Molly and Eddie

” You said you loved me. You said I was important to you. You said I was special.”

” Ya, well maybe I did kid. I don’t remember. How the hell am I supposed to remember when I don’t feel good most days?”

” You ain’t sick mom, you’re just drunk all the time.”  ” Dammit kid, go away, leave me alone. I have a headache.”

Molly  turned around with head held low and shuffled her feet to her bedroom.…

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Molly and Eddie

” You said you loved me. You said I was important to you. You said I was special.”

” Ya, well maybe I did kid. I don’t remember. How the hell am I supposed to remember when I don’t feel good most days?”

” You ain’t sick mom, you’re just drunk all the time.”  ” Dammit kid, go away, leave me alone. I have a headache.”

Molly  turned around with head held low and shuffled her feet to her bedroom. Silence everywhere around her. The only sound she heard was the growling coming from within. It had been over a day since she had eaten. Well except the cookies the neighborhood kids had offered her earlier that day.

She closed the door behind her softly and took the two pillowcases off of her pillows. Opening her drawers she stuffed the dingy cotton with all of her worldly possessions. She waited until the living room became quiet. She knew then that her mom had passed out for the night.

Tears sprang to her eyes. She loved her mom, but she was hungry. Hungry for food, starving for love. She tip-toed down the hall and out the front door. It was so dark out. The sun had set about an hour ago and darkness would remain the same inside and out until the new dawn arose.

She didn’t pass too many people on the streets. A few drunks here and there leaning up against store buildings; probably friends of her moms. They had that same empty look on their face as she did.

She swore to herself she was never going to touch the stuff as long as she lived. Kicking stones trying to push one farther than the last she walked the streets deeper into the night.

She came across the tiny cafe with the big glass windows. A man was turning the sign on the door from open to close. He saw her and took in her tiny frame. He unlocked the door and motioned for her to come in.

She stood there until he smiled and said, ” Come on kid, you’re hungry aren’t ya?” Nodding her head yes she went in towards the bar stools. Hopping up on one she remained quiet until he started asking her, ” When’s the last time you ate kid? From the looks of you must have been a few days.” She didn’t respond. He went back behind the swinging doors and she could see him opening the shiny refrigerator doors.  He was pulling out some bowls.

Looking her way he nuked some food and within minutes he had delivered her a meal of mashed potatoes and beef and noodles. She looked up at him and all he said was, ” Go on kid, eat up.”

He turned back to go clean up and she wasted no time in devouring the plate of food. When he returned he had a bowl of pudding and a glass of milk. When she was finished he sat down beside her and started a conversation.

” What’s your name kid? Where do you live? Must not be too far away for you to be here so late at night.”

” I can’t tell you Mister. If my mom found out she would beat me good, and I don’t want to be beat anymore.”

Tears started welling up in the man’s eyes as he went back in time remembering his own rough childhood. He had fought for everything he ever had. He saved every penny he got his hands on. He had dropped out of school but later went back to get his GED.

After all the hard work  had been done, he had saved and proved to the community he was worthy. He ended up buying this cafe and had been here ever since. It wasn’t much, but it was his and it was paid for.

He looked at the kid and swore he wouldn’t tell a soul anything about her. She did tell him her name was Molly. ” Well, Molly, that is a pretty name. You look about the same age as my granddaughter who is 11. Is that about your age?” Molly nodded.

The two sat for a while longer and then he asked, ” Do you feel better now?” She said she did. ” Listen Molly, it gets kind of lonely here running this place all by myself. I have a couple of helpers but the one who washes the dishes in back is getting  old. She is slowing down. Would you be interested in a job helping her out? It would be just  a few days a week.  I would leave a few dishes for you and if you do them, I promise I will pay you and give you a decent meal to keep you from going hungry.”

Molly looked at him. She could read by the twinkle in his eye that he must be the best grandpa in the world. She sure wished he was her grandpa. The two shook hands. From that day forth Molly came in on the average of four to five days a week.

It wasn’t long before she was also bringing in her school work and the two would sit down after the dishes were done and she had eaten and get the home work done. Molly and Eddie formed a bond.

She learned to trust and he loved her like his own. Molly made it through those years. If it weren’t for Eddie she would have been lost in the cracks of life like so many kids.

Several years later, sitting in the front row in a white shirt and bow tie, whistles and clapping could be heard all over the auditorium as Eddie was thrilled watching Molly be handed her high school diploma.


Who Is This Man

Holding Hands shadow on sand

I heard one day a man conversing with another that when you are in a situation you feel you can’t get out of all you have to do is call upon his name. Who’s name? Who is this man you were speaking of?

I am sitting here on this park bench watching people walk by. Some are holding hands. Others I see are walking with minds far a way. Kids running and skipping. Bikes whizzing by.

No one stops near me. No one cares do they? Does this man care about me? I really doubt it. I have not been a good person. I fell off the way side years ago. I don’t think this person I heard them talk about would want to bother with me.

