’s father came in and checked on Missy.  ‘Are you ok little one?  You look like a chimney sweep.’


‘What’s that?’  she asked.  She looked down at her hands and saw how black they were.  Her nightgown and night robe were dirty too.


‘A chimney sweep is someone very dirty.  Are you all right?  Can you breathe well?’


Missy didn’t know why everyone was asking.  ‘I feel fine.  I couldn’t see in my room, it got all filled with smoke and I couldn’t see the window.  I was choking. Someone found me though and threw me out the window.  I wonder who it was.


‘That would be Jimmy.  He ran up the stairs and found you.  Otherwise you would have been...well never mind.  Jimmy saved you.’ he said.


Missy looked up at her hero who was sitting at the table with his hands in the dish pan.  He grinned at her.  ‘It’s gonna be ok little one.  You are going to be staying here for a while though.’


‘Where is mommy and daddy?’ she asked.  She had no idea how her big brown eyes looked.  Jimmy looked to his parents for help.  His mother came over to her and put her on her lap.  


‘Before we talk, how about I give you a bath and get some clean clothes on you. She looked to her husband.  Jimmy , please go up and fetch some of those dresses I was sewing for the church sale.  I have underwear and socks in a bag on the floor as well.’


Missy followed Jimmy’s mother to the bathroom and got into the tub.  ‘What’s your name?’ she asked.


‘You can call me Aunt Lily for now and my husband is Uncle Jimmy. Is that ok’  She got out some rose scented soap and began to wash Missy’s hair.  Soon, Missy was cleaned off and Aunt Lily helped her into clean clothes.

'So, there are two Jimmy"s' she asked. Jimmy's mother smiled and said yes.


When Missy was ready, they went into the living room.  Jimmy’s father and Jimmy were sitting on the sofa.  Aunt Lily held Missy on her lap as she sat in her stuffed chair.  ‘Now Missy, you know that you will always be cared for and you will never be alone.  We have called your Aunt Sophie and she is coming first thing tomorrow.  She would be here sooner but she was in Denver.


‘Why did you call her?’ she asked.


‘Your mother and father went on a long journey to heaven tonight.’ Aunt Lily waited to see her reaction before going on.


‘Will they come back soon?’ she asked.


‘No child.  They are gone for good.’ Aunt Lily said.


Missy’s eyes began to water and her bottom lip quivered.  ‘Well, will I , can I go there too?’  Tears flowed down her face as she realized they were gone.


Aunt Lily held her close and rocked back and forth as she spoke.  ‘The day will come when you will see them again child.  However, you can’t go there for a long time.  So, now you will live with your Aunt Sophie.  But, you will never be alone.’


Jimmy got up and held out his arms for Missy.  ‘Hey there, come with me.’  Missy went into his arms and wrapped her legs around his waist.  She began to wail.


Jimmy sat back down on the couch and held her as she cried for her parents.  ‘It’s ok.  You’ll be ok.  It’s ok to cry.  Don’t worry, I’m here.’  The night wore on and Jimmy stayed on the couch with Missy.  His parents went to bed and told him to call if needed.  Jimmy nodded and kept holding on to Missy.


Missy fell asleep hic cupping from crying.  She never released her hold on Jimmy.  When Jimmy moved to put his feet up, he was surprised to hear a tiny voice.


‘I love you Jimmy.  Someday I’m going to marry you.’


Jimmy had always adored Missy.  He’d been playing baseball when the car drove up with little baby Missy inside.  He’d looked over at the car and all he could see was dark curls.  As she got older she left her yard one day and went missing.  Jimmy had joined the search party and found her in his backyard.  ‘Jimmeeee’ she said as she sucked her thumb.  Big fat tears rolled down her face.  Jimmy sat remembering that day.  She had been only two. Jimmy had picked her up and brought her home.  She always watched him practice catching the baseball from her front porch.  She’d wave and he’d wave back.  His friends liked her too.  ‘She just sits there all day watching us.’


The sun was coming up and Jimmy’s parents came downstairs to find them stretched out on the sofa sound asleep.  Jimmy had lay down and she had snuggled up in his arms.


‘This is going to be hard on her moving away and all.’ Jimmy’s father said.

‘I don’t think it will be easy on Jimmy either.  He loves her like she was his own.  

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