Friday, September 21, 2018

Ray is on the edge

Ray almost spilled his coffee at Al’s remark. In an instant he poured out, “How in the hell do you aggravate a tumor? Aggravate a tumor, I never heard of such a thing. What are you supposed to do, walk around with a helmet on?” “Listen Ray,” Al said, “My life has been in God’s hands and it still is. God never promised me that I would be pain free or even tumor free. I know that He cares about what is going on. When it comes right down to it, my life is in His hands.”

Al could sense Ray struggling with what he just said. After a moment of silence he got up and brought the coffee pot back. Refilling their cups he said, “Listen Ray, what is the real problem here? You knew what happened to me, you knew about the dreams and the headaches. Why does this eat at you so much?”

Ray’s cup was jiggling on the chipped table top. As he was fumbling with the cup and for words, Al spoke up. “Ray, my friend, do you think for a second that I hold you responsible for what happened to me? Do you feel guilty about what happened? Remember, I asked for the assignment, I was the one who wanted to go, go and make a big name for myself. That was all me, not you.”

As Al finished, Ray moved a bit in his chair and looked at him. He was clearly lost for words and choked up. Clearing his throat, he said, “Al you don’t know how many nights I have tossed and turned with images of you strapped down inside that plane. Knowing that you were working for me, I felt responsible.”

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