Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden
Resurrecting Ghosts by CJ Bolden ÂŠ 2010
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden
Resurrecting Ghosts by CJ Bolden ÂŠ 2010 Cover Artwork ÂŠ 2010 Jermaal Taylor All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Printed in the United States of America. ISBN: 978-1-4507-1414-3
Creative House International Press, Inc. www.CreativeHousePress.com
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden
What people are saying about C.J. Bolden If it is true that charity begins at home and spreads abroad: Come and let’s watch Connie Bolden spread. Connie’s writing takes me back to the era of Mark Twain. For in the later parts of the 1800’s great humorists as Samuel Clemens went into the chambers of their minds, and found everyday occurrences, which they wrote with humor and left us with a new set of mythical heroes such as “Huckleberry Finn”. I am an eyewitness who have been held spell–bound with uplifted spirits from her skits, plays, poems, and solo performances. Therefore, I recommend that you join with me and let’s enjoy Connie Bolden’s book Resurrecting Ghosts. Thomas Foster, Retired Minister of Fifth Ward Church of Christ Presently Minister of Missouri City Church of Christ B.S.C.E., M.S.C.E., Univ of Arkansas 2009 Recipient Doctor of Human Letters from Southwestern Christian College, Terrell, Texas
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden Best wishes Connie Bolden, a creative writer, who is “Realistic”, dramatically “Fresh” and “God gifted.” Blessings, Dalton Duplechan Christian Evangelist Sugar Land Church of Christ Congratulations, Mrs. Connie Bolden on your publication! I’ve come to appreciate your hard work over the years. You are an outstanding poet and playwright and your passionate writings have been inspirational to readers throughout the country. I wish you much success in this endeavor. Wendell Hart Associate Minister Sugar Land Church of Christ Connie, I know it's hard to believe, but it is your time to shine. Congratulations on your book. You have given the world a wonderful gift that will last forever. Thanks for being obedient and doing what you were born to do. This is just the beginning! A very close friend, Reba McIntyre-Kindred Author, Quiet Rhymes & The Boy Who Hated Being Black
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden
Connie J. Bolden is vibrant in her delivery and well-versed in her style. She has the clever ability to breathe heart and soul into her characters. When I read her work, I am completely immersed in the story, feverishly waiting to embrace the next line. I wish you all the best and I know great things are around the corner for you. Much love, Cynthia E. Varnado, Huntsville, Alabama
Sister Bolden, I thank God not only for Connie Bolden, but what God did through her to produce this volume. Blessed with the gift, Connie writes an inspirational and spirit filled novel. This book is life transforming, therefore everyone should take an opportunity to read it and be changed forever. Best Wishes, Amram Joiner Associate Minister of Missouri City Church of Christ
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden
Connie, I am so excited for you and wish you all the best. While many actors, writers and etc. are famous for supporting themselves early as waiters, truck drivers or sales clerks and such. I remember you working in the hat factory writing songs and poems. I remember your dream of becoming a published writer so that others could enjoy your art. I am very pleased that others may now get this opportunity. I wish you great success and know that all of us in Tennessee are rallying around you with much support. Best wishes, Richard Bean President, Winchester Hat Corp
Connie, This has been a long dream of yours for the sixteen years I have known you, and finally it is here. The Lord blessed you with a gift and now you will be able to share that gift with the world. I think this is something that should have happened a long time ago, but apparently God said not yet. Connie, now is your time and He longer saying ‘not yet’. He has put you in the fire and now He is saying ‘yes, you are ready, now’. Let
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden
Him use you and you stay focused on doing His will. I feel that I know you well enough to know that you will continue on with your mission and allow Him to use you. I will continue to keep you in prayer as you carry His word. May others be blessed, uplifted, encouraged and entertained by your gift. You are a special person and I have always felt honored just to know you. Much success E.J. Lombard Katy, Texas
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden
This book is dedicated to first my family, who are forever by my side with love, support and enthusiasm. To my children and grandchildren, who motivate me. To my many friends, who have filled me with encouragement and to my brothers and sisters in Christ, who have kept me in prayer. A special thanks goes Reba Kindred, who serves as my best friend and mentor. For thirteen years, she has taken a seat in my corner, believing in me, when I doubted myself. To Ruth Beaty, for her assistance in checking behind me to ensure that my Iâ€™s were all dotted and my Tâ€™s were all crossed. To my cheerleader, Margie Creswell, for the ray of sunshine she cast my way on my dark days. And lastly, to my son Ryan, who provided the inspiration for this book. Iâ€™d passed his room several times that day and why it got on nerves at that particular moment, I didn't know. He had called himself already cleaned it, but it wasn't quite up to my liking. So, fussing all the while, I went in and began straightening up what he had hurriedly thrown together. The bedside table was cluttered with pens, pencils, coloring pencils, books, loose papers and pads. While I was returning everything to their proper places, something seemed to call out to me. It was at that moment, that 9
