A Story(:

For world history this week, I was supposed to write a story, true or fictional, about someone being in the right place at the right time. Of course, I chose fictional, so I could just let my mind run rampant.  I just thought I would share it with you people. Enjoy and let me know what you think!  Sorry it’s so long(;

Red Lipstick

     A chilling wind blew down the street, throwing fallen, dead leaves every which way as it went. Leroy looked down, away from the chill, and pulled his jacket closer to himself. When he had left that morning, his mother had told him to wear a heavier coat. “It’s only autumn, Mom. I’ll be fine.” He had said. Besides, the past few days it hadn’t been cold. In fact, it had been almost balmy… but not today.

“Of course,” Leroy thought, holding his jacket tighter, “the one cold day had to be today.” He could just imagine the “I told you so” from his mother when he got home. Still, he walked further.

“Don’t forget to stop for cornmeal on the way home. I’m making cornbread with supper tonight.” Leroy’s mother’s voice echoed through his head once again. At least he had that to look forward to when he finally arrived home. Just the thought of warm chili and cornbread almost warmed him right up, even out in the cold.

“Cornmeal… cornmeal… cornmeal…” He repeated it over and over again to himself. Leroy didn’t want to forget… again. He didn’t want a reputation as “the one who always forgets.” He let out a chuckle; as if he didn’t have that reputation already.

Still, he walked.

“Tap, tap, tap, tap….” Leroy’s shoes hit the pavement one after the other. “Tap, tap, tap, click–” He stopped. Those weren’t his shoes. Those sounded like his mother’s Sunday heels; the ones she only wore on very special occasions. “Click, click, click…” Leroy listened awhile longer, then looked up. He saw a young girl, about his age, maybe a little older. She was wearing high heels–too high. She couldn’t walk very well in them. It was apparent that she had put on makeup that day, however, most of it was all over her cheeks by now, smeared by tears, apparently.

Red lipstick.
That was all that was left intact.

He stopped for a moment and watched her. She was looking down, so she couldn’t see him. He watched her take a few steps, then stop to wipe a tear from her eye, smearing her makeup even more. She took two, maybe three more steps, then collapsed onto the pavement. Before he even knew what was happening, Leroy ran to the girl and stooped down in front of her. “What am I doing?” he questioned himself, “Why did I stop?” It was as if something else, something outside himself had pushed him over there, and had set him in front of this stranger. He wished it hadn’t, but there was no going back now.

Leroy was good with people. In a few seconds, he could feel someone out and immediately know just what to say to them. It was different with this girl; he didn’t know what to say. All of the sudden, he was totally conscious of himself. He started to reach his hand out, but his arm felt as heavy as lead. Still, he pushed on. Leroy gently put his hand under this girl’s chin and lifted her head. Quietly, he asked, “Are you alright? I saw you fall.” He didn’t mention the fact that he had seen her crying… he didn’t want to embarrass her. He looked over his left shoulder and saw a bench along the sidewalk. “Do you want to go sit down?” He inquired, gently. When she didn’t respond, he stood up and held out his hand. “Here, come on.” The girl reached up and put her hand in his. Her hand was small, and her fingernails were painted red to match her lipstick. The hand was cold, Leroy noted, it felt like it hadn’t been warm in a very long time. He closed his hand around hers and pulled her up, still very gently. As she looked up, for the first time, he saw her eyes. They were the most beautiful eyes Leroy had ever seen. They were bright green, and they sparkled as the light reflected onto them, off of the cloudy sky. Once she was standing beside him, Leroy let go of her hand, took off his jacket, and draped it over her shoulders. He felt silly for thinking he was cold, not two minutes ago. Seeing this girl, dressed in business attire, not at all appropriate for the weather, he knew she needed that jacket more than he did.

Then, Leroy put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close to him. He hoped she wouldn’t think he was trying to take advantage of her, he was only trying to help her–to warm her up. She seemed to appreciate the gesture, and leaned into him. They were walking, slowly, carefully, and finally they reached the bench. They sat down, Leroy’s arm still around this strange girl, whom he had only just met. They sat in silence.

It could have been one minute. Five. Thirty. Leroy didn’t feel the silence. He sat with her. No words were necessary.
Finally, he turned to her, “Can I… um…” Leroy had never been one to struggle with his words, “can I pray with you?”

More time passed. He knew she had heard… or had she? He couldn’t tell.

Then, a tear. Two. Three. A flood of tears cascaded down this girl’s face. Hardly any makeup was left.

Red lipstick.
That was all that was left intact.

Finally, she nodded. Ever-so-slightly, she nodded. Leroy took a deep breath, and plunged in.
“Lord, I lift up this young lady to you today. I ask your shield over her, that she would know that whatever she is going through, whatever is happening in her life, it is all part of your plan. You might let your people bend, but you will never let us break. I know she might feel broken right now, but you work through broken people. Thank you, God, that you made her and you have a plan for her life. Stand by her, guide her, comfort her, protect her. Thank you…… amen.”

There was more silence after this, but, again, Leroy barely noticed. Slowly, the tears stopped. Slowly, this beautiful girl looked up. Slowly, she turned her head to look at Leroy. All of the sudden, he knew God had used him. He knew that there was a reason he had been there, on that street, at that time. Leroy had heard stories like this. Stories of people being in the right place at the right time… and that had just happened to him. He prayed a silent prayer, thanking God.

Then, he looked straight at this girl who he had just prayed over. Her makeup had been completely washed away by her tears, and as the sun peeked through the clouds, her eyes sparkled like the stars.

Red lipstick.

Leroy realized, then, that he still had his arm around her. As he pulled it away, she took his jacket off her shoulders, folded it gently, and placed it in Leroy’s hands. She took a deep breath, looked straight into his eyes, and finally, she spoke, “Thank you.” Her voice was like music. That was all that she said, but Leroy knew that she meant it.

Then, without another word, she leaned in, kissed him on the cheek, and stood up. Leroy watched her as she walked away, then he stood up and walked the opposite direction.

When he reached home, he walked into his house to see his mother in the kitchen. “Cornmeal!” He exclaimed aloud. I’m sorry, Mom, I’ll go back and get it.

“No, Leroy, don’t bother… there’s no time. Just go into bathroom and get washed up.”
“Alright. I’m really sorry, Mom.”

She glanced up, from her cooking, and looked at Leroy with an inquisitive expression.

“What is it, mom?”
She paused. “Um, nothing… we can talk about it later.

Leroy went into the bathroom, and, as he washed his hands, he looked in the mirror and understood his mother’s reaction. It was right there, on his left cheek.

Red lipstick.

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