Strangers Part 5 - REVELATIONS

Updated: Feb 28


Revelations


The rolling thunder closed in and the lightning cracked overhead. A wide streak of electrified blinding light shot across the sky. Brenda and her daughter reached the top step of the porch. They jumped at the sound, held each other tight, and hurried inside the house.

“My goodness that was loud,” Brenda said.

The rain fell lightly and after a few seconds; it was raining hard, pummeling the roof and windows of the house. Brenda did not want to confirm Sophia’s fears and attempted to stay calm. She switched on the television, setting her purse, suitcase, laptop, and coat down. She turned to CNN news to hear if an American Airlines plane went missing from Paris. There was nothing in the headlines. Sophia is sitting on the couch rocking back and forth, her hands cupped over her mouth and the dried tear stains streaking her face. Brenda checked her phone. There had been no notifications of Devon’s plane missing or having crashed.

“Now tell me, Sophie, when did you hear your dad’s plan was missing?”

“Oh, mom what are we going to do if dad is dead?” “Stop it,” Brenda shouted, agitated. “Your dad is not dead! Now tell me when and where did you hear this?” Sophia ran upstairs and got her phone. She came back and showed Brenda the text message on her phone. “See mom look - look it says it right there.” Brenda takes the phone and reads the text. It was not official notification. Instead, someone had texted,

The American Airlines, Flight 2317, left Paris, France, bound for Boston, went off the radar at 4:53 pm EST. The FAA is doing everything in its power to locate the missing aircraft.


“Sophia, your father’s plane is not missing. No national news stories are reporting this. I don’t know what sick person would text you this lie."

Brenda called Brice’s phone, it rang, but no answer. “Sophie, do you recognize the number?”

“No, mom I don’t.” “Your father is not answering his phone.”

“Mom, maybe the news is delayed.”

Brenda takes Sophia by the shoulders and says, “There has been no crash. The plane is not missing and your father is alive. Do you understand me?”

“Yes, but why did I get this text, and who could have sent it? They knew dad’s flight number. The time his flight left Paris and the time it’s due to arrive in Boston?”

“I don’t know what is going on, or who feels it is OK to play these kinds of pranks, but I will. You can bet I will.”

“Isn’t dad’s plane supposed to have arrived already?”

Brenda takes in a deep breath and says, “Yea,” and calls Devon’s phone again. “Still no answer,” Brenda says in a low, troubled voice. Brice and Charm head upstairs to get ready for bed. Brice sees his suitcase and asked Charm, “How did my suitcase get here?” "Brenda said, a Muslim lady brought it by,' while we were at dinner. I forgot to tell you. Who is she?” “I don’t know. There are several sisters at the center that could have brought it. I’ll check tomorrow. Excuse me, sweetheart. I have to make Wudu.” “Wu who?” asked Charm. “We’ll talk about it after I say my prayer.”


“Ok,” said Charm. She changed her clothes, climbed into the bed and took her Bible from under her nightstand, and began reading. When Brice came from the bathroom, he was wearing a brownish-gold thobe and white Kufi. Charm’s eyes raised without lifting her head, as Brice walked past. He unfolded his prayer rug from his suitcase and position it on the northeast corner of their bedroom, and raised his hands saying, “Bismillah Rahman Raheem.” After he finished his salah, he sat meditating with dhikr beads. He climbed into bed, holding the Quran, retrieved it from his luggage, and started reading. “Brice, how did you get tricked into becoming a Muslim? You were faithful and dedicated to our Lord Jesus Christ?” “Don’t say that; I was not tricked into Islam. I chose, to follow the truth as it was revealed to our Rasoul, the messenger pbuh., by our God. Sent through his messenger Jibril, you call him Gabriel. The revelation commissioned by our God/Allah. The only is worthy to be worshipped. He is the most gracious, most merciful, and who has no partners, children, or wives. He is, above ‘all’ that man attempts to associate with him. We are his creation and servants.” “Charm, sweetheart when I was sent to prison, I felt my life was over. I never thought you would wait or that I would ever see my children again. Once my second parole hearing was denied, I gave up all hope. I stopped praying and started getting into fights, wishing someone would take my life, too cowardly to do it myself. I was thrown into solitary confinement for two weeks. There was not even a toilet, only a hole in the floor and no way to clean me.


Then one day, I walked into a meeting held by a group of Muslim brothers. That evening I went back to my cell, I felt renewed. The next morning, I found the brother who facilitated the day before. We talked about Islam. He showed me how our people had been deceived. Christianity had been altered many times from its origin to fit a hidden agenda of man for mankind. Submit to man first, Jesus Christ, and then God, our creator. This enabled them to take and enslave us from our homeland. The white man defined us as savages and chattel… And with the consciousness of demons, they treated our people with less care than the animals that plow their fields.


