I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
(Intermittent Waves Recorded from the Transformed Heart of a Woman)
AUNTIE YONNY: "Cry 'Havoc'! And Let Loose the Dogs of War"
Unable to concentrate on writing anymore, Hal decided to call it a night and go to bed. He looked at the clock, it was late, too late to call Rachel. She was probably asleep.
He tossed and turned in the bed for a few minutes, not sure if he was wrestling with being uncomfortable or with what he was thinking and feeling. Then, he literally tried to shine some light on the subject by turning the lamp on to illuminate the problem, since there was no use in staring at the dark ceiling. His mind was racing as if it was trying to outrun what his heart was feeling. Sure the bed was cozy and more comfortable than his could ever be, but, this wasn't his room. He was currently living out of a hospital. His living quarters came with a personal chef. He was eating better than he had ever eaten. Room service was great and he had everything at his disposal, but...it could never feel like home. Plus, he felt there was no separation between his workspace and living space as presently, this facility served as both.
"Living in such a physically and emotionally sterile environment could drive anybody crazy. How can I possibly endure these people and this place?"
Allowing his emotions to lead him and without giving it another thought, he dialed Rachel's number.
"Hello Rache. Were you asleep?"
Rachel laughed softly. In Hal's mind it was sultry and sexy.
"Not anymore, Hal. What's up?"
"I'm sorry, Rache. I shouldn't have called so late. I can call you sometime this evening."
"No, I'm awake now. Is everything alright? -You okay, Hal?"
"Yes and no. I mean, I'm okay physically, but, this new job is...well...it's a challenge and I'm living and working out of a hospital. I still have my apartment, but, I need to have access to Tanya Yanovich.
Things are, well, not what they seem. These people think and live differently. I don't know how long I can endure this lifestyle. I was hoping you could help me devise some type of strategy.
Rachel thought about it for a few seconds. Endurance, what could she tell Hal about endurance?
Well Hal, when Jesus walked the earth, how did He endure people and the world? HE NEVER FORGOT WHO HE WAS. He knew He was the Son of God.
What I have been given and what you have been given belongs to God. He created it and if it's good enough for Him, it's definitely good enough for man and the world! What matters is how we use it!
God created and gave me and you our gifts and formed who we are. I've got to remind myself every morning and throughout the day that I AND ALL OF THIS BELONGS TO GOD!!! AND
If I try to be who I was not meant to be (if I'm mean, impatient, beat down, depressed, vindictive, giving up), then, I am not being who God created me to be and I cannot endure and that's where ALL the real problems arise and continue. But, if I, who have been created and then born again of His Spirit allow the character of God to be manifested through me, then, I can say to the storms in my life, "peace be still."
I no longer believe I must DEAL with people and the world, because I start out VICTORIOUS, knowing it's finished within me and no one can mess with that.
If I had insecurities I had to overcome, it was to help somebody else who has insecurities. Maybe I'm experiencing trouble today so to remind me of what God can do and has done in my life or so that my heart is prepared to help someone else who is experiencing trouble today.
God had the priests of the temple wear special garments to remind them of who they were; what He had done for the people of Israel; who they served; and that they had to be Holy and Righteous in order to be His vessels.
Now, that I am reborn, I don't need to wear special garments every day, I need only to cling to the garment of Christ within me to know WHO I am in Christ and that I SERVE God, Almighty! Hallelujah! So, if God be for me, then, who can be against me, meaning, I have been empowered to ENDURE! For He that endureth until the end shall have everlasting life.
Endurance cannot be a question or a possibility! It must be a REALITY which becomes a FRAME OF MIND EACH DAY!
I must claim my endurance and I must claim my everlasting life!
Even Jesus needed to get away all to himself to cleanse himself of the world and be refreshed. Knowing that His Father knew all about His troubles. What did He do to endure? He prayed to His Father.
We are sons and daughters of God and this is what we must do, also. NEVER forget WHO you are! Have a RELATIONSHIP with God to know who and what God has created you to be.
Then, as we go about our day we must never forget who we serve and ALL that we do must be done in love for the GLORIFICATION of God. Then, we shall OVERCOME and we shall endure."
Hal remembered how he used to tune Rachel out when she gave these preachy speeches and began to understand why she finally shut him out. But tonight, He needed to hear what she had to say. He was open to it now and desperately seeking balance in his life, which, his grandfather would say could only come from God. So, what he was really seeking was a relationship with God.