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden I noticed his sketch pad. I picked it up and stood mesmerized at the little boy who seemed to be staring back at me. There was something about this little boy that made me stop and stand still. In some kind of weird way, I connected with him but I didn't understand how that could be. To my son Ryan, it was just a sketch of a boy, with sagging pants, big chains and a backwards cap, attempting to portray an aire of coolness. Yet to me, I saw sadness in his eyes. I saw a look that said he'd lived a thousand lifetimes. I saw pain and misery mixed with a longing for something that he did not possess and I saw a hopelessness that touched me to the core. As I looked upon the little boy's face, he seemed to be calling out to me but I couldn't make out what he said, until I sat down at my computer. With a blank page in front of me and his face now engraved in my head, I began. He told me that his name was Peter, but everybody called him Petey. He told me so many things about himself and about his life and my fingers found themselves quickly flying over the keyboard as if he were dictating to me. That day gave birth to the character and also his story.
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden
A Special Prayer
My prayer is that this book will serve as a source of inspiration to those who feel weighed down by the pressures of life. For those who struggle with those insurmountable obstacles that seem to be set in their path, seemingly unmovable. For those who are suffering through broken promises, broken dreams, and abandoned by broken spirits. May it serve as a reminder to each of us that we have a responsibility to reach down with and open hand, to help lift others up. We are only fully alive when we are helping others. Jesus said, “If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live” (Mark 8:35; see also Matthew 10:39; 16:25; Luke 9:24; 17:33). This is so important that it is repeated five times in the Bible. Life is meant for ministry and if you aren’t living your life serving others, then you’re only existing. God’s plan is for us to love one another and to serve others unselfishly.
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden
We donâ€™t get to choose our journey but we do get to choose our path.
Without hope it is impossible to dream Without faith it is impossible to know trust Without love it is impossible to know worship Without joy it is impossible to know laughter Without sorrow it is impossible to know regret Without compassion it is impossible to know charity Without tolerance it is impossible to know patience Without endurance it is impossible to know determination Without forgiveness it is impossible to know absolution Without God it is impossible to know how to live
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden
1 Resurrecting Ghosts
Peter stood there, waiting for his turn to go through this ritual yet again. He presented his ID to the guard behind the thick glass window. He emptied his pockets, removed his belt, and then took his walk through the metal detector. Heâ€™d gone through this process many times, only to be turned away in the end. So today, he was both shocked and relieved when he was escorted to this room to wait. He looked at his watch and then at the big clock on the wall as if one would say something different than the other. He crossed one leg over the other and every now and then he would uncross and cross again. On the first and the third Saturday of each month he made this trip; and every trip proved to be a waste of his time, energy, effort, and money. After six months of being rejected, heâ€™d cut his visits down to only once a month. In between visits he wrote letters, sent stationery and stamps, hoping for just a note in returnâ€Śbut nothing ever came. Despite twenty-one months of going through this ritual, even though he had been turned down each time, he never once thought about ending his visits. He felt he had no choice in the matter; it was his attempt of returning a deed from long ago. No matter how many times he had been rejected, he vowed to never stop trying. He came 13
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden with no preconceived hopes or expectations, so whatever happened would be okay. Today, he was still in a state of utter shock. Instead of being turned away, like so many times before, this time he had been escorted to this cold, lifeless room and told to wait. So, here he sat, waiting anxiously, in a place he had never wanted to be. Sitting here, alone in this cold, dark and dismal place staring through a door of bars, made his skin crawl. Besides the big clock on the wall, the only fixtures in the room were an old, wooden table and two, wooden chairs. There were many marks, scratches, names and initials carved into the table top. It bore the scars of many years. Every mark on the table was reminiscent of the wide array of emotions of the people who had assembled themselves around it. He sat looking at each name and initial and wondered about the story behind each one. The tip of his ring finger tapped the table, keeping time with the ticking of the big, black clock that hung on the wall. It was so old that the black paint had almost disappeared from its sides. The number six had become unhinged and hung sideways, looking more like a crooked number nine. Each tick of the clock seemed to echo in the stillness. He didnâ€™t know if it was actually that loud, or if it only seemed that way, because he was a massive bundle of nerves. He sat motionless, his head reeling from the sea of thoughts that flooded in and out like rushing waves on a stormy day. His stomach fluttered and each time the clock ticked, his heart seemed to skip a beat. He was nervous, but he was also thrilled to be finally sitting here. He had been waiting a long time for this moment. Now that the day was here, he prayed that it would not be in vain. 14
