Twenty years earlier
She hadn’t known that it would happen. There was hardly an explanation either—except that the magic suitcase had brought her here, of all places, to the busy town of London, England.
The magic suitcase had brought her back to life.
Marilyn Jackson peeked around the corner of a big brick building as she stood inside one of the London alleyways, in complete shock. She’d squeezed her eyes shut when the lit stick of dynamite had reached the end of the line, but instead of feelings of pain or even seeing the beautiful land of Paradise, she’d opened her eyes and had been laying on the ground beneath her. It was the strangest thing—perhaps the magic suitcase was much more than she’d ever imagined.
She didn’t know where her three children were, but she also was not worried. There was no doubt that they were safe. But now, she must continue to go on, for the mysteries of life were lying straight ahead. Now that she was presumed dead to the rest of the world, God still had a special plan for her.
Marilyn took a deep breath as she strode down the alleyway and toward the busy downtown area. All kinds of people roaming around her. Reporters, artists, drivers, and the average London citizen: adult or child, were hurrying around the streets of London. A boy was on the edge of one street giving away newspapers and, curious, Marilyn took one that he handed her and studied it.
She gasped—she was in the future! According to the newspaper’s year date, it had been exactly twenty-some years since she’d been in Morwick, witnessing her husband die, watching her daughters disappear inside the magic suitcase, leaving her baby to Cornwall Reaves for him to protect forever. She’d died inside the coal mining tunnel – but the magic suitcase had revived her. Her fate had been sealed that awful morning, and yet, she’d still awoken to find herself alive.
As Marilyn strode down the downtown London streets, not knowing where she was going but also not caring, she thought of her parents, particularly her father, who had so deeply loved her mother – who in such a short time had been the best mother Marilyn had ever known. If either one of them were alive today, what would be their thoughts of her life, of how the magic suitcase had saved her?
She walked faster, feeling determined and also a little anxious to discover what will occur next upon her. She’d probably never know where the suitcase had brought her children, and she’d also probably never find out. But by now, they were incredibly happy living their own lives, and that was all that truly mattered above anything else. For she trusted the magic suitcase.
Suddenly, though, as she gazed amongst the people and wagons hurrying down the streets at fast paces, she stopped—and froze. Her blood ran cold with shock, and then, tears welled up in her eyes – tears of utter, complete happiness.
There, across the street a little ways from her, stood a man holding his own newspaper, frowning at it in confusion. Marilyn could recognize those high cheekbones anywhere—those pale blue eyes, the dark, wavy hair, the beard that curved around his jaw, even his sun-browned skin. He was a man who had worked in the coal mines since age twenty-one, a man who had loved his career until his dying day in which he’d dissolved in that coal mining tunnel like mere dust from the ground. She’d gazed into those pale blue eyes every day. He was the father of her children, her best friend, and every reason that she’d ever chosen to live in her past – and every reason for needing to continue to live the rest of her life until the Lord called her home for good.
Tears sprang from her eyes and rolled down her cheeks.
“Henry!” she screamed at the top of his lungs, waving her arms. “Henry!”
Henry looked up, since he recognized the voice as well as his own, and his pale blue eyes searched the crowds until they found her. They widened, and he dropped the newspaper.
“Henry!” she exclaimed, rushing through the crowd of people and wagons. “Henry, Henry!”
“Marilyn!” he shouted, his booming voice sounding like the most beautiful roll of thunder. He began to run toward her.
She ran straight toward him as soon as she reached the other side of the street. He stopped, tears in his own eyes, and extended his arms with a big smile on his handsome, weathered face.
Giant sobs overtook her as she jumped into his arms, feeling his arms collide around her, perfect as always, and Henry swept her feet off the ground, holding her and cherishing her. She buried his face in his shirt, smelled his wonderful scent of pine and home. Her love for him was powerful, as was his own love for her, the greatest and best treasure either of them had ever known.
Finally, Henry set her down, pulling back only to cradle her jaw in his large palms, tears damp on his face.
“Is it you?” he whispered, in tears as she fingered the waves of his hair with tenderness. “Is it really you?”
Nodding, Marilyn beamed, and then kissed him with a deep passion, and he kissed her back. Their arms stayed linked around each other’s bodies, their hearts once again united.
And from that day forward, through death and eternity, that link would forever remain.
Thank you for choosing to read this book. It means the world to me that you would support me in my endeavors. One day this Part 2 might become published, but not now. May God continue to bless you always.