The Narrow Path Copyright © 2019 Nicole Donoho This 5-Day blog series story is a work of fiction. Names, descriptions, entities, and incidents included in this story are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, events, and entities is entirely coincidental.
+ + + +
The pickup sped past me and parked to the side of the road. Xander jumped out and ran back to me. I dodged past him and continued to run. Running was the only thing that made sense. No, that wasn’t true. Running was the only thing that required little thought. If I could keep my legs moving, I wouldn’t be required to stop or think. My shins screamed their objections but I continued to run.
Xander’s hand grabbed hold of my right arm and jerked me to a stop. He grabbed his chest with one hand and set his other hand a little above his knee. Huge puffs of steam filled the air with each pant from his mouth. He opened his mouth to say something and began coughing instead.
“Lexi,” Xander panted and coughed. He stood up and held his chest, “what the hell?”
He bent back over with both hands above his knees and gasped for air. I glanced back at the pickup. There had to be at least a football field between us and the pickup. I set my hand on Xander’s back.
“I’m sorry. I just couldn’t.”
He stood up and shook his head. “Don’t you think it would have been easier to say that then run a marathon?”
I pressed my hands against either side of my head. “I know, I know. I…I…don’t know.”
I closed my eyes to hold back the tears that were rolling to the surface. As Xander put his arms around me the tears began to escape. I set my forehead against his chest. He pulled me closer and rested his head on top of mine.
“Can we go back to the truck?”
I nodded. He kept his hand around my shoulders as we walked down the road.
“I’m sorry.” I blurted out. I wasn’t sure if it was entirely true but, at the very least, I felt compelled to apologize for my abnormal exit.
“For…for jumping out of the truck and running away.”
“Lexi, you were the one that suggested coming to the lake. If you wanted to go home, I would have taken you home.”
“I wanted to come to the lake. That’s my problem.”
“Why’s that a problem?”
“I don’t know.” I rubbed my hands across my face. “I just…I can’t do this.”
“Can’t do what?” Xander stopped.
“Not this.” I pointed to us. “I meant this.” I pointed to the truck. “Late-nights at the lake with nobody around. I mean, how can we walk into a Bible study one night and then have sex at the lake the next? That’s so…hypocritical.”
Xander shrugged. “I don’t know what to tell you, Lex. It’s not like it’s something new. We’ve been doing this for a while.”
I squeezed my head between my hands. “I know, but that doesn’t make it right.”
He opened the passenger door. I climbed into the pickup and buckled my seatbelt. It wasn’t something new. We’d been dating since the end of our junior year of high school. By that time, I had already foolishly given away my virginity to my ex-boyfriend at the beginning of the school year. Xander, on the other hand, was still a virgin when we decided to ‘go for a drive’ shortly after senior graduation.
In the three years since that night, we’d had many ‘drives’, as well as late nights at my apartment when my roommates weren’t home.
God, why didn’t I recognize it then? I asked as I thought about the many times in our relationship that I initiated making out or taking it further. Am I silly to think that things can be any different?
Xander turned the key. The pickup clicked. “Come on, baby.” He turned it again and it started up. He patted the dash and buckled his seatbelt.
I stared out the window and thought about the night. We were laughing and having a great time at dinner. The movie was packed full of action and adventure, something we both loved to watch. Then this. Why did I have to suggest it? It was like realizing you were about to come in first place at a marathon and instead losing because that ice cream truck, near the finish line, was calling your name. My stomach turned with regret.
“Lexi,” Xander broke the silence after turning onto the main road. “ever since you started reading that book from that lady you’ve been…different.”
Different? The tone in his voice irritated me worse than a piece of Velcro catching the side of your face. “Different how?”
“I don’t know, just different. You seem…I don’t know.”
His lack of explanation only added to the irritation. God, why am I so irritated? He hasn’t changed. He hasn’t done anything different. I’m the one who is acting different. What’s wrong with me?
“I’m worried about you, Lexi.” Xander interrupted my thoughts. “The past couple of weeks have felt like something is coming between us.”
“I’m not trying to make you feel that way.”
My mind was immediately bombarded with all the reasons why Xander would leave me if I continued down this road. All the reasons why God didn’t want us together. All the reasons why loving God and loving Xander wouldn’t work. Over and over, I was beat down as I remembered words I had heard in church.
*You shouldn’t have sex before marriage. God despises the ways of the wicked. Your sins have hidden his face from you. A man reaps what he sows.
You made this choice and there will be consequences for it. Why would God want you to stay with him after what the two of you have done? Nothing you do can make this right.***
Similar to when a dam breaks after the pressure becomes too much, tears flooded from my eyes as if to say my mind could handle no more. With the release of the tears, the weight of the thoughts seemed to pour onto my chest making it harder and harder to breathe. It crushed down on me, the weight was overwhelming, and more than I could handle.
God, I’m about to break and I don’t know what to do.
Right as I finished my thought, I remembered a scripture that had been listed in the book. **Anyone who calls on His name will be saved.
“Jesus.” I barely recognized the whisper as it left my mouth. It sounded more like the last breath of a dying man on a movie than a cry for help but it was all I had strength to say.
+ + + +
NOTE TO THE READER: Throughout the story, Lexi’s thoughts contain some references, not quotes, found in scripture. In no way is this meant to be a study or reference of what these scriptures truly mean. Please take the time to look up the scriptures and read them for yourself.
*Hebrews 13:4, Proverbs 15:9, Isaiah 59:2, Galatians 6:7, **Romans 10:13, ***Romans 3:20-22
A New Identity
What is this blog about? You mean, I'm supposed to have a purpose? Ok, if that's required then my purpose is life.
Better with age...
Choose a Topic