Monday, July 23, 2012
"They're paying you to do this, right?" Ben asked. "No, Ben, volunteers don't get paid." "If you get no money, why do you do it?" "Couple of reasons," he began, controlling his excitement. "For one thing, nobody else seemed to be available, and I was. It seemed kind of selfish to have a couple of empty bedrooms when somebody like you needed one. Also, I had a son who died as a teenager a few years ago. He would be close to your age. We called him Dougie."
"How'd he die?" asked Ben. Jon drew a long silent breath. "Drug overdose." "On purpose? I mean, was it suicide?" Jon winced inside. "Depends on how you look at it, I guess. I don't think he killed himself on purpose, but he took the drugs on purpose, and the drugs killed him."
Thank God, Ben was drug tested regularly while on probation and had stayed clean—so far. Jon continued, "I guess by helping you I'm trying to make up for failing Dougie." A knot swelled in his throat as he spoke the words. “Why me?" asked Ben. "I'm not sure, Ben. It wasn't like I specifically requested you. I just agreed to be a sponsor, and they assigned you to me." "But I don't really believe it's an accident or just chance that I got you instead of someone else. I . . . I believe it was meant to be." This time Ben's eyes met his. "You mean God, don't you?" asked Ben. Jon nodded.