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I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Friday, January 20, 2006

Familiar Stranger

Their eyes met as they waited in line for the bus, hers full of pain, his full of compassion. He stepped back to allow her on first. She smiled and looked away quickly, he knew that her smile had taken a great deal of effort. "May I sit with you?" he asked and she nodded yes. "My name is Derrick" he said, extending his hand. "I'm Tina" she said, barely touching his hand before withdrawing it to her lap. She couldn't help but feel the warmth of his hand as it touched hers. "Have you had a good day, Tina?" he asked. "Not as bad as some", she said quietly. She questioned his sincerity. His dark hair below his shoulders, dressed simply in a white tee shirt and jeans, 'Better watch out for this one' she told herself.

Tina tried to appear as if she was honestly interested in what was outside her window. It worked for a minute or two before she heard Derrick speak her name again. "Tina" he said gently, almost personally. She looked at him and was instantly caught in his gaze. There was something comforting about him, she thought. "Are you on your way home from work?" he asked. "Yes" she replied. For some reason, totally out of character, she continued. "I work at the little cafe in front of the bus stop." "That must give you a chance to meet a lot of people" he said. "It could, I suppose" she replied. "I take that to mean you don't?" asked Derrick. "Well, I guess you could say that I don't attract a lot of attention" Tina said, shyly looking away. "I can't understand why you would say that, you attracted my attention" he said. Tina thought about that. It made her feel good, a new feeling for Tina. She wanted to tell him that it was a nice thing to say, but she didn't want to encourage any more conversation with him.

"Where did your wall come from?" Derrick asked quietly, almost in a whisper. "Wall? What wall?" she asked. "The wall you have built around you to keep everyone out. Do you not even know that it's there, Tina?" he asked softly. Tina was surprised at the lack of defense she felt towards Derrick. Instead of looking away from him, she leaned closer to him, wanting to allow him admittance through her wall. "What are you, some sort of psychologist?" she asked. "No, but you could say that I've been studying human nature for a very long time" he said, smiling brilliantly.

Suddenly Tina saw something she hadn't seen before. How could she have missed it? In Derricks lap was a small bible. That explained it. "Oh, I get it" Tina laughed, "you're one of those". "One of what?" asked Derrick. "You're one of those religious people out trying to SAVE the world". "I've never been interested in religion, Tina, and it really isn't my job to save you...or anyone else." The few moments of silence seemed almost awkward. Tina hadn't meant to offend him and she wasn't familiar with the word 'sorry'... even though she was. Suddenly she was aware of that warmth of his hand on hers again. "Tina" said Derrick without any sign of having been offended, "this is my wall". He was holding the small bible in his other hand. More than seeing the bible, she saw his sincerity. His compassion. "What do you mean?" Tina asked. Derrick answered with such gentleness in his voice, saying "This is the wall I keep around me. This is my defense. My protection. It allows me to let people in without letting people hurt me. Do you understand Tina?" Tina understood the part about people hurting her. She felt herself nodding in agreement without having meant to. "I thought you said you weren't going to try to save me" Tina said sarcastically, mostly out of habit. "I couldn't save you Tina, even if I were to try. Only One can save, and I am not He. It's just my job to share with you. Actually, it's my pleasure, my joy" Derrick said. Again, she had failed to offend him. "I remember what joy is" Tina teased, "you spell it j-o-y, right?" "If that is the way you spell it Tina, maybe that explains why you don't have much of it." "So how do you spell joy?" she asked. "J-E-S-U-S" he said simply.

"Your stop is coming up Tina, I've really enjoyed talking with you" said Derrick as he let go of her hand. She had forgotten he was holding it until she felt him let it go and the warmth of his hand left her. She looked out of her window, looked back at the reality she had been apart from for a little while. She saw that she was, in fact, coming to her stop and wondered how Derrick had known. Had she told him which stop she'd be getting off at? The bus began to slow down and the same familiar people began to stand. Tina stood as well, but she somehow didn't quite feel the same. As Derrick stood to let her pass by him, he said "Tina, this is yours". She reached back without thinking, and Derrick placed the bible he'd been holding in her hand. "No, I can't take this, it's your bible" Tina argued. Derrick just shook his head and smiled. "I was holding it for you" he said softly. The crowd getting off the bus had her in their midst and was heading for the door. She flipped through the small bible as if glancing through a magazine. On the inside of the cover was the inscription: 'Tina, Replacing old walls with new ones'. She stopped at the door of the bus, refusing to let the crowd push her any further. "When did you inscribe..." she began to ask, looking back at their seat. It was empty. she looked through the line waiting behind her to get off, but he wasn't there.

"C'mon lady" whined the young man behind her. Tina smiled, this time without any effort. "I'm sorry" she said as she stepped off the bus. Feeling the warmth of the small bible in her hand, she headed home.

* Although this story is completely fictional, I wrote it very loosely based on what I believe was an encounter with one of my angels.


Anonymous Anonymous said...



11:20 AM  
Blogger Bill Jones, Jr said...

Lovely story Kathi. Thanks a lot.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Kellie said...

Kathi- what a great story! Thanks for sharing it with us!

11:46 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

abi ~ I'm good, baby baby...how're you?

sable ~ That means a lot to me, thank you very much.

11:46 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

kellie ~ thanks sweetie! I wrote it a while ago.

12:10 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Kathi- truly amazing story! I definitely needed to read that today. Thank you sweetie!

Very well written! I loved it!

12:59 PM  
Blogger Casually Me said...

You have an angel? Man, I got ripped off,all I got was 2 hookers and a crackhead. Although I beat you in sheer volume, I would be willing to entertain a trade. One angel for the whole lot? Whadda ya say?

1:43 PM  
Blogger bbsgirl said...

very awesome writing Kathi...I hung on every word!! You should write more often. I needed to read this today too...thanks for sharing.

3:35 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

deb ~ please don't forget I care about you.

casually me ~ silly guy, you've got your own angels.

jan ~ My pleasure...grandma!

5:51 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Awesome story....glad you shared it with us.

Enjoy your weekend!

6:03 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

mike ~ thanks darlin. Enjoy your showers...and the likes. :)

6:55 PM  
Anonymous blackops said...

AAHH...very interesting (see managed three again--now thats six, no wait).

That was pretty cool story. I didnt know you had fictional storytelling talents. Maybe you should do that more often.

6:19 AM  
Blogger lady in satin said...

Wow!!! I love this story. Its so beautiful! Thanks for sharing it. You write so well!

10:46 AM  
Blogger Twisted Chick said...

I needed that. :) Amazing story.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

Holy Crap hon...good for you.
I'm in the midst of a Chatholic conversion (which is really my starting point religion wise) and I had a huge (physical...I could literally feel it..)resistance to your story...something I guess I still have to work through....glad you felt it though....wish i was ready for it.......soon..... I hope.

11:28 PM  

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