Eli goes Shopping for Work Clothes-MMIV

Eli woke up to the alarm on his phone.

He stepped out of bed, then went to relieve himself.

He then walked back to his bed where he sat at the foot and called Hannah over the Chirp service and told her, “Good Morning my baby.”

“Good Morning sweetheart,” She replied.

“What are your plans for today?”

“Shop for school clothes with my mom.”

“I’ll probably shop for some work supplies with my Pappy.”


“When can you come to see me again?”

“How about I come to church with you?”

“Yay! I would really like that.”

“I would too.”

“Maybe we could do something together after church.”

“I would really like that too!”

“Do you want me to kiss you some more?”

“Of course.”

“It would be an honor to kiss you!”

“I can’t wait for you to kiss me again. Now I have to empty the teapot.”

“What kind of tea were you drinking?”

“I’m not drinking any tea. When I say that I have to empty the teapot, it’s a nicer way of saying I have to pee.”

“Oh okay. I just did that a few minutes ago. Let’s keep in touch throughout the day, though.”

“Of course, baby. Now, I really need to get to the bathroom before my panty and nightshirt are soaking wet and smelly. I love you!”

“I love you too!”

Afterward, Eli walked down the hall to the kitchen where his grandparents were finishing breakfast.

They quickly handed him a plate of smoked sausage, scrambled eggs, and toast with grape jam.

Eli also served himself some V8 Vegetable Juice from a can in the refrigerator.

He sat and ate as his Pappy read the newspaper and his MeeMaw flipped through the cable channels.

Eli finished breakfast, then washed his dishes.

When the dishes were clean, he asked his Pappy, “Would you bring me to Target so I can buy some white tee and Oxford shirts as well as some shaving supplies for work?”

“Sure. What about pants and shoes?”

“I was going to wear the work pants and work boots you and MeeMaw gave me for my birthday.”

“Good. Those boots have steel toes in them, so they will protect your feet while you work in the kitchen. I picked those out for you. Your MeeMaw picked out the pants and she says they are made of sturdy fabric.”

“I can’t wait to wear them.”

“Hannah would probably think you look good in them too!” MeeMaw Darla said, then continued, “I remember how good your Pappy looked when he put on his work clothes. I always made sure that he appeared in a way that everyone could set their watches to how sharp and dependable he looked!”

“Eli, what time do you want to go to Target?”

“Let me go shower and shave right now.”

“Good idea. I’ll get ready as well,” Pappy Wilson then looked at MeeMaw Darla and asked, “Honey do you need anything while we go shopping?”

“Get us some fresh batteries for our smoke detectors and we will have Eli install them.”

“Anything else?”

“I need a new flashlight for my purse, the last one I had cracked into many pieces.”

“I know a good brand, MeeMaw,” Eli interjected.

“I’ll also see if I can get some gardening supplies and some cabbage, broccoli, and turnip seeds to plant for the winter.”

“Yes, honey. And see if all medicines are ready as well.”

“Will do.”

Eli went to shower and shave while Pappy Wilson put on his going-out clothes.

After Eli was clean he also put on going out clothes, then retrieved his phone, flashlight, scanner, and wallet.

Pappy Wilson retrieved his wallet, keys, and pocket knife, then they entered his vintage Dodge D100 and headed to Target.

“You said you wanted some white Oxford shirts, Eli?”

“Yes sir, Pappy.”

“That brings me back to when I worked in the control room at the chemical plant. We had to wear black pants and a white Oxford shirt. We also had to be clean-shaven and keep our hair very neat. Well by that time I only had a little bit of hair, but I still had to shave.”

“I thought you worked in the raw materials department.”

“I did, but then I was promoted to the control room. It was fine until they started making me operate those dog-gone computers. Those computers make me want to pute.”

“So what did you do?”

“I tried my best to learn the system, but couldn’t. So the company forced me into early retirement. At least they gave me a handsome pension. I get almost as much money to sit at home as I would have if I were to continue working. But, I worked hard for that company and I gave them thirty-nine of my best years. I always did what I was told and carried out my tasks to the best of my ability. And when my tasks were complete, I asked for more tasks so I could make extra money. I took care of the company and now they are taking care of me. Now I have time to work in my garden and be with my family!”

“I know that MeeMaws flashlight that cracked was issued by your company and that y’all were required to use them. Why do they have to be made of plastic though?”