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden Looking around this gloomy room, he struggled to gather his thoughts. In his mind, he spoke to himself, over and over, summoning up the strength and courage he needed for the task at hand. Resurrecting ghosts from the past seemed inevitable. It made him uneasy just thinking about coming face to face with memories that he’d fought so hard to forget. Bringing up the past reminded him of throwing up, just a little bit, enough to reach the back of your throat before it changed its mind and went back down again. It was disgusting, and it always left a nasty taste in your mouth. Dredging up the past was just like that...it was not always easy, but sometimes it was necessary, like now. Suddenly there was a loud clap. The barred door slid open, banged shut, and he cringed. The feeling went down his spine and all the way to his feet and curled his toes. Two men stood at the entrance; one in handcuffs and the other packing nothing but pepper spray. The guard remained silent as he unlocked the handcuffs, and shoved the awkward young man in the direction of the wooden chair that sat on the other side of the table. For a moment he stood looking at the two of them, glancing from one to the other, before making up his mind to exit. He opened the barred door again, walked through, and once again slammed it shut behind him. It was loud and intimidating and again Peter cringed. It was a sound that injured your spirit every time you heard it. In the hallway, with his foot propped up behind him, the guard rested against the wall. His piercing eyes never left the two of them. With an outstretched hand he greeted the young man “How are you?” he asked as he studied the young man’s face. 15
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden “I’m Peter, Peter Porter.” He couldn’t take his eyes away. “It’s nice to finally see you.” His breath caught in his throat and held there, for a moment, just looking at him. “I’m doing ok, or as good as can be expected up in here.” Dre’s answer was cool and matter of fact; he ignored the outstretched hand. “Not much longer to go now, so it’s getting better every day.” They sat for a moment, each watching the other, no words passing between them. Peter was remembering back to the last time he had seen this boy. Dre’ had not been quite a year old. It was hard to believe that baby had grown into the man he now saw before him. How time does fly, he thought. It’s amazing how life catches you, wraps you up, and before you know it, a long time has slipped away right before your very eyes. It escapes so quickly…like sand flowing through your fingers. Dre’ studied the old man’s face, his eyes, and the way the corner on the right side of his mouth nervously twitched. His black wavy hair was mingled with silvery grey streaks. There were creases at the corners of his eyes that became more prominent when he smiled. His face had a rugged, weathered look that reminded him of soft leather. He looked virtually harmless. Still, he could not fathom why anyone would be so persistent, unless there was some sort of revenge in mind. Twenty-one months of constant rejections and this man was still coming around. In his mind he tried to remember the faces of the people he’d violated. He’d been on the streets for a while, and there was no way he could possibly remember every person he’d victimized. There was nothing about the old man’s face that 16
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden seemed familiar. Maybe he was looking to right a wrong, not for something done to him, but to someone that he cared about. It was important that he picked him apart to find out. The last thing he needed was to get out of here, and become prey for some chump coming out of the woodwork, jumping him at the first opportunity. He’d done so many terrible things, that naturally vengeance was the only answer he could come up with. The question was, what kind of payment was the old man in search of? What kind of payback could he get here under the watchful eyes of the guards? He had been stripped of everything that could have been used as a weapon. So, what kind of punishment was he seeking? He kept asking that question over and over in his mind. He was set to be released in a month and he needed to know if this persistent man would be out there lying in wait for him. So, when the guard announced that his monthly visitor was back again, he definitely had to check it out. Both men sat in silence, staring intently at each other. Dre’ searched for any familiarity that might give him a clue to anyone from his past that he might have forgotten, while Peter sat conjuring up ghosts from his own past. Yet, it made no sense, thought Dre’. He was told that this man was a preacher and if that were true, then he was a man who believed that there was a God to take care of vengeance. He would be anything but a threat to him. He didn’t know why this man had so much interest in him, but he wanted nothing from him, not one thing, not even his time. Anything he had to say would undoubtedly go in one ear and straight out the other.
