"Church of Saint Luke, Faith Rescue Center, Sarah speaking," I answered the phone as I had many times in the past four years of helping at the church. "What is the condition of your faith today?"
"Hello?" the voice of Cassidy Rye says frantically into the phone. Cassidy was another part time volunteer here at the F.R.C.. She had requested off today to go with another community program in town. "Sarah! I need your help. I couldn't call the police or ambulance. S-Something's wrong..."
'What is it," I say, confused and concerned to Cassidy. "Is the community program not going well? Are you in a bad neighborhood again?" I could her Cassidy breathing heavy and crying slightly.
"J-Jake's," She said between breaths and tears. "he won't wake up." I dropped the phone, letting it hit the desk in front of me. It makes a large "bang" that disturbs the silence of one of the church dinner halls. The only other person in there, a man named Jeremy, looked at me from across his desk in front of me. He cocked his head to the side and mouthed the words "whats wrong?". I picked up the phone and began to stand up, gathering my jacket and and wallet.
"Where are you two?" I asked Cassidy on the phone, ready to go and help her and Jake. " I'll come and help. Why couldnt you call the police?"
"We're at 529 Pentil street. Hurry." Cassidy said quickly then hung up the phone. I grabbed my keys and began running to the door.
"i've got to go. Emergency." I said to Jerremy quickly, trying not to tell Jeremy of what i just learned, especially because I knew nothing of what was actually happening. I got into my car, a white 1990 honda civic, covered with bible verses written in sharpie by people I helped find the church and their faith. I quickly started it and pulled out of the parking lot, heading towards the east district where Cassidy and Jake now were.
As i drove down Pentil street, I realised that was indeed a street in need of saving but not one a community outreach program would let two highschool children wander alone. Dilapidated houses were covered in graffiti but people still moved in and out of them. Every eye watched me as i drove down the street. There were not any kids running around playing or any child bikes. There was no sign of an actual family on this block.
I scanned the left and right sides of the street until i saw the address Cassidy had given me. The house looked like most the other houses, broken and run down. I could see some light coming through the open door of the house. Two large men stood on the porch watching people as they walked or drove by the house. One was black and the other was white, both wearing baggy black pullover hoodies and jeans that sagged below their wasit with a fresh pair of brown workboots to finish the somewhat stereotype of an outfit.
I pulled over on the left side of the one-way street and parked infront of the house. I took my wallet in hand and put it in the inner pocket of my jacket. I locked all the doors to my car and put my keys in my pocket. Swallowing the fear I had i got out the car and began walking to the house. As i walked up the stairs onto the porch the two large men stared at me and then turned their heads. They probably assumed the five foot tall, 98 pound highschool girl was not a threat.
As i entered the front room of the house I saw people sitting all over, huddled in with themselves and puffs of smoke arising from where they were sitting. The house smelled like must and something burning. Nobody even noticed me walk in except two people: a man who stood in the far back corner, counting money and Cassidy who just came down a set of steps in the right side of the room.
"Sarah," she said running over to me. "Come quick, we need your help. He still isnt breathing." She ran up the stairs and I followed clsoe behind. I was not sure what i was more afreaid of, this house or Jake's condition. She took me into a side room where Jake was lying on a bed, his arm and leg hanging off. He did not move. His chest did not rise and fall. His skin was pale. I walked over slowly and placed my hand on his hand: colder than it should be. Jake seemed dead. I turned to Cassidy and swallowed the tears coming from within me.
"Cassidy," I said, still finding it hard to believe myself. "Jake's dead." Cassidy fell to her knees and began to cry heavily. Her face was buried into her hands and her hair covered her face. I walked to infront of her and got on my knees. I put my hands on her shoulders and began to pray.
"Dear father who art in heaven," i began. "Please hear my prayers. Father, we ask for you to send an angel and take Jake's soul away from this evil earth." I heard soft footsteps in the hallway.
"Father, we ask that you allow Jake entrance to your kingdom." I continued. "Father, we ask that -"
"Father please do not send an agnel to take him," Cassidy cut off my prayers. "Father, we ask that you breathe new life into him. Father, I ask that you forgive the sins he has committed here and allow him to repent for what he done here on earth." The soft footsteps now enter the room and stop at the bed. Suddenly we here gasping for air coming from the bed. I pick up my head and see a man standing over Jake, and Jake suddenly breathing again. Cassidy lets out a gasp and attacks Jake with a hug.
