by Susan Sage
Jasmine stood in this same spot as she had ten years ago. Here, she’d made two of the hardest decisions ever. She walked down the steps to the rocky beach where life had changed those years ago. Her thoughts drifted like the clouds floating overhead. She wrapped her sweater around her and let her mind wander back.
Tears trickled off her—whether from her own eyes or what dripped from her hood, she wasn’t sure. “God, I don’t know why You would even want me.” No, this moisture definitely came from within her. “I’ve messed up so many times. Put myself first too often. Not listened when You’ve whispered to my heart. And believed lies instead of Your truth.”
Jasmine bent over and picked up five wet stones. She looked at them, then lifted her eyes to the grey sky. “My heart feels as tumbled as those clouds, but if You want me,” she glanced back at the rocks in her hand, “though I don’t know why You would, You’ll have to take me like I am.” She pulled her arm back and released all five rocks at the same time.
She drew in a gasp. The weight she’d carried for years no longer pulled at her shoulders. She grinned, looked up again at the same moment as the clouds above her split and a glimmer of light shone on the edge of the dock. She strode down it and stood in the growing glow. A new determination settled over her. Jasmine spun on her heel, hurried to her car, and toward town.
The memory settled over her like a gentle song. As she waited Linnea’s arrival, Jasmine walked to the end of the dock one more time. That day changed everything. Her thoughts drifted once again back … back ….
Jasmine stood on the banks of the ocean. She tossed a stone, then looked over at her best friend. She watched Linnea pick up another rock, rub her thumb across it, pull her arm to the side, and sail it across the top of the water.
“I’ll never be as good at skipping stones as you always have.”
“It doesn’t matter. For all the things you’re good at, you can at least give me this one.” Linnea’s tone held an unusual edge.
“Are you mad?” Jasmine took a step farther down the rocky beach.
“Do you have to ask?”
“No.” Another step separated them. Seemed fitting. “I would come with you if I could.” Jasmine faced the ocean allowing her words to drift across with the rippling waves.
“We promised … it was our dream … go to high school together—check; go to college together—check; go to mission’s school together—check; go to the same part of the world to serve …”
Not only did words carry across the water’s surface, Linnea’s sniffles did as well.
Jasmine looked back in the same moment Linnea did. They came together and clung to each other for several moments. Linnea dropped her arms first.
“This is it then.”
“It’s not the end of our friendship,” Jasmine rubbed her hand up and down Linnea’s back, “We can’t have gone through all we did together and not stay friends.” She put her hand on Linnea’s arm and turned her until they faced each other. “We will always be sisters here.” She rested her palm on her chest. “That was our first promise. Always sisters.”
“I still don’t understand why you changed your mind.” Linnea covered her face with her jacket. More sobbing threatened to change Jasmine’s determination. Tears had always been Linnea’s default.
“You do know why. God is leading us to different places. Yes, we always wanted to stay together, but apparently that wasn’t part of His plan. Just think of it, we’ll meet back here whenever we’re each home and talk about all He’s taught us and all we’ve experienced.”
“But Japan and Brazil are so far apart. We’ll never see each other again … I just know it.” Linnea’s shoulders shook.
Jasmine wrapped her arms over her friend’s bent frame and waited.
Who would have thought ten years would pass before they’d be home at the same time? A car door slammed behind her, and Jasmine returned to the beach.
Linnea lingered by top of the stairs for a moment, then took slow steps down to the path.
“It’s been a while …”
Jasmine smiled. “But here we are.”
The two women hurried forward wrapping arms around each other. Laughter bubbled out of them. They turned to face the ocean.
“How long are you back?” Linnea’s voice now deeper and softer than before. “Will you be here for the birth?” She rubbed her hand over her stomach.
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
“You were right you know. I was so afraid that day.” Linnea’s hand slid through the crook in Jasmine’s arm.
“Because you listened to God and your heart …”
“Who knew you’d find the love of your life in Brazil.”
“God.” One simple, truth-filled word spoken together. Laughter followed.
They stood arm in arm and ten years of separation drifted away like the waves of the ocean.
About the Author
New to north Idaho, Susan Sage and her husband are enjoying getting to know the new area. She continues to work on her craft writing about God’s purpose and sovereignty in all aspects of life.
She enjoys writing devotionals and flash fiction. She enjoys mentoring other writers who are new to the craft.
You can read Susan’s “Flash Fiction” column on the 2nd Thursday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.