“If you drop a metal flashlight on something hard, it will create a spark. That can be deadly when you are handling flammable material. But sometimes we were working in the middle of the night when the barges delivered the chemicals so we needed light. The company ordered thousands of flashlights that are approved to be used around flammable material.”

“Oh, yes. I think I read something about that a while back on the Internet.”

“The company issued me a bunch of those over the years, and I kept them around the house. Your MeeMaw thought they were bright and rugged enough that she would keep one in her purse. Before you were born, she and I had gone to see a movie. A lady had dropped her purse and all the contents fell out. It was dark and they were using cigarette lighters to find everything that fell under the seats. Your MeeMaw became nervous about them potentially starting a fire, so she lent them her flashlight and they located everything safely.”

“Well, you and MeeMaw told me to always carry a flashlight.”

“Does Target sell the one you carry?”

“I think it does.”

“Good, then I will get one for your MeeMaw’s purse.”

“What about for you?”

“I have plenty of my battery-powered lanterns, for sowing crops at night.”

“Oh okay.”

Eli’s phone then beeped.

Hannah was calling him over the Chirp service.

“Where are you, sweetheart?”

“With my Pappy on the way to Target?”

“Oh okay. Y’all please be careful.”

“We will. My Pappy has a flawless driving record.”

“I’m leaving with my mom right now to buy some school clothes?”

“Y’all be careful as well.”

“We will.”

“What store you are going to?”

“Promise you won’t judge me?”

“I promise.”

“We’re going buy them at social concerns.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that.”

“Are you sure?”

“Most definitely. It doesn’t matter to me where you buy your clothes. You have a wonderful heart and you are the prettiest girl I have ever seen. I’m just glad you’re mine!”

“I love you, Eli!”

“I love you too, Hannah!”

“We just pulled up to the bust stop in front of the thrift store parking lot.”

“Well, we are about a block away from Target.”

“Be safe.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too!”

Moments later Eli and Pappy Wilson pulled into the Target parking lot. They found a decent spot and then entered the door.

“What should we get first?” Eli asked.

“Let’s get your shaving supplies.”

They walked to the personal care section.

Pappy Wilson said, “I know you use those cheap disposable razors but how about I buy you a good razor?”

“What do you have in mind, Pappy?”

He pointed on the pegboard to a Van Der Hagen safety razor that came with several replacement blades, then said, “I used something like this when I was a young man. I’ll get it for you.”

“Wow! Thank you, Pappy.”

“I’ll also get you some more blades, but please be careful when handling them.”

“Will do.”

“Now, did you need some shaving cream or aftershave?”

“Yes. I buy whatever shaving cream is on sale.”

“What aftershave do you like?”

“Aqua Velva.”

“Excellent choice, young man!” Pappy Wilson said, then whispered, “Your scent will drive Hannah wild, but y’all cannot act on those urges until she is eighteen!”

Eli blushed, then they walked to the men’s clothing department.

Eli selected three white Oxford shirts and a twelve-pack of white tee shirts.

They then walked to housewares where Pappy Wilson said, “Go get a pack of batteries for the smoke detectors, and then we will get a new flashlight for your MeeMaw’s purse.”

“We should get her one as I have but maybe in a different color.”

They walked to the flashlight aisle and Eli picked out a pink 2 AA Mini Maglite.

He then said, “We would need some bulbs as well.”

“Get a pack of bulbs for you and a pack for your MeeMaw.”

“Yes sir, Pappy.”

“Now, to the gardening section!”

“Right behind you, Pappy!”

They walked a few aisles over then Pappy Wilson placed a new shovel and a new ho in his cart. He then placed a packet of cabbage seeds, turnip seeds, and broccoli seeds in his cart.

“Could you plant some potatoes too, Pappy?” Eli asked.


Pappy Wilson then placed a packet of potato seeds in his cart as well.

They then walked to the pharmacy, where a technician told them that it would take thirty minutes to fill the prescriptions.

Pappy Wilson took Eli to the food court where they ate hot dogs and drank soft drinks.

Eli looked at his watch and saw that thirty minutes had passed.

The pharmacist was just done filling the medications and the technician handed them to Pappy Wilson.

They then walked to the registers and paid for their items.

A young man rang them up and Pappy Wilson began cracking jokes that made the young man laugh so hard that tears filled his eyes.

