A Guardian Angel Named Hanna
There was a knock on his door. From his dream he heard
the voice of John the Christian yelling his name. He wasn't sure at first where
he was but then he heard John's voice say: "Thomas! Time to get up!" He knocked
on the door loudly.
"Okay. Thank you John!" he said from under the covers.
"I'm getting up. I will see you at the train station." For a minute he pondered
returning to sleep because he didn't think he'd get a ticket, and even if he
did it would be in steerage. Lying in bed Thomas could still see the large
green wall with white writing like a big foundation stone. It made him feel
safe like a blanket, light enough to carry and secure enough to withstand
force. It remained the center stone for all the subsequent temples built in
celebration of scripture that cured moral and spiritual ills. The white lines
were etched into the stone of the wall in 13 points with the date of its
creation in the left corner at its base. There were signatures of the founders:
Joshua and Thomas, who later became known as The Twin Messiahs.
His body ached and screamed for more sleep but something
urged him on, perhaps the goodness of John's heart for acting as his alarm
clock, completely above and beyond the call of duty.
When he checked out in the lobby, the Chinese man behind
the counter handed him a note.
"Telephone call for you last night sir. Message sir." He
slipped it into his pocket and rushed out the door. The sunrise creeping up
from behind the mountaintops, he felt for a moment that he had reached the point
of origin from where the rising sun was born. It made him recall an old South
African proverb that said the night is darkest just before the sun rises.
Thomas saw its wisdom when the timid orange hue edged upwards, pushing the
darkness aside and cracking the horizon. There, where the earth and sky kiss,
was the end of the world where the dull pallor of the land in an instant
changed into the brilliant possibilities of the heavens. It was where they, the
birds of fire, flew over the sky and fed on the Hyperon's light in the
he arrived at the train station and found John, he took me to the front of the
line that stretches back twenty-five feet. In rapid fire, he spoke Burmese to
the ticket seller.
we go behind the counter into the office. Come on." Sleepily and purposely
keeping all hope at arms length, he followed John into the office where there
was a massive Indian man sitting at a desk. Carefully, he looked in his
direction keeping his head down in respect. He pulled out a chair.
you, sir." The stationmaster, upon hearing the word sir, stopped for a
brief instant, and then took out a pad of paper full of tickets. Thomas kept
quiet with his eyes averted, letting his moustache do the talking since the
stationmaster also sported a bushy upper lip.
We have first-class. Is it okay?"
he replied, startled. "Yes it would." The stationmaster wrote out a ticket for
him. He couldn't believe his fortune.
is $28," he said. Thomas handed the man $30. The stationmaster and John spoke
in sudden burst of Burmese.
you have any change?" John asked. "He has no change to give you."
tell him it's okay. He can keep the change. I don't mind. Put it in the petty
cash." They exchange more words and then the money was handed to the man who
sat behind the window. Suddenly the stationmaster handed a ticket to him.
said John. "There isn't much time." Thomas followed him to the train where he
found his seat right beside the window. John stood on the platform just outside
his window and dealt with people asking last-minute questions.
cannot thank you enough John. Really, I am very grateful." In his eyes he could
see that such a heart felt thank you meant something.
Thomas said goodbye to him through the window John asked him to send him a
letter, which he promised. When the whistle blew and the train began to move,
the tension in his stomach disperses and the wind dried the sweat from his
face. He shut is eyes to close off the mayhem of the outside world, images
floating through his mind of the last twenty-four hours in Upper Burma, candles
and black hair, and head bobs and insects. He effused a sigh and extracted the
note the Chinese man gave him earlier at the hotel. It read: They know. Be
pungent paranoia came over him, his mind racing with unfounded flights of
fancy. If they know, what are they doing right now? But what about fate?
What about God acting as my guardian angel? Faith in destiny and awareness of
insects; Thomas was half amused at his waking interplay between paranoia and