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TITLE: Plant the seed Chapter 1
By Andrew Curtis
08/01/06
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Matt stands on the top of his apartment building smoking a cigarette, drinking his beer and watching the traffic below. He's waiting for the most opportune time to jump. The complex is only 3 stories high so he wants to make sure he lands in front of a large enough car. He doesn't want to end up a vegetable.

Matt looks up to the sky and yells, “Are you here or not?”

Hearing nothing, he steps closer to the edge. He slowly peers over the ledge to the street below. People are walking and carrying on, laughing and talking. Oh how he wishes he was one of them. He's never felt a part of anything. That's why he began drinking over eleven years ago. It started out as a social easement, but ended up a daily process. He loved nothing more than to drink himself silly every night. He couldn't get enough.

His first drunk was very pleasing to him. He loved losing control and not worrying about the world and his problems. Although he blacked out and remembers nothing, he enjoyed it. He began drinking daily about a month after that first drunk. It became a way to relax at first, but then became a necessity. He lived to drink; nothing else mattered. His finances floundered, his friends left and his utilities were constantly being turned off.

Peering over the ledge again, he noticed in the distance the twinkling of police lights. He could faintly hear the siren. There was now a throng of people standing below him on the sidewalk, pointing and shouting to him not to jump. He looked towards the police car and decided that he was not going to be able to jump tonight. Perhaps tomorrow he would try again. He picked his cooler with the remaining four beers and headed for the staircase.

Back in his apartment, he plops down on the couch and cracks open another beer, swallowing a large gulp. He wants oblivion. He doesn't want to remember. He doesn't care. His own life is a torture. The despair is painful but he refuses to try and overcome. There is now way out. He may as well die a statistic from alcohol.





A knock on the door startles him. He quickly scans the room, puzzled as to what the noise was. The knock grows louder and harder as Matt wakens from his alcohol induced coma. He wobbles up form the couch and staggers to the door. He opens it to find two policemen with disturbed looks on their faces peering back at him.

“Mr. Allen,” one of them asks him.

Matt nods in approval.

“Were you just up on the ledge of this apartment building?” the same officer, Frank, asks.

Matt bows his head in humiliation and drops to the floor, weeping.

The officers look at each other, then reach down to assist him back to his feet.

“Let's sit down and talk for a moment,” the other officer, Dan, says.

Matt sobs uncontrollably as the officers survey the nasty apartment. The first officer who spoke shakes his head in disbelief and judgment. The other officer, a rookie, gives a sorrowful look at the abode and a look of grief while watching Matt weep.

“Mr. Allen,” the Frank says, “we need to speak with you. Do you think you can gather yourself for just a moment for us?”

Matt wipes the tears from his eyes and looks at him.

“Now Mr. Allen,” Frank scorns, “this is the third time this week I have been here for this. If you remember, last time I said I would have to take you in for disturbing the peace. I don't want to take you in because you're a mess but you leave me no choice.”

“Hang on Frank,” Dan interrupts, “I have seen this kind of thing before. Do you think I could have a moment by myself with him?”

Frank scratches his head and agrees, “You have five minutes. I'm going to go call this in. We still have to take him in.”

“I know,” Dan frowns, “but I want him to know that someone is on his side.”

Frank exits the apartment and closes the door behind him.

“Matt,” Dan says, “I want to talk to you for a moment. Is that okay?”

Matt solemnly nods his head.

“I have a brother who is in the same position you are in,” he says with a comforting voice, “he was unable to stop drinking for over 20 years until he found a way out. Do you know what that way out is?”

“I bet it has something to do with God,” Matt blurts.

“It does,” Dan smiles, “it has everything to do with God.”

“I don't want to hear it,” Matt scowls, “God left me here to die.”

“God doesn't leave anyone to die,” Dan says, “He lets us make our own choices and sometimes those choices are not the best ones for us. He's always here. Have you tried asking him for help?”

Matt takes a large breath and looks Dan in the eyes, “What makes you think I even want help?”

Dan returns the look and says with a small smile, “Because people that want to kill themselves just do it. Those who want help don't. Frank said this is the third time he's been here this week for this. That makes me think you want to live. Do you really want to live?”

Matt removes his gaze and stares at floor. His eyes well up with tears again.

“Yes,” he softly says, “I do. I just can't stop. It was for fun for a while but now it's just become my ruler.”

“I understand that,” Dan replies, “My brother felt the same way. If you want, I can get you in touch with him.”

“I think I might like that,” Matt sobs.

Frank walks back into the apartment and sees the two sitting on the couch together, Matt still crying.

“Let's go,” he says, “we have to do this.”

The officers put Matt in the squad car for the short ride to the station. They have no desire to arrest him, but they have to do their jobs. Dan keeps looking in the backseat to check on him. Matt just continues to stare at the floorboard in deep thought.

Matt is thinking back over his life at this point. He's beginning to understand what is happening at this moment. He remembers his conversation with Dan and begins to reminisce.

He was introduced to God as a small child. He had no need for Him though. His parents provided everything he needed. Besides, no one can be big enough to create all that we see anyway. He sees it as impossible. A man on the street ministering once asked Him about God. Matt replied, “If there is a God, why is my life so miserable?” The man offered him several reasons and Matt took it as his own failures are making him suffer in life. Obviously, he did not like the answer but he has never forgotten the conversation.

If there was ever a point where a person needed God, it was now for Matt. He almost ended his life just moments ago and did not see it as a sign that something needs to change. His own derelict behavior will eventually be the ruin of him. He is not sober enough to see that change is required, but not devastated enough to see that he is about to hit rock bottom.
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