Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)
TITLE: Lucas's Reunion
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“I really hated high school, Lucas. You sure about this?” his wife asked, standing next to him as he finished packing his travel bag.
“I want to see if I’ve grown any I guess,” he replied, snapping the snaps on his bag, and zippering the zippers.
“Alright then,” she surrendered, embracing him and gently kissing the back of his neck.
That moment, in all its tenderness and encouragement, is what he thought about on and off. He recalled it as he trudged through the airport and into a taxicab. It returned when he walked from the front desk of the hotel room, and into the elevator. The memory even graced his subconscious, as he read 2 Timothy before drifting off to sleep.
* * *
Lucas’s rental car was a typical American-made sedan, and when he pulled up to the high school, it had no chance. Foreign cars littered the lot, from BMWs to Jaguars. People were spread out, laughing and talking to each other. Lucas smiled, and tried to recognize their faces, but couldn’t until stepping out for some fresh air later in the evening.
He swung the door open, and let it close behind him with a thud.
Freddie McCloud from junior year Calculus was standing there leaning against the side of the building. Lucas was one hundred percent sure that it was him, and spoke right up.
“Hey, Freddie,” he said, looking out into the parking lot.
Freddie looked over at him before putting a paper cup down on the ground, and screwing the top back on a little bottle of whiskey he returned to his suit pocket.
“Hey,” he replied after picking the cup back off of the ground, and taking a swig.
Lucas stood next to him.
“This isn’t what I thought it would be either. I’m not sure why you decided to show up here tonight, but I had this whole big reason. I wanted to see what I’d do. And, you know what … I can go back satisfied.”
Freddie downed more of the whiskey-spiked punch.
“What’s satisfying? I’m drinking in this parking lot, and talking to you, when I should be in there getting whatever it is that’s keeping them full of jokes and contentment.”
Lucas adjusted his eyeglasses, centering the bridge at the very top of his nose.
“Freddie, they don’t have it all. They don’t have what I know I’ve got right now. It’s what you can have, too … if you really stopped and thought.”
“What is it?”
“A sound mind. See, what’s in your cup down there, in their heads, and under the hoods of all those cars, won ‘t compare.”
“A sound mind?” asked Freddie, sniffling and raising an eyebrow.
“See, I’ve been teaching this Sunday school at my church back home, back where I live now. I read the bible to do that well enough, but there’s more. What I’m talking about is in 2 Timothy 1:7. It says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Freddie shrugged his shoulders and reached down for the cup again.
“It means that your mind isn’t cluttered with all of the things that the world throws at you and forces to stick. You wouldn’t need a drink … or to make a car into a toy. I think I’m free. I think I can go back in there, and not feel like I’ve done something wrong by traveling the straighter road … one where the car needn’t hug every curve to avoid a crash. I think I can talk with any one of those people about anything at all now, and not feel obligated to give them what they expect. I won’t budge, drop to their level, and lie about who I am, and what I’ve got. They want silly battles about status, but I really won’t care. I’m free. I’m just free.”
Putting the cup back on the ground, and tightening his necktie around his neck, Freddie nodded and closed his eyes for a moment.
“Let’s go back in there and show‘em what a couple of Calculus students can do for a big party,” said Lucas as he pulled open the heavy door.
They walked down the hall, and back into the gymnasium.
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