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Chapter Five
When Someone Cares

"Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus."
~ Romans 15:5 ~

It was mid Sunday afternoon, and Jake hadn't shown up for church. In fact, besides work and the grocery store, he didn't venture from home at all. In the past few days, Jake was beginning to find a routine in daily life that had a calming effect on him. His job at the marina, while paying less than his last employment, was non-demanding, and didn't require him to interact with many people. Few noticed the quiet withdrawn man sweeping the docks, or doing odd jobs in the tackle shop.

But now it was Sunday, and John had noticed that Jake had yet to attend church even once.

"Why are you looking at me?" exclaimed Abby to her father. "I don't know why! It's not as though he tells me anything!"

"Then, what do you two talk about when you're fishing?" asked John, a little incredulously.

"I fish, and he watches," answered Abby with a shrug.

"Is that all?" asked Terry, who had been listening in.

"That's all," she replied.

But whether Jake and Abby were good friends, or not, John was counting on her to get him to church.

"Just because I helped him get a job, and sat with him during two flashbacks, doesn't mean we're close!" Abby later told Terry, that Sunday. "I don't know why Dad thinks we are!"

"Believe me," replied Terry, "your father is not trying to push you at him! I don't know if you're aware of this, but certain members of the community have been pressuring your Dad to turn Jake out of the little yellow house."

"Why?" asked Abby in surprise.

"Because, if Jake doesn't have a place to stay," explained Terry, "then he will be sent back to prison. They're just looking for any excuse to get him out of Three Mile Bay. You must remember that this area generates a lot of income through tourism, and they aren't eager to advertise the fact that someone like Jake lives here."

"But, that's not fair!" exclaimed Abby. "They're not even giving him a chance to make it!"

"Your father doesn't want Jake to fail, anymore than I do," sighed Terry. "But I think it's obvious that he isn't going to make it on his own-- and since he won't accept help from anyone else but you..." here, Terry paused.

"We're not close," repeated Abby with a dull groan.

"Just do your best," finished Terry. "If he goes back to prison, you know what will happen to him."

That thought sank Abby's heart.

After service that day, Abby knocked on the front door of the little yellow house. After waiting a minute or two for Jake to make up his mind whether he wanted to answer it or not, the door opened just enough for its occupant to look out.

"What do you want?" he asked in his gruff prison voice.

"You weren't in church today," observed Abby.

Jake was silent.

"Do you ever intend to come?" she asked.

Jake was still silent.

"Well?" pressed Abby.

"I can't," he mumbled.

continued on next page...
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