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“No wonder it’s so cold around here,” she began. “The people must see your father come out and smoke every day.”

“My father doesn’t smoke,” I argued.

“Yes he does,” she returned. We were both watching him from inside the car as he strode along the street. He had been going on a lot of pointless walks lately. The light was green and she began to accelerate the car further. We passed by my father while he stood aimlessly on a street corner.

I remembered earlier that day, we had been talking in the kitchen, my dad and I. Our topics of conversation had covered a wide variety of philosophical things when suddenly he went off into a story of his childhood. His face had become so intense near the end that tears were welling in his eyes. “…And I wanted to tell everyone. It was the most amazing thing I had ever heard; Jesus wanted to be my friend!

His passion spilt from his heart to mine and I wanted to cry, to tell him I understood, that I cared even…

“We’ve got a few hours before school begins,” she was asking for direction. “We can always talk.”

“Yes, I like to talk,” chimed in Rob from the back seat. We had been heading towards home after some big event I no longer had any interest in.

“I can give you a ride to school if you want Rob,” she invited still heading in the general direction of our homes. I looked over, I needed a ride too but I needn’t say anything. She pulled into the parking lot of some breakfast café and we all exited the vehicle.

My father, of all people, didn’t smoke. He was more vehemently against it than I was. And then I recalled the elderly lady from the church he pastored. She had been trying to tell me the same thing. And there was that knot in my chest.

We were in the café now, I didn’t know her, but she was so beautiful. The three of us took our seats, first Rob, me, and then her. Her dark hair brushed my cheek as she sat, like soft silk it was.

A story began at the front and I suddenly found her leaning her weight against me, and her hand crept towards mine. I felt the guilt creep towards my growing knot as our hands began to touch…

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