"Let the lord hear our pleas for mercy!" The pastor shouted at the church on the hot Sunday morning that the lord had the grace to let us see.
"Amen" the church replied heartily. The spirit of the lord seemed to be moving among us especially today. Everyone in the church seemed light and happy and the general atmosphere resonated Christianity. My spirits felt high as I looked at the church from my position in front of the congregation behind the pastor.
"Choir, lift our spirits even more with your heavenly voices" Pastor John said with a smile as he turned to speak to us. His smile made me smile as well, he was such a good man, not that I expected any less from a man of God but I never thought I could admire someone as much as I admired and respected Pastor John. I stepped forward and took a deep breath and began singing, as the lead.
"Oh Lord, my God,
When I in awe so wonder,
Consider all, the works thy hand hath made.
I see the stars,
I hear the rolling thunder
Thou pow'r through out the u-niverse displayed"
I'm in the choir at church and according to Sister Mary, the conductor/choir instructor; I’m a heaven-send with the voice of an angel. When I sing I just feel so whole and complete. It truly is a gift from God, one of the many gifts he has blessed me and my family with, which is also one of the reasons why he has my complete and utter devotion. He blessed me and I believe my voice should be heard, if not for the word then for my personal joy. The rest of the choir joined in at the chorus and together we lifted the spirits of the congregation in the way only music could.
After the service I stood side by side with Pastor John, shaking hands and greeting everyone at the door biding them a good week and happy life and such. It is such an honor to be able to stand with the Pastor doing such work. I bet God is smiling down at me from heaven. I hope that he is proud of me.
"Oh, Damien, your voice was absolutely stunning as usual! You just lift my spirits and I feel so....uplifted and filled with the Holy Spirit whenever I hear that voice of yours dear!" My Zellerman gushed at me, shaking my hand vigorously with a huge grin plastered on her face. She is such a nice woman, chubby and short with such life in her. She even bounced a little when she walked making her even more enjoyable.
"Thank you, Mrs. Zellerman, but without the rest of the choir it wouldn't have done the job completely. I just lead, as a team we uplifted your spirits, praise the Lord" I answered politely smiling back at her.
“Oh and you're so modest too! Oh, if I had a son like you deary, I would keep him locked up to make sure he doesn't get contaminated with the filth that most youngsters are these days!" She laughed smacking my arm in what I assume she thought was a light manner when in fact it hurt. I smiled stiffly back at her.
"Well, my parents trust me so much to keep on the right track and thank God for that, I can stand being inside for so long!" I replied laughing so she didn't take it as an insult.
"Ah well, good boy, Damien...Good boy. Well, goodbye, I must go and attend to my family, we are having the in-laws over for Sunday dinner and I must get started a.s.a.p.!" she smiled
"Well then, Mrs. Zellerman, Have a blessed week and may the Lord watch over you and your family so that we may have the pleasure of seeing you next week as well" Pastor John replied to her, shaking her hand and sending her on her way. I chuckled as she bounced away to her husband who was standing at the car with an irritated expression on his face.
"The Zellermans...so in love and yet so...different" Pastor commented with a wistful smile as we watched them from where we were.
"Yes, that's what love is, isn't it, Pastor John....overcoming the differences to exist in similarity in the most harmonious ways possible? That's what makes it special…or so I've heard from my friends who are apparently in love" I responded looking at him curiously.
"Well, you tell me, Damien, you have a long-term girlfriend...what's her name..." he trailed off in thought,
I sighed "Cindy" I told him simply "Well, I like her...and respect her a whole lot because that's what my parents taught me-- to always respect a woman...however, Pastor, I don't think that I love her. I mean, I kind of see Cindy as more of a sister than a wife." I sighed.
"Well, Damien, there's nothing wrong with that...you will just have to wait for the right girl to come along so you can sweep her off of her feet and uplift her with that beautiful voice of yours!" He replied laughing. I laughed along with him even though I didn't quite get what was funny. "Ah well, I will see you next Sunday bright and early. Don't forget, choir practice is cancelled this week!" He shouted as he walked away, I just laughed in response.