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden It was Dre’ who finally broke the uneasy silence, after all, someone had to. They couldn’t just sit there until the guard deemed visiting time was up. He was not afraid of this old man. However, he had to know what he was up against. He’d done so much dirt that he had to always keep a look out over his shoulder for anything threatening that could possibly come his way. Several incidents came to mind. He wondered if this man was the father of the girl he had assaulted, while stealing her purse. Perhaps it was the husband, of the lady he had tied to a chair, as he robbed and ransacked their house. What if it was the man he jacked then made strip completely down in front of his wife and children? He didn’t know, but he knew he needed to know. As he sat trying to place who this guy could be, his stomach slowly churned. He often wished that he could turn back the hands of time, but it was too late for that now. He had already done too many awful things and there was way too much water was under the bridge. In this case, backing up or turning around was impossible. “What can I do for you, old man?” He asked, leaning back in the chair, arms folded across his chest. He watched Peter’s every movement as he waited for his response. Although he didn’t feel this old man posed much of a threat, he still couldn’t let his guard down. That was the very first lesson the streets had taught him: to never let his walls of protection completely down, exposing himself and his weaknesses. Being unaware meant death. He had been running with the neighborhood gang since he was fourteen years old, and had taken part in almost every crime from A to Z. There was no
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden telling who this old man was, or why he seemed so determined to meet with him. “The question is what can I do for you?” Peter leaned forward and rested an elbow on the table. “You tell me,” Dre’ said, tilting his head to one side, sounding very cocky. “Unless you can get me out of here quicker than next month, then I don’t know what else you can possibly do for me.” “Yep, one more month…that’s good.” Peter had so much to say, but he wasn’t sure how to say it, or even where to begin. He didn’t know if he would be shooting in the dark, but he knew he had to try. He owed that much. “I’ve been coming here every month, for twenty-one months, and each time you have refused to see me. Why did you agree today?” He asked. He was glad, but curiosity wouldn’t stop nagging at him. “I came to find out just what it is that you’re looking for. I ain’t got nothin’ you could want. They tell me that you’re a preacher, but the last thing that I want to do is talk Bible. Shoot, ain’t no hope for me no way, preacher. The devil has already claimed me.” “I’m not looking for anything from you. I just want to be here for you.” Peter replied, lightly touching his open hand across his chest. “Be here for me, for what? Me and you don’t have nothin’ in common.” His eyes never left Peter’s face and he looked at him as if he had the word “idiot”, in bold letters, stamped across the middle of his forehead. “We have more in common than you realize.” Peter said softly.
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden “You ain’t got nothin’ to tell me, and I ain’t got nothin’ to say. And for your information, I don’t need nobody!” Dre’ protested. “Everybody needs to have someone, even if only for moral support, or just to have somebody to be there to listen, or to talk…” “Support? I got that covered already.” Dre’ fired back, cutting him off. “I’m my own support. It’s all I want and all I need! And, if you want to listen to something, then listen to your footsteps as you go down that hallway and up outta here. I don’t know what planet you’re from Pops, but you ain’t got nothin’ in common with me or me with you.” He snapped. “Son, I know you feel that I have nothing that will be beneficial to you. You probably think that you have life all figured out and I’m sure you think you can handle everything all by yourself. I just want you to know that you don’t have to face life alone. I’ve been coming here since you were sent to this place, hoping for a chance to talk with you.” He paused briefly, and shuffled around nervously in his seat before continuing. “You’re going to be getting out of here real soon and I’m hoping to help you with that transition.” Peter offered. “Old man, there ain’t nothin’ I need from you, I just told you that!” He repeated. “And what transition? I’m getting out, I don’t need no help. All I need is for them to open up the door, and everything else I can do for myself.” He said in a huff. “If you just walk out that door with no plan, son, you are destined to be back in the system again.” Peter stressed. He, of all people, knew you had to have a plan of some kind to deal with life, especially when the cards are stacked against you. 20
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden “Listen man, what do you mean coming in here, telling me where I’m gonna end up? You think I care about what you think?!” Dre’ shot back angrily. “And by the way, who are you, a preacher man or a psychic? How do you know what’s down the road for me?” Each word he spoke dripped with sarcasm. “Did you come here to bless me or to curse me?” Fury burned in his eyes. All of a sudden the fire went out. A small, sly smile quickly transformed into a wide toothy grin. “Oh, I get it now; you came to talk some sense into me, huh? So, you gonna save me, old man?” He asked sarcastically. Vivid flashes of another time, and another boy, came to Peter’s mind, a boy who had no one to pattern himself after. A boy who had been thrust into the middle of chaos. Dre’, on the other hand, was exactly the opposite. He came from the best of stock. Was he really ignorant to the strength that he had within? He was cut from a strong grain. It was obvious that either he didn’t know, or maybe circumstances had stripped it from his memory. “Well, somebody needs to. This is not the place for you, boy. It’s beneath you. Life is holding some wonderful things for you son, but you have to see it and strive for it.” He recognized where Dre’ was; he knew the look of it as well as the smell of it. He also knew that if Dre’ went back to the streets with the same attitude, he would be back in the same boat, up a creek without a paddle, as the old saying goes. “You’re not my Daddy ol’ man, so stop calling me 'son'! Shoot, you’re not even part of my family, so why does it matter to you where I end up? Why are you taking it upon yourself to try to save me?” He was on his feet now, ranting, 21
