Woza Moya Chapter Two: Mahogany
This is the second installment of Woza Moya, (come spirit). Hiram has made a decision but is not getting the confirmation he thinks he should have regarding it. The strange girl is occupying more of his thoughts than he cares to admit, producing feelings he would rather not have.
Why is he so drawn to her? Read and find out why.
Dear Elder Smarts,
So much happened yesterday that I don’t know where to begin. I got your letter and pictures today in the mail. The pictures came just in time to present at Family Home Evening. Boy have you got skinny! I thought the people in South Africa love to feed the missionaries? All that muscle gone—what a waste. Just kidding.
I decided that I will send off my mission papers early. I figure I will be close to finishing my mission by the time you get home. I wonder if I will get my mission papers back within a week or so like you did.
Anyway, after church yesterday, well, during church yesterday I went for a walk to the pond. Now before you get your name tag all twisted, I went to meditate about sending off my papers so early. When I got to the lake, I saw this girl fall in the pond, and I went in after her. I was so scared I did not know what to do. I took her to the church, and she got a blessing and was sent to the hospital. Last I heard she was awake but in a daze. She wouldn’t speak for no one.
Keep her in your prayers if you can remember. I am fine, though. I will catch up with you in the next letter.
P.S. No one knows her name.
Hiram ends his dictation of the letter and commands the phone to have it packaged for mail. Not being one for writing, he could appreciate the new app for his phone to print out letters ready to send through snail mail. Hib is in an area of South Africa where he can only get physical mail, and Hiram could not wait to communicate to his big brother about the girl.
“I am actually doing this,” he says to himself out loud. “I am going to serve a mission and leave early.” In an attempt to make the decision real, Hiram repeats the same thing twice. “I am actually doing this. I am Going to serve a mission and leave early.”
Nothing. No feeling of peace. No extra reassurance from God that his decision is the correct one. What is wrong? Is something wrong? Why is he not having the same experience Hib had when he decided? Hiram had pushed Hib into their pool right before Hib decided to give up two football scholarships to serve his mission. Florida State was one of the options.
“You were so angry that you wanted to kill me, man,” he says out loud with a pleasant smile on his face thinking back. “You got me talking to myself too, Hib.”
“God,” he turns his attention back to the troubling issue of his mission papers. “I don’t know what is going on. I decided to do as the stake president suggests and turn in my papers early, and I get no confirmation from you.”
“What am I supposed to be doing? Do you want me to serve you on a mission or not? I need to feel something.” Nothing.
“Okay, I will be patient. All I got is time, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
The words came from his mouth, but his heart is not sure of what to think. Hib taught Hiram that he could get confirmation from God about his prayers if he asked with faith and real intent to do something with the answer. A mission is the best decision for him since he wasn’t doing anything else with his life. There are no athletic or academic scholarships waiting for him. Not that he is comparing himself to Hib, but his brother had to give up his dream temporarily to serve the Lord. Hiram’s goal is to follow Hib’s example. Why is it so hard to get an answer this time to a prayer? Up to that point, everything had come like clockwork.
Hiram graduated school early and save up most of his mission costs. This girl, though. As much as he tries to stop her from occupying his thoughts, each time a free moment opens in his mind she pops into it! Her beauty haunted him in a way that made him uncomfortable. Never at any time had he felt so drawn to a person, not even Hib, his closest friend.
“Wow, why is the girl in my head?” It is not like the answer escapes him. The girl is in his head because of his attraction to her. The problem he is having with the situation is his determination to serve a mission can not be hampered by an infatuation with a girl! Thoughts, romantic thoughts hide away under the surface of his skull as he thinks back to how delicately she felt in his arms. She made him feel ten times stronger that what he is.
“Yeah, and I am pretty strong,” he says aloud as if he was conversant with himself. “I am going on a mission, though. I can lock my heart. I bet she doesn’t even believe in the church.” It makes sense to him. Anything that distracts him away from his mission is of the devil, right?
The image of her face grabs his attention, and a peaceful sensation fills his heart. “I don’t know what that is about, but I cannot be distracted.” Saying all that to himself was well and good, but that did not explain why he’s standing outside the hospital deciding to go in or not. He spent the entire time there dictating his letter and praying—not caring if people could see him or not. No one is paying attention anyway.
She, the girl had not spoken to anyone just like Hiram mentioned to Hib in the letter. Hiram is not comfortable going into the room with her because he is not sure how to act or what to say. “Hi, Hiram again. I think you are so hot, the way you looked all sickly and ghostly when I was carrying you to the church,” he says slapping his face in embarrassment. “Yeah, I say that to her she is gonna think I am a real freak! I cannot let it distract me!
“Should I?” A warm feeling slowly builds in his core—the type of feeling he was looking for in regards to sending in his mission papers early.
Enigma is a small town in Berrien County in the great state of Georgia. There is one officer in the town, the sheriff, Hiram’s mother. Sheriff Smart has some deputies, but they do not get pay. No one ever did anything in Enigma. Everybody went to church, the same church. Enigma did not have enough people to have its own schools. All kids go to Centerville, the county seat for school. Having all the kids in the county go to the same High School made it possible for them to have good AA football and basketball teams. She's been sheriff for five years with an abandoned train caboose as her office, seriously.
