For the love of Candy

Submitted into Contest #103 in response to: Write about a character looking for a sign.... view prompt

2 comments

African American Christian Teens & Young Adult

"Tell me what does it feel like. To know what you're doing and never have to worry. To know something is inside you that needs to be proclaimed but it can’t. I can no longer lie to you. I have felt privileged to lead this congregation but now it has come to an end. I thank you for listening.”


That was my speech of resignation from my pastoral post in our small Chatham neighborhood in Chicago. After six long years I had led people to know the Lord's true and intent purpose in there lives but I was neglecting my own skills keeping them at bay. Not allowing my true talent to come out. I didn't want to be pastor. I stared at my wife and kids. They smiled affectionately at me. That was all the support I needed.


I looked around at my church congregation. A shivering silence was in the room. Everyone was in shock. People were truly convinced I had found my calling. An ordained pastor at the age of 18. Son of Reverend John Presley whose father was a reverend and his father before that. It was a generational thing people said. Though in my heart I pursued something different. I wanted something that brought propose to my life.


The congregation remained silence once more as I made my exit off the stage. It was terribly embarrassing. The eyes of my father simmered in rejection. It had never been that way before. The were eyes of pride and love. Now as I stay seated I could feel his presence of disappointment like a gun to my chest.


My father lead the people in prayer and the worship team began. I tried to sing but the words weren't coming out like they used to. People said I had the voice of a beautiful canary as it flew through the sky. Now it sounded like a beat up raven who had given up hope in flying ever again.


My father sermon seemed to be geared at me. How people should follow their calling when it right in front of them.


"Now turn your bible to 1 Corinthians 12:28." With my father's announcement people frantically started to flick through their bibles. I just sat there already versed with the scripture in my head. With that my father began to read the verse aloud.


"And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, and those with gifts of healing, helping, administration, and various tongues."


My father took a look at the congregation. He turned to look at me directly before addressing the congregation again.


"Church, let us not be fooled by what we think it means or what we suppose it means to us. It is very clear what it means. All of use were chosen to be either one of theses things listed. Many of us never find it straight away but to those who have it is a blessing. Let us not be swayed by the world's evil dictates that encamp us all around . Let us break forth into ministry. Build the kingdom for the Lord's name. Can I here the church say amen?"


"Amen" the church echoed back. Some hallelujahs quickly joined in succession. A few screams and stamping of feet were heard in the front and the back. Old ladies in the pews swinging there hymn books saying "Yes lord" and "Preach his word pastor." The spirit of the Lord was here. I was in agreement with what was said. I know I was doing the right thing. I was going to minister in a different way.


The worship team came on once more and church ended with a final prayer. People started to scurry to the back of the room were food and refreshments were served. I took my time knowing too well I was going not be full by the food but by peoples questions and concerns of my future.


As soon as I was about to tuck into a juicy pie I was meet by Sister Paulina. An old resident in the church who made it here point to know everything about everyone.


"So Reverend Evan what are you gonna do now. I was sure you'd be a preacher just like your father. I know you can preach a good sermon too. We've all heard you do it."


Usually at this point people would causally ignore Paulina when she was questioning somebody as a fear kicked in if she would target them next. But now people seemed to hoover around her also questioning what I was about to do with my life.


"Well," I began to say I casually put my first bite of pie back on my plate. I was slowing losing the ability to swallow anyway and sweat was slowly started to form form my forehead . I proceeded to begin again.


"I was hoping to start a business." With that said I quickly strolled away to grab my plate and proceed to grab items. The food looked delicious yet somehow the thought of it was making me sick. Anyway it was a good way of making it out of the situation. However it didn't seem to be working


Sister Paulina wasn't at all perturbed that I seem to be avoiding her. She seemed to be making progress into making herself unavoidable with more pulse racing questions.


“Well that does nobody no good in answering anything. A business. Well, why so vague.? The only business we thought you would be running is right the in the church."


Sister Paulina words stung me like a blunt sword. When you think about it would hurt more than a sharp one. It takes it time to sink in. A slow and gradual pain. That's what everybody thought. I knew that was all that could be thought in this small town.


I began to pick small chicken wings unto my plate before I spoke. "I want to run a candy store."


With that there seemed to be a stunned silence in the room. Almost as if everybody had been waiting on what I was to say and were taken back in complete and utter confusion. It lasted for the longest three seconds until people starting to mind their own business and continue with their the conversations. Sister Paulina was stunned also for a few seconds but she continued regardless.


“What are you thinking young man you have a your wife and kids to think about. Are you crazy? You have gone and lost you own mind! You can't expect me to believe the spirit of God is in you. You gotta fix yourself before the Lord right this instance."


Sister Paulina lectured on and on at me for a good 20 minutes. Quoting scriptures until kingdom come telling me all the things I should know being the son of an ordained Reverend.


When she had finished she looked up at me hoping that my response was better. More logical for a christian person to think. More in line with the word of God. I lifted my chest up high before I began.


"Thanks for your concern Sister Paulina." First of all I would like to tell you a short story is that okay with you?


Sister Paulina nodded in return She started to straightened her skirt and her sunday best hat which had toppled from the heated discussion.


"When I was a kid I was always getting into scraps. I was always misbehaving and had a hard time doing what I was told. With my Dad being a minister everyone looked at me for an example in which they're kids should act. I can fairly say they stopped that game soon enough."