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden pacing up and down, back and forth, in the tiny room. “Of all the dudes here, why did you choose me to pull your savior card on?” He stopped beside his chair and leaned in so close that their noses almost touched. He was so close that every word that spewed from his mouth, gave Peter a clue to what his last meal had been. ”Listen to me preacher, real good. I ain’t trying to get saved!” He yelled. The guard slowly removed his foot from the wall and dropped it to the floor. His hand lightly stroked the handle of the pepper spray, but he did not move away from the wall. He had been smacking his gum loudly, but now he clamped his mouth shut as he peered at the two of them. “I guess you figure you and God’s gonna change me and make me into a new man, before I leave this place, huh?” Dre’ asked with a smirk on his face that showed his disdain at the mere thought. “Don’t waste your time ol’ man ‘cause I don’t wanna hear it and you ain’t gotta waste God’s time either, ‘cause we fell out long time ago. He ain’t listening to me and I ain’t trying to hear nothin’ from Him. If that’s all you came for, then you might as well leave.” Dre’ argued, as his patience was quickly running out. “He is listening and He hears you. He doesn’t answer us in our time. If we ask, and it doesn’t come through right away doesn’t mean He’s not listening. It could very well mean He’s just saying ‘not yet’,” explained Peter. “You know ol’ man, I’m gonna respect you ‘cause you’re old, but there ain’t a whole lot I imagine that you can tell me. This is my life and I do what I want to do and what I got to do. You can’t understand that, so why try? I don’t know what kind of game you’re trying to run, but trust me when I tell 22
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden you that you’re running it on the wrong dude. So, now you and God can both leave ‘cause I ain’t interested!” His arms whipped through the air and each word he uttered was like tiny flames that seared his tongue. He spat them out, as quickly as possible, as if trying to put out the fire. “You think ‘cause I’m old, I don’t know what time it is. You also think because I’m a minister of God’s word that I can’t be a source of support for you and that we have no commonality; but you’re as wrong as wrong can be. I do know what time it is and like you, I have also been around the block a time or two. You look at me and I guess you see and old man, an old man who lives to hold up God. But, don’t you dare look at me and think you know every chapter in this book. You’re not as big as you wish you were, and you’re not as bad as you have convinced yourself to be. It’s hard for a con to con a con. Do you feel me? He leaned in close and they were eye to eye. He took a long deep breath and held it for a moment then slowly released it before he continued on. “You think ‘cause you’re young you know everything. Boy, if you’re not careful, the streets will suck you up. You’re running along thinking you’re big and bad and got life by the tail, but don’t you know you can’t hold a tiger like life…by its tail? She’ll whip the day lights out of you. And you can do all the swinging in the world and you still won’t be able to knock her out. She’ll be your pimp, then she’ll sell you out.” “I ain’t scared of life and I ain’t scared of the streets, ol’ man! Life can’t do no more to me than I let it.” He laughed a gut wrenching laugh. His head fell back and his stomach shook, then his laugher ended as abruptly as it began. He was not about to let this old man get under his skin. 23
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden “Everybody is scared of something, son. When you stop being scared of everything, then you’ve already lost control.” “Man, please, I ride the streets like a wild stallion. I got her by the reins and riding high.” His voice was soft and cold, but flames shot from his eyes as he spoke. “See, I run things in my world.” He bragged. It was obvious that this old man didn’t know who he was messing with. He was known as a firecracker and this old joker was sitting here holding a match. He took a deep breath to calm himself down. If this old man was trying to make him mad, then he would surely show him. He refused to give him that pleasure. “You have to respect life in order for life to respect you. You can’t demand respect; it doesn’t work that way.” Peter said, speaking from experience. “Old man, I get respect, or I take it. It don’t matter to me if it’s real, or if it’s faked. All that matters is that I get it.” His voice dripped with coldness, like water droplets that trickled down icicles. “That makes no sense, son. You can’t take respect. Faking respect is like faking love; neither of them has any meaning. You may have been riding high, but look around, boy, at where you are now,” he said, waving his hand around in the air. That stallion bucked you off and it’s just a matter of time before she’ll buck again,” Peter responded as he leaned back in the old, wooden chair. “Life didn’t do this to me, I did! I let my guard down! Life teaches you to be sharp and to stay on your toes. It was my fault that I got caught, but it won’t happen no more, ‘cause I’ve learned to never let my guard down again.”
