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Redemption - Click to Buy
Wishing she would trust him, Art brought them to the end of Main Street and began leading them around the community's center, known as The Green. "Is there anything you need to tell me?" he asked.
"Have you received correspondence from anyone unusual? Have you noticed any strange people in town watching you? Following you?"
"Arty, you're starting to spook me." He had long ago stopped allowing anyone to call him Arty, but on her lips the name sounded musical.
"It's not my intention to spook you, Minnie, but it's important you understand I'm keeping your secret at a cost. You need to be honest with me, and you need to let me know if anything unusual happens, even if you don't think it's important. I can't watch you all day long, so I need you to be looking out for yourself and reporting to me anything you notice that's out of the ordinary."
She nodded in the dimming light and said, "Okay, I'll try. I'm not very good at trusting people."
"Who do you turn to when you need advice?" he asked.
"No one. I figure things out for myself. I've had to." Her answer rang with quiet defiance.
"I hope you'll eventually feel you can count on me," he said. She started to protest, but he stopped her. "I think I understand." He looked at her, hoping she could see how earnest he was. "Try to remember that while you may not be able to think of a person to trust, you can always trust God. He's listening all the time, and He gives great advice."
With a sigh, Minnie said, "I know. I'm afraid I've been a terrible disappointment to Him, too."
"You say 'too' as if you've got a whole slew of disappointed people to contend with."
"If you knew the whole truth, you'd be added to the list of people disappointed in me."
"I doubt that, Minnie," he said, his tone casual. "We all make mistakes, and most of those times, we're harder on ourselves than anyone else is. If you're so certain you've let down the people around you, maybe it's because you're disappointed in yourself."
Minnie's look was peevish, but she didn't protest. "Give it some thought, that's all I ask."
Minnie nodded, her raven locks bouncing with the motion.
"You're all grown up now, aren't you, Arty Paulson? You didn't just grow into your Adam's apple and get an adult job. You went and did some maturing on the inside, too, where it matters most."
"We all have to grow up eventually."
"Thank you for wanting to look out for me and for wanting me not to be so hard on myself. I'll give some thought to what you said."
"And you'll tell me if you see anyone unusual around town or if you get anything strange in the mail?"
"Yes, sir," she said with a mock salute.