an unnamed stranger // the eleventh hour
"There's an open seat here." She heard a voice from the table. The voice belonged to a man who looked warm and oddly familiar, thought she had never laid eyes on him in her life.
"Thanks. It's freezing outside." She chuckled slightly, proceeding to pull off her wool jacket. "What are you up to here?"
He smiled slightly. "I'm not from here -- I'm somewhat of a passerby. I'm sorry, I have to go now though. I'll see you later though," She thought she saw weariness cloud his eyes for a moment, then fade as he got up and walked away. He pace slowed as he approached the door, where she saw the silohouettes of several men waiting for him outside. Who could he be? And why are they taking him away like that?
The same wooden floors creaked as she walked in again. She'd been here before, walked those steps before... and heard the familiar voice again and he invited her to the open seat.
"Wait, this isn't... I've been here before. And you were too, and you were taken away before. Why?" She questioned him as she sat down, ignoring the fact that her coat was still on.
He smiled slightly as he shook his head. "You can say it's something I have to do. I'm sorry, I have to go now, I'll see you soon, I promise." He started to get up once again.
"No!" She was surprised at her own outburst, realizing that... she worried about this man. "I don't even know your name! I mean.. where are they taking you? It's not like they're going taking you away to kill you or something.. are they?"
His eyes slowly lifted to meet hers, and she felt an inexplicable sense of understanding and sadness as he didn't respond. She felt like she could see the whole world and more in his eyes, and that he could see her whole world in hers. She didn't realize that she was holding her breath until he lowered his eyes and walked towards the door, towards the shadows once again.
The wood creaked faster this time as she rushed into the room, still not understanding why the same scene was occuring over and over, but knowing she had to talk to him. Spotting him, she didn't have to wait for him to invite her over as her urgency took the seat nex to his.
"I don't understand... why do you have to die? Who are they... who are you? Please don't go..." The desperation in her own voice scared her. Being one who brushed shoulders with apathy more often than care, the feelings of love inside of her were growing at a rate she didn't understand. She only knew one thing... she was cared for this unnamed stranger.
"I'm sorry... I'm sorry, it's something I have to do. I have to go soon..." She grabbed his arm as he proceeded to get up once again.
"No... no, please don't. I can tell you don't want to either," he closed his eyes in silence, "so don't. I can tell those people don't even come in here, you can just stay in here until they leave, or something."
He slowly raised his other arm and rested his hand on hers. She felt a sudden sense of warmth as he spoke. "They won't go away. And it's my choice to go... to leave this place. I'm sorry... I'm sorry, I have to go. But I will see you soon." He carefully removed her hand, and got up and started to walk away. He paused for a moment, looked back at the her image -- a slightly disheveled girl, bitting her lip at this strange man leaving her life -- sighed, and proceeded onward.
The doors opened once again, but the wood remained untouched. Slowly raising her glance up once again, she caught his burdened ones. His eyes said it all -- a resolution that he was still going to go through with it, he was going to meet the shadows on the other side of the lodge.... he would die. A deep sense of mourning rose from the pits of her stomach as she let the door swing shut in front of her, turning her back to him and rushing out into the coldness of the path. Taking a few steps, she collapsed in a pile of leaves and snow, letting out an agonizing sob into her hands.
Moments passed until she felt the presence of another near her. It was him -- she could feel him kneeling down, wrapping his arms around her shoulders.
"I don't... I don't understand. Why? Why you? There has to be someone else right? Why you...?" She choked the words out through her tears, and finally lifted her tear-stained eyes to him. His face was a perfectly painted portrait of sorrow and love, mingling with tears as he started to cry too.
"It's not that I want to... but there is none other. But .... I love you, and I'm doing this for you." He slowly reached for one of her trembling hands, and pressed it against her own heart. "This is the reason... I must die."
The sorrow swelling in her own heart was almost too much to bear as she started to sob once again. It was in that moment that the swirls of sorrow met love, a love so deep that she had never experienced anything like it... and then it hit. And she spoke, in a voice so quiet that the bitter winds of the outside almost swept them away.
"I know your name... I know who you are."
A smile broke through the tears as he helped her stand up. "I know who you are too. I have to go now... but I'll see you later... I promise."
i wrote this after a dream i had -- the events and dialouge are as closely mirrored to as i remember. i was the girl in the dream -- slightly disheveled, but finding the name of her Savior at the end. i had never felt the type of sorrow i felt at the end when i realized that every time i sinned, every time i spat on the gospel with how i live my life was another nail piercing Christ's skin... yet he dies. He dies... for me, for you, for us who he loves so deeply. the more we learn to love him, we realize the more and more he loves us and has loved us this entire time...
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -- romans 5.7-8
Trace the shape of my heart
Till it becomes more familiar to Your eyes
I've been lost without You
Cold without Your love
It's taken days and nights
To make me realize
Rescue me from hanging on this line
I won't give up on giving You
The chance to blow my mind
Let the eleventh hour quickly pass me by
I'll find You when I think I'm out of time