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden “You’re right; you did do it to yourself. You know son, you can be as careful as you know to be, and still it won’t be enough.” The path you’re on is full of pitfalls and you can’t put your guard up high enough to prevent that!” “You don’t know nothin’ about my path, man, and I refuse to keep sitting here listening to this. Go find somebody else to pass your judgment on ‘cause I’m done listening." The young man spat, pounding his chest with the ball of his fist. “Dre’, calm down, please. I didn’t come here to get you all worked up. My intentions are not to judge you. I know that this life’s not for you, and I want to help you to find a new one. The way you’re trying to live will send you to places that you really don’t want to go. Don’t you see that?” He asked, as he searched the young man’s face, hoping for a telltale sign that something was seeping in. “Are you big-headed enough to believe that you hold the answers for me and my life?” Dre’ shot back, full of indignation. “Son, in life we all have situations and circumstances that are unlike anyone else’s. Everybody has some kind of fight. Problem is, you think that the hand you’ve been dealt is the worse there is. You feel things are not fair and you wonder what you did to deserve the hand that you got. You’ve spent a lot of time asking why…haven’t you? You’ve asked that question so much, and not once have you ever found the answer,” Peter said, sadly shaking his head back and forth. His voice, slow and steady, was laced with weariness. “You probably feel like God has turned His back on you and left you out to dry, huh?” His voice seemed distant as his mind wandered in the shadows of the past. 25
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden “God!” Dre’ yelled, throwing his hands up in the air. “God ain’t trying to hear me and you’re right, I have asked why; but I got tired of asking why…and why me! So, you know what I did, ol’ man? I stopped, and gave in to life, and I figured out how to live it for me!” Anger poured out of him so strongly that it caused the hair on the back of Peter’s neck to stand on end. The words flew out of Dre’s mouth as if he had bitten into something rancid. “I don’t care about what you’re talking about, why should I?” Dre’ caught himself, then stopped and took a deep breath. He was letting this old man get next to him and he didn’t want to do that. So, he kept breathing deeply, in and out, fighting to stay cool. “Dre’, life is about challenges, and learning how to deal with them. We’ve all been through things. What may seem monumental to you may be like a walk in the park to someone else. Life is tough, but it is not as tough as we are. We are never asked to bear something that is bigger than the strength that is inside of us,” he said. Reaching Dre’ was not going to be a simple task, but then, he’d known that from the very beginning. Almost nothing about life was simple. Dre’ sat fuming. He was arguing with this man in his own head. He didn’t need to hear any of this. He’d heard all this stuff many times before. His weakness was his business. He was tough, and life got the credit for that, and he could handle whatever it threw at him. He was alone and he was making it all by himself. Sure, he was scared sometimes, but he didn’t need to share that with anyone. This man wanted him to open himself up, but he couldn’t do that. He couldn’t be that honest not even with himself. Every day he worked to convince 26
Resurrecting Ghosts C.J. Bolden himself that he was cool with the way his life was. Yet, there were times when he wished he could tuck his tail between his legs and run to someone or something for safety. But why would he admit that? To say anything, would be admitting that life was handling him and not the other way around. There were no arms for him to run to. There wasn’t anyone to help him figure life out. Sink or swim, it was all up to him and he didn’t need this man to remind him of that. He knew life was not fair. If it were, then he wouldn’t be in this place. He had gone from being a happy-go-lucky kid, one day, to being a lost and confused kid the next. He didn’t need this man to come down here and tell him that. Neither did he want to have judgment passed upon him by an old man, whose existence had not been cursed by the harsh reality of fate, as his had been.
Redemption comes in many ways and many forms. Some times it is handed out by God, other times, it comes to you in small unknown packages....