We are a people of kings and queens. Masters of our homes and caretakers of the tribes and villages. Our ancestors mastered mathematics and built the pyramids. Yet, were delineated, as children unable to take care of ourselves. They set out to civilize the Africans by uncivilized means and set us to practice and believe in their Christianity. These Christians used barbaric force, making the African forget their spirituality, our language, and our ability to read. They bred us like animals, sold off our children, husbands, and wives. And yet, deemed us uncivilized and inferior to their race.

The brother gave me a Quran and the Fortress of the Muslim. It has verses from the Quran and Sunnah, our beloved prophet practiced and taught his followers. I began studying and attending the five daily prayers at

the appointed times.”


“The Prophet Muhammad told them ‘All people are created equal, humans are descended from Adam and Eve, there is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab, or of a non-Arab over an Arab, and no superiority of a white person over a black person or of a black person over a white person, except based on personal piety and righteousness.’


“Brice,” Charm said with a softness. “All I request is please don’t push or expect me to follow your religion.

I…”

Brice interrupted, “I know, you are a Christian and Jesus Christ is your lord and savior.” They smiled, kissed each other, and continued reading, their respective religious books.


Brenda has been calling Devon for an hour and he still has not picked up. She thought to herself.

Devon’s plane was to arrive ninety minutes ago. Why is he not answering his phone? He has to know I am worried.

She calls the airport. “Hello, can you tell me what time flight 2317 is to arrive from Paris?”

“Yes, flight 2317 arrived on time.” “Can you tell me if it was fully booked?”

“No, I do not have that information.”

“Alright, thank you,” and hangs up the phone. Her worry is now turning into anger, as she thinks back to a past affair Devon had while on one of these junkets, two years ago. On the verge of tears, she calls Brandy.

“Hey, Bren.” Hi Brandy, have you heard from Devon?”

“No, I thought you two would make up for a lost time by now.”

“We would have been if he were home.” “What do you mean, if he was home?”

“Someone text Sophia’s phone saying ‘Devon’s plane was missing.’ They had the right flight number and time his flight left from Paris. Check your messages. I am going to forward it to you.” Brenda pasted the message and hit sent.

The American Airlines Flight 2317, which left Paris, France, bound for Boston, went off the radar at 4:53 pm EST. The FAA is doing everything in its power to locate the missing aircraft. “Who would text this to Sophia, his daughter?” asked Brandy. “Did she recognize the number?”

“No, she said the number is not familiar, and she was so beside herself, Brandy. Whoever is doing this is sick, and will have hell to pay when I find out,” said Brenda.

“Mom, have you heard from dad?”

“No.” I’ll be in my room doing homework. Tell me as soon as dad comes home or calls you.” “OK, baby. Brandy I did not want to say anything in front of Sophia. Do you think Devon is having an affair?” “Brenda!” Brandy, exclaims in shock. "Why would you ask if he is having an affair? He loves you and the Earth you walk on. Both you and Sophia.” ” There was a time a couple of years ago, he did.”

“He did what?” Choking up, Brenda answered, “He had an affair.”


Present Night…

It was nine pm., time for Brianna to get off work. She was walking toward the time clock to punch out.

“Hey Brianna,” her co-worker and fair-weather friend Joyce, called out. “You want to get a drink at the 19th Hole, across the street before going home? It’s raining pretty hard. We can wait out the storm.” “Yea, sure. I left my umbrella in the car. We’re going to get soaked.”


“No, I have mine. We both can fit under it.” As Joyce is opening the umbrella. Brianna looked across the street at the 19th Hole. She saw a man that looked like Devon, coming out with his arm around the waist of a beautiful foreign-looking woman. She had long straight black hair. A cab pulled up. He kissed the woman. Not a peck, a lingering tongue in the mouth - kissed her. He then opened the door and she got into the cab. He leaned down, rising again, then waved as the cab drove off. Brianna wants to tell her eyes they are lying because she does not want to believe what she just saw.

Brianna and Joyce could not find a table so, they sat at the bar.

“What will you have this evening,” asked the bartender? Joyce gave her a drink choice. Now he was waiting for Brianna to place her order. She was thinking of her brother-in-law and her sister. Joyce snapped her fingers in front of Brianna’s face to get her attention.

“Hey… Are you OK?” asked Joyce. “Yea, Yea. I’ll have a Strawberry Daiquiri. Be right back, going to call my sister.”

References:

https://www.thumbtack.com/

https://faithcounts.com/guide-better-interfaith-conversations-friendshipshttps://faithcounts.com/guide-better-interfaith-conversations-friendships

https://www.quartethealth.com/find_black/counselor


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