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Chapter 53

Two days later

Jackie sobbed as the black limo pulled away from the cemetery. She stared out the tinted window at the place where her eldest son had just been buried, the same cemetery in Lexington where many other deceased members of the Littrell family had been buried as well.

The funeral had been nice enough, but horrible all the same. It was hard enough having to go through the funeral of her oldest son, but knowing that her younger son lay in a coma in a hospital many miles away from her made it even harder.

Jackie and Harold had flown to Lexington just that morning for the funeral, which had taken place that afternoon, and they were headed to the airport later that evening to catch a flight back, not wanting to leave Brian alone, for fear something would happen, and they wouldn’t be there.

***

Just a few hours later, they were on taking off from the airport in Lexington. As the plane ascended, and the seatbelt light went off, Jackie sank back in her seat and closed her eyes, physically and emotionally drained. Just moments later, she had drifted off to sleep…

Jackie jerked up with a start and realized she was sitting in Brian’s room at the hospital. “When did I get here?” she wondered. She shrugged and leaned closer to Brian’s bed, staring at him intently. To her disappointment, he looked just the same as when she had left him.

“Oh, Brian,” she murmured, watching his bandaged chest rise and fall with the rhythm of the respirator. “My poor baby…” Tears trickled down her cheeks silently, as she gazed down at her child.

Suddenly sensing someone in the room, she turned around and gasped at what she saw. There, standing in the doorway of the room, was Harold.

“Harry?” she asked in awe. “What… no, it can’t be…” Her voice trailed off as she stared at her son. Could it really be him? It looked like him. Was he real? How could he be real? He was dead. Hadn’t she just seen his body be lowered into the ground? Was she hallucinating?

“It’s me, Mom,” Harry said, stepping into the room. Jackie gasped, her eyes widening in a mix of wonder and fear. “Don’t be afraid. I haven’t come back from the dead. I’m an angel. A messenger of God.”

“An… an angel?” she whispered.

He nodded solemnly, stepping up to Brian’s bed. “Hey, little bro,” he whispered, his gaze fixed on Brian.

“But, Harry… wh-“

“Shh,” he said, his fingers going to his lips. “Don’t worry, Mom. I’m going to be fine… and so will Brian. Heaven’s a wonderful place.”

Jackie gasped, her blue eyes overcome with fear. Had he come to take Brian with him to Heaven?

“No, no,” he said quickly. “I’m not here for Brian. He’s going to be fine. He’s going to recover. Don’t you worry.”

“But, Harry…”

“And don’t worry about me either. I told you, Heaven’s a wonderful place. It was my time to go there. But it isn’t Brian’s time yet,” Harry said.

Jackie said nothing, just stared incredulously as Harry bent over to touch Brian’s head. He gently smoothed Brian’s matted hair from his forehead, lightly stroking his pale, cool skin. His fingers drifted down Brian’s cheek, down his neck, coming to rest on his rising chest. He rested his palm on the left side of Brian’s chest for a moment, and then he slowly pulled it back. He turned slowly back to Jackie. “Goodbye, Mom,” he whispered.

“But, Harry-“ she protested, watching as he began to fade away right before her eyes. “Wait! Don’t go! Harry!” But he was already gone from sight. “Harry! Harry, please come back! Harry…”

“Harry…. Harry,” Jackie moaned.

“Jackie, wake up,” Harold whispered, shaking her shoulder gently.

Jackie’s eyes popped open in surprise, and she looked around wildly. They were still on the plane. “But… what…” she stammered. Her heart sunk as she realized she had just been dreaming.

“Honey?” Harold asked, as tears rose in his wife’s eyes. “Did you have a bad dream?”

“A dream,” she whispered, through her tears. “But not a bad one.”

Harold looked at her questioningly, and taking a shuddering breath, Jackie began to tell him about her dream.


Chapter 54