The Long Walk Home

The Long Walk Home

A Story by Alyssa Carlstrom

     Audrey's scarf was tied around her neck and flowed behind her in the icy wind. The gust cruelly nipped her ungloved fingertips, and they were already becoming numb. She was venturing back home now, where hot chocolate and a warm fireplace awaited her. But her heart had no desire to walk through that front door. Inside was a family that fought, secretly cried, and begged God to have mercy.
     It was true that God was using her to save her family, but there were times she couldn't handle it - like today. Down the snow-covered street she saw a friend, a very good one. He was walking up the hill while she slowly stepped down it. Her goal was to stride along like a turtle, because she was afraid to return from where she came from.
"Hi," he said. His name was Daniel, and his brown hair was mostly hidden by a knit beanie.
"Hello." Audrey had expected to go right passed him without saying a single word, but he spoke again, causing her to stop and face him.
"What are you doing out here? It's freezing." He stuffed his hands in his coat pockets. She quickly looked around at the brightly lit homes and leafless trees.
"Just on my way home from a walk."
"That's funny. I'm on a walk myself."
She stared at him, waiting for him to say more. He hesitated for a moment.
"Uh... so, what are you trying to escape from?"
Audrey scoffed, her breath visible in the cold air.
"What am I not trying to escape from."
"Want to talk? We've always been good friends. Now I think it's time we go below the surface."
     And so they walked down the hill together. They were silent, not exactly knowing where to start. It wasn't as awkward as it seems, because both enjoyed each other's presence. Minutes had gone by, and it was Daniel who began a conversation.
"How about we do one of those 'if you really knew me' things."
"Okay. If you really knew me, you would know that my family and I struggle to keep living happily."
"If you really knew me, you would know that my parents had a divorce when I was five. But their back together now."
     Audrey stopped and stared at him. His parents? A divorce? That was much worse than what her and her family went through every day. Immediately her heart sank, you could say that it even broke. Her dark chocolate eyes displayed compassion and sadness. No one, especially Daniel, deserved to go through that.
"I'm so sorry," was all she could say. But to Daniel, her eyes said it all and knew she couldn't even begin to express her apologies. They began to walk once more.
"If you really knew me, you would know that my brother has attempted suicide four times," she said, choking on her own breath.
It was his turn to stop cold.
"What?" his mouth dropped.
"Yep." she shrugged, as if it was nothing.
"If you really knew me, you would know that I have scars on my back from being beaten."
     Not only was Audrey taken off guard, but she tripped and smoothly slid across a patch of ice. Daniel ran after her, shocked that she would be so surprised.
"Are you okay?" he held her arm.
"You have scars?" she ignored the pain in her ankle and looked into his brown eyes which were now misty. But it was hard to tell if he would cry or not.
     He looked around, making sure there was no one else in sight. Only a blue jay was perched on a dead branch above them. He lifted his coat and shirt for a quick moment. The scars were long and white. One reached from the bottom of his neck to the bottom of his back. Once he pulled his shirt and coat down, Audrey wrapped her arms around him, sobbing over his shoulder. Not because it was a sad sight to behold, but because Daniel did not live in a safe home.
"I'm... so... sorry!" she choked between tears.
"Don't cry for me. I'm okay. These were done by my foster parents since the divorce. My real dad worked too often to take care of me, and my real mom was sick."
"But you had to experience that, and I'm sorry. You went through much more traumatic things than I did. You deserve a better life." she wiped her eyes and they walked again.
"You deserve a better life, too. But God was there with me. Please don't pity my past. I can't change it, only God can give me everything I need to get through in life."
     Both remained silent after that because Audrey's house finally stood before them. She didn't want to go in after she had heard Daniel's sorrowful story. She couldn't leave him. Not yet. Her decision was to run inside and make two cups of hot chocolate. When she came back out, her and Daniel sat on the steps leading to her front door. He held his mug in his hand and said,
"You can't give up, Audrey. I never did. I believe you and your family will see happier days. You just have to persevere and do your best. I'll be here any time you need me."
     Audrey rested her head on his shoulder. It was exactly what God had wanted to happen - the walk and everything - because it was Daniel's words that changed Audreys' life from that day forward.

© 2012 Alyssa Carlstrom

Author's Note

Alyssa Carlstrom
Picture is not by me. Found on Google Images.

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Beautifully written!
Great way to show that God works in wonderful and mysterious ways! :) 100/100

Posted 8 Years Ago

that was very sweet, this is me slightly tearing up!

Posted 8 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on October 21, 2012
Last Updated on October 21, 2012
Tags: the, long, walk, home, romance, sad