Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER (02/28/19)
- TITLE: Taken for Granted
By Dave Walker
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
----------- o ------------
"Don't tell me what to do. It's my life!"
"Yes, Jerry, and you're throwing it away."
Jerry felt the blood hot on his cheeks and his eyes blazed. "You never see anyone's side except your own. I've had enough."
His father's words followed him up the stairs, "I'm doing the best I can, son, since Ma died. Give me some slack." Jerry shut them out as he slammed his door.
After midnight, he crept downstairs. Kathy was waiting with her car. "I got your call. What's up?"
"My Old Man. He's so strict, I can't move. I'm getting out."
"Where'll you go?"
"Sam's pad. He's got a sleeper couch."
"He's bad news, Jerry. Into all sorts of stuff. You know that!"
"I'll steer clear of that. Just need a place to sleep."
Sam welcomed him warmly. "Jerry, my man. Come in, come in." The smoky room smelled sickly sweet. Two men had passed out on the couch. "A place to stay? Sure! For as long as you like."
A week later Jerry was shaken awake. "Jerry, our driver's gone AWOL. Come drive for us."
"Uhh.....what's the time? Where to?"
"Never mind. Just come."
Two of Sam's friends were in the back as Jerry opened the driver's door. "What's this about, Sam? Where are we going?"
"Just drive. You want to sleep here don't you?"
"Up here." Sam pointed to an unlit street. "Park the car and wait."
They disappeared. After an hour, they reappeared as suddenly as they had gone and tumbled in. "Okay, Jerry. Home, quick."
That night, Jerry thought of his father and the lecture he'd get if he'd been on such an escapade from home. His dad lived by the Bible. Ever since Mom died, his favourite saying in difficulties was, "God'll get us through, son." or, "We'll do this God's way. Stick to the promises in His Word."
Jerry sighed with relief. Thank goodness he wasn't at home to face the music.
For the following weeks, as he drove Sam and his friends into dark streets at dead of night, he grew more and more uneasy. He forced himself to think of the irritating things about his father --- his impatience when Jerry dawdled over a chore, his refusal to see any other point of view save that of the Bible, his insistence that Jerry help with the housework. Sam was up to no good. It made Jerry uneasy, but resenting his dad helped him to stay there and not go home.
Yet, lying awake in the still hours of the night, memories of his father teaching him to ride his bicycle, the conversations and chuckles as they sat by the river fishing, the tears in his eyes and sagging shoulders as they spoke of Mom tumbled unbidden into his mind.
Then came his aunt's phone call. "Jerry, your dad's taken ill. He's not expected to live." Dad dying? No! The memories that had intruded on his sleep now flooded his mind. I love you, Dad. I took so much for granted! How could I not see it when I was with you? A phrase floated into his consciousness, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" Why did it take leaving home to appreciate his dad so much?
"Where are you going?" Sam's voice cut the air.
He sneered. "Yeah. Couldn't stand the pace hey, goody goody?"
------------ o ------------
Jerry paused on the first stair, his heart pounding. What will I say? What will he say? He continued up.
He pushed the door ajar and walked hesitantly in. His aunt and cousins looked up in surprise, then lit the room with smiles and delight.
"Gordon, look who's here. God has heard you."
Jerry saw his father's flushed, sweat-laden face, heard his stertorous breathing and rushed to his side. "I'm so sorry, Dad. I never appreciated you. Please forgive me. I'm coming home. Please don't die."
Gordon was smiling between grimaces. "God heard..... my prayers. My prodigal.... has returned."
Jerry's aunt and cousins stood. "We'll get the coffee."
Jerry sat beside his father, holding his hand. For the first time in months, the peace of God entered his heart.
Proverbs 4:1 "Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and gain understanding."
Eph 4:3 "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.