Written during the Corona Virus Pandemic with the hope of bringing a smile to someone’s face – or at least provide a short distraction during these challenging times. Stories are created based on one-word prompts that were submitted by friends. Each friend is assigned a character name and I develop a short fictitious story that integrates and upholds the word.
Luke Dorsey: Faith
Luke stared at the small slip of paper, which he kept neatly tucked underneath a 1969 penny – the one he had found the very same day that Luke took the paper from the bulletin board in the lobby. He kept both as a reminder of his journey, but tonight as he sat looking at the near-empty screen in front of him, he felt lost again.
Luke wasn’t sure how, in three hours, he only managed to type one sentence.
“One lousy sentence. That’s it! Way to go, Luke. You’re rocking and rolling now.” Luke’s remarks were dripping in sarcasm as he eyed the sentence.
Hi, my name is Luke Dorsey.
He’d press his fingers to the keys hoping that the words would flow, but they didn’t. Instead, they were locked away in a room with no windows and dead-bolted door with no key so that he couldn’t get in, and the words couldn’t get out.
And the more Luke looked at that sentence, the more it begged him to write. But he couldn’t. Even periodic pep talks didn’t seem to be helping. “Come on, Luke, you can do this. Remember why you are doing this, Luke.” Luke would type something and delete it. I want to thank – nope, delete! So, you might be wondering – nope, delete! I’m here with you tonight to – nope, delete!
Delete, delete, delete – the pounding on the keys almost as loud as the pounding in his head.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Luke, annoyed at himself, thrust his head back on the pillow and stared at his Grandad’s old cuckoo clock. “Almost midnight and I’ve got nothing,” Luke said as the cuckoo bird emerged in its best cuckoo voice and reminded Luke that time was ticking.
With agitation and frustration on either side of him, Luke rubbed his eyes and then ran his hand through his graying hair, searching for something – anything.
“Come on, Luke. What the hell is wrong with you? Now isn’t the time to lose faith. You can do this, Luke.” Maybe this time the pep talk would work.
But at that moment, Luke felt like he had done precisely that: lost faith. The uncertainty came sauntering in like Piper MacDonald in the ninth grade. Exasperated, Luke set aside his laptop and picked the penny up off the bookshelf. Rolling it between his fingers, Luke closed his eyes and turned his thoughts to that rainy day in late October – the day he met her.
Suddenly, Luke opened his eyes and reached for his laptop. He wasn’t sure what happened, but he felt compelled to write. “That’s it!” He exclaimed as he started typing feverishly.
“Hi, my name is Luke Dorsey. Some of you know me as the smart ass kid from grade school, some of you may know me as the science geek from high school, and many of you may not even know me at all. And that’s okay.
I’m so stoked that you are here, and I’m so humbled to be standing in front of all of you for this special occasion. You might be wondering what brought me here, or even why I’m here. Trust me when I tell you, I asked that for years too. Until a rainy day in late October of 2010 and a random exchange with a stranger – a woman who restored my faith in humanity and who gave me the gift of trust on a day when I had lost everything.
You see, I met her in a post office lobby. I had recently dropped off a document that would change the trajectory of my life, and I felt empty. As I was leaving, I stopped to look at the bulletin board. I’m not even sure why, but I did. And there it was in front of me – an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. The paper wasn’t fancy by any means, but it stood out against everything else. I stared at the bolded font and read every word:
You are here, that’s good. Please, take what you need from below. Go ahead, don’t be ashamed. It’s here for you, and besides, we all need a little help sometimes. So, please, take whichever one you need.
And beneath those words, and cut into precise strips, were several handwritten words – there for the taking with no strings attached. My eyes read them one by one—words such as hope, love, laughter, patience, peace, and faith.
I didn’t hesitate, which was uncanny because it seemed like everything up to this point had been a series of significant hesitations and second-guessing myself. But I knew what I needed, and I knew why.
So, I tore off the slip of paper that said “Faith” written in big green letters and put it in my pocket.
I didn’t realize that anyone was behind me until I turned around and almost walked into her. She was tall with brown hair, olive skin, and the friendliest blue eyes I had ever seen – with an uncanny resemblance to someone I used to know. I said, ‘excuse me. I didn’t realize you were there,’ and her face lit up as she smiled at me.
She reached for my arm and said, ‘I hope you don’t mind, but I couldn’t help but notice which slip of paper you took. I remember being there too- the uncertainty, the loneliness, the void. I often wondered how I’d get through it. But now I know, and trust that you will too. It will carry you through.’
I was speechless and taken aback for a moment as I digested what she’d just said. But then I reached for her hand and thanked her. And as I turned to walk away, I couldn’t help but look back. Faith had been in front of me the whole time.”