Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Inviting the Devil Home

Stevie was astounded to the point of disbelief that Jon had confronted the young hoodlum at County jail and forgiven him to his face. You weren't there, she challenged Jon silently as he told his story, when those bullets exploded through the kitchen window. You didn't crawl over shattered glass in panic to find out if our little boy was alive or dead. Had you been there, Jon, and felt the terror I felt, you might not be so quick to get chummy with the sociopath who tried to kill Collin and me. If anything you should have protested such a short jail sentence.

 The final part of the story left Stevie numb and speechless. Jon had volunteered to serve as a citizen sponsor to someone with a rap sheet frighteningly similar to Eugene's. And now that kid was actually living in the house—her house—with Jon. He slept in one of her beds, ate at her table. It was as if Jon had invited the devil to be his roommate. The only word she could utter at the end of the story was, "Why?" "Because he needs a sponsor and there wasn't anyone else available," he said.

“Actually, I think God wants me to help him," Jon said less defensively. Stevie remained unconvinced. "OK," Jon said, as if playing his trump card, "I'm also doing it because Ben reminds me a little of Dougie. I know that sounds funny since they seem to have little in common other than their age and their slight builds. But there's something ... I don't know, maybe I'm reliving an opportunity I missed." Stevie felt the temptation to gloat rise within her. So you have a Dougie project too, Jon, she thought, knowing she would never say it aloud. But when we finally compare notes on these two young men, you'll discover that a young writer and governor's son has far greater potential for success than a dropout gang member.

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