“…and we have heard His voice from the fire”
It was a blustery February day. ‘Oh, dear.’ Kyana put her hands together on the steering wheel and began to pray. The snow wickedly clamored down from the heavens. It was only 4:30 in the afternoon, but the darkness that had suddenly blanketed the sky gave an appearance of midnight. Kyana had been blinded as she shoveled off the ten inches of white substance holding her car hostage. She realized just how frostbitten her hands were when she got into the car, reached into her coat pocket, and tried to find her keys. Kyana’s pocket was empty other than the keys, but she found herself groping for them in futility nonetheless. She could feel nothing except the burn of her hands. Finally, there was the vague but welcome sensation of metal against her finger. After repeatedly fumbling the key, she had to use both hands to fit it in the ignition. She turned the key, but there was no sound. She waited a few moments and then with breath held, tried again. There was nothing. Knowing continuing would be pointless, she decided to pray.
‘Lord, please make it start. You know I don’t have time to call and wait for road service. Please, Lord, make it start.’ The bright illumination from a vehicle pulling into her apartment building’s parking lot interrupted her prayer. She assumed the lights were from a truck or a van because they were at such a high level in comparison with those of her little burgundy Nissan.
Kyana squinted through the haze of snow that beat down on her windshield then her chest tensed a bit, as two dark figures approached her car. One knocked on her window. Kyana’s finger hovered over the button momentarily then she rolled down her window to the gentle face of a Caucasian young lady who appeared to be in her mid-twenties, as Kyana was, and she breathed a small sigh of relief. “Are you okay?” inquired a somewhat husky voice from behind the young woman. Kyana then realized that he had been peering over the lady’s shoulder the whole time. The man was African-American or of some African heritage. Kyana dismissed her questioning thoughts because they were irrelevant, especially now.
“I think my battery’s dead,” she replied in a voice as steady as she could muster under the circumstances. She was trying to remain calm and convince herself that her car would start.
“We’ll give you a jump.” Being from New York, she’d usually heard the term “boost” but assumed a Baltimore “jump” and a New York “boost” were one in the same. “Just pop your hood.” She did and began to get out of the car. “No, stay in there. It’s frigid out here.” He was right. It had to be below freezing with the wind chill, something to which her chattering teeth could attest and a reason why the snow was rapidly turning to ice.
The young woman, with the help of this man, gingerly made it back to the unidentifiable vehicle just a few feet away and shut herself in with the heat. Kyana watched the shadowy figure return. Even with his heavy winter gear, Kyana could tell that his build was slight but muscular enough to make her car shake when he applied his weight against it. Finally, he said, “I’m really sorry. I can’t get your hood up. It seems to be frozen shut.” Kyana got out of the car. “I’ll get my tools from the truck.”
“Don’t bother,” she said but was unsure that he heard her, as he looked at her a moment later with surprise. He took the heavy toolbox that she usually kept in the trunk out of her hand. She silently thanked God that she had moved the box to the front of the car that morning because she might not have been able to get into the trunk now.
“Wow!” he said, as she guided a stray hair from in front of her eye. She wondered what he was so impressed over. “You’ve got everything you’d ever need in here!” he exclaimed, as he chipped away the ice that was sealing the hood shut. He opened the hood. For the first time, the snow settled down enough so that she could take a good look at his face.
His complexion was a smooth copper with brilliant mahogany undertones. He had beautiful, warm fudge and vanilla elliptical eyes, the fudge nearly eclipsing the vanilla. She could not see his eyebrows because his hood was hiding them, but she could not help but to notice those eyelashes, which were as long as hers, capturing snowflakes that came to rest on them. His overall face was very strong and masculine, but the quiet innocence of his eyes made him look very youthful. It took all of two seconds for her to make this summation. Kyana quickly turned her face away, but now he was looking at her.
He smiled slightly. Kyana slipped back into her car and watched, as he connected the cables. She closed the door to a crack but began to shiver in the wait. She stepped out when he returned from letting his vehicle run. He looked at her for a brief moment before stating, “By the way, my name is David Immanuel Mitchell.” Kyana found it odd that he stated his full name. She thought only she did that. “What’s yours?” He smiled again at her, more widely this time, teeth perfect in straightness and sparkling white. His eyes were warm and held a smile of their own. He walked past her, sat in her car, and turned the key in the ignition. The sound of the car turning on was beautiful. He rejoined her after disconnecting the cables and repeated his question.
“Oh, I’m Kyana Milena Cel`on.”
“Kee-ahn-uh Mee-len-uh Se-lone?”
“Yes.” His voice was deep yet quiet and soothing as well, which she especially noticed when he said her name.
“Oh, that is absolutely beautiful.”
Kyana whispered her thanks and hoped he had not noticed her blush. “Is your name biblical?” she asked.
“Yes. My brother’s name is Solomon Micah Mitchell, believe it or not, and my sister’s is Rachel Ruth Burroughs. I love Immanuel because it means ‘God with us’, and I know that He is always with and within me. David is too common, though.”
‘Is he a Christian?’ she wondered. “I don’t know that many Davids, and I’ve always liked that name. Besides, your parents must have known you were going to be someone very special to have named you that.” She broke eye contact with him momentarily and quickly changed the subject before he could respond. “Thank you so much. I really have to get somewhere now in a hurry and would have had a hard time getting there without you.” She was going to tell him his helping her was the answer to her prayers, but she could not chance getting into another conversation.
“Do you need a ride? The roads are really, really bad, and I have a four-wheel drive.”
“That’s okay. Thanks again.” He asked her if she was sure, expressing concern that she might have trouble because the roads were probably only going to get worse. She assured him that she would be fine. He frowned at her and sighed. After hesitating a few moments, however, he locked his arm in hers, at which point she immediately stiffened. He glanced at her sideways but continued to maintain his hold as he helped her back into the car. “Listen,” he said once she was seated, “I know you’re in a hurry, but can we please exchange numbers? It’s been such a pleasure meeting you.”
Kyana found his comment strange but also unusually sweet given that he had been so incredibly nice. He handed her two cards, one with a name and number on the back, the other blank. She turned the blank card over and read, ‘D. Mitchell’s Chesapeake Seafood’; under this title the business and fax numbers were listed. Kyana had never given her number out to a stranger.
After writing her number as legibly as her shivering hands could manage, she handed the card back to him, all the while explaining why the writing was so awful.
“You should close yourself in with the heat before you lose a limb to this frost!”
After Kyana slammed her door shut from the chilling wind, she did indeed turn on the heat and watched curiously through her car window as David trudged through the snow back to his truck. She wondered if this could be her knight in shining armor or he was simply a good Samaritan with a handsome face. Her heart sunk a bit with a note of the latter when he jumped into the driver’s seat of his truck and the card that he must have thought he was stuffing into his pocket with his frostbitten hand was caught in the wind. Somewhat deflated, Kyana watched as the card fell to the ground and disappeared into a snowbank. He was not moving, so she assumed he was waving her on to go ahead of him. ‘Oh, well,’ she thought as she drove off, ‘it wasn’t meant to be. He probably wouldn’t have called, and that lady is probably his girlfriend anyway. Put it out of your mind, Kyana. You’ll find someone someday when you least expect it.’