April 30, 2018, Prescott-
(This piece is based on real events in my life, recently).
As Gregory was walking through the Saturday Market, he noticed an unusual kiosk, offering raw cacao beans and blended products. A winsome lady smiled and beckoned him over, then proceeded to explain the efficacy of cacao, as a health aid, whilst offering samples of both the raw bean and blends.
“I’m Greg, and these are delicious items. Let me buy this peanut butter-cacao cup and a bag of maple infused flakes.!” “Thank you, Greg. I am Medina. It’s nice to make your acquaintance.”
“And I am Gerhard”, came a deep but not unpleasant voice from Greg’s rear. “Geri is my beloved”, Medina interjected, “We work together on this project.”
Gerhard changed the subject, inviting Greg to sit, in the back of the kiosk. “Gregory, we know who you are. I have been watching you since the tragedy. You have done well, keeping your health, as Leanna would have wanted. You have branched out some, traveling widely and learning to not let naysayers tie you down.”
“Yes, it has been a time of growth for me. I know Lee wants me to do these things.”
Gerhard held up a hand. “You must visit this kiosk, every Saturday that you are here, for the foreseeable future. On each visit, you will encounter an angel, who will teach you a key step in your continued growth. You will also encounter a challenger, who will try to ensnare you with the darkness of your past environment, making it seem like a way to pleasure. Medina and I will witness, and the beings may interact with us. You, though, will make the choice.”
Greg felt a wave of reassurance, and on each subsequent visit, he indeed met both teacher and charlatan. He listened carefully to both, whilst making a decision to more carefully honour the angelic.
On the penultimate kiosk of the winter season, Medina cautioned Greg. “You are in late middle age, yet you are attractive to several women-other than me. Some are close at hand; others far away. Towards some, you will feel a like attraction; others will not entice you in the least. Some are close to you in age; others could be your child.. You must, of course, treat each and all with profound respect.” “My mother always told me these things, when I came of age”, Greg replied, ” I have held them in my heart, all these years.” “Yes, and you were most loving to Leanna”, Medina intoned. “Soon, though, you will encounter five women. One, a decade your junior, will be your prime mentor, and will alternately encourage and chastise you. Another, very young, will love you from a safe distance, always wanting your attention but feeling guilty about it, with all the drama this conflict entails. A third, also a decade your junior, will want you to return to the Faith of your past, as a condition of friendship. The fourth will correspond with you for a time, and will prove a challenger, enticing you, then disappearing. The fifth, close to you in age, will dally with you from a distance, and will ignore your lack of interest in romantic interlude with her, pleading, for what will seem like an eternity, that you join her in the desert. You will choose among them, but I must caution, as your mother surely would, to hurt none of them.”
Greg was taken greatly aback by this admonition. He vowed to not let either his attraction or disinterest lead him astray. A few years earlier, after all, his mourning for Leanna had clouded his vision, and caused two fine women considerable harm.
Across town, Nikki thought of the older man who frequently came into her store and had been uniformly interested in her as a person, if shy. She wished he would come by this day.