Sister Paulina began to laughed in response. She remembered well


"Well soon bit by bit I was making a name for myself in the street as well as in the church. Hanging with the wrong crowd and influencing the good people to become like me. Everyone was convinced I was a lost case. All but one. "


Sister Paulina intrigued asked, "Who Reverend Evan?"


"Please Sister Paulina just Evan. Mr Peterson the man who owned the candy store. Do you remember him?


"Yes I believe I do said Paulina. He used to come to our service everyday. Never missed a single church service."


"Yes, Mr Peterson one Sunday came over to me and asked if I wanted to help out in his candy store. I quickly said no. He kept on persisting until it became an unrelenting yes. I figured it couldn't be so bad. I might get free candy. Although I got free candy I was getting a lot of council from Mr. Peterson. He was showing me the way I was acting was wrong. I needed to leave a life of purpose unto the Lord. I gave my life to God in that candy store


Sister Paulina was for once silent and urged me continue with a nod. I began again.


"Not only did I become saved in that small candy store I learnt how to make all types of candy. Mr. Peterson made all that candy in the store himself. He made mouth watering fudge, sour tasting lemon sherbets, jaw cracking gobstoppers the whole lot. Every candy you could think of."


Sister Paulina started to name off all different types of candy. With every candy she said I began to recall and repeatedly nod to every single one she could imagine. After she finished listing them off she told me to continue.


"With the counseling he gave me I was starting to become better at home and in church. I was my happiest at that shop. Not only was I eating candy all day I was making it. I working hard making licorice, homemade skittles, starbursts and other assortments. It got to the point where I was the only person making candy in the store and Mr. Peterson was simply supervising. Then one winter day..." I faltered suddenly choked up with emotion.


Sister Paulina nodded with sympathy. Mr. Peterson had died six years ago. His old rugged truck had skied on black ice and swerved into a tree. We had held his funeral at our church.


"Well after the accident I vowed never to want to see candy again. I have never eaten candy in over six years in fact. I never wanted to looked at any candy. Nothing that reminded me of him. So I decided to become a minister much to everyone's delight at the age of eighteen. I have been ministering for six years shoving my old life in the corner not to be remembered until now."


"What do you mean until now Rev.. I mean Evan.?" As an answer to her question I quickly gave her a letter which had been in my pocket. "I received this yesterday," I said. Sister Paulina opened the letter and began to read.


Dear Evan,


This is the son of Mr. Peterson. How are you after all of these years? I hope we can come in contact soon and reminisce on old times playing in our neighbourhood . Besides meeting up with you I am writing this letter with great diligence. It concerns the candy shop. My dad has left it to you in his will.


I know now that you're probably thinking how on earth weren't you told this before. Well it's quite simply. we never knew. It is only now we found it. Searching through the shop as we are about to sell we found an old letter scrunched up in his bible. His last will and testament. He left his house and all his allowances to us and the family. Thankfully we had already figured out as much and did so many years ago.


This shop however was not of interest to any of us yet we still wanted to keep it at the time to remind us of our father. Now as time has moved on and with bills to pay we as a family decided it best to sell. It was just there rotting away and not doing much. That all changed however when we found the will.


We hope this doesn't come as much of a shock to you as much as it did to us. We are grateful he left it to you knowing how fond his was of you. We need to meet up sooner than later to discuss your plans for the shop. In every case we hope you stay well. I have enclosed the keys to the shop so you can have a look beforehand so you know what you're dealing with. I wish you all the best.


Yours sincerely,

Morris Peterson


Sister Paulina stopped to compose herself before she began to speak. "It is now I see you reasoning for doing this… even when your plans seem still quite uncertain. It so peculiar but I remember now and how it's very odd you decided to resign today. Well because.. "


"Well because what..." I said earnestly confused why Sister Paulina was in tears.


Paulina dried her eyes before continuing. "Today... would be Mr. Peterson's Birthday. "


With that we both cried and hugged. Many others who had been secretly listened soon followed to congratulate me on my journey on owning the candy store. A sign such as this was surely the move of God. I was almost finished embracing everyone when someone tapped me on my shoulder. It was my father. His eyes also glazed from tears of joy as well as understanding. The simmering eyes of rejection had ceased and love was felt as he embraced me and spoke to me.


"Go out my son and spread the Gods love to young and old with your candy." A ministry it will be to the soul as well as to the stomach."


We both chuckled at that and shared a few more heart to heart words. My father addressed the congregation beckoning them all to come and congratulate the path I was being lead to follow. I felt deeply touched. My heart was at peace now.


The people gradually finished eating and soon made it out to their cars to drive home. Me and my family walked out hand in hand. Finally accepting that the path was set by God. We could see it now. We could all see it.


THE END





















July 22, 2021 12:49

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

2 comments

Roger Davis
02:52 Oct 20, 2021

I really like this story. One comment I would like to make. This part: "I was being lead to follow." As a former typing teacher I see this a lot. Lead is a metal and another use is to guide someone. But in this instance the spelling should be: "led" not "lead". As I indicated many people make this mistake so you are not the only one.

Reply

Shevach Obahor
22:27 Oct 20, 2021

Thank you Roger for your feedback! It was very helpful.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.