“That’s my Pappy for you,” Eli said also laughing.

They then left the store and loaded their purchased items into the storage box in the bed of Pappy Wilson’s truck.

As they headed home, Eli was listening to his scanner and heard a call come over to the fire department about a city bus in an accident with multiple casualties.

Eli became highly distressed and called Hannah over the Chirp service.

“Baby, are you all right?”

“Yes, sweetheart, why you ask?”

“I heard a call on my scanner about a city bus in an accident and there were multiple casualties.”

“We’re okay. We just got off the bus and are walking in the door right now.”

“Oh, thank God. I was so worried.”

“I’m safe at home now, but thank you for checking up on me. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“Where are you, Eli?”

“Pulling into my grandparents’ subdivision now.”

“Let me know when you’re home.”

“We just pulled in the driveway.”

“Okay, good. I love you, sweetheart.”

“I love you too. Let’s keep in touch throughout the day.

“Of course.”

They then unloaded their purchases.

Eli placed his shaving supplies in the medicine cabinet and hung up his Oxford shirts. He then placed the tee shirts in his chest of drawers.

Pappy Wilson placed the packets of seeds in his kitchen junk drawer and his gardening tools in the utility room.

With his pocket knife, he cut open the Mini Maglite for his wife and installed the batteries.

She placed it in her purse, then placed one set of bulbs on the shelf in the broom closet and Pappy Wilson gave the other packet of bulbs to Eli.

Eli then went to his room where he and Hannah lovingly talked over the chirp service for the next few hours…

Back to “a.D. MMIV”

Character Guide-a.D. MMIV

This story begins on August 3, 2004 and spans to around 2009, concluding with the wedding of my two characters.

Eliezer James “Eli” Mouton-born 1987-Main character a schizophrenic turned high school dropout of whom this story series revolves.

Hannah Danielle “Hannah D” Bienville-born 1991-Other main character-moderately autistic but good hearted, love interest of Eli.

Beatrice Raliegh “Bea” Bienville-born 1962-Hannah D’s mother, assistant manager at a local Chick-Fil-A.

Walter Rayburn “Wally” Bienville-born 1964-Hannah D’s dad, Bea’s ex husband, employed as a foreman for a local warehouse.

Wilson “Pappy Wilson” Mouton-born 1922-Eli’s grandpa, retired chemical plant worker.

Darla Elizabeth “MeeMaw Darla” Saville Mouton-born 1923-Eli’s grandma, homemaker and retired book keeper.

Back to a.D. MMIV

Eli gets a Job-a.D. MMIV

After Hannah’s dad, Wally, left to go home, Beatrice told Eli, “After hearing you talk with my ex-husband, I know you have much more potential than everyone else thinks. However, I know that you need your medical coverage to pay for that medication. What would you say if I could get you a part-time job? That way, your social security checks can get bigger over time and you will eventually qualify for Medicare, which means better healthcare for you.”

“What do you have in mind, Miss Bea?”

“I could have you clean and maintain the ice cream machine at my job for $10 each shift, which would be about $10 for forty-five minutes. You would be on the payroll. That would be $40-60 a week before taxes are taken out.”

“That would be really neat. I always loved Chick-Fil-A ice cream. Back when my family was not so dysfunctional, we would get ice cream from there all the time. To me, it was so much better than the store-bought ice cream.”

“I just have to talk to the district manager but once that is done, you will be totally in charge of the ice cream machine.”

“Thank you so much, Miss Bea!”

“Just dress nicely and try to get along with everyone else.”

“Yes ma’am. What should I wear exactly?”

“Some sturdy pants and boots and a plain tee shirt, nothing offensive. And make sure your hair is neat and your face clean shaven.”

“But Eli would look so hot with some facial hair, mom,” Hannah protested.

“But my bosses want their employees to look neat and professional, Hannah,” Beatrice replied.

“My grandparents bought me some black work pants and heavy-duty boots for my birthday and I can buy some white tee shirts next time I go shopping. I’ll shave and apply my Aqua Velva before each shift.” Eli paused, then asked, “What will my schedule be like?”

“You will report to work during the last forty-five minutes of each shift I work.”

“And what exactly will be my duties?”

“Keeping an inventory of the ice cream mixture to make sure we never run out, pouring the ice cream mixture into the machine, running the cleaning cycles, and washing all removable parts. You will also be the one to call in a technician whenever the machine is not working properly, following my approval, of course.”

