Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Love is Still a Worthy Cause

Since I have no real time to write anything (I suppose I should learn to make time), I am going to give you some fiction. I wrote this for a class and granted it probably isn't very good. Maybe it doesn't even really make sense. Oh, well. I wrote it. It is a short story. There you go. (P.S. Yes, I did get the name of the main character from an Anberlin song. Deal with it.

Love is Still a Worthy Cause
by Andra Lauren

Adelaide sat down on the rusty bench. The bench had once been green, before the paint started to make a run for it. In this end of town, even the paint wanted to get away. She pushed her straight brown shoulder-length hair behind her ear as she tightly clutched a wrinkled piece of paper that was yellowed with time.

“Are you waiting for the bus?” asked an old man as he walked up to the bench. He was wearing a hat and carrying a newspaper. His gray slacks and matching gray vest made him look professional, but he looked well beyond retirement years.

“Hmm. Mmhmm,” mumbled Adelaide, her attention was clearly elsewhere. She wasn’t really waiting for the bus. She looked around until she noticed the old rusty sign. Behind the graffiti read, “Bus Stop.” She looked over to the man and saw his grey hair and wrinkled, but kind face. “Yeah, I guess I am.”

Adelaide smiled politely at the man as he said, “I’m waiting, too.”

“I’m Adelaide,” she said.

“Nice to meet you, I am Finn.”

Adelaide glanced at Finn’s newspaper. “Anything in the news?”

“The same old,” he replied, “War is still going on. More dying all the time.”

Adelaide glanced at the piece of paper in her hand. Then she remembered the last glance from the taxicab as her brother drove away. Her brother looked strong and brave as he left. He looked a lot different when he returned. Even with the peach blush they added to his cheeks, nothing could hide the pale whiteness in his face.

Finn could tell this wasn’t the conversation that she wanted to have. He knew that talking about the weather wouldn’t be enough to break the ice that surrounded them, even in the 80-degree weather.

Tears started to flow from her eyes, picking up speed as soon as the next tear came out of her eye. She quickly tried to brush the tears away. Adelaide looked away from the old man.

“Would you like to hear a joke, young lady?”

Her expression turned to surprise. Embarrassed that he must have seen her tears, she nodded.

“A guy goes to jail for robbing a bank. Since the police fear that he might try to plan an escape, they told him that he was not allowed to talk to the other inmates. That night, he hears some of the inmates shouting numbers. When someone shouted, ‘27!’ everyone started laughing. This guy didn’t understand what was going on, so the next day he got a chance to talk to another inmate. ‘What was going on? I heard people shouting numbers and laughing.’ The inmate replied, ‘Well, since we are not allowed to talk, we have assigned different jokes to different numbers. Whenever anyone says a number, we think of that joke and laugh.’ So, that night the guy shouts, ’48!’ No one responds. The next day, the guy talks to the inmate, ‘That was a funny joke! Sid told me the joke and now no one laughs. What happened?’ The inmate replies, ‘Well, some people just can’t tell a joke!’”

Adelaide laughed, “Where did you hear that?”

“Oh, my father told me that joke. He was a good man. Served in World War I and World War II. Good man.” Finn laughed, remembering the man that taught him how to fish and how to drive. He sighed, looked up to the sky and said, “One day, pretty soon, I will be able to see my father again.”

Adelaide looked up, confused. “How will you get to see him again, Finn?”

“Well, Miss, it won’t be long before I join my father in heaven.”

Adelaide stopped on the word heaven. She didn’t know much of heaven, but she was sure that she couldn’t be counting down the days until she got there, because she didn’t think she could count for that long. She looked at Finn and noticed his laugh lines. She could tell that Finn had lived a long, good life.

“That’s real nice,” she quietly said, thinking that she would never get a chance to see Finn in heaven, or anyone else.

Finn looked at her. “Don’t give up hope, child.”

“It’s not hard to recall what blew out the flame. It’s dark where I am, and I don’t think I should waste time hoping on something that won’t happen.”

“Adelaide, I can see that your heart is raw. But love is still a worthy cause. Love can be the touch that starts the thaw on any frozen heart. Why are you hiding?”

Adelaide looked down at her dusty shoes. She remembered the day of the funeral. It was raining and everyone’s black umbrella made everyone’s clothes look blacker. She couldn’t remember what the reverend had said that day. She just remembered feeling angry. She was angry at a god who would take away her brother before it was his time. She wanted to yell at a god who would leave her alone, without the older brother that she depended on. He was the older brother who had been there the day both their parents died in a car accident. He was all she had and it was all gone in a matter of minutes. A minute was all it took for the enemy’s bullet to pierce his chest.

Suddenly her fist clutched the piece of paper tighter. She had forgotten all about the piece of paper until now. The small piece of paper felt as heavy as a lead pipe dragging her down to her knees. She could hear her brother’s words screaming as if he were shouting from a public platform.

She broke down. She could feel Finn’s hand on her shoulder. The wind seemed to pick up just then, and it whistled her brother’s words until his words were reverberating off the walls surrounding her. Her brother was telling her then just as he told her in the last letter he wrote to her, “Don’t let your love grow cold. I will always love you. I pray that you always love Jesus."

No comments: