Sunday, April 13th
E.V. couldn’t help herself. She smiled contentedly all day long. She walked into the garage towards her car, which would take her to her parents’ house for the Sunday dinner. The bounce in her step and the song that she sang as she walked toward her car expressed her newfound peace and happiness. When she arrived, she bubbled happily all that she had shared from her heart with the Father.
Gracie listened attentively. “Man, I think I’m jealous. You seem to have a very special family.”
“Don’t be jealous sis: So do you. One day you’ll seem them face-to-face on a very regular basis. It’s just a matter of time.”
Gracie grinned mischievously. “Yeah. Then I can flirt unashamedly with your big brother. I’m sorry, but he’s still a hottie.”
E.V. only smiled back. “Yep. He is that. My goodness, he is that.”
Monday, April 21st 2008
Ashleigh’s desk came into view as E.V. walked into the building. The familiar smell of cannabis wafted towards her nose, even stronger than it had been before. Her heart sank further thinking of what would be the outcome of Ashleigh’s continued drug use. Sweat poured from Ashleigh’s forehead, even with the air condition making the Institute feel like a meat locker. “Are you alright, Ashleigh?” she asked. “You’re sweating an awful lot in this very cold air conditioning.”
“Oh, that. I just sometimes get hot for no apparent reason. I’m not sure I understand why; I’m too young for hot flashes,” she said, smiling weakly.
“Well, take care of yourself, please? I worry about you.”
“Oh, no need to do that. I’ll be fine.”
Tuesday, April 22nd 2008
“Say, Carlo. Do you guys keep track of the families here at the Institute? You know: emergency contacts and things like that?” asked E.V.
“Yeah, we do. Why?”
““Ashleigh Cook, the receptionist has been using drugs, including some powerful ones like methamphetamine, and cocaine. Evie first noticed it back in December.”
“Are you serious?” said Carlo.
“Yes; very. I’m thinking she needs an intervention, because most drug addicts don’t want to admit they have a problem.”
“Well, let’s clear it with the Director about it and see what he thinks.”
As they walked into his office, he looked up at her and Carlo, and asked, “What can I do for you?”
“Mr. Rundström,” she said, “we have reason to believe that Ashleigh Cook is addicted to drugs, including methamphetamines and cocaine. We were wondering if we could call her parents to see if we couldn’t arrange an intervention.”
“Do you have proof she is taking such drugs?” asked Rundström.
“Yes,” she answered. “I’ve smelled cannabis on her, and seen behaviors that coincide with drug use, such as sensitivity to light, manic behavior, and sweating in this building; the air conditioning is set very low, and if anything, most of us wear a sweater. Sweating in such conditions is not normal. You can even see for yourself.”
“Very well. You two stay here, and I”ll be back.”
When Rundström returned, he said, “She does display the simptoms you have suggested. I must warn you, however, that if any adverse action is taken because of this, you will be held personally responsible, and the Institute will disavow any knowledge thereof.”
“Thank you, Mr. Rundström,” she said, and she and Carlo walked to her office.
As E.V. watched with curiosity, the name of Ashleigh’s Emergency Contact came up. The name was a Samantha Cook, listed as her mother. “I think we’ve made some headway she said. “Let’s call her mother, and see if we can’t arrange a meeting with her.”
“Sounds good,” Carlo said.
Wednesday, April 23rd
“So, you see, Mrs. Cook, we belive your daughter is doing drugs,” said E.V.
Samantha Cook became quiet. Then, in a small, shaky voice, she said, “I’m not surprised. She began smoking weed back in High School. We tried to get her to stop: you know, we gave her all the bad things that happen to you when you do drugs, but she wouldn’t listen. I’m sure she is in a bad way by now. I’m at a complete loss as to what to do about her.”
“Well, Mrs. Cook, I have talked with a therapist at a Rehabilitation Center in Tenleytown, and she suggested we do an intervention. She would even be willing to participate from a professional point of view.”
Looking down at the table, Samantha Cook wrung her hands together. “Nothing else has worked, so Ed and I would be willing. We’ll do anything to get our daughter back.”
Saturday, April 26th
E.V. sat in the Cook’s living room with friends and family gathered. She, Carlo, Dr. Rogers, Ed and Samantha Cook, a sister and brother and even an Aunt and Uncle sat all around the living room.
“She should be arriving any minute now,” said Samantha Cook.
About five minutes later, Ashleigh walked through the door, surprised to see such a gathering. “What’s going on,” she asked. “It’s not my birthday.”
She faced Ashleigh head on, looking her straight in the eyes. “You see, Ashleigh, I have observed you since last December, and I could smell marijuana on you. You’ve also been acting like someone under the influence of amphetamines and cocaine.”
