This is for the writing prompt from TRDC "RemembeRed". The prompt this week was to Imagine you are meeting someone for the first time. You want to tell them about yourself.Instead of reciting a laundry list of what you do or where you're from, please give us a scene from your life that best illustrates your true self. "
“Where is he?,” I wonder aloud. Teeth chattering between syllables. “He was suppose to be here five minutes ago. “
Headlights appear out of the darkness. I jump up from the park bench and strain my eyes to see if it’s him. “Finally,” I mutter.
Leb parks the car a few spaces down, jumps out. He has a friend with him. “Sorry for being late,” he says. “This is my friend, Joe. He drove me here,”
Joe extends his hand and says, “Hi.”
I quickly look from Leb to Joe, and stammer, “Sorry I don’t shake hands with men. It’s a religious thing.”
“Oh”, Joe says looking a bit embarrassed. “That’s right. Leb told me but I just forgot.”
“No problem,” I say. “I am use to it. Happens all the time.”
For a few seconds we all stand there in silence. Each waiting for the other to break the ice. Finally unable to bear the winter’s chill any longer I hand the keys to Leb. He was buying my mom’s old clunker . She had been trying to sell it for years. I had managed to get her to come down a couple hundred on the price because it needed quite bit of work done to it. However, it was well worth the $300.00 he was paying for it.
“I can’t thank you enough for doing this,” Leb says. “Forget it,” I say. “It’s what we do for each other, right?”
“Does your mom know you’re the one who paid for the car?” he asks.
“No, she thinks the money came from you. It’s better this way. You can just pay me a $5 or $10 a month until you get it paid off. The title is already signed over to you though. This way you can get everything sorted out without any problems.”
“Thanks again,” Leb says. “I guess you will need a ride back to your place. You drove the car here right?”
“Yeah, but I will just get a cab or walk back or something,” I reply. I didn’t want to trouble him with having to drive me the 3 blocks back to my apartment, but a part of me secretly hoped he would insist, and he did.
Joe no longer being needed had already jumped back in his car and left. Leb got behind the driver’s wheel and I got in the back seat. This way there could be no confusion as to what would happen once we reached my place. An unspoken language that we both were fluent in. Leb instantly understanding and not crossing the boundaries I had set.
When we reached my apartment, I got out. The night was dark. The security light had been broken by a couple of the neighbors kids. Unspoken understanding, Leb got out and walked me to the door. While I wasn’t his sister by blood, I was by faith. He waited till I was safely inside and the door locked. Then slowly he made his way back to his newly purchased clunker.
As I closed the door, I wondered if he would really repay all of the money. Little did I know I wouldn’t have to wonder for long. A few weeks later I would end up moving to another state. I would release him from our agreement.
“Consider it a gift,” I would explain by email. “Take care and be safe”, was his only reply. Nothing more was needed. Even though we were basically strangers, we both understood the unspoken language that passed between us.
“If not brothers by blood, then by faith. If not by faith, then by humanity”. This was the foundation of my faith. I had based all of my life's decisions upon this one simple rule. It was etched across me like a tattoo. While I had kept much of who I was hidden from others, this one truth was written upon my soul and body for all to see.