The Dividing Line: Taboos & Temptations

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Chapter 4

Pain wrenched her out of her sleep. Pulling, cleaning, bandaging, dressing, and pulling the stranger left her in so much discomfort. Angel kept waking up. Any movement she made elicited more pain. She got up to look for pain medication. The kitchen was a disaster. A pile of bloody linens awaited her. Sleep dissipated after she woke up. She decided to put her house back in order.

While she was cleaning, she thanked God for allowing her to help the stranger without getting caught up in a dangerous situation. Prayers were all that was left for his poor soul. She prayed continuously while cleaning up the mess. Once the kitchen was cleaned and everything restored to its rightful place, Angel looked at the clock and realized it was 8 AM. She lost track of time while cleaning and was now behind on her chores. A quick breakfast would suffice.

It had been a long time since anything interrupted her schedule. Her body was too tired to stand in front of the stove to cook a big meal, so she made a quick egg and cheese omelet and some toast. The meal was eaten in silence as her mind reminisced over the events of the previous night. Quietly, she observed her guest. Why wasn’t he moving? There was no sign of life in him and he was a clammy hue.

When she looked at him early this morning, he was snoring. Now, she sensed nothing. Angel leaned down close to him and found that he was barely breathing. He had a slight fever, but it was to be expected after everything he had endured. Again, she prayed for his speedy recovery. The only thing she could do was leave him in the hands of the Lord. She knew she did her best for him.

He appeared to be in his mid to late 30′s. His body and face were badly beaten. He was bruised black and blue from head to feet. Angel could visualize the disturbing tattoos as if he were laying nude before her once again. She remembered all the hateful things she saw on his body.

He was a Caucasian man. He was really tall and muscular. Even though he was incapable of harming anyone at the moment, he still had a formidable look about him. His muscular physic was very disturbing. There was no doubt in her mind that he took care of his body. He was well defined and nothing but muscle.

The only problem was the messages his body displayed. No one allowed so much hate speech to be tattooed on their body unless it was a personal belief. How could she trust that this man would not attempt to harm her when he recovered? She went about her day as always and added his care to her list of “things to do”.

Angel’s body did not feel like cooperating with her. She took the leather coat he was wearing and washed it in her tub. She hung the coat in her greenhouse to dry. His tennis shoes and boxers were washed with the dirty blankets and towels. His shredded clothes were thrown in the trash.

The only thing she found on him was his wallet. Angel looked in it to see if any pertinent information was there. His expired driver’s license said that his name was Cole McGregor. He was 38, 6′3", 200 pounds, blond haired, blue eyed, and his address was in Kansas City, Missouri. She placed his clean and dried boxers, coat, shoes, and his wallet next to him on the floor.

Several days past since she brought the stranger into her home. Most days he slept and barely moved. Occasionally, he would cry out and she would run to his side to make sure he was okay. She fed him bone broth, medicinal herbs, and pureed vegetables to help him heal. With every day, she found that caring for him was less challenging than the day before. As his temperature became normal and his color began to appear rosy. She felt confident that he would survive his ordeal.

Angel did all she could to help him. She cleaned and dried him. In her closet, she located several jogging sets that she had when she first moved into this house. When she bought the house, she was deeply depressed. The death of her fiancé felt like her soul had been ripped out of her body.

For a long time, Angel was a shell of her former self. Many days and nights she walked around the property hoping anything would take her life. She would wear jogging sets because she had no desire to wear anything appealing. She sat around all day drinking away her sorrows. Nothing mattered in her life anymore. Without Kyle, she had nothing to live for. But that was all in the past.

Guest or no guest, Angel had work waiting for her just like any other morning. She had animals to tend to and other chores around the house. All the blankets and dirty clothes were washed, dried, and put in their place. As soon as she completed the day’s work, she cooked the evening meal. Roasted chicken, potatoes, steamed green beans and carrots were sitting on the stove. The homemade yeast rolls were nearly finished.

As usual, she walked over to check on her patient. She was so glad to see that he was no longer feverish and that his wounds looked like they were healing. No longer was her mind overwhelmed by the thought of the severe trauma he had suffered. She was sure he would heal just fine as long as he continued to take in nutrients and he got lots of rest.

For ten days, she woke him up twice a day to get as much food and herbal medicine in him as possible. He was delirious most of the time, so she had to talk to him and coax him along the way. She often had to remove the blanket and the sleeping bag when he would show signs of fever. Regardless of her daily chores, she never neglected his care. Once he made it through the first ten days, she felt like everything would be ok.

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