He didn't know why, but, he'd never shared the fact that his grandfather was a minister with Rachel or his childhood attending church and listening to his sermons. When his grandfather died, he had lost more than someone he deeply loved. He had lost his faith in God.
"Can I...can I ask you something?"
"Now Hal, you ought to know by now that you can ask me anything."
Moments went by and Hal somewhat unnerved by what could happen to Rachel if she became entangled in the Graves' web of lies and deception, lost his nerve to confide in her. Instead, he blurted out the unexpected.
"I love you, Rachel."
Rachel gasped, then giggled.
"Is that a question Hal?" she teased. "Are you asking me or telling me?"
Hal was glad it wasn't a video call. He was sure that he looked as embarrassed as he felt. Perhaps, some things are better left unsaid when you can't follow through on them, but, he could try to retract his confession without doing further harm.
"I'm sorry, Rachel. Forget I said that. I guess I'm feeling kind of vulnerable. You know... new job...new living arrangement...missing everybody at The Daily. I need to be around old friends. Uh...may I come see you tomorrow?"
Rachel didn't answer right away. She knew what he was asking and why. Her heart wanted to say yes and she was tired of being alone, but, she remembered her disappointment with Hal the last time they had dated. He just didn't see her, really see her, neither was he interested in the spiritual aspect that made up her being. She wouldn't settle for a superficial relationship, or try to become what someone else wanted her to be. Hal just couldn't see that this world she lived and worked in just wasn't her home. But, Hal was her friend. He needed her and as Christ's ambassador, she had the desire and the responsibility to help those in need and draw others to Christ to follow in discipleship. It was not up to her to decide if Hal was ready or if he was worthy.
"Would you come to worship this weekend with me, Hal?"
Filled with emotion, Hal quietly, without having reservations said yes. His voice cracked under the strain, having feared rejection as he anxiously awaited Rachel's answer.
Not hearing Hal's quiet reply, Rachel started her usual explanation about fellowship and how it could help Hal endure.
"Fellowship in the Body of Christ exists to aid us in endurance. We walk in the Light of God in fellowship as we endure together. After a long and exhausting day or week I can just breathe and relax when I fellowship with others in spirit or in body. I pray and thank God for the day, even my trials and tribulations and count it all as joy, knowing God will refresh me and restore my joy."
Hal cleared his throat and spoke louder.
"Yes, Rachel, I said yes."
"Oh, I'm sorry...I...uh...didn't hear you say anything. Yes? Why, that's wonderful, Hal?! Yes!"
Rachel began to laugh and Hal found himself laughing with her, relieved and free of tension.
Suddenly, a blaring alarm interrupted the conversation. The mutually therapeutic laughter was short-lived as the two reporters reacted to the sound of breaking news.
"I've got to go Rachel. -Sounds like something is happening."
"Of course, Hal. Let me know if everything is alright."
"Will do. I'll call tomorrow to get details about our date. Bye."
This time it was Rachel left wide awake and staring at the ceiling.
"Date? He sees this as going on a date? Father, did I make a mistake in agreeing to see him again and asking him to go to worship? Is he just using this as an excuse to date me and get me into bed with him?"
Minutes went by and Rachel continued to torment herself with the idea of being used by Hal. She blamed herself for being so weak when it came to him and wished she hadn't answered the phone. If he called back, she said she wouldn't answer and explain later, if she saw him again, that she fell asleep. She told herself that it was okay to tell him that things were too busy at the office to take time out to socialize. But, then, she knew she couldn't lie like that as a child of God, neither did she desire to do so. She remembered her training in their Five-fold Ministry Seminars about relationships and how the enemy tries to keep us from having healthy, godly relationships.
Yet, another memory kept surfacing. She remembered Hal's voice saying, "I love you." It was enough to distract her again and cause agonizing pain.
Tears rolled from the corners of her eyes onto her pillow as she prayed and talked to God, until she fell asleep.
Hal jumped out of bed, phone in hand, running down the hall in his bare feet. No one was around. Did Arturo go see about the alarm, he wondered? It sounded like it was coming from Tanya's hallway. Turning to run down the hallway, he wondered why it was so dark. It was the one hallway kept brightly lit at all times. He stepped on something that hurt his foot and sent him sliding down the hallway. There was no time to check for injuries, he thought, he had to get to Tanya's room.
