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Ashley Dunbar

May 4, 2009
ACS sec. 06

A Postponed Journey

The instant he looked up he was robbed of his last breath by a gorgeous thief, and it seemed

as if his heart were only surviving on emotions. He watched her walk by his park bench in lustful

admiration as the sunlight reflected the beauty in her smile. The two locked eyes for an eternal

second, and suddenly it was over. When she removed her gaze he felt as if he had been

excommunicated from some beautiful Prelapsarian world he never knew existed. He watched

longingly as she continued along her stroll, thinking nothing of the encounter. Her scent still lingered

and left him with shivers, as well as pangs of guilt from the longing he felt for her. When she was

completely out of sight he closed his eyes and pictured her image in his mind: her deep brown, loving

eyes that connected with his, the way her short dark hair, tinted with a shade of burgundy, framed her

flawless oval face, the curl of her lips, the grace of her body, and the beautiful red satin scarf she had

wrapped around her neck. Her name was Ashley Dunbar, and he wanted her.

Augustine opened his eyes and stared into the empty pathway as if the woman were still

standing in front of him, beckoning him to follow her. He continued in the trance until a smiling

young man intercepted his reverie. Augustine blinked twice and looked up to the man’s face. He was

a thin, sickly seeming gentleman who appeared to be drowning inside of his bright blue, oversized

suit. The man had an acute face with small, tightened features and thin, greasy hair that came down

lazily across his forehead. He had small, tired eyes that appeared to be sunken into the dark circles

that surrounded them. The only brightness in his face was his piercing blue eyes that seemed to

sparkle underneath his drooping lids. However, for a split second Augustine swore he saw some sort

of sinister, chilling glimmer beneath those eyes, but then he casually disregarded this notion.

Augustine’s eyes then moved down to the man’s hands in which he held a large black suitcase, which

the man seemed to hold with great difficulty. Aware of Augustine’s curious stare, the man took this as

an opportunity to interject.

“Do you believe in God, my friend?” The man said with a broad grin.
“Yes, I do,” Augustine stoically replied

“How would you, then, like to have the word of God to guide you on your journey to

salvation? A good Christian should always have a bible.” The man said. He opened up the suitcase

and took out an elaborately decorated black bible with gold lettering and an elegant lace bookmark

hanging from the side. The man held the bible out to Augustine and stared him straight in the eyes

with a knowing smile; it was a lose/lose situation for Augustine. If he said yes he would have to buy

a bible, but if he said no it would be almost like renouncing his faith, and the guilt would make him

buy the bible regardless. The man awaited the cue for his next line, but Augustine was not moved.

“One cannot relish in God’s grace if one cannot yet accept the word of God as a way of life”

Augustine said, without emotion. The man was slightly baffled, but quickly recovered.

“So how is it that you claim to believe in God, yet you do not believe in His word?” The man

asked.

“It is one thing to believe in His word, but it is another to follow His word. Faith is to believe

what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. I see it, I believe it, but I

cannot yet feel it nor am I ready to feel. It is like a distant light that I cannot yet touch. Before I can

come into His love I must be ready to rid myself of all vice, and I am not strong enough just yet. And

how shall I call upon my God, my God and Lord, since, when I call for Him, I shall be calling Him to

myself? And what room is there within me, whither my God can come into me.” Augustine replied

back. The man gave Augustine a long, confused, defeated stare, but then an idea seemed to settle and

the man was smiling once again.

“I couldn’t help but notice that you’ve taken a liking to that lady who just walked past. I

could tell by the way you looked at her, well, gawked actually. I was not too far away when I saw

your jaw drop,” The man said. When Augustine gave no reply (except a look of shock and

embarrassment), the man knew he was on the right track. “You want her don’t you?” Augustine

began to blush and the two shared a friendly laugh. Then the man stood directly in front of him and

allowed the sun’s light to surround him on each side. His smile faded to a frown.
“How can you expect to ever be ready for God if you keep chasing after sin? You must make

the journey towards salvation now!” The man’s demeanour made a complete turn around and he now

preached with such vehemence that Augustine thought he saw an angered God standing over him

with vengeance in the midst of the setting sun. He hung his head down in shame.

“Oh Lord, give me chastity,” Augustine said and, after a moment of consideration, raised his

head. His eyes were directed towards the salesman, but they seemed, instead, to be looking inward.

“But do not give it yet.”

“You don’t have forever in this world. That’s why you’ve gotta spend every moment you got

living for God. Sir, my days are numbered on accounta my weak heart, which is why I spend every

day doing his bidding. But how do ya know someone isn’t just gonna walk right up to ya and—” The

salesman’s spiel was abruptly interrupted by the sound of a trigger. The man turned around and stared

wide eyed down the barrel of a gun. Behind it was a greying, older man in silver-rimmed glasses

with a saddened, long face. He was sweating and breathing heavily as if his actions shocked even

himself.

