~Travarus's Lesson~By: [*Phoenix*]
Milly's small feet padded softly on the carpet as she ran towards her room. She was scared. They were getting loud again, and every time mommy would end up in tears. She was frightened because mommy would disappear while daddy would yell and break things. She shut her door carefully, jumped into bed, and threw the covers over her. It was routine for her, but she wished it would all go away. Everyone was so happy at school. Milly wasn't allowed to tell anyone why she was upset because mommy said that it wasn't their business. Milly curled up under her blankets and waited. She didn't know how long she waited, but daddy came in and said, "Good night." She got out of bed and changed into her pajamas. As she crawled into bed, she say, looking out the window, and stared at the first star she saw. She loved the beauty of the stars so she prayed every night while looking on them. So she prayed: "Jesus, please help mommy and daddy to stop yelling. Amen." She prayed the same thing every night even though it keeps getting worse. She climbed under her covers and fell asleep.
Travarus pushed his glasses up his brow as he ran down the hallway. He was in the middle of his studies when he realized it was almost nightfall. He knew that the Lord would be playing cards with Gabriel, so Travarus had grabbed all his books and papers thus making it harder to run as he kept grabbing lose papers from falling out of his arms.
Jesus laughed as Gabriel set down the card he need for the fourth time in a row. He picked the card up, waited a second, and, in a flourish, called "Gin" when he set them down. Gabriel watched in horror as he lost for the 623rd
time that day. Jesus continued to laugh heart-fully as Travarus knocked timidly on the door.
"Welcome, Travarus. Come on in. Gabriel and I are just playing some card games," he said as Travarus cautiously opened the door. "Come on. No need to be shy."
Travarus rearranged the books in his arms as he pushed his glasses back up his sweat covered nose. "L-Lord," he stammered, "it's almost nightfall. Th-the stars need to come out." He blew in a sigh of relief because his job was finished.
Jesus got up and stretched as Gabriel stood with him. "Thanks for beating me again," Gabriel said as he shook Jesus' hand. "I always lose to you, but someday I will beat you," he winked.
Jesus responded with another heartfelt laugh. "Well, you should ask my father for tips because I never beat him."
"I will have to take you up on that advice," Gabriel laughed. He grabbed his sword from the back of his chair and strapped it around his waist. With a salute to Jesus, he walked out the side door.
"So, Travarus, I see you are a bit nervous and are trying to make a puddle of sweat," Jesus said as he turned to face the young angel. Travarus gulped. "I'm not angry, and I'm not going to punish you for losing track of time. I want to say a heartfelt 'Good job' on being promoted to the next level of you studies. You'll be a squire in no time."
Travarus was taken aback and completely shocked at the kindness that was infused in Jesus' words. "Th-thank you, sir," he squeaked.
"You're welcome, my dear boy." Jesus put his arm around Travarus' shoulders and, with a twinkle in his eye asked him if Travarus wanted to come with him.
"I-I'd be honored, my Lord," replied Travarus as he looked at his feet in humility.
"Okay then. Leave your things here," Jesus said as he took Travarus' things out of hi arms and set them on the table. "You can come back and get them when we're done." Jesus walked towards the door through Gabriel had left and beckoned Travarus to follow. They went through the door through which Gabriel had left and beckoned Travarus to follow. They went through the door, and it opened to the sidewalk on the outside of the building. Everything sparkled as Jesus led Travarus down the sidewalk, turned right, and began to leave the city. Jesus stopped at the base of a tower that stood alone on the edge of the city by the Pearly Gates. "Here we are," Jesus said as he opened to a stairwell that led up the town. "Guest first."
Travarus began to climb the stairs and made sure to stare at the steps themselves so he didn't get dizzy as he walked in a spiral motion. The stairs ended right at the rooftop.
As they looked upon the solar system, Jesus clapped Travarus on the shoulder. "This is the Lookout Tower, the Messenger Tower, the Alarm Tower, and many other towers, but for right now it's the Star Tower." Jesus cracked his knuckles and began to call out name of different stars. Travarus watched as, one-by-one, stars lit up the sky. Then Jesus took one hand and waved it across the sky like pulling a curtain, and the rest of the stars lit up.
"Lord, if-if you don't m-mind me asking, why don't you pull the curtain first and make it easier?" Travarus stammered as he rubbed his sweaty palms on his tunic.
"My dear boy," Jesus replied softly, "there are many reasons, but one in particular is Milly."
"Milly?" asked Travarus in bewilderment.
"Yes. Milly. She's a young girl on the earth, who's only a mere eight years old. Her parents were young and got married because her mom was pregnant. They fight a lot, and her father's into alcohol. She's scared because they take their anger out on her. It's all tragic, but there's on ray of hope. Every night, as she gets into bed, she prays on a star. She knows my name, but nothing more. She's why I only do one star at a time."
Travarus stood, once again shocked by Jesus' words. Travarus had come from a good family so he didn't understand what that felt like.
Jesus sighed as he looked back upon the earth. "Time to start the festivities," Jesus said brightly.
"What festivities?" Travarus asked without thought.
"Milly will be joining us soon," Jesus said with a twinkle in his eye and disappeared down the stairwell.
Travarus was left in shock as Jesus' words finally sunk in. The poor eight year old didn't do anything to deserve death. Travarus knew Jesus was right through. Someone was coming home. It was time to celebrate, not to mourn.
(c) April Halcomb 2010
Back to: April's Stories