Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Thanksgiving (04/18/05)
- TITLE: Musings of a fifteen year old
By Rosario D'Souza
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Yet, what’s a guy to do but grit his teeth and bear the year out? May be, just may be, the year would pass quickly, and something good would come out of it. I was fifteen, and that was my philosophy of life.
My girlfriend thought that my philosophy was cool and funny. Yes, she was fifteen too.
The cops who were escorting me home weren’t laughing though. They had me, and there was nothing I could do about it. For those of you who don’t know, being handcuffed is really a form of torture, especially when tears are running down your face, and your nose has a desperate itch.
Who would believe me if I told them that I was framed? The heroin they found in my backpack was not mine. I had no clue how it got there. While I had dabbled in marijuana when I was twelve, I had been clean for a long time now. My dad was a big man, and he had made clear to me what he would do to me if he caught me on drugs again.
We approached our front door, and I began to panic. My dad was an old fashioned guy when it came to discipline. He didn’t say much when you did wrong. He just took you upstairs, shut the door, and pulled out a belt from the closet. Then, depending on the grief you had caused the family, you were belted on the bottom. Unlike mom, he was immune to your cries of pain.
The cops glanced at me, and then knocked on the door. My dad opened the door. I saw the look he gave me when he saw the cops. But I was puzzled – I didn’t detect anger, just sadness.
The cops came in and explained what they found. My dad listened quietly and then told me to go upstairs. I knew what that meant, of course. I began estimating how many belts it would be this time. Yes, kids do use the math they learn – just in ways that grown ups would least imagine.
When the cops left, my dad came upstairs and shut the door. There was no belt in his hand. If ever there was a confused fifteen-year-old, it was me. What was going on? I really didn’t know. He did get religion recently, but surely that had nothing to do with this?
My dad had me kneel beside my bed. And then, he knelt beside me. He joined his hands and bowed his head in prayer. “Father,” he said, “I want to thank you for my son, Ross. He’s a good kid, even though at times it’s hard to notice that. For his past, please forgive him, as you forgave me. And if you will not, then let me pay for his deeds. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.”
If he wanted to shock me, he couldn’t have done it in a better way. The effect on me was electric. I broke down. I wept.
All these years, I had heard nothing but commandments; I had seen nothing but anger; I had felt nothing but pain. Then suddenly, this man got religion and changed! I expected a whacking, and instead, this man was thanking. Hmm, may be God does exist. May there is something real about Christ. After all, how can one explain the change in my dad?
When I least deserved it, my dad gave thanks for me. Imagine that! May be I am worth something after all.
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