If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.
Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Mo-ses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.
It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.
And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.
And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all…a love story.
“Why are you here, Georgia? Does your dad know you’re here?”
“I’m bringing you your lunch, Einstein. And no to the second question. Why should he? I don’t check in every time I ride my horse.”
“Does he know how you’re out here jumping fences?”
I shrugged. “I’ve been riding since I could walk. It’s not a big deal.”
He let it drop, but after a few bites of his sandwich he was picking on me again.
“Georgie Porgie puddin’ and pie. Kissed the boys and made them cry. What kind of name is Georgia?”
“My great-great grandma was Georgia. The first Georgia Shepherd. My dad calls me George.”
“Yeah. I’ve heard him. That’s just nasty.”
I felt my temper rise in my cheeks, and I really wanted to spit on him from where I sat atop my horse, looking down on his neatly shorn, well-shaped head. He glanced up at me and his lips twitched, making me even angrier.
“Don’t look at me like that. I’m not trying to be mean. But George is a terrible name for a girl. Hell, for anyone who isn’t the King of England.”
“I think it suits me,” I huffed.
“Oh, yeah? George is the name for a man with a stuffy, British accent or a man in a white, powdered wig. You better hope it doesn’t suit you.”
“Well, I don’t exactly need a sexy name, do I? I’ve never been a sexy girl.” I gave Sackett a hard nudge in her flanks and pulled the reins sharply, more than ready to leave. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t be bringing Moses his lunch again. He was a jerk, and I was sick of it.
But as I rode away I thought I heard him call after me, “Just keep telling yourself that, Georgie Porgie. I’ll keep telling myself that too.”
I brought his lunch again the next day.
Amy Harmon knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story.
Amy Harmon has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called “What I Know” – also available on Amazon and wherever digital music is sold. She has written five novels, Running Barefoot, Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue, Making Faces and most recently, Infinity + One. Her newest book, The Law of Moses releases on November 27, 2014.