I walked over to my car...my beautiful car. I have a Rescue Green Metallic 2012 Jeep Liberty with custom made white interior and green rims, tinted windows and an awesome sound system. That car cost my parents a fortune but they said that they just wanted to get their perfect son the perfect car. I'm not perfect but I do try very hard to be the son that my parents want and deserve...they did give me life after all.
I got into my car drove home with gospel playing in my car. I just love gospel, it’s so...pure. Not like rap and RnB and such, they are just filled with filth and derogatory lyrics. It’s a disgrace to the gift of music that God gave us.
I parked my car in the garage then went into the house. My father was seated in the living room watching a football game and drinking some beer and my mother was in the kitchen making lunch like every other Sunday.
"Good afternoon, Mum and Dad" I yelled as I went for the stairs.
"Afternoon, son!" my dad called out from the living room
"Afternoon, son!" my mum yelled in a sing-song voice that I absolutely love. I love my mom a lot. She's so kind and caring and just so....mother-like. I don't know..."Lunch will be ready in about 2 hours so if you're going for a run tell me now so that I can leave yours in the microwave!"
"I'm going for a run" I told her as I popped my head back into the kitchen, grinning.
My mother shook her head and laughed "I thought as much."
I went up to my room and changed into my usual running gear and took my iPod and car keys and head back down. You see, I like to run in the woods. Something about the woods is just so attractive to me and just makes me feel at peace. Is it weird that I feel the safest when I'm in the woods? I don't even think that makes sense...ugh whatever, it's just how it is.
"I'm leaving" I told my mother as I head back to the garage
"Alright, honey, be safe!" she yelled back, blowing me a kiss.
"Love you too!" I yelled.
I parked in front of the woods in my usual spot near a friends' house where his brother could watch it. I am really lucky that I have a friend who lives near here, there are thieves in this town just like any other and I love my car way too much for it to get stolen. It really did cost my parents a fortune and I really do appreciate everything they give me. I mean who wouldn't? My father had to work overtime since I was 14 to get me this car. He said he knew that he wanted to get me an amazing car and that it was going to expensive so he started saving early.
I fiddled with my iPod to make sure that I put on the Rock gospel to run to. I got out of my Jeep, glancing at the woods before me. I locked my car and scanned my environment once again. No matter how many times I run here, I can never help but me awed at the beauty of this land; the beauty of nature that God has blessed us with. The woods are so dense with tree's that give us the vital gas that we need, and give home to many little animals that form part of the food chain. A lake sits on the far side of the woods; it's clean and untainted by mankind's filth. I have always wondered why it stays so clean with all the pollution going on around us but I've never really come to a conclusion. I have asked about it but my dad just told me to never go that deep in the woods again. My friend Mattie told me that it's private land and it belongs to a founding family of Wilbrook - my town - and that I could get in trouble for going so deep in the woods. Of course I complied and never went so deep again. I just run around a slightly smaller area twice.
I put my earphones in and turned the volume to maximum. I began my run about 20 seconds into the woods. I let my eyes and mind wonder as I cleansed my thoughts and head of the week’s troubles, hardships and any unresolved business that I had left alone or ignored. It was a particularly hard week. My football coach went hard on us just because he was in a bad mood and trust when I say that if he goes hard on us, he really works us to bone matter - not just the bone. Then as Student Rep. Council we had to deal with all the protests and fighting between the LGBT support group and the Homophobe Support Group. That was hard considering that both groups shouldn't exist! I mean, really? LGBT support? They want to support the homos now? So as to do what? Encourage their sins? Help them 'be who they were born as'? Really? That notion is just absurd! No one is born gay! They are just sinners who need Jesus! Heavens help us. And homophobe Support Group? That is just encouraging violence and encouraging rebellion of the homos! Come on why in the world would you have a 'support group' for bullies. I was against it but the majority won and allowed it.
