Eddie is a Christian writer and has been a mentor to countless young people through God's ministry over the past 20 years.
Paul turned into the driveway of the small farmhouse on the outskirts of town. When he opened the door to his truck, Tina and Dianna rushed out of the house, a modest frame, and slammed the screen door behind them.
Paul grinned with a grandfather’s pride and joy as he stepped out of the truck. “There are my girls!”
Tina and Dianna shouted in unison, “Grandpa!”
Paul willingly and joyfully scooped the girls up into a hug. Terry exited the house, wiping her hands on a cup towel, and smiled as she watched them. Paul set the girls down and then stood up. He caught a quick breath as he absently rubbed his left shoulder. He strode up to Terry and tipped his hat in a greeting.
“Hello, Paul.” Terry had noticed Paul’s weakness and let it show in her voice. “Is your shoulder bothering you?”
Paul dismissed the significance of his pain. “It’s just a touch of arthritis, is all. Is Mark still here? I need to talk with him.”
“This is about Kevin, isn’t it?” Terry was still concerned about Paul. “Mark’s around back working on the truck. He is still angry about the whole thing.”
Paul tried to hide his disappointment. “I figured as much.”
Paul walked up slowly toward the workshop centered in the small backyard of the farm. Mark was under the front of his pickup, welding a brush guard into place. Paul walked up to Mark and kicked him lightly on the shin. Mark stopped his welding and rolled out from under the bumper with a bit of irritation at being disturbed from his work. When he raised his welding hood to better look at Paul, he quickly put away his irritation.
“Hello, Dad!” Mark looked at Paul with a mixture of surprise and joy. “What brings you out here?”
Paul wanted to be terse and to the point. “I needed to talk to you about Kevin.”
“What is it, Dad?” Mark was blind to Paul’s anger at first. “Did he pack his bags and leave?”
“No!” Paul was curt with his response. “And I don’t want him to.”
Mark sensed the anger brooding within his father. “Terry and I were going to bring the girls over this weekend to work on Mom’s garden.”
Paul dismissed the pathetic excuse. “You don’t have to. Kevin has started working on it already.”
“Don’t you think it would be better if he just went on? He plans to leave anyway.” Mark said with exasperation.
Paul shook his head. “Let him work in the garden. It’s his way of making peace with Carla.”
“Hell, Dad! Kevin put her in the grave in the first place! What he did to us, to our town...to you...was wrong!” Mark could not keep his anger from rising.
“Kevin’s already done his time.” Paul reprimanded Mark for his disrespect. “Now, he needs help to put his life back together.”
Mark’s eyes flared with hatred. “Kevin doesn’t deserve to have a life again...not after what he did to us!”
Paul’s anger resurfaced. “What he did to everybody?” He lowered his voice. “Or what he did to you and Kelly?”
Mark stared upon his father with incredulous shock. “What Kevin did to Kelly, and I had nothing to do with him murdering Robbie!”
Paul worked at the thorn he found he jabbed into Mark’s side. “You always resented him taking her from you. You still do, even though she married some abusive jerk from Dallas.”
“He still shouldn’t be here.” Mark struggled to waive off the significance of Paul’s accusation “He has no business being here!”
“You’re ridiculous!” Paul spoke as if he was scolding a spoiled child. ”Kevin has every right to be here.”
“Am I?” Mark sounded resentful. “He’s nothing but trouble.”
“I want him here!” Paul stammered in defense.
Mark knew that he was hurtful. “Don’t expect me to come over while he’s at the house.”
Paul began to show the signs of hurting he experienced. “Don’t be like that. The last thing Carla asked of me before she died was to bring her family back together...all of us... I owe it to her...and, so do you.”
Mark turned sharply away. “Momma is gone,” he said, with a vengeful hurt, “and so is her family.”
Paul could offer nothing else to say to Mark. He glanced at Terry, who was standing at the kitchen window. Tears were streaming down her cheeks. Mark returned to work on the bumper of his truck without another word. Paul shook his head and started walking back toward his pickup.
Continue reading Kevin's Homecoming - Chapter 7
- Kevin's Homecoming - Chapter 7
Kevin enters the church sanctuary to meet Brother Wayne and discuss ways to help out with maintenance around the place. He does not grasp that God may be intervening for his redemption.