What Led Me Here..

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story of a man named Jaun Soto and his path to becoming a better man.

The second thing I've posted in the style of first person. Hopefully It reads well. I'm not very confident in this style, so any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.

Submitted: September 04, 2019

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Submitted: September 04, 2019

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My name is Jaun Soto, today I tell the story of what lead me here..

I took a deep breath and began..

I was stumbling through the busy city streets, a bottle in my hand and a heart full of rage. If this weren't rock bottom it was only an inch above. I'd lost my job, punched my boss, been arrested watched my wife and daughter bail me out. After that, Instead of give an explanation, I'd stormed out. I was lost, drinking down the last of the money I had, as the 5 o'clock rush hour unfolded around me. Eventually as the sun set, I stumbled into a park, my senses had long since abandon me and I passed out under a tree. I awoke in the dark as a silhouette rummaged around in my jacket pocket. I instinctively shoved him back and gained my feet. Thankfully he scurried off, the alcohol had begun to wear off...

I looked around at the sympathetic faces around me and continued..

My rage was replaced by shame, my frustration now directed inward. As my eyes began to adjust to the light I recalled my surroundings. I was in the Plaza Parque. What the time was I did not know, but stores had closed and the benches and trees around me were occupied by vagrants. If I had been in a more coherent state of mind I might have been worried. As it was I couldn't care less, I waddled through the parque and everyone left me alone, no doubt wanting to be left alone themselves. I don't know how long I walked for, I was parched and hungover. It might sound like an embellishment, but at that moment the sky opened up and buckets upon buckets of rain battered me. My pace didn't quicken but I started to shake uncontrollably until my mind forced me to find shelter. I cowered in an old bus stop that stunk of urine and filth. I dozed in and out of consciousness for the rest of the night.

The nervousness I'd felt when I first started talking had started to fade and I continued..

I finally awoke in the early hours of the morning, being stared down at by two police officers. An overweight man and a small young woman. Apparently my wife and daughter had implored them to find me, but weren't able to report me missing until the next day. So I was lifted up, feeling very worse for wear and thrown into the back of a police van. Thankfully they didn't charge me with anything and instead I just spent a few hours in a holding cell before my wife came to pick me up. To say the drive home was uncomfortable would be the grandest of understatements. My wife is a forgiving and loving woman, but my daughter had seen me literally walk out on her and would barely look at me, let alone speak.

Some of the men and women in the circle of chairs around me nodded in understanding, I continued..

My wife, for her part, was glad I was alive. I was still her husband despite being unemployed and horribly hungover. The rage that I had felt before hadn't vanished, but it was masked now by intense embarrassment. I'm sure it might sound strange, but all I wanted to do was leave. With the intention of never being found again. To rid my family of the burden I had become. Of course now, I see, that to have done that would burden them vastly more, and if they had wished to be rid of me why would they have picked me up or reported me missing in the first place. I tell you this part not to break the narrative but to show you and remind you that when we are not ourselves our thoughts are not either.

A short round of applause followed this,  I continued..

After an initial few days of silence, I finally gained enough courage to talk with my family about what had happened. It seemed that they had been waiting for this. Once I had finished laying bare the burdens upon my mind my wife called her uncle, whom she called father. I had never been a religious man, truthfully I thought those that gave their time and money to the church were foolish. As such I had never met my wife's uncle. It had been a matter of frequent discussion and argument between us when we were first married. She would always ask me or suggest I go with her and our daughter to the church. I always sternly refused, often storming off in the process to go and get drunk. This time however, I had no ground to stand on, and no energy to argue with. Also, I was no brave enough to push back after what I had done. Once her uncle got to the house, she made us a pot of coffee and left us in the kitchen sitting across from one another, clearly it had been planned.

The audience of those seeking to better their lives around me, were now fully engaged in my tale, I checked the small degree of pride I felt and continued..

We talked over the first cup of coffee, whatever he intended to say, he was in no rush to say. Over the second cup he asked me more about my life leading up my marriage and how things were in those early days. After finishing the second cup, he asked me what I thought about God. I told him the honest truth about what I thought of religion and those that followed. I thought I had upset him but when I looked up he simply clarified, 'I asked you about God, not religion' I was a little confused, I had never thought to distinguish the two. He then stood up, obviously finished with me for the day and told me that on Sunday I would accompany my wife and daughter to the church and give him an answer. He kissed my wife and daughter goodbye and left.

I was calm now, any nervousness I'd felt before gone, these people were listening, they understood, I continued..

When Sunday came I'd had quite sometime to think about the question he'd asked. I'd decided that God had no need of me, therefore I had no need of him. I had after all, began to mend things with my family. I even had a job interview scheduled for Wednesday. So I walked into that church with the little ball of shame and rage that had been following me, wholly  ready to tell him that. We piled into a pew and as the service began I thought to myself, 'I hope this doesn't take to long'. It did,

That one got a laugh, I let it linger, then I continued..

By the end of it, I felt that ball of rage and hate and shame, that had been weighing me down for so long like a bowling ball of negativity, fade. In it's place was now vulnerability. I excused myself, as I didn't want my family to see me cry. I couldn't remember the last time that I'd cried, probably when I was a child. As the flood gates opened and my emotions, my fear, loathing, anger and insecurities poured out, I realised the answer to the question, defined in my own mind. Religion and God were separate, while religion was external, it was about community and shared belief, God was internal, and it stood for what we held within us. I hadn't realised that for so long, whether or not I believed, I'd been shutting god out. When I'd shut out god, it give Satan free reign and he'd been playing me like a puppet for as long as I could remember. Manifesting as all the parts of me I despised, my addiction my anger, my shame. My uncle, Father Martinez, suggested I come to this group and tell my story, and hear all of yours. Thank you for listening.

I sat down, and was greeted with warm pats on the back and applause, as well as the soothing thanks, of people whom understood. then I listened..

 


© Copyright 2019 C. Edwards. All rights reserved.

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