You see I laid my life aside to have what my body craved. I chose the bottle over my own wife and kids. I knew it was wrong but I couldn’t help myself. It called to me, the pull of pouring one more drink down my gullet was the driving factor for which I traded places with commitments for desires.

A man with such authority and power surely doesn’t touch the likes of me. My life is void. I was found in a gutter one day by a man in a uniform. I was taken in and placed behind metal bars. When I was finally released by my own empty promises that I would get help, I walked into an empty frame that was once my home.

The kids toys were no longer on the floor. The smell of my wife’s perfume had vanished. All I could inhale of memories reminding me that I once lived here was my two suitcases standing tall by the living room door.

They had left me. The woman I had fallen in love with during my college days had no more hope to cling to. She had taken my two precious babies and ran. I can still remember the days of yesterday. I bowed and kissed my wife’s brow. Resting in her arms were two precious lives that I had helped create. I felt more love in me at that moment than I had every experienced my entire life.

Now that I stood here hearing my children’s voices echoing in my mind I lay down and wept. I had screwed up. I had become what the town called the “town drunk.” Was this really me? Had I let that first drink turn into another? How could one person make such a mess of his own life with only the help of one lonely  bottle?

I stood and walked through the empty house, reaching out and touching where picture frames once hung. I could see where the Christmas Tree had sat so many times. Walking up the stairs, the same path as my children ran day after day, now holding only ghosts who stand back and wickedly laugh at me.

I stand in the door way of the room of my wife. I can see her walking towards me with tears in her eyes as I came home one more time too late. I always promised her I would never do it again and she would comfort me with kisses and I would wipe her tears with my lips.

Movie clips running through my mind of the times when we came together in this room. Promising to love no other, I had broken the golden rule and had become a slave to another. I walked back down the stairs running my hands on the rail. Trying to touch any remnants of my children that may still be lingering.

I opened the front door and picked up my two bags and I looked back once again hoping that I am only having a bad dream. But alas, no one answers. No one looks my way. I close the door behind me and I walk to the park.

Who is this man who you were speaking of? Can he talk to me too? For I am empty in heart and my mind is cracked. I need help. I bury my head in my hands and I try to cry only unto myself. The tears flow and my body is shaking. I can not stop it for it feels as though I am losing all control over my own thoughts and feelings.

A gentle hand is touching my shoulder. I look up and over my quivering fingers. My eyes covered with mist look into the eyes of the one man I heard speaking. He sits down beside me and I find myself being coddled by him.

I look up into his face and I ask, “Who is the man who I over heard you talking about to your friend? Do you think you could ask him to help me too? I have messed up my life so bad. I have lost my wife and my kids. I have nothing now but these two suitcases. Do you think he can help me? Can you take me to him?”

This kind stranger stands up and takes one suitcase in his hand. I pick up the other one. He takes a step forward asking me to follow. I do not ask questions but do as he requests. In but a few short minutes I find myself kneeling with this man beside a long bench.

I look at him with his kind eyes and he gazes up towards the colorful big window. I follow his gaze and there I find the most beautiful window I have ever seen. There is a man standing in the middle. He has a staff he is holding. He has a halo surrounding his hair. Dressed in a white garment and leather sandals I feel a hint of peace come over me.

The man looks back at me and with the most gentle voice speaks, “Here is the man who can help you. All you have to do is ask. His name is Jesus Christ. He wants to help you.” I bring my hands together and the man places his hands over mine. At this moment, at this precise second, I am about to change my entire life by only asking.

Free Write Friday, June 8, 2012

Lost at sea. The ship had overturned, and all were to be seen floating, including  me. The waters were so cold, even with the sun shining hot all around us. We had taken the boat out to enjoy a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Too many people enjoying this relaxing time. Lots of alcohol and plenty of food. I can remember watching different guys trying to help the captain of the boat steer it. Running into him or the wheel. Beer spilling on to the deck. Too loud laughter being heard. I found my own self even laughing at this scene. Women and men climbing the poles, hanging on to the sails, and climbing back down. The morals were thrown out the window that day. Even couples were making love right there on the deck for the whole world to see. I remember looking over the edge of the boat and seeing large fish swimming by and wondering if I also jumped in, if I could keep up with them. Shading my eyes with my hands, I could see an island way in the distance. It looked so small from here.  What started out was a plan, a day of relaxation. What ended up was more stress than I could even imagine at my very own job. The laughter and silliness kept rising, until finally  a fight broke out over who wanted to be the captain and steer the boat. People started panicking, screaming for the three men to stop. The fun was all over, break it up, but these words all fell on deaf ears. I saw one man have a bloody lip and another’ s eyes was beginning to swell. With the men forcing the wheel to go back and forth, and crazy ones dangling from the sails, the boat tipped. All I could hear is screams, fear rippling from their throats. Suddenly thrashing in the waters could be seen, and all were grasping for part of the ship they could cling to in order not to drown. Silence overcame the screams, as I knew all of us were reliving this day, and realizations of what we had allowed ourselves to become. Instant sorrow over took me for my stupidity of this day. I had let myself go out of control. Now we were each on an island of our own, hoping and praying for safety and rescue. The seas were calm, as I floated my way to the small island ahead.