When he entered the room, hobbling, it too was dark. He fumbled for a light switch until he found one and managed to turn on a few of the recessed lights. He could hear Tanya gasping for air. Quickly he moved toward the bed to check on her.
"Where is Zenobia and Arturo? Where is Miriam?"
Tanya's eyes were stretched open wide in horror as her exaggerated and irregular breathing pushed her chest up and down. Hal's mind started spinning wildly. He knew he had to calm down and think. He talked aloud to keep focused as he tried to help Tanya.
"Check the breathing tubes. There's no air coming out. Check the machine. It's off. Where's the plug?! Where's the plug?! The oxygen machine is built into the wall, but there has to be a plug or electrical box somewhere!"
Fumbling with his cellphone, he found the flashlight button, turned it on, then, scanned the room. There was an electrical panel on the back wall in the corner. Quickly hobbling to the back of the room and opening the panel, he began to read the connection labels. He pressed the one marked oxygen and there was a huge spark which burned his hand. Panicking, he began pressing more buttons but the panel was shot, nothing worked.
"There has got to be some old-fashioned oxygen tanks in this hospital somewhere! WHERE IS ZENOBIA?!!!"
His foot still hurt and the sticky feeling underneath could only mean that it was bleeding. But, there was no time to think about minor injuries. Hal ran as fast as he could down the hallway to the door marked surgery and tried to open it. It was locked. He pounded on it, shouting in anguish.
"NO! NO! NO! ZENOBIA?! ARTURO?! MIRIAM?! ANYBODY?! HELP! HELP!"
He jetted for the elevator and pressed the button. It wasn't working. He started to take the stairway when he remembered the control panel at the security desk. Crossing over to the security desk, he leaped over it instead of walking around. Quickly scanning the buttons on the monitor, he found the one marked surgery and clicked on it. There was a link to open the door. He clicked on it and read, "door unlocked".
Hal wasted no time in bolting down the hallway back to the surgery room. Inside, he shined the flashlight around the room and saw a silver cylinder marked oxygen. He grabbed it, along with a mask with connecting tubes, then, rushed back to Tanya. He gently placed the mask on Tanya's face then started to turn the oxygen on. Looking at the gauge, he became horrified. It suddenly struck him that he didn't know how much to give her. He slowly turned the valve and decided to start out slowly, watching her progress.
As he watched her chest stop jerking and heaving, he had an overwhelming sense of relief. He could feel his own chest starting to relax in sync with Tanya's, as his breathing slowed, but, as he relaxed, the trauma to his foot became very apparent and excruciating pain had made its way up his leg.
Tanya nodded her head towards him, but she was unable to speak.
"I'm going to find Zenobia and Arturo and get some help, Mrs. Yanovich. Hang in there."
Tanya nodded her head slightly in acknowledgment. Then, closed her eyes.
Hal made his way to Zenobia's room and found her either asleep or unconscious.
"ZENOBIA! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! MRS. YANOVICH NEEDS YOU!"
There was no response from her. He shined his flashlight around the room. There was a glass on her night table with a milky residue coating the inside. He picked it up, smelled it and shined the flashlight on it. He decided it was milk, but, there must have been a granular-like substance mixed in with it, because, some hadn't dissolved and stuck to the bottom. Hal's suspicions began to arise.
"Did Zenobia take something to help her sleep and accidentally took too much? No, she's a nurse and an excellent one at that."
Hal leaned over Zenobia. He knew she wasn't dead. She snored lightly. He grabbed her by the shoulders and began shaking her repeatedly, saying her name.
Finally, she began to come to. Hal turned on the lamp, sat her up in bed and got her a glass of water.
"Zenobia, I need you to stay awake. Mrs. Yanovich needs you. Something has happened."
"What? What has happened?"
Zenobia's speech was slurred and almost incoherent, but,
hearing that she was needed and something happened to Tanya Yanovich seemed to wake Zenobia up enough to try and get out of bed. However, she was still a little disoriented and too weak to walk. Hal picked her up and carried her down the hallway into Tanya's room. He was thankful that Zenobia, who was tall and lanky, was also lightweight. On the way down the hallway, Hal made a mental note of several things.
"I need to become familiar with this entire floor. I need an account of everyone's whereabouts. I need to call the police and tell them about the milk, the electrical box, the elevator, and Arturo. I need people around that I can trust."
