Resurrection 11

This is a chapter of the book I am writing for NaNoWriMo. If you want to read it from the start, click here for the chapter index.

Last Goodbye

J.W. dropped his pack against a tree and pulled out his phone. Turning it on he was happy he had a signal. He dialed Suzanna.

“Hello stranger, how’s the hike going?” Suzanna was always chipper.

“Great, enjoying the nature and getting some great time communing with God.” J.W. didn’t bother to tell her about his knee or the run-in he had with the locals.

“How are you and Claire, Suze?”

“We miss you. I miss you. It’s hard doing this alone, John. We need you here.” Suzanna’s voice had an edge.

“I know honey, we’ve talked about this. I’ll be home Saturday.” He tried to be reassuring but it fell flat.

“OK, well it is what it is. I’ll be glad when you’re home again.” Suzanna tried to be as positive as she could. Sleep deprivation and hormones combined made it hard.

“I’m at 10%. I’m at a shelter with some young kids. I’m going to go and save my battery for morning. I’ll call before I hit the trail again.”

“Please do. I love you.” The “I love you” at least sounded warm to J.W.

“I love you too, talk to you in the morning, bye.” With that J.W. hung up his phone, replacing it to his pocket, but forgetting to first shut it off. He went to join the others.

The young man with the smile and the beard was named Josh, but he went by the nickname “Creek.” Most of the hikers used nicknames on the trail. Everyone called J.W. “Preacher.”

Creek was from Connecticut. He was a “through-hiker,” planning to do the entire 2,000 mile trek. He was clean-shaven when he started in Maine, and heavier. Now he had a full beard and a lean appearance.

Creek decided to do his hike after he and his long-time girl broke it off. Her choice, not his. Like many on the Trail, he was here trying to right the ship of his life. Find himself, his purpose. Direction.

Creek had hitched into a close by town and come back with a case of beer. He offered one to J.W. who gladly accepted. He wouldn’t drink in Silerville, but having a beer out here wasn’t likely to affect his ministry.

For the next couple of hours the hikers talked, drank beer and shared stories. This was one of the things J.W. loved so much about his annual trek, meeting different and fascinating people. Hearing their stories. Sometimes one or more of those stories even ended up being part of one of his sermons.

“Preacher, how far you going?” Creek asked, his interest genuine.

“Not far, I’m just going to Townsend. I paid a couple college guys to drive my car there. It should be waiting for me at the trailhead there.”

“If they didn’t steal it!” joked the redhead in the corner. She went by the nickname of “Tiny”. At barely 5 feet tall it fit her perfectly. She was obviously tipsy from the two beers she had consumed.

As they traded stories and laughs, J.W.’s phone continued to die in his pocket. He was fast asleep, his phone completely dead, when Suzanna texted him “I really miss you tonight. I love you.”

 

 

 

 

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