She heard the noises in the distance, the crunching of leaves, footsteps, someone was coming after her, she had to play dead, like a dog doing a trick for its master, but playing this game right was the difference between life and death literally.
Ana looked at what she had written, thankful the words were finally coming, in a way she had not expected. She was finally writing, reaching towards her goal of getting this manuscript to her editor in time so they would stop breathing down her back, but right now her fears were not so much on that, she was more worried about getting back home, getting to her house, because she was growing restless here at her parents.
She held her breath, counting backwards, slowly, 30,29, 28, 27 until she got down to zero. She heard the footsteps leave, and waiting a few seconds before she dared to exhale. This was more than a game though her life depended on making him believe she was dead.
A noise, she had to be still again. She let her eyes grow accustom to the darkness. She had never been so scared in her nine years, but she was not going to let him know she was alive. She was better off with the animals with the animals in the wild than she was with the man who was supposed to love her, her Father.
As she looked over what she had written Ana realized how her aunt must have felt. She was not telling her story specifically details were being changed they had to be, but this was a story she had to tell,
Secrets, our family is so full of secrets. Secrets that could kill any one of us if they get out. Lord God why do we have so many secrets in our family?
“Ana I think you will be able to go home soon, as long as nothing else happens. Maybe as soon as tomorrow.” Marishka said, looking at Ana. She knew her sister did not want her to get her hopes up.
“I hope so.” Ana said taking a moment to look up from her laptop to talk to her sister. It had been the first time in days she had really gotten into what she was writing, but she would take a few minutes off to talk to Vania.
“I do too Ana, I know how much it means to you, and I want you to be safe.”
“I know you do Vania and I do appreciate everything you have been doing for me.”
“I know you do Ana. I appreciate the way you take care of Journey and Justin while I am at work.”
“I enjoy doing it.”
“Someday Ana you will have a family of your own, and then I will get to spoil your kids the way you do Journey and Justin.”
“I hope so Vania.”
“Don’t give up Hope Ana, someone is out there for you. I know God has someone special just for you.”
Lord I hope so.
Vania wanted to see her sister happy, she deserved that. Ana had been through so much, they all had, but Ana had been the one poisoned the one who had nearly died at the hands of someone who was supposed to love her. It made Vania sick just thinking about the evil of her Grandfather.
How could someone have so much evil so much hate in their lives?
1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.
2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”[a]
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.
Peter’s First Denial
15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.
17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter.
He replied, “I am not.”
18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.
The High Priest Questions Jesus
19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.
20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”
22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.
23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Peter’s Second and Third Denials
25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”
He denied it, saying, “I am not.”
26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.
Jesus Before Pilate
28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”
30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”
31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”
“But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”
40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.
Ana looked at her sister, thankful for her love and support. Vania had faith in her sometimes when she felt like she had lost faith in herself. Ana was trying not to be downhearted trying not to let things get to her. She knew she was not the only one who had to deal with bad things, but sometimes they got to her. She had to lean on the Lord though, even Jesus had been betrayed and he had forgiven, and still loved, she would have to learn to do the same. Though Ana wasn’t sure she could ever love someone like her Grandfather.
It was hard living with the memories of what had happened to her, what her Grandfather had done to her, he had hurt Vania to in unspeakable ways, but they had survived. He had tried to break their spirit, but they had not given him that and for that they owed the praise to the Lord.