Hal sat Zenobia in a comfortable chair. However, once her feet touched the cold, hard floor, she started coming out of her drugged state and immediately switched into nursing mode and administered the proper care Tanya needed.
Hal called the police, explained the situation and opened all the doors from the security control panel in order to search the other rooms. Still unable to find Arturo or anyone else, he remembered the elevator wasn't working and the police would have to take the stairway.
"As they say, time is of the essence. If I found the links to the doors, I can find one for the elevator. If not, then, I'll locate security people on another floor to help me."
Was that such a good idea, he thought? He weighed his options again and decided it was safer for the police to take the stairs, if he couldn't get the elevator running again. He had no idea who was involved in this treachery, which he was certain was an attempt on Tanya Yanovich's life. But, who would try to kill an already dying woman and what would they gain from speeding up her inevitable and impending death?
After searching all the rooms, and failing to start the elevator, Hal returned to check on Zenobia and Tanya.
"Mrs. Yanovich wants to speak with you, Hal. What happened? Why wasn't I alerted? Mrs. Yanovich could have died."
"The power went off. I think you were drugged and Miriam and Arturo aren't here."
"I was drugged? How? Who would have done that?"
"I don't know, but, I've called the police to investigate. I think someone put something in your milk."
"Oh, Father in Heaven, protect us all! I always have a glass of milk before I go to bed. Now, I will be afraid to eat, drink or sleep!"
"Don't worry, Zenobia. I will try to get to the bottom of this so we won't have to be afraid. Is Mrs. Yanovich able to speak now?"
"She's extremely weak, but, she insisted on talking to you. I'm going to call the doctor in now, but, you'll have time to talk before he arrives. Just try not to over do it. I think you know her limits now, however, she has been in a severely agitated state and needs rest."
"Alright, I won't keep her talking. Thanks Zenobia for everything."
"No, thank you, Hal. You probably saved us all."
Hal doubted that. Whoever it was who had been there targeted one particular individual--Tanya Graves Yanovich. Yet, had they planned on him being there and ruining their seemingly perfect thought out murder? Did they know about him at all?
Hal walked over to Tanya's bed and smiled at her. She motioned for him to come closer. He leaned his head over, placing his ear within hearing range.
"Thank you, my hero."
Hal blushed and stood up. She motioned for him to lean down again, and pulled his ear close to her mouth holding his head in place.
"With friends like these, who needs enemies? It was because he was a danger to the presidency. My father, the general, my husband, brothers, campaign managers, and others knew about it. It wasn't a suicide. They pressured and coerced him...the Russians...arranged it to cover their tracks. He would have spoiled everything. My father doesn't have friends. Everyone is replaceable and disposable, even me. "Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war".
Tanya released her grip on Hal's head and her arm fell limp. Hal stood up stunned and chilled by the icy words he had just heard come out of Tanya's mouth. He backed away slowly as she stared at the expression on his face, knowing she had dropped the mother of all bombs and Pandora's Box would be forever open.
People came in to replace and repair equipment and would have started their work if Hal hadn't shouted.
"STOP! This a possible crime scene. Just...just wait a few more minutes everybody! The police are on the way. Can somebody get the elevator working?"
Hal went to check on the arrival of the police. All the while, Tanya's words were turning over in his mind.
"With friends like these, who needs enemies? Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war".
"What was she talking about? Was her mind damaged from lack of oxygen? Was she hallucinating? Is it dementia?
Why would she talk as if her father is alive and accuse him of wanting to silence her? She was his favorite. He trusted her. Did he stop trusting her? And what suicide was she talking about? Was the president possibly involved in a murder coverup that had come back to haunt him after all of these years?!"
Hal reached the elevator just in time to see one sweating policeman followed by another emerge from the door to the stairwell out of breath and looking for someplace to sit down to rest. At any other time he would have been amused, but, this time was like no other he had experienced in his somewhat young life. He led the policemen to the sitting room, tried to make them comfortable and got them cold beverages to drink.
It was going to be a long night. Texting very quickly, he sent a quick message to Rachel. He hoped she wasn't worried about him and hoped she was sleeping peacefully by now.
"Rache, everything is okay and under control. ttyl (talk to you later) Love, Hal."
Without thinking, he pressed--SEND.
Published by Mishael T