“Yes, honey,” Samantha Cook said. “You’ve been smoking marijuana since you dad and I caught you doing it in your room back when you were in tenth grade. Now, it seems that you’ve progressed to harder drugs.”
“You’ve got to stop,” said Ashleigh’s sister Karen. “You’re going to kill yourself, and mom, dad, Kevin and I would be devastated.”
“But, this isn’t fair,” countered Ashleigh. “I can do whatever I want with my life. You all have no right to interfere…”
Very seriously, E.V. said, “We’re not interfering: we’re trying to keep you from doing further harm to your body.” Looking to Dr. Rogers, she said, “Dr. Rogers works at the Rehabilitation Center in Tenleytown. She’s an expert in these matters.”
“Yes, Ashleigh,” said Dr. Rogers. “You are a very typical case of a drug addict. Denial is your most prominent behavior. We can help you face the truth about your addiction, and help you to recover. We have many different types of therapy, and they have a very high success rate.”
E.V. walked over to her, sat beside her, and said, “Honey, everyone here cares about you. We all want to see you overcome your addictions and live a normal, healthy life.”
“But I’m scared,” protested Ashleigh. “Withdrawing from drugs is hard and painful. I’ve heard of other junkies going through detoxification, and it’s hell. It’s your worse nightmare.”
“We have medicine you can take to help you withdraw slowly and with much less pain,” said Dr. Rogers.
“Please honey, for your sake, get help. We all love you, and don’t want to see you throw your life away,” said Samantha Cook.
“Please Ashleigh,” she said. “I and everyone else here want you to live a normal, healthy life.”
“Will I really be able to kick the habit?” Ashleigh asked.
“There’s a very high probability you’ll be clean within a few months. The hard part is staying off drugs. Luckily, part of our therapy is having people like you keep each other accountable, and encourage one another.” Said Dr. Rogers.
“Give it a chance,” she said. “You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
“Okay…okay…I give up.” Said Ashleigh, defeated and crying. “I’ll enter the Rehab program.”
“I’ll be there to help you if you like,” she said.
“Thanks,” Ashleigh said, and gave her a hug.
Monday, April 28th
Rachel and Carlo had heard the news of E.V.’s new relationship with Jesus, and were very happy for her. “Carlo, Rachel. May I talk to you two?” They were in the lunchroom, back where their relationship had begun.
“Hi, Evie…what’s up?” Rachel sat down beside Carlo.
“It may seem trivial to you, but you’ve been real friends to me, ever since I met you. I know I struggled to find my redemption, but you both patiently helped me and guided me to it. Thank you for loving me.” They did, of course. Rachel gave E.V. a kiss on the cheek, and had to beg off. “I’m meeting my boyfriend Ben for lunch. Sorry! And great news, Evie: good to have you in the family, so to speak.”
After Rachel had gone, E.V. turned to her human counterpart’s best friend. Tears were going down her cheeks. Especially you, Carlo: you’ve really been there for me this whole time.”
He smiled warmly at her. “Hey. What are good friends for?”
“Yes Carlo, you’re a true friend.”
E.V. noticed Carlo looking at her absentmindedly. He blinked hard, looked at her, and started blushing. “Sorry...I was lost in thought,” he said.
E.V. felt her heart melting. He was so endearing when he blushed like that. She couldn’t resist. “Oh really? And what where you thinking about?” She pressed on, unashamedly looking deep into his heart.
“Truth is, I was thinking about you and Evie. I’ve liked you both since I first met you, and now that Evie’s found the Lord, and both of your lives and hearts are at peace...” He stopped, looking a bit embarrassed.
“Come on Carlo. Tell me what’s on your mind.” She actually wanted to hear this, even thought she suspected strongly what he felt. He was going to have to say the words himself, because she didn’t want to assume anything. His eyes had a softness to them she hadn’t seen before. It made her melt inside, and in a good way. “Truth is, E.V. I think I like you and Evie as more than just a friend.”
A Year Later; Tuesday, April 22nd 2009
E.V. sat at her desk, concentrating on the work at hand. She heard someone knocking on her door, and looked up to see Asheigh Cook walk in. “Ashleigh! You look well. How’re you doing?”
“It’s been tough,” Ashleigh answered. “I’ve had some pretty difficult moments when I wanted to go back to using…but you and other people in my therapy group have encourage me to hang in there and get better.” Her eyes misted, as she looked at her, and said, “Thank you for caring enough about me to help me get over my addiction.”
She got up and gave Ashleigh a big hug. “Sweetie, I’m glad to have helped.”
