Raguel walked me around pointing out all the neat objects that the church held inside. He told me what stories each icon told of, but they just looked like pretty pictures to me. "I don’t think I’ve ever been in a church before," I smirked as I thought to myself. Or at least I couldn't say I remembered it if I had. Everything looked so big from the inside. It was not just the alter with some benches and crosses hanging: it was more than that. Everything seemed to be placed so neatly and so thoughtfully. After showing me around in the church, Raguel laid an arm around my shoulder and halted in front of a brown door that, like all the other doors, was rusty and looked like it was about to fall apart.
“So, here’s your new room, Angel,” Raguel said, walking inside with me coming in after him. The room was pretty scarce with furniture. It only had a chair with a desk and a bed, but my eyes still lit up with a grateful heart. “It’s here where you will spend most of the time while living here. Of course, you can play in the backyard with the other kids, but for the most part this has most of what you need.”
“I’m sorry sir, but the other kids?”
“Oh, yes, I almost forgot to tell you,” Raguel apologized, letting a hand run through his silvery gray hair, “Now and then, some families will pass through Canlagos for a vast amount of reasons; there are even orphans who come strolling by. Sometimes they're just passing by to visit relatives, or sometimes they’re just coming by for food or rest. It’s really up to them how often they come, but as long as they know they will always be welcome at the church, they'll keep coming. After all, we’re all the children of God, right?”
I nodded my head, smiling. Looking into Raguel’s eyes left me with many different feelings. While I felt safe and joyful, I felt insecure and withdrawn at the same time. Quickly, he added, "Now then, you promised to help me with my sermon tomorrow, correct?"
"Yes, Sir." I murmured shyly.
We then walked to his room right across the hall. He looked at the chandelier to the right and tilted his head. He then looked to the golden-like handle with the silvery key still in the hole. He chuckled, "Perhaps my age is getting to me." After that he twisted the key and walked into the room with me following. Subtly, he took the box off the desk and put it under his bed while grabbing a Bible at the same time. "Here," he handed me the Bible and said, "Just open it and read the first thing you see."
I opened the Bible and began to question, "Isn't this a little unconventional?"
"Not at all," he affirmed, "Have you ever heard the story of Augustine, or even Luther?"
I just rolled my eyes slightly and read, "Erm.. Acts 22," I looked up to make sure Raguel was serious, and then continued, "
'Who are you, Lord?' I asked.
'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,' he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.
'What shall I do, Lord?' I asked.
'Get up,' the Lord said, 'and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.' My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.
A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me and said, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' And at that very moment I was able to see him."
"That is good; thank you Angel. You may go to your room now,” Raguel said as he was getting up to go prepare for tomorrow. “Let me know if you need anything. I will be just downstairs in the sanctuary.”
“Thank you, Raguel,” I smiled and the second I got to my room, I collapsed down into the bed and looked up toward the ceiling. I still couldn't understand anything that had happened the last couple of days. Henry being so nice to a complete stranger and the story about his daughter, Eleanor acting sweet with a feeling of love for me, and then there was Ben, the boy that never seemed to stop talking. Maybe Ben was one of the orphan kids, Raguel was talking about.
I closed my eyes with the thoughts running through my head. It only felt like a couple of minutes had passed by while I was lying there, but the clock had another opinion to say to that. It had been almost two hours! I heard someone knock on the door and I sat up quickly trying to straighten my hair.
Henry was standing in the doorway and a smile appeared instantly on my lips as he said, “Hello again, Angel. This is a nice room.” He looked around and ended his gaze at me, as he walked inside and dropped off a bag near the wardrobe. “Here are some of Isabella’s clothes. I hope they fit to you.”
He walked closer and sat down at the edge of the bed with me, “Yes, Isabella was our daughter whom I spoke to you about. Sometimes I feel like she’s still here. Do you know that feeling, Angel?”
I shook my head and looked down at my lap.
“You will someday,” Henry continued, “Just as I lost my daughter, well, let's just not talk about it now.” His voice was empty and shaking. I didn’t know how to respond. “I’m sorry, Angel,” He said, looking at me with tears ready to fall, “But it’s just… The longer you miss them, the longer you realize you won’t be able to live on the way you did before. You finally realize what is most important to you.”
“Henry…” Raguel interrupted as he came walking into the room, “I tell you, Isabella is alive as long as you never give up hope. She will always be alive to you then,” quickly, Raguel then changed the subject at hand, "Dinner is ready now."
The silence was awkward as we walked to the dinner table. Once we reached the table, I just sat there looking at the two men I barely knew. It was still very quiet as we were waiting for Eleanor to arrive. Suddenly, the doors swung open and Eleanor came in with a loud 'Hello!' in her white coat. She then sat at the table and apologized for being late, while telling a story of losing her hat in the wind. Eating next to the pastor and watching the fire from the candles in the center of the table, felt very relaxing.
Energetically Eleanor asked, "So, how is your new home, Angel? It is probably far better than what the inn could have given you."
I was poking my food with the fork and then responded, "Oh, it's nice. I guess I'm still getting used to things here."
"If you ever need company, just come and stop by the inn sometime. It would be nice for us to have you for company regardless."
We continued talking about random topics and amusing or classical tales for the rest of the evening. It was nice to have everyone so open and kind here. Though once Henry and Eleanor left, I was sent to my bed. The last thing I thought of that evening before I fell asleep, was that mysterious box, which seemed to hold something very special inside. I couldn't help but to let my imagination sparked with interest and be set free.