Chapter 4 of Novelette
The trees and crickets returned to their refrain, welcoming back their guests.
Their favorite guests…
A young man sat on top of an old dock, breathing in the late evening air, letting his legs dangle and swing back and forth. His legs stopped swinging when he heard a creaking sound from behind. Footsteps. They grew louder and louder, and a young woman walked up beside him, looking down with a smile. “Hey, I – uh… I knew you’d find me here,” he said. “-” “Sorry, but -” he interrupted before she could speak. “Not this time…..”
She sat down beside him, following suit by giving her attention to the slow sun set. As he formulated his words, a cold breeze sent a sad chill up his spine. “You’re not even here. I wi-……. you’re ju-…… you’re never here.”
If only he knew how cold she was – he’d give her his coat.
He took a deep breath and let out a heaving sigh. “But I guess for sake of getting the weight off my chest, I might as well talk.” Though the sun set was beautiful, it was no match to the calling of her attention to him sharing his heart with her. She had good taste for beauty.
“Have you ever wanted, deep down.. desperately…. to fall in love?! And not just fall in love but fall into a bouncy house, rather than an escape room which ticks the time down to zero and you have to get your photo taken saying, ‘Psych! It was my fault!'” A moment passed, and she looked at him with amusement, yet not disrespectfully. He looked back at her and then cleared his throat. “Oh, yeah, kinda got lost in that illustration. It’s just – okay, it’s like this. I had this blog and I wrote some pretty crazy stories with some pretty crazy ideas. And I read back I think to myself, ‘Oh, buddy. If only you knew… the things that will happen and the person you’ll become…'”
When he looked from the sun set to her eyes, he was hit with a pang of grief when he saw the pain of her wanting to say so much. He had to respond! “I wish! I really wish so many things. But – you’re… you’re… not here!”
If only he knew how tired she was – he’d give her his shoulder.
“I know how the story goes. To be honest, I asked for it. Literally, I prayed for the impossible, and there’s something funny that I discovered about the impossible. It’s usually not fun, and it’s never easy. The easy life is not what I’m called to – but… I’m living like it.” She closely examined his face, reading between the lines of his words. “See, the story goes like this. When I sat down to write this moment into existence, I had just watched a super hero movie, and for the 100th time I revisited this epic desire to be that kind of guy! To be that guy who has some worthiness to steal a moment, to steal a heart, to steal a kiss, to steal – what he is ready for. And what gets someone ready? Simple: the presence of God. I miss that lifestyle…”
The sunset grew in color as the radiance complimented his blue eyes perfectly. “Hey, you know what?” She looked from the sky back to him. “That’s exactly where I first fell in love with you: the presence of God. When I heard His heart beat, that’s when I also first felt yours, and I realized……. someone’s heart beat is out there waiting to beat for me like it beats for Him. And frankly, as I’ve wandered away from being close to His presence… it’s kinda like how I’ve fallen out of love with you. Which only serves to remind me that… that I’m alone.”
If only he knew how lonely she was – he’d give her his hand.
It was at this point that he let his spine go limp and he fell back onto the dock, throwing his arms back and closing his eyes. He almost wished that when he opened his eyes, she wouldn’t be there. But when he opened his eyes, he saw the dark shades purple and blue closing up the sky and ushering in the dark night. Then he looked way down towards his lower body, and saw that the beautiful young woman had actually stolen a few more inches to be closer to him. She gazed into the water, remaining motionless.
She reached in her pocket and pulled out a familiar letter that she had been keeping for a good while. When she turned to hand it to him, he was gone. While part of her had suspected this scenario to be the case, nothing could prepare her for the trauma of experiencing it all over again, and this time – this time hurt even worse. Her hands tightened and began to crinkle the letter, but she managed to stop herself before damaging it too severely. It was then that these words escaped her lips:
“Lord! Please, help him! Please, help him see how much You truly love Him! Bring him back to the simplicity of the Gospel! Bring him back to fervency on his knees! I need his prayers! Show Him how strong you are to deliver Him from his ruts and struggles! There’s so much I can’t tell him… so please. If he’s really writing tonight, if this is really just a story… then just – be You! Make Him to be the man you desire Him to be. I trust that You will do that. I believe You will…”
So there she sat, continuing in prayer on the old rustic dock as the night settled in.
But then she realized the most wonderful thing:
His coat over her shoulders and hands.