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: A Frank Conviction
By william price
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Christine squirmed as she tried to concentrate on the pastor’s Fruits of the Spirit sermon. She was repenting with each Godly empowered character mentioned. But still, the 20-year-old would glance over at Frank. His white button down shirt and brown tie didn’t seem natural on him, but sure looked good. His long stringy hair was now cropped short, his face clean-shaven and missing was the lightning bolt earring that used to dangle from his right ear.
Christine knew his long sleeves were covering his tattoo littered arms; a collection of “ink” from numerous trips to jail. She remembered how she would watch her neighbor for years working on his motorcycle in his driveway. She always had a crush on Frank, but he wasn’t the type of boy a “good” girl should spend time with.
This was the third week Christine had noticed Frank at church and he hadn’t even acknowledged her presence. She had decided to wear one of her party dresses to church that day, maybe a tad too short, but still respectable she thought. She had spent an hour flat-ironing her long blonde hair and applying makeup. But, even with all of her extra work, he never gave her a glance
Christine’s friends told her Frank found religion during his last stint in jail, but they were skeptical. They felt it was more due to his probation officer telling him he’d better straighten up and look good for his next court appearance before the judge sent him to prison.
When she wasn’t stealing glances at Frank nodding his head at everything the pastor was saying, Christine was busy sending text messages back and forth with her girlfriends. Of course, Frank was their topic, as well as the party the gal-pack went to the night before. Her friends didn’t attend church regularly, but Christine felt they were “good” girls too. None of them had ever been to jail or made frequent trips to the Health Department.
As the church service was winding down, Christine decided she would speak to Frank. Her girlfriends concurred.
When she looked over to catch another glimpse of Frank, Christine noticed he was gone. She panicked momentarily before she spotted him kneeling at the altar in prayer with the pastor. Christine observed he wasn’t carrying himself as the “bad” boy like he always had. His walk was now graceful and posture respectful as he sat. She began to feel a little convicted as she tried to pull down the hem of her skirt closer to her knee.
After church was over, Christine walked up to Frank in the parking lot as he was getting on his motorcycle.
“Hey, neighbor,” She said nervously with a big smile.
“Well if it isn’t Christine. How’re you doing?”
His voice sent chills down Christine’s arms. She always loved his deep masculine voice.
“Doing good, Frank. Been noticing you at church. You look a little different with your hair cut and all. Still got those tattoos?”
Frank blushed. “Yea, I guess I’m stuck with them, but they constantly remind me of my former ways and why I want to keep my life focused on Jesus.”
Christine was floored. She had never heard Frank use “Jesus” in that context before.
“Listen, Frank, some of my friends are coming over this evening. Would you care to join us? I‘m living in those new condos down by the river now.”
“You still hanging around Betty Lou, Jasmine and that bunch?” Frank frowned as he spoke.
“Of course. Gal-pals for life, you know.”
Frank put his motorcycle helmet on and lifted up its visor.
“I think I’ll pass, Christine. But, thank you. I heard Betty Lou was over trying to buy some weed from my brother. I can’t get near that stuff anymore. And there is a revival service at Metro tonight I think I’m going to. But, maybe I’ll see you at church Wednesday evening. Be cool, Christine, I gotta roll. I’m helping with lunch at the mission.”
“Bye…” Christine plucked her cell phone out of her handbag as she watched Frank ride off.
“Listen, Betty Lou, I don’t want to get together tonight. There’s somebody I need to get closer to in a more personal way.”
“Ahhh, is it Frank? I knew that dress would work.”
“No, I‘m not ready for a Frank yet. It‘s Jesus.”
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