“Only a fool will deny GOD
Thus the wise must revere him
As vengeance is the LORD’s
It is my choice to not help him.”
The driver squinted at me before snorting in disbelief. I knew what he was thinking; what was coming next, and it came. He asked me the same question my friends back home usually asked (even though I USUALLY had the same answer) only this time he asked it when I didn’t have as much fortitude as I usually did. I was contemplating my answer before he asked,
“You are wise but so naïve?
You walk the path but dodge its end.
Should guilt arise, will you forgive?
Or bring your marriage to its end.
Your wife be sorry she might beg
And plead from you a second chance
Or she might say, ‘Don’t break a leg,
Divorce is not a lovely dance.’
Either way prepares your words.
And makes less blunt your fleshy sword
To see beyond a lie to loot,
You must devour the bitter truth.”
Even after he was done speaking, he didn’t look at me. I could see – and feel – the pain on his face; the anger in his eyes and the wrath of his words. I buckled under pressure. My mind couldn’t produce a suitable enough retort.
Just when I had bowed my head in silent defeat, a little crumb of knowledge found its way to my tongue. Suddenly I wasn’t really bitter, my heart still seeped of pain but I had another idea to give me strength.
Another way to deal with this; I was sure that this was the right thing to do, the right thing to say. I looked up in the rear view mirror and for an instant his eyes met mine. He was slightly surprised at the assurance I knew was resonating from me.
“Life is like a house being explored by an intruder:
Some rooms will disappoint and other may not,
Some walls hide treasure awaiting a finder,
Some stairs are traps; impending blunder.
If of my house the LORD is master,
Of what use is a gun or soldier?
Forgiving makes the healing faster,
Not mentioning that line of the Lord’s Prayer.
He didn’t relent. He seemed to have heard the same speech at least once before. He said,
“So turn around, denounce this road.
Go! Nurse your wound and lick a toad.
I will show mercy and abort my mission,
…After you have made a sturdy decision.”
I thought about that, but not seriously. I couldn’t miss this golden opportunity to catch Dew in the act. I couldn’t let the suspicion I was having continue to eat me slowly from my inside out.
Every time I didn’t know for sure exactly where she was I thought the worse, every time her mobile network acted up I nearly died. I told him,
“Opportunities mostly come to few
Others must pray and prepare
After noon there is no dew
To swim a river you must be there.
He thought solemnly about this and seemed to agree. He looked at me with mild surprised, like a goalkeeper who saw the goal coming but couldn’t stop it.
I looked at the Maplet.
Dew’s dot was moving out of Mega. After a few seconds, it turned down the road to the Bubble house.
The car began to slow down. I could see the very faint outline of the check point at Ghostel. A thought vague and weakly tugged at my mind. I decided – as I had enjoyed the conversation – to ask him,
“Earlier, I said, ‘Life is like a house.’
When I spoke of forgiving my spouse,
You spoke of mercy and a mission to abort;
I don’t know what that was about.”
He smiled that ruefully smile that he had when I first saw his face in the rear view mirror. I was suddenly reminded of the terror-faced guard.
The driver slowed and parked the car. We were just within sights of the check point that marked the boundary of the city’s innards. I felt sure the Cross (Police in Qastivity are outnumbered by crime as in everywhere else but the Cross are the local militia used by and as the Police authority) could see us from their check point.
I was about to ask why we had stopped. A feeling of dread was creeping across my skin as he killed the engine and switched on the inner lights. They revealed a revolver pointed calmly at my crotch. I sat very still.