“I would be honored to do all of this and I thank you for getting me this job!”

“You’re a welcome young man. Just faithfully carry out your duties and treat my daughter right.”

“Of course, I will.”

Eli looked at the clock on his phone and realized it was almost Eight O’Clock PM.”

He then told Beatrice and Hannah, “I have to get home tonight and take my medicine, so I will call my Pappy to come to meet and pick me up. He shouldn’t be driving at night but this one time won’t hurt I would like for y’all to meet him.”

“Okay, call him up,” Beatrice said.

“I’m going to miss you, baby!” Hannah added in as she held on to Eli.

Eli called his grandparents’ landline phone, to which his grandmother answered, “H-yelllohh?!”

“MeeMaw, it’s me. I need Pappy to come to get me. I met a young lady in the mall today and we later went to her house. I would like for y’all to meet her and her mother.”

“Okay, Eli, we’re almost finished with supper, then we’re coming.”

“Thank you.”

“Is there anything else?”

“My girlfriend’s mother is getting me a part-time job.”

“Doing what?”

“Cleaning and maintaining the ice cream machine at the Chick-Fil-A where she works.”

“Oh, praise God! I know you have a mental problem and deserve help from the government, but that doesn’t mean you should be cooped up in my house waiting to collect a six hundred dollar check.”

“I’ll be getting $40-60 a week before taxes are taken out. Every shift my girlfriend’s mom works, I’ll also work the last forty-five minutes of that shift, doing what needs to be done for the ice cream machine. My girlfriend’s mom is also getting me a bus pass so I can go see them and go to work.”

“Sounds like you found a nice girl with a good family!”

“Oh, most definitely.”

“Now give me the address of their house and we will come to pick you up in a few minutes.”

“Okay, y’all be careful.”

Eli then gave his grandmother the address to his girlfriend’s mother’s house.

He then sat with Hannah on the sofa as they fired sweet but innocent kisses on each other’s faces.

Eli then held Hannah around her waist as she rested the back of her head on his chest.

Just as he began to play with Hannah’s hair, the doorbell rang.

Beatrice opened the door to Eli’s grandparents.

“Is Eli here? Do we have the right address?” Eli’s grandmother asked.

“Yes. Come on in.”

Eli’s grandpa then said, “I’m Wilson Mouton.”

“And I’m Darla Mouton.” His grandmother added in.

“I am Beatrice Bienville. Can I get y’all anything?” Beatrice replied.

“No ma’am we just had supper.”

They all walked to the living room where they saw Eli and Hannah sitting on the sofa holding hands.

Eli stood up and said, “MeeMaw, Pappy, this is my girlfriend Hannah Bienville.”

Hannah smiled and blushed at both of Eli’s grandparents.

“She’s a very pretty girl!” Pappy Wilson commented, then continued, “You have good taste.”

“How did y’all meet?” MeeMaw Darla asked.

Hannah then said, “I was shopping for some video game stuff and I saw Eli walking out of Radio Shack with his new scanner tuning in the mall security guards. He had the most mischievous look on his face while doing so and I thought he was so handsome, so we smiled at each other then I motioned for him to come over and talk to me.”

“And when I saw her smiling at me, I thought she was the cutest girl I had ever seen and once we started talking to her, I realized that she is very sweet, so when she asked for me to be her boyfriend, I was very honored. We then spent the rest of the day together.”

“I hope y’all didn’t ride in any vehicles when the storms were moving through today.” MeeMaw Darla said

“No ma’am, we were at the mall the whole time. The power was even knocked out but Eli had a flashlight on him and walked me through the dark mall to my mom’s job.”

“Eh! Didn’t I always tell you that it is very smart to carry a flashlight?!”

“You sure did, Pappy. And I always do carry one.”

“I think it is really cute how Eli is always prepared,” Hannah said as she giggled.

“Yes. He is a lot smarter than most would believe.” MeeMaw Darla commented.

“Well, that is why I want to give him a chance and have him do ice cream machine duty at my job,” Beatrice added in.

“We definitely appreciate you doing this for him,” Pappy Wilson said.

“Of course. I know that he and my daughter just met, but I see how happy he makes her and they are both special needs, so I think that they are the perfect couple!”