I shook my head at my thoughts, getting angrier at the thought of both groups. I let my feet guide me as my pace increase and the thoughts swirled around in my head blocking my view of the forest. My fists were balled and I let the music determine my heart rate. The wind massaged my scalp with its whispers as I got deeper and deeper into the woods. The scenery went unappreciated as I smoothly sailed through the woods.
I was absolutely livid that people can actually support those two notions! For the sake of all things pure! How do you just decide to be gay? The bible says that man may not lie with man as he lies with women and that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God! Why would you let yourself go to hell just to prove a point to mankind that obviously they are not getting if those jocks actually have a name for their pointless bullying? Why would someone allow bullying and then just change the name to make it seem acceptable? It's not Darn it!!! Homosexuality and Homophobia are sinful, disgusting and unacceptable!
I growled and ran faster, my breath was short and shallow as my speed increased and my vision started to blur into complete fuzz. My chest tightened and my lungs began to protest at the strenuous exercise. My limbs began to burn. I slowed my pace gradually coming to a stop. I bent over, resting my hands on my knees. I took deep breaths, blinking rapidly to get my vision back. I crouched down putting one hand on the ground still trying to get my breath back. Falling to my hands and knees, I clutched my chest. I grabbed my water from my back pack and took a gulp of water. My breath returned more and more as I downed the water. I sat back against a tree and just rest my head against the bark with my eyes closed. I let the music carry me to another world as I focused on getting my body to cooperate with me so that I can get home in one piece.
I changed the music to softer and more soulful gospel. I let the songs calm me down and in all honesty I shouldn't be wasting my time with such useless thoughts. Forget all of them they can do whatever they want. We warned them and they refuse to listen. So instead of worrying about those insolent fools I sang along to the song that was playing letting my voice mix with the sound of nature. I took out one of my earphones and listened to the duet that I created with the forest letting it soothe me further to a state of total bliss and relaxation. I sang and sang until I felt like could move again.
Standing up I opened my eyes to scan my surroundings. I spun around looking for familiarity but came up short. All I that I recognized was the lake that I was forbidden from visiting. That means that I’m really deep in. I spun around and looked at the sky. It's about to get dark and I'm quite far in. How in the world will I find my way out of the forest now! Damn those support groups! Damn them all to hell!
.....Even though they are going there anyway. Still! Damn them! Ugh!
"God forgive me" I mumbled to myself. God please help me. I really could use some guidance right about now. My parents are going to be so worried. God, please? I promise I won't get angry about the sin-
What was that? My heart started thumping and my frame grew tense with fear and worry. Didn't they say that they had spotted wolves this deep into the woods? A twig snapped and a few leaves crackled under the weight of whatever was out there. I could feel fear rising in my throat. I swallowed the lump and scanned the area, perking my ears to try and pick up on any slight noise. The sound came again followed by the sound of someone cursing.
A boy came out from behind the tree with his flowing dark brown locks falling into his face. And oh my heavenly father, he is naked….as in no clothing…as in birthday suit. I don’t think this is registering… he’s… and totally unabashed by it as he stared back at me in defiance. Something flashed in his deep emerald eyes but disappeared as quickly as it came. He crossed his arms over his broad muscled chest with a look of suspicion and distrust on his face. From the looks of it, he played a sport - probably football - and worked out regularly. He's at least 6'4 and at most 6'6 with muscles that seem to bulge out but not in a disgusting I’m-way-too-big-to-move way but in an I-can-kick-your-behind-with-ease way.
