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The Offer of a Lifetime

by BGW   
10/11/2018 / Short Stories


A crisp gentle wind blows in the cool of the day. The humidity is chilly, and I can barely breathe because of its heaviness. The air is rank like the smell of decaying fish. I am on my way home when I decide to take a shortcut down an empty alley. My feelings of despair take over my mind. Tonight, might be the last shortcut I make. As I walk down that eerily quiet path, a man approaches me calling for my attention.

“Excuse me, sir! I would like to discuss a conversation that I overheard you having.”

I wonder what this could be about. I had never seen the man before and thought he might try to rob me or worse. Though, he didn’t look like a robber or a killer. His course black hair slicks back, with a clean shave. He dresses in a black suit with a brief case. Even though it goes against my better judgement, I decide to meet his request and see what he supposedly overheard.

The man eagerly starts talking and says, “Oh good, you will not regret this. First off Mr. Gilbert, let me introduce myself to you. My name is Mr. Natas.”

The fact that he knows my name perplexes me, so I ask with a weary voice, “Do I know you from somewhere? How do you know who I am?”

“Well Mr. Gilbert, we have never met, but I most assuredly know you as I am an angel. I am here to grant your most recent request that you made to God,” reports Mr. Natas.

I quickly retort, “Okay, you are just putting me on. Who put you up to this, my wife or the kids?”

“No one, I am real. Let me prove it, you recently requested help in dealing with your depression. Remember? You were so run down, tired, and feeling overwhelmed. You were even having thoughts about ending it all tonight, in this very alley. I am here to show you the way,” proclaims Mr. Natas.

I had not shared this with anyone, not even my dog about these issues. In fact, I was just begging to God to show me the way. To tell me what to do in very clear way. I guess this could not be much clearer.

“Please sir, please tell me what I can to do be free from the depression. I would do anything,” I plead.

“Well, that is good to hear. I can heal your depression, in fact, not only that, but I will bless you by giving you a promotion at work that will double your pay. Now, of course that will require more hours on the job. I can make your kids better at sports, so good that every Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team will want them on their team. Though, that will leave you and your wife running around to all the events. I can fill your wife with confidence and self-reliance, so that she doesn’t need you hardly at all. Think about it, you and your family will be the envy of all your neighbors, successful at everything you do. You can be free from all the depressive thoughts. All it will cost you is your time,” exclaims Mr. Natas.

Thinking to myself, wow, this is so awesome. It is everything I was dreaming of. God is so good. How did I have ever doubt. I accept the offer and praise God all the way back home.

Five years later

I often think about the meeting with Mr. Natas. How he changed my life. Sure, my family was successful, and we were the envy of our neighbors, but only for a time. I was so busy at work that I missed most of my children’s games. They grew to resent me, and barely spoke to me. I neglected my wife so much, that with the help of her new self-reliance and confidence, she left me for another man. My dog had even died of a lonely life, because no one had time to pay attention to him anymore. All that extra money I made, it went to alimony and child support. Sure, I don’t get depressed. I hardly feel anything because I wash my pain away with shots of Jack Daniels every night.

One time, I went back to that same alley. I saw Mr. Natas giving that same line to someone else. To my surprise, that person declined him. He was spouting off some Bible verses. Something about you can’t serve two masters and about rather going through life lame and getting eternal life. Well, come to find out, he had made the right choice. He is currently with his family, going to church and enjoying life, even though he is in a wheel chair.

I was born in a small town in North Central Ohio. I have a beautiful wife and two wonderful kids. We all love our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and committed to sharing His redeeming message to all the land.

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