“What cha got in that suitcase?” The disturbed man asked the salesman.

“Bibles,” said the salesman in a wavering voice.

“Bibles, huh?” The man lowered his gun and chuckled. He looked up to the sky and smiled

eerily, “Ain’t a cloud in the sky, don’t see no cloud neither” Then he looked back down to earth, and

his eyes locked with Augustine’s. He stared at him for a long time, as if he possessed the answer to

some profound question.

“Excuse me suh, do you believe in God?” he asked Augustine, who in turn looked back in

shock. He took a moment to answer, as if it were his first time actually hearing the question.

“Yes…yes I believe I do,” Augustine answered.

The crazy man’s words began to pour out all at once, “Then I reckon you can tell me why he

made me this way. Why am I the one so torn up inside? Why has he chosen to make me the world’s

scapegoat, just so other people can be satisfied with their own lives? Why can’t I feel his love like

everyone else? Maybe then I wouldn’t be like I am now—” The man’s voice started to crack and he
was barely able to finish his sentence. The salesman took this as an opportunity to appeal to the

man’s weak side.

“Why, it’s not too late to be saved. Why don’t you read the bib—?”

“SHUT UP!” the angry man said, and turned to Augustine in desperate hope. Augustine rose

from the bench.

“Don't you believe that there is in man a deep so profound as to be hidden even to him in

whom it is? Whatever exists must contain Thee.”

“No suh, I am not a good man. When I look in the mirror, all I see is evil and hatred, I don’t

think God placed any goodness in me. I am just a misfit.”

“You are a child of God,” Augustine began to say, and suddenly he noticed something gleam

in the man’s eyes. He took a closer look and he was overcome with realization. Deep inside the

man’s troubled eyes, he found himself; his innocence, trapped in doubt and corruption. The him that

he lost so many years ago and has spent his whole life searching for. And finally here it was staring

him right back in the face, crying out to him. Suddenly filled with unexplainable emotions, he looked

to the sky, got on his knees and prayed.

“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into his heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected

dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams! Oh! That he might repose on Thee! Oh! That Thou

wouldest enter into his heart, and inebriate it, that he may forget his ills, and embrace Thee, his sole

good!” Tears began to cascade from his eyes and the emotions were so unbearable that he laid his

head to the ground. He began to travel inside his soul in search of his missing pieces. His voice

lowered to a whisper, “What art Thou to me? In Thy pity, teach me to utter it. Or what am I to Thee

that Thou demandest my love, and, if I give it not, art wroth with me, and threatenest me with

grievous woes? Is it then a slight woe to love Thee not?”

Augustine lifted his head and screamed to the cloudless sky, “Oh! For Thy mercies’ sake, tell

me, O Lord my God, what Thou art unto me. Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. So speak, that I

may hear. Behold, Lord, my heart is before Thee; open Thou the ears thereof, and say unto my soul, I
am thy salvation. After this voice let me haste, and take hold on Thee. Hide not Thy face from me.

Let me die—lest I die—only let me see Thy face!”

The misfit saw this sudden release of emotions and involuntarily dropped his gun, fell to his

knees and cried. The fervor of his emotions compelled him deeply.

“He awakens us to delight in His praise; for He made us for Himself, and our heart is restless,

until it reposes in Him.” The misfit said. The minute those words left his lips, he and Augustine

looked at each other and shared a teary smile. The two men cried happily together as the burden of

sin began to melt away. The misfit’s heart filled to the brim with passion as he felt as his soul was

travelling up to the heavens. The two were so immersed in His salvation that they did not hear the

sound of a gun behind them. The misfit watched as Augustine’s eyes looked up to the sky, but then

continued further and further until they rolled into the back of his head, just before he fell head first

into the concrete. The misfit stared in disbelief as if the magic of life had just been shattered right

before his eyes. Then he looked up and saw a cloud of smoke floating ominously in the air. As the

smoke drifted slowly up to the sky, the misfit could see the bible salesman with his gun pointed to

where Augustine had once knelt. He had an evil smile plastered on his face.

"No pleasure but meanness" the man said with a laugh. The misfits eyes shot wide open as he

immediately recognized those words. He opened his mouth as if to object but was silenced by a shot

to the heart. He watched in awe as the beautiful purity of his own blood overflowed from his heart

onto the concrete. The purging proved to be too much for his body to handle and he collapsed

gracefully into the puddle he formed. “Y’all ain’t so smart,” The salesman said after he finished the

deed. He went over to the misfit and emptied his pockets, “I been believing in nothing ever since I

was born!” Then he went over to Augustine and did the same. He leaned in closer and whispered into

his unhearing ears, "Where is God to save you now?"

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