A Shunned Amish Woman (Anthology)(3)

By: Erica Fanning

“Why? Did she leave?”

“No,” Mike answered with a slight chuckle in his voice. “She passed away about six months ago from cancer.” Anna gasped and apologized for being so rude, which Mike again dismissed. “Do you apologize like this a lot? Because we’re going to have to work on that.” She thought about apologizing again, but realized that might get her into more trouble. She wisely kept her mouth shut as he prepared her meal.

“It’s not much,” he said as he set down in front of her a few minutes later. “It’s just some leftover spaghetti. I was never really the cook in the family, but I can make a mean spaghetti dinner any day of the week.” Bella looked up at him curiously and he winked at her, which caused her to go into another crying fit. To Anna’s benefit, the child was just about done eating. She began to get up to put the baby down, but as soon as she stood up she became very lightheaded. In a moment, she sat back down and Mike was at her side.

“Whoa! Are you okay?” Anna nodded slowly.

“I think I just need water.” Mike was back in a few seconds with a cold glass of water. Anna drank the entire glass in less time than it took Mike to fill up another glass to switch out. Mike seemed to have a pretty good grasp on how to hydrate as they cycled through four full glasses of water in less than two minutes.

“I think now you can go put Bella down for the night,” he said gently. Anna did feel better, but still felt as if her body was missing something. “It’s missing sleep.” Mike seemed to be reading her mind. She nodded slowly and got up. He seemed to be there every step of the way, helping her and making sure she didn’t drop her daughter on the way to the bedroom. He let them both sleep in his bedroom, claiming that he had just changed the sheets and it was the only room ready for sleeping. At first Anna felt bad, kicking her host out of his own bedroom, but as she began to move closer to the bed, she realized just how tired she really was. She laid Bella down on one side, close to the middle and moved to the other side and got as close as she could to the little one’s body. The sheets smelled clean, but they also smelled like a clean man, and it was all Anna could do to keep herself from smiling as she fell asleep, feeling the safest she had in a long time.

Mike Woods wasn’t sleeping well on the other hand. In fact, he couldn’t sleep at all. The way the young, blonde Amish woman came to his door looking desperate with a child strapped to her didn’t seem very… Amish. He had decided that he was going to show her the love of God anyway, because that’s what he would want anyone to do for him. He wondered if he should ask her what happened, or more specifically when it happened. Having lost his wife recently however, Mike determined the information would come when it was needed.

He wasn’t sure why, but he had a feeling like he should extend the offer for her to stay with him.

Isn’t that against the Bible? He tried thinking of what his pastor might say if he knew Mike had a woman staying in the house with him. God if this is You, then I need a sign. I don’t want to do something that might be dangerous for me.

After another 10 minutes of waiting for an answer that he never received, he fell into a fitful sleep. He was awakened by the sound of pots and pans crashing about in the kitchen. Since the house was so small, Mike had added the guest bedroom he was now occupying after he had purchased the house, but it just so happened to be right off the kitchen.

Slowly Mike got out of bed and braced himself for whatever he might find awaiting him. He walked into the kitchen and found a full spread of eggs, bacon, toast, and sausage links as well as milk and orange juice on the table. The cheap card table he used for a table didn’t seem to be enjoying the weight of the food and Mike seriously considered moving some of it, but wasn’t sure he was really seeing what lay before him.

“What is this?” He looked at the woman, but she simply blushed and continued preparing what looked like breakfast for her baby.

“It’s breakfast. I hope it’s not too much, I’m used to cooking for more than two adults.”

“That’s… actually pretty apparent. But thank you.” He seated himself and began dishing out his own meal before realizing that it might be best to help her out too. He told her what he was doing and she started to cry. Thinking he had done something wrong, Mike got up and went over to her.