Clash of the Worlds: Chapter Fifteen
A Surprise Welcome Home
Arriving at her stop, Jessi steps off the train under a starlit sky, the rain having ceased, and the clouds rolled away.
Odd, she thought, noticing what looked like her car where her dad usually parks when he comes to pick her up. What is my car doing there, the thought continues curiously. Nevertheless, she joyfully rushes toward him.
"Daddy!" she exclaimed, hugging his neck. "What a splendid ride I had on the train this evening."
"I'm glad, Jessi, and I appreciate the hug. But I'm not your daddy," a familiar male voice spoke.
Unlatching her arms from around his neck, Jessi stepped back, surprised, noticing a good-looking young man standing there before her, his smiling blue eyes shimmering.
"Thomas-John!" she exclaimed. "What are you doing here? Where's my dad?"
"At home," Thomas-John simply answered. "I'd asked him permission to borrow your car so that I could take you out to dinner this evening."
"You asked my dad for a date with me? How do you know I want to go out with you?" she said.
"I didn't. But we have seen one another, at church and in your home, and our parents know of our seeing one another. I just figured it's time that we do something special together. And so, I asked your dad. Ah," he paused. Continuing, "And if he said yes, (which he did by the way, as you can see), and let me have your car this evening to pick you up, you would either have to come with me or walk the rest of the way home," he said smiling.
"Hmm, it's not that far, you know, and the sky being clear," Jessi said, glancing toward the starry host and the bright moon, "It just might be a nice walk under the stars," Jessi smiled appreciatively.
"Well," Thomas-John pausing momentarily then continuing, "Do you want to come with me, or not? But considering, however, I can’t let you walk home by yourself in the dark, can I? Your dad wouldn’t like it, and neither would I."
A brief pause on Jessi's part, then she answered, "Well, you do have a point there, and yes, of course. I'd love to; I'm glad you've come. I can share with you my experience on the train this evening."
"Now that depends. Was it good or bad?" Thomas-John asked, opening the car door for her, expressing his gentlemanly mannerism and concern.
"Both," she answered.
Thomas-John, settling in behind the wheel, told her that he had some good news to share with her as well. "I think it's good news," he added, somewhat with cautious humor. "That's one reason I wanted this time with you tonight. I wanted you to be the first to know."
"Oh," she said curiously and likewise somewhat humorously. "You're getting married?"
"No," he quickly exclaimed. After a brief pause, he continued, "I haven't found the right girl yet." Pausing again then continuing, "Ah, I don't think," glancing toward her out of the corner of his eye. "But you tell me your news first."
"Well," Jessi began, teasing, "I met a man on the bus tonight." Thomas-John turned a quick moment toward her. Smiling, Jessi continued with emphasis, "An old man, white-bearded; a grandfather, with ‘lovely grandchildren,' as he expressed it. At first, I thought he was ‘Santa Claus,' he old and all. And with that bushy white beard, and calling himself ‘Nicholas.'"
"He said that he was dying," she went on in a more serious tone and shared all about the witnessing opportunity God brought her way.
"Did he believe?" Thomas-John asked.
"I'm not sure. The train arrived at Mr. Nicholas' stop before I could finish. But I think I shared enough for his consideration. I believe I planted a seed."
"Oh, Thomas-John," Jessi continued after a brief silence, "my heart aches for him so," she moved to tears.
"That's you, Jessi, so compassionate; so tender-hearted. That's what's so great about you. That's one thing I like about you, your compassionate and caring heart."
Turning toward Thomas-John, Jessi shared an appreciative smile.
A Familiar Sight
They continued their conversation as they moved on toward the restaurant. While talking, Jessi, observant as usual, noticed the surrounding area; it was familiar territory, and not too densely populated, yet excellently illuminated by the streetlights.
I wonder if he's taking me to where I think he is, to where I hope, was her thought; she glances at him questionably.
Soon, up ahead, those very familiar rainbow arches came into view. She gleamed all the more. But, before she could conceive the thought, I wonder if he's going to pull in there, he did just that, turning in, pulling into a parking space.
"Oh, Thomas-John," she exclaimed excitedly, obviously believing this was where they were to dine on this their first time out together. "How did you ever know this was a favorite place of mine?
"Three guesses and the first two don't count."
"Ah, my dad, my dad, and my dad?"
"Now take away the first two, and you've got it."
A dark glow hovered overhead, as that evil one aspiring his hateful glare plots his scheme for the demise of this child of God, as well as all those who strive to live righteously before their Creator, continually on the prowl seeking whom he may devour.
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© 2018 Charles Newcombe