Debra after being in the hospital for two weeks gets to finally come home. Well, she is going to Aisling's home. They decided to have both sides of the family over for a coming home celebration and for Astila to get to know her family. Aisling has been cooking for three days to get ready for this event. She always loves it when the whole family gets together. It reminds her of her childhood when they always spent every Saturday at their aunties or grandmother's homes. Then church on Sunday and Sunday dinners were the best. It was like a grand event. Everyone cooking together and barbecuing. Kids running around playing some of the oddest games. Riding dirt bikes or picking up a game of baseball or football depending on the season. Though the families have grown apart a little. Only because the family has gotten bigger to big for everyone to be in the same place at once for the most part. With everything just about ready she runs upstairs to take a shower. There has been so much going on that Aisling and Astila have barely been able to see each other. Especially since Sam and the twins have been here. They will be here for another six weeks while Debra recuperates. Astila is coming out of the bathroom as she is wanting to go in. He grabs her hand and drags her into it. Pinning her against the door he begins to kiss her. Like a man who is starving. Placing his forehead against hers breathing heavily. He just enjoys the moment of having her in his arms.
"Lord woman I have missed you. I have missed having my arms about you. "
She looks into his eyes and lifts her mouth to his.
"This won't be forever it's just for a while. You know when everyone finds out your living here my cousins and uncles are going to expect a wedding very soon." She knows they need to be able to give the family date.
" well, my sister and Inola are coming for Thanksgiving how about we do it then. That is only three months away. We can have a traditional Christian wedding here for your family. Then when for our honeymoon we can have one for mine. That way both sides are satisfied. " he looks at her closely wondering if it may be too soon for her. She looks relieved but then a worried look comes across her face.
" your classes are ending in September. You're supposed to go back after my birthday. What about then ?"Astila stops a moment and then smiles at her
"Actually I have eight weeks of vacation from the hospital in Knoxville. I have also been offered a position at the university hospital here after Debra's surgery. The Chief did a check on my credentials and asked me if I would be interested. As well as at Hopkins. We have eight weeks to decide what to do. " Aisling wonders if she is being selfish not wanting to leave her family.
"Your so quick to leave your home. Are you sure you're not going to regret it?" Her voice is soft like she wants to cry.
"I have never really cared where I lived as long as I was happy and doing what I want. I like it here it's not that much different than where I live. We have a tight-knit community and family there as well. You will feel right at home there. I also know that you are needed here. My skills can be utilized anywhere. " he puts her head in his shoulder and holds her for just a few minutes more then reminds her
"Besides my family that means the most to me love it here. They already think of you as their family. You made them so welcome and they felt loved here. It's only a six-hour drive between our homes. Salali will be here a lot for weekends." He reassured her kissing her forehead he knows the family will be arriving soon. It would not make him look good to be found in the bathroom with her. So he leaves so she can shower. He hears a noise downstairs going down to investigate. He finds a little lady sitting in the kitchen. She has pure white hair fixed in a braid and a bandanna around her head. Her skin is tanned and her eyes sparkling. She gives him a big grin and hugs him tight. Looking at her he is a little puzzled.
"You must be Astila I'm Aisling's aunt Norma. I came early because we need to have a private chat. Don't worry you're not in trouble. I knew the day you arrived. You see I keep close tabs on my girl. So the Aunties have a weekly conversation to keep each other informed. I know all about Daniel which the rest don't need to know. I also know that you are from Tennessee. The only thing I want to know is doing you love her and are you taking my girl away. She will be awful homesick if you do. Don't get me wrong she loves traveling as long as she can come home. " he likes this lady she is straight forward and to the point.
"Yes, ma'am I do. I was taken with her the moment I laid eyes on her. In fact, truthfully I have been by her side since I laid eyes on her. I didn't want to leave her. So I have no problem staying here. In fact, I already have been offered two jobs. I am leaning towards the university hospital here in town with the occasional teaching gig at Hopkins. I make more than enough money that she doesn't have to work if she chooses not to. I will always be faithful to her and protect her the best I can. "
"That's all fine and good. You need to know a few things about our girl. She is special she isn't like most girls. You see when she was born they told her mama it was no use she was stillborn. They couldn't get a response from her at all. They placed her aside. We were in the waiting room and John knew something was wrong. There were seven of us there. We gathered hands and began to pray. It was a powerful prayer. Her great-granddad began to speak in an angel tongue. The next thing we heard was a baby crying and a Doctor asking the nurse what was going on. She always had one foot in this realm and one in the spiritual. It scares us sometimes that's why we try to keep her rained in so to speak. When she lost her mother she was somewhat down. When she lost her Dad she was like a walking ghost. She began to stay more in the spiritual world more. We almost lost her. I had a talk with the other elders rather actually the commander and I decided and just informed them. That she would be going to stay with him. She met someone who pulled her out from there. It was almost like an instant connection. Fated so to speak. She came home herself. " Astila began to grin and almost laughed. The woman was looking at him like he had gone crazy.
"Ma'am I'm sorry but the person she met was me. I had just joined the commander's team when I met her. Of course, there was nothing I could do since she was still so young. Then she left. Now years later I find myself on her doorstep." She looked at him her eyes as big as saucers. She lets out a whoop and began to laugh heartily.
"My God truly works in mysterious ways. Who would have known the person to bring her back is the person sitting in front of me. Looks like I'm way overdue in showing you my gratitude. " she gives him another big warm hug.
Astila takes this chance to tell her the best way to pay him back.
"We want to get married the Saturday after thanksgiving. My family will be visiting and it will be perfect timing. Then I want to take her to get married in my tradition for our honeymoon. There is one problem. I don't think I will be able to live with her here and not live with her if you know what I mean." He gives her a knowing look hoping she understands.
"Lord boy I can take care of that today. Just let me make a few phone calls. " with that she excuses herself and goes to the other room. When she gets back not even twenty minutes later she tells him it's all set. By the end of the day, they will be husband and wife at least in the eyes of the family. They can still have the traditional wedding if they like. She goes upstairs and gets Aisling ready. Within about a half an hour the house is in an uproar getting things ready. Astila has no idea what is happening.