I stand up and look slightly up at the man standing over Jake. He turns around to reveal Theo, showing a small smile. Theo was the kid that moved here a few weeks ago. His first week here he had been in the right place at the right time twice and saved Clarissa Leay and Amy Hathaway. SInce that, he has not done anything else exciting. He moves with the crowd and is never seen or recognised for anything outstanding. I notice him in church each Sunday but he leaves as soon as the service is over. Now he is here? This house, which is most likely a drug house, and the innocent, unnoticed Theo is here. Now Jake is alive.
"Can you turn on the light?" He asked politely, pointing to sometihng behind me. I turned around and flipped on the light switch. As I turned back around, the light in the room seemed to cast right behind his head, giving the appearance of a halo over his head.
"Theo, what did you do?" I asked, confused on how Jake was alive. "Jake was..."
"He wasn't breathing but he still had a faint pulse," He said. "I did rescue breathing and he started breathing again. It must have been the prayers that you were saying that brought him back so quickly. I didn't bring him back that fast without help. What were they doing here anyway?" That was an excellent point. What were they doing here and how did Jake nearly die?"
"Cassidy? Jake?" I asked, trying to look into their souls with how confused and angry I was.
"We haven't been going to community programs," Cassidy said, looking at the ground. "We've been doing drugs." I was unsurprised because of the house we now stood in but surprised that they even considered it and lied about being in a cimmunity program as an excuse.
"You two need to go to the police or Father Hathaway," I commanded. "Now." They nodded in agreement and I turned around to say something to Theo. As i turned i saw that he was no longer there. I looked back at Cassidy with a puzzled look. She shrugged her shoulders, just as confused as I was. We both looked at Jake and saw that he had fallen asleep.
After taking Jake and Cassidy to the church and leaving them to explain their secerets to Father Hathaway, I headed towards the place of my own secret: my house. My house was not a home. It was just a place I slept and ate. A home requires loving people and my house contained none. My mother was a woman with low morals who constantly had men over the house when my father was at work and my father was a drunk who instead of ignoring me like my mom, made a point to insult every evening until I was at the point of tears.
As i arrived home I saw both of my parent's cars in the driveway. With a sigh of sadness, I opened my car door and went inside my house. As soon as i entered my living room, the insults began.
"Where the fuck have you been?" My dad said, stumbling over the words. "Tryin' to make some other people believe in that bullshit you preach everyday?"
Without a word I nodded and continued towards my room in the basement of the small one story house.
"Are you ever gonna get a boyfriend so you can get pregnant and move out like your sister?" He managed to make me hear just as I closed the door leading downstairs to my room. I could alreayd feel the tears rolling down my face. The stress of earlier and the words from my dad were just too much. I did not want to be like my sister but i did miss her. She moved away three years ago when she got pregnant in highschool and has not tlaked to any of us since. I think of her nearly every night and how she would help me ignore what dad said to me.
Now as I sat in my room, I let myself cry, it was the only thing that helped. Even praying did not relieve the pain I felt. Praying helped me put on a fake smile and a positive attitude. I could never tell anyone how my dad treated me. Expressing my feelings was never something I have been good at. I was good at helping other people express theirs but i could not express mine well at all. My parents say that is the reason I got sick.
They blame me for that too. They think that me not being a normal person drove my body to kill itself. They think that the cancer is just a way for me to get away from here. i never wanted this. I never wanted to not have an appetite and not be able to spend the night at people's houses because of my medicine. I hate waking in the middle of the night to puke blood and bile. They think the tumors on my kidneys are blessings form God. They think that if God was real then i would not be dying. These are things they tell me nearly everyday. Then I heard my dad's footsteps coming towards my door. I heard it open and heard a glass bottle tumble down the steps and break. He wasclose to passing out.
"Why don't you just hurry up and fucking die?" he yelled down the stairs. It was the only sentence he did not stumble on. That was the first time i heard that sentence. He shut the door and turned off the light switch. There I sat, motionlessly crying for hours, eventually falling over and falling asleep....