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My sister Adeline snuffed out sixteen candles on her poor excuse for a birthday cake just three hours before. It had been a mistake no one wanted and my mother had cut off the Get Well Soon Harry that made that obvious. Now she stood in the doorway of our home halfway in and halfway out. Her gorgeous brown curls were messy and she was wearing a slightly bloody nightgown. The pattern spread from where her thighs touched down making the cloth cling to her. It wasn’t a lot of blood, but I was very concerned.

“Adeline, are you hurt?” My six year old arms almost didn’t wrap around her body. I hugged her despite the blood not caring if it touched me. She remained silent as she stared ahead with a blank look. I ran to find my parents. Mama and Papa would know what to do.

“Mama, mama,” I squealed as I ran down the hall almost tripping as I skidded to a stop in front of her bedroom. She sat in her favorite blue worn chair knitting as she always did. Her Bible lay open on her lap being ignored.

“Don’t screech Lily, what is it?” My mama didn’t put down her knitting she just continued working her fingers moving the needles through the green fabric.

“Adeline,” my eyes filled with tears. “She’s hurt, she’s bleeding.”

“Your sister is back?” Suddenly the knitting was forgotten. The Bible slid to the floor as she jumped from her seat and rushed to where my sister stood.

I ran after her thinking everything would be fine now. Mama would take Adeline to the doctor and her pain would be gone. Adeline would smile brightly and tickle me under the chin.

“Thanks for getting her, you always know just what to do Lilypad,” she’d say.

“Welcome home, my dear daughter,” she embraced her pulling her into the house. “It is done?”

Adeline’s big blue eyes watered, tears ran down her cheeks and she nodded slowly.

“Praise be to the Lord Adeline,” mama fell to her knees and lifted her hands in prayer.

“Mama?” my voice was small and full of confusion.

“Adeline’s not hurt baby, she’s been visited by the Lord.” I couldn’t figure out what my mother meant. How could the Lord cause pain in someone? We had always been told the Lord helps and heals. He comes to us through our leader Michael. Michael was the father of all in the commune and the reason we were blessed was because God inhabited his human body.

“Paul,” mama seemed immune to Adeline’s tears and they still fell hitting the floor in front of her and splashing there. My father walked into the room somewhat distracted as he always was.

“What is it, what is the meaning of this?” He pointed to Adeline standing there crying with blood visible on her crisp white nightgown.

She whispered, “Michael chose Adeline. Our family will now be blessed forever.”

Adeline just continued to silently weep for what she’d lost and I wouldn’t understand until years later when he chose me as well.

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