by Dee Lorraine
“Excuse me, may I give you this?” The handsome young man in front of the women’s health care clinic held a white business card. Roslyn took it without breaking stride as she passed the building. She didn’t want to be late for work. While waiting for the light to change, she looked at the card.
The same message was on both sides: “Jesus loves you. Don’t do it.”
Roslyn wasn’t pregnant, and even if she were, she would never consider abortion. But she was planning to cheat on her husband with Albert, a coworker.
A gust of wind blew her hair across her face. She tucked the card into her wallet and crossed the street.
Later that morning, Albert approached her in the break room.
“How about a drink after work tomorrow?”
“No, thanks. I want to keep our relationship strictly business.’
“I thought you wanted to start dating.”
“I did. But I’ve had a change of heart.”
He shrugged. “Whatever. Have it your way.”
She nodded, and he left.
Three weeks later, Roslyn’s supervisor called her to the office.
“I’ve been reviewing your work and watching how you relate to your team members. You have good leadership skills, sound judgment, and integrity. I want to promote you. The position requires transferring from your current division to another part of the facility. You’ll have additional training and responsibility and a substantial salary increase. Are you interested?”
“Absolutely. Thank you.”
“Good. I’ll talk to Judy in HR to get the ball rolling. Keep up the good work, Roslyn.”
She never saw Albert again.
Two years later, Roslyn was sitting in her car at the overlook of Postmeyer Lake Park. The park was full of kids, teens, and adults enjoying the sunny Saturday afternoon. She planned to set up her easel and large sketch pad by the playground, draw pictures of the younger children, and give them to their parents.
Wind gusts created waves on the lake and sent kites swirling out of control.
No, it’s too windy to get out and sketch.
A man driving a black Ford pickup truck parked in the space to her right. He sat motionless, staring ahead, which caught her attention.
The perfect model. I had better work fast in case he decides to drive off.
She took out her smaller sketchpad and a pencil and started outlining his profile.
A few minutes later, he turned, looked in her direction for a second, then looked away.
She was looking down and didn’t see him move, but felt a jolt in the pit of her stomach.
He got out of the truck, headed toward the railing, and watched the kids and parents.
Suddenly, Roslyn felt compelled to do something out of the ordinary.
She grabbed her purse, found her wallet, fumbled through the business cards, and pulled one out.
The wind died down as she got out of her car.
It wasn’t like her to approach strangers, especially men. But she felt she had to do it.
“Excuse me, may I give you this?” Roslyn held out a white business card.
He stared at her with empty eyes and took it.
The wind picked up again, and she hurried back to her car. Once inside, Roslyn watched him turn the card from one side to the other and back again. She drove home.
Roslyn’s husband watched the evening news in the living room while she prepared dinner. She could hear the news anchor.
“A man walked into the 40th Precinct police station on Raymont Avenue late this afternoon and said he had weapons to turn in. Officers removed two loaded AK-47 rifles, two double-barreled shotguns, three 9mm pistols, and assorted ammunition from the toolbox of the man’s black Ford F-150 pickup truck.”
“All the weapons were lawfully purchased, registered, and licensed over the past two years. The man has no criminal history or history of mental illness. He told police he had intended to shoot people in Postmeyer Park this afternoon and then kill himself. When questioned further, he stated, “I had a change of heart.”
“The man agreed to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. At this point in the investigation, the District Attorney does not intend to file charges.”
“Ros, honey, did you hear that? Talk about a miracle!”
Dee Lorraine writes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, some of which can be found in Friday Flash Fiction and Midwest Book Review. Dee’s YouTube channel, “Superfast Stories”, features her videos of writers’ drabbles; “Provoke Unto Love” promotes a Christ-centered permanent solution to the USA’s homelessness crisis.