Saturday, October 19, 2013


“No, I can’t go back,” said Jim. “I have nothing to go back to. My wife is such a—”

“Did she run off?” asked Preacher Bob.

“No, she didn’t. She threw me out. She—”

“She physically threw you out?”

“No, of course not. But she was being such a bitch I had no choice but to—”

“But to run off and leave her?”

Jim said nothing. Preacher Bob looked at Jim a long time, then said, “So you left her in the middle of the night, and here it is the next day and you still haven’t gone home. Don’t you think she might be worried?”

“Maybe she is, and maybe she isn’t.”

“She must be out of her mind with worry!”

“Good. She should worry. After the way she treated me, she should—”

Preacher Bob said, “Jim, you are not the first man that was ever spoken harshly to by a woman. Yes, maybe you didn’t deserve it. But you also spoke harshly to her, and maybe she didn’t deserve it either. That’s the way it goes between men and women. They fight sometimes and say bitter things. Maybe they shouldn’t, but they do, especially if they’ve been going through a hard time, like you and her have. But just because they fight doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. In fact, sometimes the worse the fight the more they love each other. Which is all the more reason to kiss and make up. You didn’t hit her, did you?”


“Well if you didn’t hit her, and if it was only words that passed between the two of you, there’s hope. There was no call for you to run off like that and try to throw yourself under a train. That was stupid. You should have stayed home. If you had, the two of you would have already made up by now and be happy.”

Jim’s eyes began to fill with tears.

Preacher Bob went on: “You need to go back to her, son. Yeah, maybe she was mean to you. We’re all mean once in a while, and that includes you. But you’re lucky. You’ve got someone to go back to. I haven’t had no one to go back to in … oh, more than thirty years. I threw it all away and what an idiot I was. I thought I’d do better on my own. Thought I’d live the high life, fancy free. Thought I was justified. Well, look what being justified has got me—a cold hard ground to sleep on every night instead of a nice warm bed, a diet of beans and beer, and a loneliness like you wouldn’t believe. I wish I could go back and make it all better, but I can’t. You can.”

“I want to go back,” sobbed Jim. “I need Heather—”

“And she needs you,” said Preacher Bob. “In fact, I got a feeling she needs you real bad. I don’t get feelings like this very often, so when I do I pay attention. I got a feeling she needs you real bad and might even be in trouble.”

(To be continued)