It was now almost dusk and Pappy Wilson said, “Well I hate to cut this short, but we need to be home before total darkness, but I am glad Eli met Hannah, and hopefully in the future, MeeMaw Darla and I can dance at y’all wedding!”

Hannah beamed and giggled with happiness.

Eli then gave her a reverent hug and a sweet good night kiss.

“Call me when you get home and when you are also about to go to bed.”

“Will do baby.”

They shared one more peck on the lips then Eli, along with his grandparents stepped inside their Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight and headed home.

Back to “a.D. MMIV”

How Eli met Hannah-a.D. MMIV

Tuesday August 3, 2004:

Eliezer Mouton was walking out of Radio Shack with his scanner radio, a Uniden BC72XLT on full blast. His SSI check was deposited a few days ago and after saving some of it, he used the rest to purchase that said scanner as he had wanted one for a while.

He had a huge smirk on his face, given the fact that he could tune in to the mall security.

Hannah Bienville was also shopping at the mall today as it was recently her birthday and she had some cash left over. She noticed Eliezer listening to the security guards with a mischievous smirk on his face. She was very much attracted to Eliezer so she smiled and waved at him.

He smiled back.

They stared at each other for a moment with smiles increasing and some blushing.

Hannah then motioned for Eliezer to come to her which he did.

They then went to sit on the bench in front of Kay Jewelers and Dillard’s.

“You’re so cute and handsome! What’s your name?” Hannah asked.

“Eliezer Mouton, but I liked to be called Eli.”

“That’s neat. My name is Hannah Bienville, but my dad gave me the nickname, ‘Hannah D.'”

“You could totally be a radio DJ, with a nickname like that.”

Hannah giggled and smiled from ear to ear.

Eli then continued, “Wouldn’t it be so cool to have a radio station that plays video game music?”

Hannah’s eyes lit up, as she said, “Whenever the war in Iraq is won the station could play the ending credits to Star Fox 64!”

“I think that is a pointless and illegal war but maybe there could be a news service that covers all the dirty things the government does and play the music from the Surface 2 level on Goldeneye!”

Hannah giggled heartily, then said, “You’re very sexy!” She then covered her mouth, blushed, and apologized.

Eli hugged her and then replied, “Well I think you are beautiful!”

Hannah’s blue eyes lit up even more and she smiled from ear to ear.

She then said, “You don’t know it yet, but we match.”

Eli was puzzled and asked, “What do you mean”

Hannah replied, “I will show you only if you promise to be my boyfriend.”

“I would be honored to be your boyfriend!” Eli said as he held Hannah’s hand and softly kissed it.

“Okay, here we go!” Hannah said as she slightly lifted her blue denim skirt and showed him her modesty shorts.

Both blushed boldly once again and Hannah giggled uncontrollably, as she said “Your yellow shirt and black pants match my yellow and black modesty shorts.”

Eli replied, “I guess that cupid has a bee’s stinger instead of a quiver of arrows because I could see myself falling for you!” Eli then held both of Hannah’s hands, then asked, “May I kiss you?”

“Of course!” Hannah replied.

Their lips sweetly pecked and then locked as they gazed into each other’s eyes. Something beautiful was blossoming.

“I am going to need your phone number,” Eli told Hannah.

“Of course. And I want yours as well!”

Eli pulled out a Motorola i60c and Hannah pulled out a Motorola i285 and subsequently programmed the numbers in.

“We both have Boost Mobile, can we also exchange our beep-beep numbers?” Eli asked.

“Sure. As if you even had to ask,” Hannah replied.

They then exchanged the Chirp numbers.

Hannah then said, “I’ve never seen a Boost Phone like yours.”

“Well, that is because it’s an older Nextel phone. I had one of my buddies order it for me on eBay. It looks just like the phone that one of the characters on my favorite soap opera uses and it is quite rugged, so I like it.”

Hannah then asked Eli, “Where do you go to school?”

Eli replied, “I dropped out and get SSI. I hope that you still want me after knowing this.”

Hannah simply kissed him again and say, “Of course, I do!” She paused then said, “I’m thirteen and in the fourth grade, so I kind of know what you’re going through.”

“Thank you for being so sweet. You’re beautiful inside and out!”

“You must have vision problems if you think I am beautiful.”

“Why would you say that?”

“Because of my weight.”

“I like bigger girls but was always afraid of what others would think of me.”

