“You have got to be kidding me. Please Dear Lord; don’t let me run out of gas.” Vicky’s gas gauge clearly reads below the empty mark. Peering over the steering wheel, she pulls the old Chevy to the shoulder of the road. The county road she is on is without streetlights so she sits there, head bowed on the steering wheel and prays.
“Dear Heavenly Father, please help me. I am out of gas. I have no cell phone. I have no husband. I have no family. I have no one but you.”
Looking up and peering out into the darkness, Vicky notices a light in the distance. She looks around the car and finds her only weapon, a ball point pen. Picking it up she thinks that if someone attacks her, she can maybe stab them in the eye with the pen. With pen and purse in hand, she opens the car door and begins the long walk towards the light ahead.
Her steps are crunchy in the gravel beneath her feet. She hears the rustle of water nearby in the woods and occasionally the scurry of a night animal foraging for food. Her pace quickens as she gets closer to the source of the light ahead. She is soon close enough to read a sign in the front of the building.
“County Line Tavern.” She reads aloud and stops in her tracks. She stands there and contemplates the situation. She looks around and there is nothing else in sight besides this bar. Its parking lot is void of all cars but two. Her guess is one belongs to the bartender and the other to a patron drowning their life’s sorrows in a cold bottle of beer.
“Ok. I can do this. Lord, help me. I have been without a drop of alcohol for two months now. I am out of gas on this dark road and the only civilization I see is a bar. I don’t know if I am strong enough to go in. I don’t know what to do. Please show me.”
Vicky puts one foot in front of the other and makes her way forward. As she gets closer, she feels stronger about her decision. She convinces herself that she will walk inside and march up to the bar and ask the bartender for help. She tells herself that she will not, no matter what, order herself a drink.
With her hand grasped firmly on the door handle leading into the bar, she opens it. The familiar smells of cigarettes, cheap cologne, and beer waft pass her nose. She stands there for a moment and inhales the mixture of scents. It’s grotesqueness is like a melody to her alcoholic mind.
The bartender is standing behind the counter reading a magazine. He looks up at her and motions with his hand for her to come inside. Vicky clutches her purse tightly to her shoulder and puts her free hand up in front of her.
“Hello. I just want you to know up front that I will not be ordering anything to drink here. I’ve given up alcohol. I just need to know if there is a gas station nearby. If not, I’d like to borrow your phone please.”
The bartender smiled and closed his magazine. “Honey, there ain’t no gas station for a few miles. I’ve got some gas though you can have. It may be enough to get you to the station. I’ll have to get it from the back of my truck. It’s only a couple of gallons, enough for cutting grass.”
He motions for her to have a seat at the bar. When Vicky sits on the barstool, he puts a short glass on the counter and drops some ice in it. As he’s about to reach under the counter, she pushes the glass away.
“I told you I don’t drink anymore.”
He laughs. “Neither do I. I was gonna pour you a glass of club soda. Anyway, our license was revoked last week. That’s why you don’t see anyone in the place.”
Vicky laughs and even though at first she was tempted by the thought of an ice cold beer on such a humid and frustrating night, she sought God and He gave her the strength she needed to pass the test of temptation. For her, tonight was the ultimate exam and she aced it.
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