Monday’s Child must hide for protection…
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Just a perfect June day...Sara leaned into Jamie as they walked the damp, dark streets toward the car. The movie had been great, her new husband’s company magical, but the thought of the rest of the evening made her heart sing. Not even the drizzling rain could quench her joy. God had been gracious to her, by placing a wonderful man like Jamie Barnes in her life, at a time when she thought she was destined to be alone.
Jamie was a charmer, with dark curly hair and movie star looks to match. She wasn’t sure what she’d done to deserve his attention, never mind his sudden proposal, but she wasn’t complaining. He loved her, so she could overlook his foibles and long days he spent travelling for work.
A jarring thud jolted her as the bag twisted violently off her shoulder. “Hey...” She gripped at it to find herself flying through the air, her head hitting the ground hard.
“You all right, babe?” Concern flooded Jamie’s voice.
“Yes...don’t let him get away.”
Jamie set off after the thief, as Sara struggled to her feet, seeing stars. Her head spun, and she felt sick. So much for the perfect day. She turned to see Jamie and the thief struggling under the streetlamp. A flash of metal, a swift upward movement of an arm and Jamie hung writhing, looking down at his chest. She screamed his name, her heart pounding as a stab of fear and shock hit her hard. “Ja-a-a-a-m-m-m-m-i-i-i-e-e-e…”
The tall thin man turned to face her, the knife in his hand. He released Jamie, letting him slump to the ground. The man’s piercing gaze, the hatred in his eyes, and the cruel thin hardness of his lips burned into her memory as Sara ran towards her husband’s motionless body. Long greasy locks and fine rain outlined against stark white streetlight framed the assailant’s face like a halo, reminding her of the angel of death.
The terrifying sound of a gunshot tore through the misty night air. The sound ricocheted off the alley walls, blue smoke expanding outwards little by little. Pain exploded though her as a bullet ripped into her body. Sara screamed as the blast knocked her to the wet ground. She landed hard, next to where Jamie lay in an ever increasing pool of blood, her breath coming in short gasps.
She grabbed her leg in pain as slow, deliberate footsteps squelched towards her. Black lace-up combat boots stopped in front of her face. There was a loud click as the hammer on the gun rose, but she wasn’t as scared as she thought she might be. Lord, if I am to die now let it be swift.
Footsteps ran down the street towards them, shouts echoing. A closer voice called. “We have to go. Someone’s coming.”
The man gave her a cold stare. “You’ll keep, doll. I’ll be back for you. That’s a promise.” The threat in his voice echoed in the empty recesses of his eyes. Sliding the gun under his jacket, he vanished into the night, taking her bag with him.
Sara’s whole body shook with pain, but she pushed it aside. “Jamie...” Reaching out she clamped her hands over his shirt in a vain attempt to staunch the flow of blood.
“Somebody help us, please.” She peered up into the growing crowd around them. “Please, phone an ambulance.”
“It’s on its way.” Someone in the crowd spoke.
“Sara.” Jamie’s voice was so faint, and his breathing so labored, she had to put her ear to his mouth to hear him. “It…was…Austin…”
“Jamie, hold on. Help’s coming.”
He shook his head and groaned, putting his hands on top of hers. “I…do…love...you. Remember…”
The sirens wailing in the distance grew closer. “I love you, too. They’re coming. Just hold on a little longer.”
“Ohhh…Sara.” Jamie’s eyes opened wide for an instant, then glazed over. His body went limp, and his eyes closed.
Tears spilled down Sara’s face, and her stomach twisted within her. “Jamie, no, don’t leave me.”
Pain from her leg raged through her. Her heart broke, and huge sobs shook her frame. Tears welled up and spilled out, mixing with the blood on the path. Pulling him into her arms, Sara’s fingers clutched him tightly, as if that alone would bring him back, calling his name over and over again. “Jamie. Jamie.”