Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Luggage (08/15/05)
TITLE: A Son's Travels
By Ronald Mosby
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He stared at the luggage and reminisced of the time when he stepped off of the bus, bags in hand. Rigid and stiff-necked, he refused to look back. He was a man, and he was going to succeed on his terms. He confidently walked the seven blocks necessary to get to the nearest motel. He had it all laid out, at least in his mind. As he entered he motel, his inquiry to the clerk about the room cost was insincere at best. He simply threw a handful of bills over the desk. It didn’t take long for this to become his signature habit.
He quickly made a reputation for himself, this man of mystery. Where did he come from? Why was he here? The answers to these questions were not a top priority, at least for the opposite gender. For now, women battled to take their rightful place under his arm. And he enjoyed the attention. He was the main attraction, and he reveled in the glory. He was not the least bit concerned about the future; his indulgences occupied all of his time. It was this same glory that blinded him from the disaster that was about to occur.
At first, it wasn’t noticeable. The friends, like his money, began to diminish like slow drips from a faucet. But the faster the money went, so did the friends. Soon, the slow drips became a steady stream. Then, the bottom fell out. The money was gone, and there was no other means of support. Alone, with no place to rest his weary body, he slept in alleys, on streets, or wherever he could find cover from the elements.
His odd jobs barely provided enough support for two scant meals a day. Now, he was nothing more than a withered shell of his former self. Yet, in the midst of his demise, he suddenly awakened. He determined in his heart that he would return to his father’s house.
He began the long trek back home. He did a lot of walking, which gave him time to think. He had initially envisioned himself as a trailblazer; he came to realize he was merely a sojourner. He left a naïf, but he was returning a man. Not much longer to go, but the joy and expectation began to turn into fear and apprehension. How would his father receive him? His journey slowed as he began to imagine his father, angered by his son’s impulsive behavior, standing there waiting to castigate this rebellious upstart. Truly, there was no excuse for his behavior. The young man must take full responsibility for his actions, and suffer the consequences.
He could now see the house from a distance. His approach became dilatory, for he was filled with mixed emotions. His father happened to be out tending the field, when he noticed his son’s deliberate gait. Words were unnecessary; his rush to meet his son spoke volumes. The young man practically melted in the warmth of his father’s grasp. As he began to explain to his father how he erred, he saw his father’s eyes well up with tears. He knew his father cared nothing about what happened in the past. The two of them were elated just to be in each other’s presence.
What memories this old luggage carried. There were a lot of lessons that were learned during its travels. The man gracefully wiped the dust from the luggage, grateful that both he and the luggage were where they belonged – in his father’s house.
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