OCTOBER 12TH, 4:41 PM
Lang pressed himself back into the sofa’s cushions. He wiggled his shoulders a bit in either direction, fitting deeper into the cushy material until feeling quite relaxed. Ahh, finally. It had been a long, hard day, especially at work.
He plopped his right arm down on the sofa’s armrest and immediately his fingertips came into contact with the top of Freddy’s guitar that was leaning against the sofa. He lightly touched the guitar strings and tuners, careful not to disrupt anything, since the strings were probably tuned just so.
He looked at Freddy. Though twelve-years-old, his chubby, child-like face, full of freckles on pale skin, bordered by reddish brown hair, and his thin, bony build made him appear younger. It also didn’t help that he stood an inch or more shorter than Evan. “Freddy. So how long have you been playing the guitar?”
Freddy’s face brightened and his eyes filled with interest. “Five years now. I taught myself.”
“Wow. Taught yourself? That’s great.”
“Yeah, it’s been hard at times. But, thanks, Mr. Turrone.”
“You’re welcome, son.”
Freddy watched Evan come in from the kitchen carrying two ginger ales and a bowl filled with potato chips. Evan placed all the items on the end of the coffee table closet to the TV. Both boys opened up their sodas right away.
Lang looked at the TV screen. Super Smash Brothers Melee was yet there, the game’s music playing quietly in the background. Evan had paused on the section of the game that allows them to pick their players and get fighting.
Freddy looked at Lang. “And did you know Evan can sing pretty good?”
“Ha, ha. I was just fooling around,” Evan said. “I’m not that good.”
Freddy shrugged. “All I know is you’re better than me or my cousin.”
Hmm, curious. Lang never really thought about this much. “Well, I’ve heard Evan sing hymns in church before, and yeah, he was rather awful.” Lang smiled at Evan.
“Dad, what the heck.” Evan smiled and knelt on their carpeted floor. “I’m not that bad.”
“I know. Just kidding.”
“L-O-L, Dad.” Evan picked up the remote and looked up at Freddy. “I’m choosing Pikachu.”
“I’m choosing Link,” Freddy said.
Freddy began kneeling too, but with difficulty; his right knee wobbled, impeding the bending. But even so he was slowly making it to the floor. Maybe it was due to that knee hyperextension or foot drop Freddy had mentioned earlier?
Either way, Evan showed a lot of patience with him, thankfully.
After choosing a fighting stadium, they began playing with gusto, the remotes getting a beating from the rapid clicks of their fingertips on the buttons.
Lang watched them play, but his thoughts muddled his concentration. He couldn’t stop thinking about Kyleigh and the joy he felt at knowing she was arriving this weekend. And then he thought of poor Freddy, and his MS, and the issues his parents must struggle with, daily, to keep him safe and healthy.
Evan paused the game and looked at Lang. “When is Kyleigh supposed to be coming?”
“Funny. I was just thinking about that. This coming weekend. She should have everything packed and ready to go by Friday.”
“Oh, okay. That’s good.”
Freddy put his remote down. He gobbled up some potato chips and took a big gulp of his opened soda.
Evan waited for him and then they got back on the game.
Knocking came at the outside glass door.
“Who’s…that?” Evan asked, struggling to play and ask at the same time.
“I don’t know. Wasn’t expecting anyone.” Lang stood up and walked over to the living room window. He looked out until he could see well enough, from his angle, at the person’s right side. Brown, rustic jacket. Heavy blue jeans. Tall figure. It was a guy and then Lang saw his profile. “I see him now. It’s Ron.”
Lang hurried over and opened both doors.
“Hey, Lang.” Ron’s face was sad, confused, but cordial. “You think we could do that Chinese takeout tonight?”
Nothing was really going on in the house this evening, except for Evan and Freddy playing video games. “Well, sure. I don’t see why not. Is…is everything okay?”
“Well, not really. I need to discuss something with you.”
“Is it police-related? I mean, did I violate a traffic law?”
Ron smiled. “No, no, no. It’s nothing like that.”
“Oh, good. You had me worried there. Well, come on in then. We can talk inside.”
Ron peaked into the doorway, noticing Evan and Freddy, both still playing the game. Evan gave Ron a quick wave and hello and then Ron looked back at Lang. “I would…I would rather talk out here, if you don’t mind.”
Lang didn’t say anything but just stepped outside. He quietly shut the outside glass door behind him. Fortunately, it was still about sixty degrees outside, and pleasant. He then glanced back into the living room, through the glass, to see if Evan was staying put. Thankfully, he was. Lang focused his attention back on Ron.
“This is hard to say, for me,” Ron said. “But I’ve been having these dreams…very, very specific dreams, and for many nights now.”
“What do you mean, specific?”
“Specific, as in the dreams always involve you, and Evan. I’m driving down past Cenex and see your Suburban, in the turn to Main Street. But then, Lang, your Suburban splits into two Suburbans. I drive over, to see what’s going on, but then…then some other strange things occur. But I definitely see both you and Evan every time I dream this. I know, they’re just dreams, nothing real, but since you two are always involved, I just had to talk to you about this. Might mean something. Who knows?”
Stunned, Lang slowly nodded. He really didn’t know what to say. But maybe now was as good a time as any to reveal some of what they learned and saw in Heaven. “Ron. You really need to come inside, so I can order the Chinese takeout and we can talk, sitting down. It would be much more comfortable.”
Ron didn’t smile, but remained serious, worried even. “But, Evan. And his friend. I’m concerned it might upset them to hear this.”
Lang smiled. “No, it should be fine. Evan’s told Freddy some bizarre things that happened to him recently, so it won’t be a shock to either one.”
“Some bizarre things. Really?” Ron gazed with deep interest and wonder. “You sure?”
“Yes, Ron. Please. Come in.”
Ron finally agreed and stepped inside.
But of course, Lang realized again, as they sat down: the Lord works in mysterious ways.