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Creative Nonfiction


By Day Parker

If Steve could get one more ride, he could get to Smithville, and be home in another hour. It was August in Texas and hot.  The sunshine beat on him with no mercy. He could feel its rays cutting through his jacket like a knife. It was his favorite denim jacket. He had to wear it, carry it or lose it. Losing it was not an option. In the last town he had soaked it so he could wear it in this heat. But now it was dry and did nothing to alleviate the UV rays constantly attacking him.  

Steve stuck out his thumb and turned to walk backwards. Not a lot of traffic but all he needed was one ride. He walked another 10 minutes hoping and praying that someone would come along and take pity on him.

He could see a car coming so he pasted on his most friendly face and put a smile on his cracked lips hoping this would entice a ride. As the car slowed down and pulled over to the shoulder of the road, Steve hurried up to it hoping it was not a joke but a real ride.  Sometimes people slowed down like they were going to pick you up but got uncomfortable with the idea and left you in the dust.

This driver had stopped and as he rolled down the window Steve looked into the vehicle with gratitude and relief. The air conditioned air hit him in the face as he leaned into the car causing his breath to catch and his lungs to burn with the influx of cold air.

“Where are you headed?” said the driver.

”To Smithville” Steve responded, breathing in as much cool air as possible.

“Well get in and I'll see that you get there.”  responded the young man sitting behind the wheel.

“You are a godsend.” Steve said gratefully as he opened the door and slid into the front seat.

“That's what I'm here for.” responded the young man.

The driver gave his name as Angel deDios and offered him a bottle of water.

“Steve Corbin.” He replied, as he uncapped the water. Steve was so thankful but so thirsty, he guzzled the water and then expressed his thanks and appreciation for the lift.

The car was white with a tan interior, and a newer version of a make Steve did not recognize. He didn't care. It was Immaculate inside, comfortable, available and useful for getting him out of the heat. He was grateful for anything and everything at this point.

The driver was a young man with shoulder length blonde hair, tanned, chiseled face and a great smile. He was dressed like any other Texan, wearing a denim vest, denim jeans, and cowboy boots, no spurs. No 10 gallon hat either. The sunshine coming in through the windows of the car reflected off the blonde hair creating the image of a Halo above his head.  Maybe he wasn't a true Texan. Didn't matter. Steve was grateful to him for the ride.

Then ensued the expected usual 64 questions about Steve’s story. Where was he from? Why was he hitchhiking? Does he have family? Is he married? With children? What kind of job is he looking for? What kind of work experience? Education? Hobbies? Etc. Both men asked each other the same questions except the hitchhiking question. it was obvious that the driver knew where he was going.

 Steve was from Coville about 10 miles from Smithville. His folks lived there and would come and pick him up.  He had gone to Dallas to pursue a music career. Not that there was any big music happenings in Dallas but it was big enough to offer some opportunity. That didn't happen and it was time to quit fooling himself, let it go and get on with life. His family was very supportive and would help him get his life back together. He had two sisters and both parents and was anxious to see them again.  He hoped to find a job even if it was temporary work.

”It sounds like the prodigal son was coming home.”  Angel commented.

“Yeah. That's about the size of it.”  Steve said.

 Angels story was different in that he did not have a family per se but he had many supportive colleagues that worked with him. His job of charity work and service for his father had him traveling a lot and he was always glad to get home again. His father was rich and supported him in his charity work and service done in his name with gratitude and enthusiasm.

Angel and Steve talked all the way to a small diner located on the edge of Smithville. Angel said this was as far as he could take him and wished him luck for his future.

Before Steve got out of the car Angel shoved $20 at him and said “Get something to eat and drink and call your folks. This should help get you started on a new life.”

Steve thanked him and jumped out of the car. As he got to the door of the diner he turned to wave goodbye but Angel was already gone.

Steve went into the diner and sat down in a booth. A waitress came over and he asked if there was a phone he could use to make a local call. She directed him to a phone on the far wall, took his order, burger, large fry and large iced tea. After getting change for the phone, he called his folks and made arrangements to be picked up, ate his meal and drank several glasses of tea.  The meal had come to $12.72.  Steve, feeling thankful, generous and full, left the remainder of the $20 as a tip.

Angel had mentioned that he was a part of a community church just on the other side of Smithville. If Steve was interested it would be great to see him there next Sunday.

”I owe you one. I'll be there in honor of what you did for me.”  Steve said as he closed the car door.

When Sunday rolled around Steve remembered his promise and prepared to attend the community service Angel mentioned. He went in and sat at the back, half listening while he looked around searching for Angel . He was disappointed at not seeing Angel there. 

After the service Steve detoured down the steps looking for a restroom before he went home. He noticed several pictures on the walls of the hallway outside the restrooms. One picture in particular caught his attention. It portrayed a cross with a guardian Angel in the center. His hands were hovering protectively over a couple of children. The message underneath of it read:

Angel of God, my guardian dear,

 to whom God's love commits me here.

 Ever this day be at my side

 to light and guard

to rule and guide.


Steve considered the picture of the Angel watching over the children. His eyes were drawn to the image of the Angel. Blonde hair, tanned chiseled face, and Halo. He looked like Angel, the driver that had brought him home. As Steve studied the image, the angel winked and smiled.

Steve realized then that Angel deDios was not just the name of the driver but that his driver was a true Angel of God. 

September 10, 2021 15:43

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1 comment

Sammi Bregman
23:37 Sep 15, 2021

Very sweet story, good flow, and very well written. Your descriptions are very good and as a person who struggles with them I commend you. The only comment I have is that I was hoping to find out more about how Steve ended up out in the middle of nowhere. Maybe it's not very important to the story but as a reader, and the way it was presented, I was very curious. I also apologize if I just missed it, but if it was in there I don't think it was clear enough. But other than that great job! The writing is truly great!


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