This is the continued story of a family in turmoil. It is a re-telling of the parable of the Prodigal Son, found in the book of Luke. You can read part 1, here. Please let me know what you think as you read it.
The next morning, the Old Man opened his eyes and blinked as he looked out of the window again. Wiping his eyes, he scrambled from his bed and ran to the window, pressing his nose flat against it to get a better view. His excitement quickly turned to disappointment as instead of Abram, he found that it was only one of the staff sweeping the end of the driveway. Resting his head against the cold pane of glass, the Old Man took a few moments to compose himself, pressing a hand against his temples to rub the tension away. As he turned away to head downstairs for breakfast, he decided that maybe it would be best if he got away from the residence today and opted to drive around town in one of his vintage vehicles in the Stables. He chuckled to himself as he thought about the reasons for the name of his garage. When people would ask, he would flash a wry smile and simply say,
“Its called the stables because I have a lot of horses in there!”
People would usually laugh, though whether out of obligation he could never tell.
Walking out into the open air for the first time in 3 days had a cleansing effect on the Old Man. he took several deep breaths, and then strolled leisurely toward the Stable and surveyed his choices. His love of cars had been formed early in his life. It was how he and his father had originally bonded by restoring vehicles and selling them at a premium rate. They’d never had much money growing up, but this practice that they shared more than kept clothes on their backs and food on the table. Plus, the Old Man had loved the time that he spent with his father alone. Deciding on his pearl white ‘67 Chevy, he pulled the keys from the glove box and sat down, allowing the leather to support him in all of the right places. Placing the key in the ignition and revving the car had always been a holy moment for the Old Man, and even now, as the car hummed and purred like it always had, he couldn’t stop the smile from enveloping his face. Pressing down on the clutch and shifting the gear, the car roared out of the Stable and sped down the driveway.
Behind the wheel, everything was perfect. There was nothing to be sad about. Hitting the old country road that lead from the residence into town, he pressed a button and the top of the Chevy began to retract automatically. Once it was completely gone, the wind whipped over his head and took him back to the fun of childhood drives with his father. He felt great! As he passed the last quarter mile of the country road, he drove past a dive bar that had been known to house suspect characters. He couldn’t help but wonder if Abram was in there.
And it was that thought that made him turn around and pull into the gravel parking lot.
Walking through the door, the Old Man thought about the very first time he had pulled Abram out of this place. He was supposed to be at a high school function, but the sponsors had called him to let him know that Abram was missing. The Old Man had driven around for hours searching for him, before getting a call from an unknown number in which a strange voice told him that Abram was causing a ruckus and needed to be picked up. When he finally had arrived at the bar, he’d found Abram clearly inebriated, holding a broken bottle that was being pointed at a group of really violent looking men. That night, the Old Man had had to almost fight his way out to save his son. The strange thing was that he hadn’t minded. He would have fought himself bloody to get Abram out of that place alive. Over the years that followed, the Old Man had saved Abram from that place many times. No amounts of yelling and screaming had worked at all.
As the memory faded, the Old Man found himself staring inside of the most depressing bar he had ever seen. He looked at people who returned his look with empty eyes, and slurred speech. The jukebox didn’t work, so there was an eery silence pervading the atmosphere. That didn’t stop him from walking around and asking people if they had seen Abram, to no avail. Either no one had seen him, or they gave even no recognition that they had been addressed. It was disheartening all around, but it did give the Old Man the idea of chasing Abram down in all of his old haunts in town. He spent the rest of the day, into the night, checking every place that Abram had been known to frequent, and calling every person that might have known Abram’s whereabouts. His search, again, came up empty. As he sped home at almost midnight, not even the car could quell his disappointment. He didn’t cry, he thought that his tears were all gone by now, but his face showed the depth of his emotion. For the first time, he truly considered the fact that he might never see his son again.
Donann knocked on the Old Man’s door, wanting to talk about what had happened the day before. He felt needy, and it annoyed him. It had never been his way. He didn’t feel right about the way his relationship was with the Old Man, and the more he had thought about it, he began to question the entirety of their relationship. He felt like an anchor in his life had been lifted, and he were floating out to sea.
When his knocks went unanswered, he slowly pushed the door in, trying to avoid creaking in case the Old Man had been sleeping. Finding the room empty, Donann’s rage flowed again, and he slammed the door before walking quickly back to his own room.
This was the end of day four.