Page 42 in the series Before the Pirates Came*
What happened next Miranda couldn’t see coming. The scope of this disaster would change the course of her life forever. But sometimes even the worst circumstances can turn out to be a blessing. God had his eye on her even then…
Miranda was losing altitude before her plane touched down in Traverse City. She thought about all the money she spent, the expensive clothes, the drunken nights, and the angry phone call with Charlie. On the road back to Charlevoix an old familiar melancholy began to set in. Staring out at the northern Michigan countryside she imagined the worst. At least she had the money to cover the wreckage. There was probably a bottle of lithium on her boat. It had been months since she’d taken any.
Miranda stopped at the post office to pick up her mail. The clerk at the counter smiled, asked about her trip. Miranda gave a brief account. Her enthusiasm for life on the dock had waned since the storm, and now she just wanted to make it through the winter. A case of bipolar depression might make that impossible.
She briefly looked through the newspapers, plus a notice for an overdue library book and a credit card statement, a West Marine sale flyer, and a Victoria’s Secret catalog. She noticed a postcard from Focus on the Family, a religious group. How that landed in her mailbox she’ll never know. She nodded goodbye to the clerk.
Once in her car, she grumbled about the cold, started the engine, and sat in the parking lot looking at last week’s headlines. On the front page of Sunday’s society section there was a photo of a lady, early fifties, with a shy smile. She wore a velvet dress, black with a portrait color, and a delicate diamond necklace. Her auburn hair was in a loose up-do, her eyes shining. She was pretty. The man beside her wore a tuxedo and had a scar below one eye. His wild red hair was neatly combed. The man in the picture was her husband– it was Charlie Fine.
The caption read, “Annual charity ball brings in record donations to aid city’s homeless. Pictured are Marianne and Charlie Fine, event co-chairmen.”
Miranda stared at the picture. She squeezed her eyes shut wishing it would go away. She broke it off with Charlie when he called the hotel last night and some ugly words were exchanged. But that brought little comfort now. Miranda looked at the picture of Charlie’s wife. His wife.
She was going to be sick, a migraine was gaining momentum . Marianne Fine looked so happy, and for that matter, so did he. No drink in his hand, no pinky ring. Just a doting husband proud of his wife for wanting to make a difference. On the night of the storm they were together raising money for families in need. Miranda’s arms were too heavy to drive. No wonder they called him “Judas.”
Miranda pulled into the lot at Jack’s Steakhouse. She needed to collect herself– she ordered a double. She looked out over the frozen Boat Basin. There were two police officers standing on the dock near Ron’s boat, one making notes on a clipboard. She watched as Greg and Luke joined Ron and the officers. Miranda ran out of the bar, left without paying. She took the stairs down to the marina two at a time. She could see her breath, the cold air burning her lungs with new intensity.
She had a bad feeling. Maybe the cops picked up that mysterious stranger for hanging out on the dock and needed to ask some questions. It was about time they caught the guy. Miranda ran down the ramp toward her friends and specifically recalled locking the door to her boat before she left. Maybe everything would be okay.
“But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence.” 2 Kings 13:2 (NIV)
*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.