Sheriff Smart is with one of her “deputies” attempting to coax a statement out of the mute girl when Hiram arrives at the hospital room door. The hospital is actually a large clinic. For a small town, the clinic is extraordinarily supplied and staffed. With so many farmers in the Enigma, doctors are needed more than police. Since there are so many professional types--doctors, lawyers, and such--living in town, health services boom inordinately--an entire town of soccer moms. Enigma Medical cannot deliver babies, though. Centerville is where that happens.
When Sherriff Smart suggested taking the girl to Watson General Hospital in Centerville, she freaked out. It is the only time she spoke saying, “No, the boy has to protect me!”
Hiram is not sure she meant him. Standing at the door watching his mom sooth the girl while trying to get her to talk about what happened to her only brings frustration. The girl told him of her attacker as Hiram ran with her in his arms in the pouring rain. “He tried to kill me!”
Where did she come from? What is her name? Where is this stranger that attempted to kill her? Why does Hiram feel so drawn to her? Fearing to go into the room that he will upset her, he regards her staring off into the wall as if there was some interesting object there as the Sheriff reassures her.
“Sweetheart,” soothes Sheriff. “You take all the time you need. We aren’t going anywhere.”
“You think we need to call the county in Sister Smart,” says her deputy, Henry Marconi.
“I am on duty. Call me Sheriff, Hank.”
“We will call county tomorrow. I don’t want to get her going again." Sheriff raises shoulders and shivers purposely trying to communicate her displeasure at having the girl wailing in fear. " Plus, the road to Centerville has washed out again. No one will navigate that unless it is a life or death issue. We will probably be stuck here until it can drain off—specially since another storm‘s coming our way tonight.”
Hiram clears his throat with enough courage to walk into the room finally. The girl’s eyes wander toward Hiram. “He tried to kill me,” she says.
“What, Hiram,” Sheriff asks in disbelief pointing to her son. The girl stares into Hiram’s surprised eyes as she slowly shakes her head from side to side answer the Sheriff’s question negatively.
“He tried to kill me, and he is going to do it again. He will kill all of us.” The girl’s eyes glisten as a single tear falls.
“Want in the world? Sheriff?” Deputy Hank puzzles. “I think we need to call county today.”
“We can call, but they won’t come until tomorrow. They are not much more equipped than we are.” The sheriff smiles at Hank. “I know; you don’t have to stay up here with her. I know you need to get to that woman of yours and them kids. Go on. Me and Hiram will be okay here. I will let you know if I need your help deputy.”
Hank nods. As he leaves, he pats Hiram on the back, who stands with his eyes fixed on the girl’s eyes. There is a connection as the girl’s face twitches a smile at Hiram.
“Will you tell us your name, honey,” Sheriff asks again. The girl nods her head not taking her eyes off of Hiram. For some reason, Hiram cannot stop looking into her eyes. Instantly a rush of memory flashes into his mind!
“Mom, I know her.”
“This is Mahogany.”
Instantly Sheriff gasps in horror. “The Wilcox Mahogany?” Even as she asked the question, she could see it in the face of the girl who now regarded the sheriff.
“He gonna find me and kill me and you too now,” Mahogany speaks quietly. Looking again to Hiram, she adds pointing with her eyes, “He can protect us.”
“Sweetheart. Hiram is a kid like you. I will keep you safe. First, we need to….”
“No, him,” she interrupts. “I remember him; he must protect me. He promised.”
“Hiram, what’s going on? This is getting more strange.”
“Mom, she looks like she is still out of it. Maybe the doc needs to come check her again. She sounds like a little kid.” It’s true. Mahogany is in shock still and communicating as if she lost a few brain cells.
“I will go get Brandon back in here,” Sheriff says standing to get Dr. Ray. “Well, Mahogany being back and all makes this a miracle and tragedy rolled up in one!” Thunder claps sending Mahogany into a screaming fit as the lights flicker, threatening to go out. Hiram instinctively rushes to her side and embraces her, quickly calming her.
“Hiram?” Sheriff raises her brow. “What is this weird thing with you and the missing girl?”
“Mom, please, get Brother Ray. I will explain it all, but she needs to rest. She needs something to sleep.”
“I am counting on you telling me,” Sheriff puzzles. “She has been gone for seven years. I am definitely calling county in the morning.”
Sheriff Smarts wonders what is going on, but Hiram knows. Mahogany was his first kiss. A kiss before she disappeared out of his life. Right after he promised her never to let anything happen to her. A promise he now intends to keep!
Thanks for Reading!
The next installment is coming soon. Please, leave a comment on how you think the story is developing and any improvement in style of voice you think would benefit the story. Next, we will find out how Mahogany and Hiram know each other and the circumstances of his promise to protect her. Woza Moya Ongcwele Chapter One: Woman at the Lake is the previous chapter.
© 2016 Rodric Johnson
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