Author’s Note: This short story was written in 2010 or 2011, and is dedicated to my friend F.S.B. The story is titled “Ecce Homo: A Calling.” This is the third of six parts, which will be posted each Monday of Lent. The previously posted parts of the story are on this Word Document.
(from Part 2) The boy thought he was fooling him, but really, his inebriated state made it even easier to see right through him.
“Really,” the man asked. “Then why are you sitting out here with me, and not in there partying with your friends?”
PART 3 BEGINS HERE
This question changed the boy’s demeanor completely. All of a sudden, he had a very contrite and embarrassed look on his face. Then, he became conscious of himself, and his ego inflated again.
He shrugged the question off, and said, “They’re just a bunch of losers, that’s all. Just ‘cause I know how to enjoy myself more than they do.”
The student was hesitant at first, but he wanted the man to understand his side of the story. He had to defend himself, even if to the stranger at a bus stop.
“Well, you know, I was having a good time, like I usually do,” the boy began, “And then this chick started coming onto me. I could tell she was pretty wasted, but she was looking good. So, you know, I started making out with her. Turns out though, she’s like the girlfriend of the guy who was throwing the party. My friends all said I was drunk, and some of the guys took my keys, and they were like, ‘Have fun! The bus stop’s out there!’”
“So, basically they kicked you out because you weren’t making the right decisions? Because you weren’t being prudent?”
For some reason, the man’s words had a sobering effect on the boy. He began to realize, for the first time, how much of a fool he had been. It seemed that the longer he sat next to the man, with his over-sized umbrella, the more he understood about his own life, his own decisions.
But, again, his ego overtook his conscience, and as he swelled up his chest, he exhaled in his liquored breath, “Yeah, but you know, I like going out and having fun. You only got one life to live, and I’m going to spend my time enjoying as much of it as I can.”
“But, what’s going to happen after you die? What do you plan on doing then?”
“Look, man,” the boy said looking directly at him. “I don’t believe in God. I believe in living and enjoying life. My parents are like Catholic or whatever, and they’re always preaching to me, ‘Go to church. Live your faith.’ Psh, whatever! I do what I want, and I want to enjoy myself. I don’t believe that anybody – priests, or nuns, or whatever – should tell me how to live my life!”
“You know, son,” the man said, making eye-contact, “You really believe a lot for someone who doesn’t have much faith.”
That remark struck the boy down in his core. Yet, he still wouldn’t show it. He merely shrugged his shoulders and looked out at the street.
“Have you ever considered becoming a priest,” the man asked him.
End of Part 3. Check back next Monday for Part 4. (Keep reading the blog in the meantime, though.)