“Nobody has to know about us except my mom and dad.”

Eli looked at Hannah and said, “But I’m no longer afraid of what others think, I had talked with my social worker about this and he helped me realize that people don’t talk that much anyway. I would show you off to everyone because you’re so beautiful and you have a good heart!”

Hannah embraced Eli, planted several kisses on his face, but then asked with slight distress, “How old are you though.”

Eli replies “17.”

Hannah then said, “Well you already know that I’m 13, but I really like you and I still want you to be my boyfriend.”

Eli replied, “As long as your parents are okay with it.”

Hannah then asked, “I’m just wondering, If you dropped out of high school, see a social worker and get SSI, are you okay?”

“I have schizophrenia, I hope you’re okay with that.”

“Of course. I have Autism, by the way, and I hope you’re okay with that.”

“It’s fine. Schizophrenia and Autism are similar, so I think we will get along just fine. I just hope your parents let me date you.”

“I think they will, at least as long as you treat me right and marry me when I am old enough.”

“I definitely would marry you.”

Hannah looked at Eli with puppy dog eyes and said, “You really would?”

“Yes: You have a really good heart, you’re beautiful and I recently became a Christian so it would be the right thing to do.”

“I became a Christian when I was eight, maybe you could come to church with me.”

“Yes, I’ve been meaning to find a church.”

“How did you come to the Lord?”

“Earlier this year, I was listening to a radio broadcast on shortwave and it had my undivided attention and as I listened, I realized that I was a hellbound sinner and Jesus is the answer to my condition, so I called on Him and I’ve been praying to Him ever since. The preachers I listen to on shortwave talk about joining a local church, but I have no ride to get there.”

Hannah then said, “My step-grandpa can take us. He already takes me.”

“My grandparents as most of my family are stuck in their catholicism.”

“We need to pray for them.”

“My parents kicked me out when I dropped out of school but my grandparents took me in.”

“I’m so sorry that happened.”

“It’s for the better. Is there a way I could meet your parents?”

“Of course, we could walk to Chick-Fil-A right now and meet my mom.”

“Then let’s go.”

Both were slightly nervous wondering what Hannah’s mother’s reaction would be.

Sheepishly they walked into the Chick-Fil-A where Beatrice was manning the cash register.

“Mom, there is someone I would like you to meet,” Hannah said.

Beatrice looked up from the register and asked, “Hannah, who is this young man?”

“This is Eli,” Hannah said beaming, and continued, “He is my boyfriend, that is if you’re okay with it.”

Beatrice looked at Eli and asked, “Exactly what are your intentions with my daughter?”

Eli looked at Beatrice and said, “I think she is the sweetest person I have ever met and to me, she is more beautiful than anyone else I have ever laid eyes upon. I would like to be her boyfriend and hopefully, one day marry her, when we are old enough. I am a Christian, so I do believe I should date to marry.”

“How old are you, son?” Beatrice asked.

“I’m 17.”

Beatrice then looked at Hannah and asked, “How did you meet him?”

“I just saw him walking out of Radio Shack and I thought he was handsome, so I motioned for him to come to talk to me and he’s nice.”

“Okay. I will let y’all date, but because of the age difference, y’all must be under constant supervision and no one can know about it.”

“That’s fine,” Eli replied.

“Of course,” Hannah added in.

“Do you work anywhere, Eli?”

“No ma’am, I get SSI for being schizophrenic.”

“I understand. Hannah is also special needs, so maybe y’all can help each other out.”

Beatrice then took her lunch break and came to sit with Eli and Hannah. She ordered them each a meal and continued conversing with them.

“What is your living situation, Eli?”

“I stay with my grandparents. We help each other out.”

“Where are your parents?”

“They emancipated me and kicked me out when I started receiving SSI. I guess me getting help from the government for having a disability was too big of an assault on their pride and ego, so my grandparents took me in.”

“You deserve all the help you can get. But you should be wise with it.”

“I try to be. I think they are also angry at me for dropping out of school.”

“Not everyone is meant to have a formal education. Hannah struggles with her studies and she is also bullied by other students.”

“I wish I could protect her from all that.”

“Just be there for me and comfort me, baby,” Hannah added in.

“You know I will. I thank God for you.”

“I thank God for you too.”

“How do you get around?” Beatrice asked Eli.

“My Pappy drives me.”

“How about I get you and Hannah each a bus pass.”

