“Come on, Ky,” Zo called to his companion. “We don’t have much time. I’ll restrain Teresa, and you protect that baby!”
Ky knelt in Teresa’s lap with his feet pressed against the glove compartment, his arms wrapped around her torso, just beneath her breasts, and the bulk of his body pressed into her pregnant belly. Zo wrapped himself in a donut around her upper body and the back of the passenger seat. Both Ky and Zo prepared for impact. Teresa blacked out.
“Where’s my husband?” Teresa asked the nurse who walked in and headed straight for the keyboard.
“He’s still in surgery.”
“Surgery?” Teresa struggled to sit up. “What’s wrong with him?”
“The accident ma’am. Don’t you remember the accident you and your husband were in?”
“He was in an accident?” Teresa became panicked. “What happened? Is he ok?”
The nurse explained again as she noted the words “Psych eval. Head consult.” on her electronic chart. “You and your husband were in an accident, and both of you got pretty banged up. Especially him. He’s in surgery right now.”
“I know I was in an accident, but what accident was my husband in?” Teresa felt exasperated. “Can I see him?”
“Ma’am, you and your husband were in the same accident.” The nurse shook her head at Teresa as she began taking her vitals. “Maybe I should get the doctor to come take another look at you.” The nurse went about the business of checking Teresa’s numbers while Teresa worried about her husband. The nurse finished up and started toward the door by saying, “I’ll have the doctor come talk to you soon.”
“I don’t want to see the doctor,” Teresa spoke clearly. “I want to see my husband.”
“Ma’am, your husband is in surgery, but I’ll let…”
“I’m not in surgery; I’m right here,” Malcolm said as he brushed past the nurse to Teresa’s side. “My God. How are you, baby?” He stroked Teresa’s hair. “And how is the baby?” He pulled a chair next to the bed and plopped down, grabbing Teresa’s hand.
“Sir,” the nurse warned, shaking her head at the unbounded privilege of this white boy. “I have to ask you to leave. Only family is allowed to visit.”
“I am family.” Malcolm’s eyes never left Teresa’s, as he squeezed her hand and silently pleaded for her to let him stay.
“My husband,” Teresa finally said. “This is my husband.”
“God I missed you.” Malcolm realized he was holding his breath and exhaled. “When you’re better I’m taking you back home, baby. With me. Where you belong.”
Teresa raised herself up again. “I don’t know who you think…”
“I’m sorry baby.” Malcolm smoothed his other palm down Teresa’s cheek. “Just get better, ok?” And in a silent prayer he added, And Lord, please let her come back home.
Zo and Ky smiled from their perch in the corner at the nascent reconciliation, then Ky picked up an earlier conversation. “Tell me, how’d you know this was my first personal guardian assignment?”
“Other than how green you are?” Zo laughed. “Really, Ky, you’re as much my assignment as Teresa is. You haven’t figured out yet I’m your trainer, your commander?
“Our Lord told me to follow you, so I have,” Ky said. “I guess I didn’t put two and two together.”
“Sometimes it takes disaster for our charges to understand, and some of us are like that too,” Zo explained. “I’ll never forget my first personal guardian assignment. It came just when I thought I was becoming a great warrior. Instead of going to a battle, I was assigned my first charge. All of the greatest warriors are such vessels of Our Lord because they also learned about His heart for people through their guardianships.”
Ky nodded. “I know He loves people, but I never really understood why.”
Zo replied with a smile. “As the baby grows, you will learn. Right now, treasure the plus.”
“Oh, I am loving the plus.” Ky couldn’t keep the enthusiasm from his voice. “This baby is so much fun. We play and dance, and I get to tell the baby all about Our Lord. But back to warriros. How does being a guardian make you a better warrior?”
“It’s only through caring for God’s creation that we can understand the relationship between the Creator and His creations. Once we understand His heart, we want to protect everything dear to it.” Zo looked over at Teresa. “And what is dear to Him becomes dear to us as well.”