Jude felt the last drop of his
coffee slide down his throat in the fresh, cold November air. He stood in the
driveway beside his truck in the snow shoveled driveway. It had been warming
up for 5 minutes now. It felt good breathing in that fresh cold fall air.
There was always something special about it and the time of fall/winter.
He took a look around him in his working class neighborhood; there was snow
and ice on the ground and in the trees. It looked like he was in his own
magical kingdom, the very same one he wanted and thought perfect as a child.
Jude took a look at his watch, it read 8:00 A. M. It was time to leave and
face his fate and past.
He drove down the snow covered Main St. very slow.
There was still snow and sheets of ice on the street. The city had not
bothered to clear the city roads that morning. Jude was not surprised, there
was no point in clearing the roads for the few hours they all had to
themselves. He was now in the commercial district of the street and couldn't
help but to notice the looted and empty stores. He turned on the radio to
find out what was going on elsewhere, to find out how other people where
spending their last hours.
"It's only thirty minutes until nine o'clock. The
President of the United States has already expressed his wishes for a few
hours of world peace this morning. Right now we would like to focus on how
other groups of people are spending their November 21st. We go to Judith
O'Connor in London. Judith".
"In London today most people are spending what time
they have left with their families. But some people are trying to go on with
some sense of normalcy. They are taking a stroll through Hyde Park or
shopping in whatever stores that may be open. But in some parts of London all
is not quiet. In downtown a bomb went off inside a gay bar that was open for
business, killing three and leaving eight wounded. The police believe it to
be the work of a fringe neo-Nazi ground making one last attack on a minority.
One witness had this to say about the attacks".
"It's a shame, it really is a bleedin' shame. Some
people just can't put aside their differences for just one day".
Jude turned off the radio. He had always believed
homosexuality was a sin and against the will of God. But what he had just
heard made him sick; the attack was petty and worst of all it was the actions
of cowardice. Some people were never going to change in the face of any
event. He approached a church on the street. The same church he had been
attending every Sunday for the past forty years. The parking lot was jammed
pack. Jude knew that's where he should be, rejoicing God and all his good
works. But he had more important matters to tend to today.
The truck arrived at the end of Main St. and stopped
in front of the a stop sign half covered in snow. Jude turned into Cullberry
Rd. to his right. He drove slow and careful down the road until he found his
address, 234 Cullberry. He could see that there were a number of cars parked
in front of it along the curb. Relatives, that's nice thought Jude. He
parked across the street, got out and started to make his way to the house.
When he got to the curb he could see a snow man with a yellow, blue and red
scarf around it's neck and a snow angel in the yard. Ah, thought Jude,
children, one of God's most precious gifts to the world. He walked up the
snow covered pavement to the door. He rang the bell. At the same time the
town clock rang, it was 8:50 A. M. A woman in her 60's came to the door.
"Yes? May I help you"?
"Rose... It's me Jude Mitchell". He took off
his John Deer cap before her. He saw the shock and anxiety come to her face.
"You"! A tear rolled down her left cheek.
Jude dropped to his knees. "I've come to ask for
He could see that she was trying to keep it together
but it wasn't working. She broke down.
"I know I'm asking a lot. I know I deserve to go to
Hell. There hasn't been a day I haven't thought about it. I'm sorry".
"That would have been useful forty years ago...
First it was the slaps, then it was fists. You had that other girl... And
that night, my God that night! You were drunk and you threw me on the bed...
And you... Your breath smelled while you did me like that"! She lowered her
head into her hands.
Jude lowered his head in shame and felt sorry for
her. He felt a tear roll down his face.
"O. K. Rose I won't make you suffer any more". He
got up and walked away from the house.
"I forgave you a long time ago", whispered Rose.
She looked at him for the last time and closed the door.