Hot anger turned icy cold when a faint whiff of alcohol brushed his face. He was losing her … she was slipping away. What was he supposed to do? Hostility flared as his daughter screamed frustration over his refusal of a ‘night out with friends.’
‘Just try and stop me daaaaad!’ she dripped with sarcasm, whipping her hair towards the door.
The room reverberated with the force of her fury leaving behind a devastated father. Billows of Magnolia Perfume fluttered through the curtains. ‘What’s happened to her? What about the Bible stories? The prayers? God … what’s going on? What do I do now? How can I help her?’
‘I don’t know where …’
He grabbed the keys and took off, his heart speeding beyond the limits allowed. ‘Where would she go? Which friend? Who …? Please God, keep her safe!’
Yes, Charissa. He had reservations about her. She seemed so lost and lonely; he thought his daughter could help, but maybe it had been a mistake.
The heat of day had turned heavy with mist as night grew black behind invisible clouds. He vaguely recalled the area where Charissa lived, but at least he had an idea – only a few more turns to the block of homes.
A corral of cars came into view and he slowed to see if his daughter was a part of this hoard of ‘friends’ mulling about. He slammed the brakes. ‘What was she doing? With that … that … who knows what?’ His chest heaved with rage, seethed with protective power! The couple jumped at the squealing tires close to their bodies.
He gripped the steering wheel to keep from pummeling this jerk! She kicked the car. Dad rolled down the window.
‘Wha’dya think you’re doin ole man? You ‘most ran over me!’
She grabbed Jerk’s hand to walk off but he pulled her close to defy an ‘ole man’s’ standard of treating a lady’s body.
Dad grabbed the door handle, ready to snatch his daughter and drag her home – to punch this guy in the face!
‘You Jerk!’ she screamed as she pushed away his groping lust, landing a good right hook, sending his jaw away from her neck. She ran off, alone.
Dad got out, every muscle trembling to be let loose, ‘Don’t ever, come near, my daughter again.’ he spit through clenched teeth. Jerk crossed his arms leaning against his own car … smiling. Dad made a move, so did Jerk – away.
Car still running, he revved down the street after his daughter, catching up with her two blocks over, ‘Get in.’
‘No! Just leave me alone!’
‘Get in. I’ll take you were you want to go. Promise.’
Hot anger turned icy cold. The night was still thick and black, absorbing an exasperated groan. She knew he would keep his promise. She hesitated at the window, struck by his luminous features … a mirror of her own – desperate.
He spoke to his little girl, ‘Please – get in.’
She flounced in the car slamming the door; her perfume mingled with the scent of defiance.
‘Hey! Whadya doin?’
‘Keepin us safe. I said I’d take you where you want to go, right? So, I will … after we talk. Promise.’
‘No way! I’m gettin outta here!’ she screamed, trying to force the handle. ‘Hey! What’s goin on? she kicked at the door. ‘Lemme out! Now!’
‘Lock control. We’ve got to talk. There’s a story I want to tell you … about a princess long ago. She loved Bible stories and prayed every night, we laughed and sang songs. Sometimes I held her for a little while before she went to sleep.’ I loved her then, I love her now – more than ever.’
‘Yeah, well, she’s gone.’
I don’t know ... she’s just gone.
Wait in hope of Me, I am your help, your shield. I am close to the broken hearted and save those crushed in spirit. My love and my faithfulness endures forever through all generations.
He reached over and touched fidgeting fingers, ‘That was a good right hook you landed. Wanna get a coke?’
… ‘I don’t care.’ she murmured.
Father and daughter rode in the silence of pain, each in their own world of questions with no answers. The one, longing to reach out; the other, longing to be held; God binding them together with His promises – threads of hope that will never break. Lock Control.
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