Sweat made his body glisten in the fading sunlight and his hair stuck to his forehead. His happy trail that lead to him way too impressive manhood was slick with sweat and I couldn't help but let my eyes drift down there quickly to check the competition I may be having in future when I actually start doing those things. Yup, God definitely blessed him abundantly in that department. My eyes trailed back up his eight-pack , to his defined pectorals and up his somewhat sensuous neck back up to his magnificent emerald eyes framed by thick, long eyelashes. Intrigue and amusement mingled with the suspicion and distrust swirled like waves in a green sea, as he stared at me quirking one thick eyebrow.
"Who are you?" his deep voice came cutting through the silence like a hot knife through butter. Dear God even his voice is so masculine and gruff! He will be swooping up women like honey does bees! The thought made me angry and envious. I mean, what self-respecting heterosexual man wouldn’t be angry and envious that one day out of the blue some random stranger just comes into town and swoops all the girls into a tornado of lust?!
"Are you mute?!" he asked somewhat angrily. I looked at him incredulously. Really? How did come to that conclusion? "No, you can't be... I heard you singing earlier." he said more to himself than me.
"Answer me, dammit!" he snapped and growled. As in this primal sound that sent shivers dancing up my spine.
I jumped slightly "Uhm, my name is Damien...D-amien Woodridge. And you are?" I added trying to look tougher than I felt.
"Knightly... Knightly King" he answered brow still quirked with a smirk playing on his lips that had me confused and not just at the reason behind it. My brain just seemed to fuzz. I shook it to clear my thoughts and stared back at him.
"What are you doing here?" I demanded.
"Shouldn't I be asking you that considering that you are on my family's land and it's almost dark..." he mused walking towards me. I backed away, not liking the predator-like gleam in his eyes.
"Uhhh....right. I'm sorry. I just got lost. I was thinking about my week and I got angry and suddenly didn't...see the path anymore when I was taking a break and then when I could finally move my body again after putting it through so much strain which quite frankly doesn't make sense I exercise all the time and I should be able to stand the strain. I mean, come on! I play football! Maybe I should be putting more hours in. But then that might interfere with church activities then my parents would be super pissed and I would never live it down. Let’s face it a devout Christian letting sports come in the way of his religion just wouldn't fly...in my house anyway----" I paused when I saw his brows lift and his eyes widen at my rambling. "Sorry. I just got lost...I'm still lost. Can you help me get back to my car, Knightly? It’s on the side that the Montgomery's land ends."
It took him a second to respond before he shook his head and then nodded. "This way" he said and then walked past me. I stood transfixed in my position. "You coming?"
The ambiguity of that statement was sinfully enticing. "Uh, aren't you going to put on clothes?"
He frowned, wrinkling his nose "I don't have any here" he uttered
"Oh-kay" I trailed off glancing elsewhere. His body just begged to be stared at. The girls are going to have a field day with this boy.
"Does my nudity bother you...Damien?" He asked saying my name in a seductive way. My eye twitched as I eyed him in suspicion. Please don't tell me he is homo! I've had enough of them for a while.
"Uh...No" I lied. It does bother me! It bothers me a lot...a whole lot. His body is just so....sinfully attractive! I can't help but stare but I can't do that either because that's gay and gay is wrong so...
"Then let’s go. I have to get back home soon" he replied glancing up at the sky and frowning. I followed the sky and suddenly realized the silence of the forest save for the nocturnal creatures that had started singing their respective songs of night. The sky was almost pitch black but the moon full and bright so we had some guidance. "We need to hurry" he said and started off in the direction he was heading before he had stopped. I ran to catch up with him and kept close to him so as not to lose him.
Soon we were standing a few yards in front of my Jeep that sat there patiently waiting for my return.
"Nice car" he muttered
"Thanks. It was a gift." I replied smiling proudly at my baby. I turned to ask him if he had a car but he was already gone. I looked around me but he was nowhere to be found. "Knightly?" I called. I was met with silence. I shrugged and jogged to my car. That was a…. weird experience. Well, now to get home, shower and have dinner before heading to bed. I have school tomorrow. I know it going to be another long week and I don't have time to be wondering about random boys in the woods. I sighed and started my short journey home.