Thank-you for allowing me to try my hand at Free Write Friday

The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken", ...

Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”, 1874 – 1963 (Photo credit: Tony Fischer Photography)

Help me, help me. Robert reached out his hand to each one who walked by. One person stopped, and threw him a five, and along with this offered him some advice, get a job, loser. Robert hurriedly grabbed the money and stuffed it in his shirt pocket, making sure that no other would get to it first.

Robert had been a success in his own eyes. He had started out with nothing, and was taught , that if you want something, you work for it. He had been raised by his aunt and uncle from the time he was a young teen. They had taken him in out of pity. Robert’s parents had been in an auto accident, and both had been killed. Robert had been raised in a country setting,  his parents poor, but proud. They lived off of the land, and were also God-fearing people.

After the accident, Robert was moved into the city, and had no idea on how to interact with city kids. He felt lost most of the time, only making one  friend in his new school. The new kid, Ryan, took Robert under his wing and showed him how to become a leader. Ryan would constantly teach Robert, that you had to do what you could, push others out-of-the-way in order to get to the top. The goal, to be worshiped and admired, to have envy from others of what you owned, which was power.

Robert’s aunt and uncle didn’t have much money, but the little that was left to take care of Robert, was enough for them to take him in. They let him live his own life, not getting involved with the finishing of raising him. Their  interest lie more with the check that they received at the beginning of the month for Robert’s care.

Robert and Ryan were like teacher and student. Ryan showed him the ropes. He taught him  selfishness  was the way to gain power. Many times Robert left his mark behind, as he robbed houses, and broke into businesses. The mark he left was in sorrow and sadness as people and businesses tried to move on with their lives from the damages  he had caused.

It wasn’t long after Robert graduated that he had accumulated a small gathering, a following of men who wanted to be just like him. Robert had eyes for the ladies also. There was one in particular, that had the face of his mother. She, didn’t want anything to do with him at first, but he didn’t give up. He kept finding her out, learned where she lived, and where she worked. He had to make her his. Each time they talked, something would soften inside of him, and eventually, Lorna, did get to know the person that he showed her.

Less than six months later he married Lorna, and he kept  her safe at home while he went out and did his work. He loved her, he was putty in her hands, but he had a reputation to keep, and he had jobs to perform, and so his secret life was kept hidden from her.

The monies were flowing in regularly now. He had people who watched his back and people that he could trust. His leadership was no secret on the streets. Drugs were his main income. Purchasing and selling. He didn’t rob homes or businesses any longer, as they didn’t prove enough income for him.

Soon he had enough money to move Lorna away from the city. He purchased a home, hidden by trees, that lined a long path to the house. He moved Lorna and their new baby boy to the country. This gave him comfort as he knew that she would always be out of harm’s way.

Lorna knew that he had another side to him, but she didn’t know what it involved. She took care of the house and their new son, and spent many hours in prayer, praying for her husband to see the light of God, and to give up what she knew was bad for him. When Robert walked through their door, she could see a rough exterior, but with her gentle personality and her love for him, he would relax, show her he loved her, and hold his son.

One day, during business, a client had not paid on time as he should have. Robert sent his partners to the client’s house to get him to pay up. The client, knowing how Robert was, and fearing for his own life, was prepared to fight. When Robert’s thugs knocked on the door, no one answered. They were standing in silence, waiting for the door to bust open. When the door was forced open, the shots were heard. Firing rounds until all that been moving were now lifeless.

These clients wanted Robert off of the streets and out of their lives.They wanted a chance to be in charge, so they left the lifeless in the house and made their way to where Robert and his family lived. They barged in and took over the house, taking all that Robert had including his family, then after cleaning house, they started the house on fire. It was a tragedy. It made the head lines that very night.

Robert ended up being alone. His partners in crime had deserted him out of fear. He had lost his beloved wife and baby boy. His power was gone. All he had left was this tiny office that he held meetings in. He got his liquor bottle out of his desk drawer, and began to drink himself to death, but death didn’t win. Sometime, the next day, he ventured out into the daylight. He was headed out to see what remained of his house. When he reached his car, three thugs were waiting for him. They didn’t want to kill him, they wanted him to suffer. They shot him in the legs and arms, then they fled, leaving him there to bleed. A passer-by came  near and saw that he needed help, and called 911. Robert was taken to the hospital and survived his gun shots, but the shots had left him disabled.

When Robert was released a few weeks later, no one was there to offer him a ride or a place to stay. He was alone and found himself on the streets. He had lost everything due to his selfish greed and the wants for power. He made his way onto the sidewalk and walked, heading toward his office, when he collapsed. He was still weak from his injuries. He laid there on the sidewalk, and the tears started to fall. He knew he had messed up good. He knew that he had lost everything that ever mattered to him. He realized that he needed help. He reached up his hands as strangers passed by, asking for help. One passer-by threw him a five, and off him some advice, hey bud, get a job loser.