Copyright Stevie Turner 2019
I grab my watch from the bedside table, and my phone is still there from the night before. There’s a message from Mike on the screen that was sent an hour ago:
‘It’s my round today. Your tea’s getting cold.’
I call his number and he answers straight away.
“I had to eat your scone!”
“Sorry you wasted your money.” I try not to sound breathless. “Come round here when you’re ready. You won’t believe what you see.”
“I’m on my way.”
I run into the lounge where Kieran sits quietly in his wheelchair sipping tea from his trainer cup.
“This is for babies!”
I feel like pinching myself.
“I know, darling.” I grin at my son inanely. “I just wanted to make sure you didn’t spill any. You see, you’ve had a long sleep. A long, long sleep.”
“No.” Kieran shakes his head. “I haven’t. I was awake and tried to speak, but no words ever came out. It made me angry.”
I put my arms around his shoulders and give him a hug.
“So sorry, but I couldn’t understand what you were saying.”
“I know, Mum.” He sighs. “Nobody could.”
It’s not the right time to cry; I have to save that for when I’m alone. I kiss the top of Kieran’s head; it smells of shampoo.
“I love you and I’ll get you well again. If you do lots of exercises to strengthen your legs you’ll be walking again in no time at all, but first of all… breakfast.”
The doorbell rings as four eggs come to the boil in a saucepan. I turn down the flame on the cooker and let them simmer, then hurry along the hallway to open the front door. I usher Mike in with a wave of one hand.
“Are you ready for a surprise?”
He closes the door and follows me into the lounge.
“What’s going on?”
“Look.” I point at Kieran. “Look at him! Am I dreaming…or what?”
Kieran turns his head and looks up as Mike appears in his peripheral vision.
“Who are you?”
Mike’s as astounded as I feel. His jaw actually drops, and he takes an involuntary step back.
“You did that, Mike.” I chuckle. “I don’t know how I’m ever going to thank you.”
Mike rubs his eyes and takes a second glance.
“All part of the service, but it’s not me as such… I’m just a channel. If you have faith, you’ll know who has cured Kieran.”
“Sorry.” I shake my head. “God has nothing to do with it. If He’s so great, why did Kieran end up in that state in the first place?”
Mike ignores my question, walks up to Kieran and kneels down in front of him.
“Hi. I’m Mike. I’m a friend of your mum’s.”
With one fluid movement, Kieran throws his cup at Mike’s head. Mike lifts an arm to deflect the cup, which falls to the ground causing tea to leak out of the cup’s spout onto the carpet. I rush forward in an instant.
“No! Kieran, you don’t do that!”
“I want my dad!” Kieran yells, “Make him go away!”
I pick up the cup. Mike gets to his feet and stands a safe distance away. I glare at my son.
“I’m so sorry, Mike.”
“Hey, no problem.” Mike replies cheerfully. “He’s got a lot to deal with right now. Perhaps get his dad to pay a visit?”
I bend over and take hold of Kieran’s hands lightly, but he snatches them away. He has an increased and more focused strength in his arms.
“Listen.” I look him in the eye. “Dad left us a long time ago. He married somebody else. He isn’t coming back.” I point behind me. “It was Mike, not Dad, who made you well again.”
The response is instantaneous. Kieran kicks out and I stumble back into Mike, who is standing behind me. For a brief moment I feel his arms around me and the comfortable feeling of safety it brings. Reluctantly I correct my stance and face my son.
“Hey! That’s enough of that, young man!”
I am out of my depth here. Undisguised anger is not supposed to be part of a response to healing, I’m sure. Kieran kicks and screams just like old times. The wheelchair positively rocks with his efforts.
“I want my dad!”
I turn around to Mike in anguish.
“Would he benefit from some more healing?”
Mike shakes his head.
“Not at the moment. It’s best you call your ex-husband, I think. Was he close to his dad as a child?”
“Yes.” I reply. “They did everything together.”
Mike tries unsuccessfully to hold Kieran’s hand.
“Then you’d best get him round here. He needs to hear his dad tell him what’s what.”
With tears streaming down my face I call Dave’s mobile.
He sounds on edge. A newborn baby screams in the background.
“Kieran’s asking for you. Please can you come and see him? It’s very important.”
“You’re joking, right?” Dave’s voice rises a couple of semitones. “The boy will have no idea if I’m there or not.”
With a start I realise what I’ve forgotten to tell him.
“He will recognise you now. He’s had healing. Come and see. I can only describe it as a miracle.”
“I’m on paternity leave and up to my ears in it here.” Dave replies with a hint of fatigue. “Eden’s giving it some wellie and Catharine’s still asleep.”
I sniff and wipe my eyes.
“Congratulations on your new arrival. However, your son is just as important as your new daughter. You will see a change in him, I promise.”
There’s an audible sigh.
“Okay, but in an hour or so when Catharine wakes up so that she can see to the baby. We’ve been awake all night.”
I end the call and mentally give my ex-husband a slap.
Chapter 14 on Monday …