Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)
TITLE: Long Story Short
By Leigh MacKelvey
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I’m thinking it went well, but as I walk down the street with the preacher, a Mustang screeches to a stop and backs up. It’s my non-church friends I hang with. They see me beside the preacher who is carrying a big black Bible the size of a pizza box and you know what they do? Laugh. They cackle and stick their middle fingers at me and wheel away so fast my new flowered church dress blows and twists around my body. I plan to lessen my friendship with them anyway, seeing how they’re not a good influence, but a couple of them owe me money and I can witness to them when I collect. Thing is, not one of them will take my phone calls now that I hang with holy-rollers. It hurts my feelings ’cause I’m still the same me, only sanitized, and I want them to understand about Jesus, but they figure since none of the drive-through church people will have anything to do with them, I’m the same way.
I need to get a job, since I can’t depend on “old men money”, so I search the paper and find one in a restaurant. The boss tells me to come down, but first I have to go the Gold-Digger Club to tell them I’m resigning ‘cause I’m trying to break my addiction to cheating old men. Well, I’m floored at their reaction ‘cause they cheer and say they want to break from it too. We decide to change the name of the club to Gold-Digging Recovery. We cry and tell how we reached our bottom and agree to get help through any set-backs. Back to the interview. I get to the restaurant and the boss, who’s old as Moses, is sitting at the bar. We start the interview and it looks like I’m hired, only my Recovery friends are peering in the window. They see me at a bar with an old man so they swarm the restaurant and take me to a rehab. I lose the job and it takes days to convince my friends that I haven’t relapsed.
I’m broke and decide to witness to my old friends and collect my money. I see the Mustang parked outside the pool hall, so I go in and once they realize I’m the same old me, I begin to tell them about Jesus and several of them want to know more, so I take them outside, but the preacher is on the other side of the street. He sees who I’m with and thumps his Bible and tells me that I’m excommunicated because I’m back into sin.
I find another church where the preacher is more compassionate. Some of the Gold-Diggers join. There’s lots of old men in church, but I haven’t the slightest urge to go after their money. Well, that’s how it happened and people are gonna think what they think, I think.
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