“That would be wonderful.”

“Good, then you can come to visit Hannah when she’s not in school.”

“Thank you, I appreciate that.”

“You’re welcome. Just only come visit her when I am home.”

“Sure thing. If it’s all right, I would like y’all to meet my grandparents.”

“Yes. We can do that.”

Hannah and Eli finished their meals, then continued holding hands.

Beatrice then finished her meal and said, “Well, I have to get back to work, but there’s some bad weather moving in later this afternoon. How are you getting home, Eli?”

“My Pappy is going to drive me home whenever I call him.”

“How about you take the bus home with Hannah and me and you can meet my soon-to-be ex-husband? It’s a long story.”

“That’s fine, I’ll tune in the weather on my new scanner in the meantime.”

“Now y’all go walk the mall together and get some exercise!”

“Yes ma’am,” Eli replied.

Hannah then kissed her mom and thanked her. She then asked Eli, “Are there any stores you want to look at?”

“What about Sears?”

“Sure. What do you want to look at in there?”

“The computers. I like to write, but it hurts to write by hand. So, I need a computer of some sort.”

“I’m working on a book as well.”

“Awesome. I think God put us together for a reason.”

“So do I!”

Hannah and Eli walked into Sears and were looking at the computers. They then went to look at the televisions. Finally, they went looking at the clothing on clearance.

Hannah then asked, “How does my outfit look on me? Do I need a new wardrobe? Be honest.”

Eli looked at Hannah’s grey Bobbie Brooks tee shirt, her medium-length denim skirt from Wal-Mart, her purple and black striped socks, and her blue tennis shoes, then said, “You look perfect just the way you are? In my eyes you are beautiful.” He then planted a kiss on Hannah’s forehead.

She kissed his lips in return.

“I can’t wait to be old enough to marry you, Eli!”

“I feel the same way. I thank God we crossed paths!”

“Me too, baby!”

They then embraced and kissed once again until they heard a loud crash of thunder.

Hannah grabbed Eli tightly out of fright, then said, “Sorry, I’m just scared of thunder.”

“I understand completely. Why don’t we go to a more interior part of the mall so we can be safe.”

“Lead the way, sweetheart.”

Hand in hand, they walked to the middle corridor of the mall. There were several more thunderings and rain began pouring down in torrents.

Hannah grabbed Eli’s arms several times. Eli rubbed Hannah’s back and kissed her.

They then made it to the bench.

Eli tuned in to the Weather Radio broadcasts on his new scanner.

They were notified of a severe thunderstorm in progress.

Hannah leaned against Eli and then said, “The storm isn’t so bad, since you are right here.”

Eli put his arm around Hannah and kissed the top of her head as he spoke, “You feel so wonderful pressed up against me.”

There was a deafening peal of thunder, then the power went out.

Hannah tensed up in heavy distress. She began breathing heavily as Eli held her with his left arm.

From his right pocket, Eli retrieved a Blue Mini Maglite and turned it on.

The look of distress on Hannah’s face turned to a beaming smile as she said, “It’s so sexy how you’re prepared.”

Eli blushed but was speechless.

Hannah grabbed Eli and planted several more kisses on his face.

Eli continued listening to the Weather Radio broadcast in case a tornado warning would be issued.

Mall security had begun to escort customers out.

They approached Hannah and Eli, to which Hannah said, “My mom works at Chick-Fil-A and she is our ride home.”

“Come this way, then,” the two guards, a husband and wife team, said as they walked Eli and Hannah to the restaurant.

By the light of the guards’ flashlights in addition to Eli’s, they safely arrived.

Beatrice greeted Hannah and Eli then said, “Sit tight, my shift will be over in about forty-five minutes.”

“We can listen to that radio device you have, until then Eli,” Hannah said.

Eli nodded and they sat at a table with Eli’s Mini Maglite in Candle Mode.

Beatrice then said, “Well Eli you are certainly a very resourceful young man.”

“Thank you, Ms. Bea, Eli replied, then continued, “My Pappy always taught me to be prepared and I take his words seriously.”

Beatrice did her work while Eli and Hannah sat and continued listening to the Weather Report.

The power came back on with ten minutes to go.

Beatrice continued preparing the work area for the incoming shift.

She then clocked out and walked with Eli and Hannah to the bus stop…

Back to “a.D. MMIV”