Evie sat in her room, filled with a bittersweet sadness at having found ther way back into the Father’s good graces, but missing her family and boyfriend. Powerful feelings ran through her heart. “I desperately wish I could go home, and spend time with them. It drives me crazy not being able to see them.” It had been eleven weeks since she had started her training as a fighter pilot. She had done so well that she was already flying powerful jets. To her, it just came naturally. The feeling of not being alone crept up on her, and she looked up and saw her angelic counterpart. “E.V.! I’m so glad to see you. I miss you, daddy and momma, Gracie, Carlo and even Peter. I’m glad to hear that Gracie and Petter have gotten back together.” Smiling at the angel before her, she said, “So how are you? And more importantly, how is Carlo?”
“That’s what I’m here for. Your Officer Training School has just finished. The Father has arranged for you to take a week off, and go back to D.C. Carlo really has strong feelings for you.”
“Really?” She sucked in a breath, and smiled. “Don’t tell me anything. I want to find out for myself.”
“You will,” E.V. replied. “This is something both of us are going to really like.”
Friday, April 25th, 2009
Evie ran up to him, hugged him and kissed him for a long time. He had taken a week off from work to be with her the whole time she was in D.C. “Captain Evie Chen reporting for duty, sir,” she said, smiling.
Peter, holding her close, said, “I’m glad you’ve done so well. You not only graduated at the head of your class, but you came out a Captain. It makes me feel very proud to know you.” He paused, looked her directly in the eye, holding her hands. Evie, I feel very strongly for you. I want us to date each other and develop a serious relationship.”
“Carlo.... I feel the same way. But I won’t lie: I’m scared to death. I have never felt quite this way before, and I don’t know what to do.” She looked helplessly at Carlo, hoping he could help her know what to say and do next next. “Help me out here, Carlo...please?” Carlo looked at her with his gently eyes, and she calmed down.
“What I think we need to do, Ms. Evelyn Anne Chen, is to get to know each other better. That is, of course, if you have no objections.”
Evie gently put her hands in his. “I’d love to.”
“Good, because I think we should go out this tomorrow night to a really romantic restaurant where we could talk.”
They both hugged each other, comfortable with how close they felt to each other. “Does this mean that you’ll be kissing me some more?” Evie asked. “I’ll have about a month off before I report to my first duty station, which has a strong possibility of being here in D.C.”
Carlo smiled, and held her face in his hands. “Yes, Evie. I look forward to being able to spend more time together.”
“Oh Carlo; so do I; gracious do I!”
“Well, then that settles it. But we should take this slowly and with wiser eyes than ours helping us to stay out of trouble.”
“Don’t worry, Carlo. I don’t want to arouse trouble. I am happy enough that we care about each other.”
Wednesday, April 30th, 2009
Le Château Bleu and the Après Café had become regular hangouts. All the gang found themselves congregating there on a regular basis. In fact, it had become the hangout of choice after the Wednesday night meetings.
Evie sat in the Après Café, waiting for the gang to arrive, sipping on an iced tea. Her eyes wandered towards the front door, and she noticed a pretty, young Latina woman walked deliberately towards her. She got the distinct impression she had come across her before: there was something familiar about her.
“Hi, may I talk to you for a minute?” the visitor asked.
The young woman’s earnest expression intrigued Evie. “Umm…sure. Please. Have a seat.”
“You don’t recognize me do you?”
“I swear I’ve seen you somewhere before, but I just can’t put my finger on it.”
The woman hesitated, and then took a deep breath. “I’m VD. The one who’s been making your life miserable the last few months.”
“VD? Gracious! What on earth brings you here?”
“I…well, that is…I wanted to tell you that I’m happy for you. You’ve found your redemption, and I think it’s wonderful.”
“But…aren’t you…?” She lowered her voice. “Aren’t you a demon, and don’t redemption and holy matters like that bother you?”
Tears rolled down VD’s cheeks. “I’ll be honest with you Evie. I’m not sure what’s come over me lately, but I’m beginning to think that…well, that I like the idea of your redemption. Maybe one day, even a demon like me might be able to be changed by the love of your Lamb of God.”
Evie just sat there, stunned.
“Please say something Evie,” she said. “Don’t hate me because of what I did. I was doing my job. It really wasn’t anything personal. It’s just that…well, I’ve felt so…” Stopping for a moment, at a loss for words, VD finally said, “I’ve felt so sad, lately. My heart feels like it’s breaking, and I can’t for the life of me understand what’s going on.”
Shaking her head in disbelief, she just sat there. Finally, she said, “I’m not completely sure, but I’d say the power of the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”
VD’s eyes misted. “I’ve felt that power a few times since you gave your heart to The Lamb. I’m not sure why it comes over me, but it does, and I smile. Then The Lamb tells me, ‘Take courage child: wondrous things are in store for you.’ Then He goes away. Evie, The Lamb is the most wonderful person I’ve ever known.” Shyly turning her head, she added, “Believe it or not, I really like him.”
