Eve

Foolish kids, thought Dave. What were they doing out on Christmas Eve? They must feel like iceblocks, standing there at the side of the road with their thumbs up. At least he had a reason to be out – he was a washed up guy going home from his shift. He passed the kids without really looking.

But then in his mirror, he saw how their shoulders fell as he passed them, and how they hugged closely. Goddam it! Something about those gestures touched him. He turned the truck and went back for them, and told them to jump in the back seat.

“Oy, tank you,” said the boy. “Ve ver cold dere.” The boy’s accent was unfamiliar, maybe Eastern European?

“Yoy, tank you, Sir,” said the girl. Was she Middle Eastern?

“No problem,” said Dave. “Are you heading to Lucerne?”

Neither of them spoke immediately. In his mirror, he saw them exchange quizzical looks, and then the boy said, “Oy, tat’s great. Lucerne.”

“How long you been on the road there?” said Dave.

Again the silence and quizzical looks. “Oy, ve say half-hour.”

“Well, it looks like there’s a blizzard coming. Let’s see if we can get you safely home before that.” Dave threw on a dance playlist from his glory days: Heaven 17, The Orb, Faithless. The blizzard hit hard, as if summoned by these rousing tunes. They pushed on through swirls of snowflakes.

When they reached Lucerne, Dave said, “Ok, where shall I drop you off?”

There was hesitation, before the boy said, “Oy, just here is fines.”

As the girl got out, Dave noticed her heavy shape beneath the layers. She was pregnant! That explained their strange behaviour. But it wasn’t for him to pry. He wished them well and drove off. But in the mirror, he saw it again. Their forlorn postures, and close hug. Goddam it! He turned and went back. He said, “You haven’t got anywhere to stay, have you?”

“Ve vill find where,” said the boy. “Tank you.”

“Look, with her condition, I’m not leaving you out in the cold. It isn’t much, but why don’t you stay at my place? There’s just me there.”

The boy hesitated, but the girl spoke up. “Yoy, tank you, Sir.”

They only made it half way up the Meadows. Dave had never seen snow come down so hard and fast. There was no way the ploughs could keep up. Rather than getting stuck further up, he stopped at Martin’s farm. Even there, the driveway was impassable. He tried to call Martin, but service was down. He pulled up at a barn. “Look, I’ll walk up to the farmhouse. You two stay in the truck. I’ll be back soon.”

Dave returned with Martin. But as they approached the truck, Dave exclaimed, “Goddam it! They’ve gone!”

Martin saw the barn door was ajar. “Ah, there they are.”

They went inside. The girl was lying on hay bales, panting.

“My God!” said Martin. “The baby’s coming. Look, you keep an eye on them here. I’ll call for help on the landline.”

Dave watched as the girl gave birth naturally, assisted by the boy. It was intense. He’d never seen a newborn before. Golden and shining. Maybe every birth was holy like this. It was just the labels we put on it that made it seem foolish, unwanted, or a burden somehow.

But he also knew that this birth was special. There was sudden flashing everywhere – like a rave in his glory days – as three huge snowploughs appeared. All the cows in the field gathered around the barn. The horses snorted and donkey brayed. Mt. Negra rumbled.

What all of this meant, Dave didn’t know. Nothing was certain in his life these days – he had recently lost his wife, his health, and his home. He was living on the edge of the world. But of one thing he was sure. That this morning, he had witnessed the birth of someone he had long been waiting for.

“Can I hold the baby?” he said.

“Yoy, of course, Sir,” said the glowing mother.

It was impossible, he knew, but it felt like the child spoke to him somehow. She said, “I am here for you.”

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4 Responses to “Eve”

  1. This is a beautiful reminder of God always being there for us. The birth of a holy child happens every day.

  2. John Corrigan Says:

    Thanks for this special treat, Barbar! I needed this today! And, yes, Google got it right: miracles do happen every day…if we’re open to seeing them!
    John C.

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