The Exile: Episode 8

Even though the gates to the warehouse were far behind me, I kept running until my legs couldn’t support me any longer. With what little strength remained, I staggered to the sidewalk and fell to the ground. No matter the risk, I knew I had to catch my breath. I leaned back and rested against a nearby wall. Lifting my head, I looked up at the sky peppered with stars and felt my heartbeat begin to slow. Peaceful up there. Not like here where the world was pushing down on my shoulders.

“I know there’s purpose to everything, but sometimes it’s hard to see,” I told myself.

The moon was full as the occasional cloud drifted by.

“I just need help. I need something. It’s getting more and more difficult to keep going. It seems that at every corner, I come across someone who wants me dead, and yet I still don’t know why.”

I lay my head in my hands and felt the tears streaming down my cheeks, coming together in a puddle beside me. Suddenly I heard approaching footsteps on the pavement.

“Kill me if you want. I don’t care anymore,” I told the person.

“Once you accept your own death, only then are you free to live,” a man’s soft voice said above me.

I looked up and saw an old man staring down at me. His eyes were kind and held a concern I hadn’t seen in some time.

He smiled and spoke as he struggled to sit down next to me,

“That was Saul Alinsky,” he said with a grunt of exertion. “A writer from Chicago, dead some time ago.”

I wiped my face and with my fingers brushed my hair back.

“Who are you?” I asked.

The old man looked at me and said, “We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone, but if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.” He smiled again and said, “That was Walter Anderson.”

I felt myself begin to relax somewhat, so I quoted one of my favorite passages, “We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval, and His approval brings hope.”

The old man’s eyes twinkled and he said,

“Romans chapter three, correct?”

“Verses four and five,” I added.

He patted me on the back and introduced himself.

“I’m Clifford Ross. You look like you could use some help.”

“You have no idea,” I said.

“Then come along and rest. I have a small place with a little food you are welcome to share,” Clifford said.

I stood and then turned to help Clifford up.

Clifford’s apartment was small, just like he said, but the couch was large enough for me to lie back. I still was hesitant about trusting this old man, but I was so tired. I had had a long night, so I lay back and instantly fell asleep.

When I awoke, the warm sun was streaming through the window. I wiped the sleep from my eyes and tried to focus. The first thing I saw was a young girl holding a pistol and pointing it right at my face.

Published in: on August 2, 2010 at 12:40 am  Leave a Comment  

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