“Sweetie, that’s wonderful; and no offense taken about doing your job. All worked out for the best, anyway.” Her face brightened. “I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll pray for you, and ask the Father to open your heart to the truth.”
“Really? Would you?”
“I will. I promise you.”
VD took her hands. “Thank you Evie You’re a really wonderful person.”
“Thank you. I love you, sweetie.”
VD blushed profusely. “No one has said anything like that to me in longer than I can remember. Thank you.”
“No. Thank you for coming to talk to me; I m honored that you would risk so much to do such a thing.”
VD got up from the table. “Thanks, Evie” Looking out the window, she said, “Don’t say anything, but Poisonous is out there too. I told her what I was going to do, and that if she knew what was good for her, she’d let me do it.”
She looked out and saw a young South Asian woman standing outside, with very long black flowing hair. “Well, she’s here, and she obviously didn’t stop you. That’s a good thing.”
“Yes. It is. Thanks again, Evie, and may Lord Jehovah bless you. A lot.”
She got up, stepped over, and gave VD a hug, at which point VD started crying.
“Oh bless your heart.”
“No one has loved me like you do, Evie,” she sniffed.
“I do love you, VD, and as I said, I’ll be praying for you, okay?”
“Thank you Evie.”
With that, VD walked back outside, and joined Poisonous who walked away with her.
“I’m amazed,” she said, shaking her head. Soon after, a familiar soft blue aura hung over the coffee shop. She looked at the source of the light, and recognized the glory of the Lamb, which shone brightly. “Lord Yeshua! Your holiness, what brings you here?”
“I see that you have beheld my handiwork.”
Evie gasped, then tears fell from her eyes as well. “You love both of them, don’t you?”
“Never underestimate my power, child. Now continue in your new found redemption, and serve me on this earth.” An enigmatic smile graced The Lamb’s lips. “And do pray for your two friends. They have quite the adventure in store for them.”
“Yes, my Lord. As you require, your servant will do.”
The Lamb slowly faded away, leaving Evie standing there, amazed. “My, He’s amazing.”
“Thank you child,” said a now disembodied voice.
“You’re welcome…Eldest Brother.” She swore she saw Him smile as she faded away completely.
The Wednesday night Urban Knights meeting ended, and, as was their custom, the gang had all gone to the Après Café. Evie suggested to Carlo that they stay afterwards and spend the evening together after the rest of the gang had gone. She sat across from Carlo, and smiled, then looked rather nervous.
“You okay, honey. You look worried.”
Evie looked at Carlo, and had to speak the words. The feelings in her were going to explode if she didn’t get them out. “Carlo?”
“Yes, Evie?” He looked at her and broke into a soft smile.
“I...well...Carlo, stop smiling at me like that! You’re making my heart melt, and I’m already nervous enough. You see, I…” She stammered and got frustrated with herself.
“What, Evie? Tell me.” His gentle smile helped ease her nervousness a little.
“I...I love you Carlo; very much”
“I love you, too, Evie...very much.”
He held her trembling hands, and she calmed down, now about to burst with joy. He pulled her face towards his, and their lips met. The kiss lingered, and Evie a warm sensation covered her. She wasn’t worried about it this time. She just enjoyed the man she truly loved.
The kiss broke long enough for her to catch her breath. Her arms remained firmly wrapped around his neck. She grinned, but her eyes shone. “Baby, do you know how much your friend loves you?” She pulled him towards her and kissed him back, just as passionately, filled with great happiness.
“May I also say something?” E.V. asked and stepped out of the woman she indwelt. Evie looked around and found her standing close by.
“E.V.! What brings you here?” Evie asked.
She turned to Carlo. “First, I wanted you to know, Carlo, that your prayers with me meant a lot. I’m very grateful you did, because I was scared to death of ending up in Hell.” Then she turned to Evie and said, “And thank you for opening your eyes, and giving your heart to the Lamb.” Then blushing profusely, she walked over to Carlo, pulled him to close and kissed him tenderly, while he turned bright red. “Remember that I told you I wanted to kiss you. Well, I’ve made good on my promise.” Then, turning to Evie, her human counterpart, she smiled and said, “…but I’ll let you have him back.”
Tears of joy fell down Evie’s eyes, and she said, “I love you Ever Vigilant. You and I have had an interesting journey, both as a woman and an angel. I’m glad that you love my boyfriend and that you two prayed for me; it means a lot. After all, we are truly one.”
Turning shyly gack to Carlo, E.V. said, “I enjoyed that kiss very much. Evie and I both love you.”
With that, E.V. re-joined her. Evie found comfort in the angel with whom she shared life and redemption. We love you too, Abba; very much…
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