You Are The Way & The Light
It's not about me but I started writing a book. (long way to go)
In the beginning there was a girl, she was becoming a bit disillusioned. She was sitting in a café with a notepad and pen and was writing. Originally it was a letter to her tutor at university explaining her reasons for quitting but as she wrote, her reasons over took her intention and thus began this story. What happened to her in the months that followed was quite extraordinary and here the tale is told for anyone who is interested.
The girl's name was Annabelle. She read through her words, knowing that she had found something beautiful and meaningful to say, not just to her tutor, to every body. Excited and trembling a little at the enormity and simplicity of her discovery, she folded the piece of paper put it in her pocket and left the café. There were tears running over her cheeks though she didn't bother to wipe them away. She smiled and looked up at the bluest sky she had ever seen and then she knew it was simple enough for anyone to understand and true enough to be truth.
Immediately she was brought back down to earth as the waitress clattered through the rickety doors right behind her.
"You gonna pay for that coffee love"?
"Oh yes, aah, sorry I um, . . " She stammered as she turned around, automatically putting her hand into her bag to find her wallet and gesture her intention to pay. Her wallet, note pad and pen were not in her bag. They were still on the table where she had left them in her excitement. Annabelle smiled to herself as she approached the table. "Odd", she thought as she looked around, "that a café can look perfect". And the smile became a grin as she retrieved her belongings and made her way to the cash register.
"Sorry about that, I'd forget my head. . ."
Next Annabelle went to a phone box and called her college tutor to tell him that she intended to quit her course.
Jack Monroe answered the phone. This was unusual as he would normally allow it to take a message and then deal with all his messages at the same time, at the end of the day. Now though, it was the end of the day and he had dealt with his messages. "Hello".
"Hello Jack . . . It's . . er . .Annabelle Hurst umm from. . ."
"Annabelle, hey what's up"? Jack was pleased to hear her voice; she was bright, she was a bit militant (feminist), and she was a girl who gave as good as she got. She had strong opinions but was open minded and resourceful. This was a refreshing change from most undergraduates who were still waiting for information to be handed to them on a platter as it had been in school.
"um .. I .. wanted to .. um . . . talk..", this didn't sound like the Annabelle jack knew and immediately he thought something was badly wrong.
"I'm not a counsellor Annabelle but I'd like to help if I can. Shall we meet up".
"Thank you" she realised that she might have given an overly dramatic impression and so she added, "It's nothing bad, I mean not really bad . . I mean the world hasn't ended or any thing"
"Half an hour, at The Tienda"? Jack spoke in the kindest most reassuring voice he could muster.
"I'm just outside it. The waitress thinks I'm barmy. I'll see you in a little while".
Darwin was sitting in a small booth at The Tienda it was his favourite place to hang out during the day since it was warm which his bed-sit was not and it had free wireless Internet access. The waitress didn't give him huff puffy glances about not buying many cups of coffee. At least he couldn't see her giving huff puffy glances. His only friend, Ike, knew where to find him and would turn up most days. Darwin and Ike met when Ike rented a room in Darwin's house. Neither of them had had much luck making other acquaintances.
Darwin was just a bit too weird for most people, his parents had taken a lot of LSD when they were teenagers they considered themselves to be spiritual but had been so out of it that they decided Darwin would be a good name to give their son and would help him to find his path. They were thinking, it's just that they were thinking about something else. The irony of this was completely lost on them but was not quite lost on Darwin himself who was beginning to wonder about the chasm between scientific evidence for evolution, and the spiritual teachings from centuries of preachers and prophets of many religions. This had lead him to stop getting drunk every night and taking pills most weekends and start researching a lot which involved the rather enjoyable pastime of reading books, trawling the internet and drinking coffee. Darwin had an unshakeable belief in God but wasn't sure which one or how there could be so many to choose from. He had a theory that all of the god's of the main religions were actually the same god with different names. It wasn't a new theory, he knew that but what if it was true there would be some fairly significant repercussions in the world if the idea were accepted. He proposed that; if there is a god then it is much more likely that the ones which are spoken of in the main religions are the same god, than that one particular religion is the right one because of the incredible similarities between the various representations of god.
Ike was a bit of a geek, not a geek really, he just loved learning and didn't really care about making friends. He was studying toward a degree in environmental science and went to lectures religiously but he spent as much of his spare time with "Dee" as possible, partly because he had become engrossed in a debate they were having about what defined Christianity, and partly because he was trying to understand his friend a bit better. Ike worried about the amount of time that Dee seemed to spend just contemplating somehow it didn't seem healthy. Just then Ike bounded in to the café "Oakey pokey who's your baby"?
"you are Ike" Dee pretended to be bored of the greeting ritual but couldn't help but smile every time". Ike settled in to the bench on the other side of the booth and Dee closed his laptop.
"I was just looking at a godo site", He used the term affectionately meaning Christian website. "there was a question from a 14 yr old girl about weather you could be a good person and not believe in Jesus but still get to heaven. Apparently the different sects have differing opinions on this, which is useful if you have strong views and still want to join the club because you can keep your beliefs and just find a sect of the church which agrees with or tolerates them. In this way all you have to do is believe that Jesus probably existed and feel a bit guilty if you don't pick up after your dog when it does a whatsit in the park and you are welcome into the kingdom of god." Dee paused. "Actually the bible is a metaphor, a series of metaphors and parables designed to light the way to the unspeakable truth of god"
"It's not unspeakable because it's bad", Dee continued, "it's unspeakable because you can't use words to describe god. It's an understanding a truth, the truth actually not an idea; god that is, not the bible". Dee was now looking straight past Ike, in fact staring. He was speaking slowly and deliberately and had a kindness in his eyes that put Ike at ease in what would otherwise have been a rather uncomfortable situation. "It's book for the masses, it's to help us live together in gods universe whilst the mystery unravels"
"Shut the fuck up". Ike grinned. "Sometimes you're a first class tosser" The pair laughed and Ike who had just received the monthly allowance from his parents, bought a round of coffee and Panini's.
chapter one part two
[[[So Ike goes home to get changed or something jack turns up at the café Darwin over hears the conversation in which Annabelle is unsure what to do about university but explains her revelation to Jack. Jack convinces Annabelle to stay for the time being as the alternative involves getting a job which would take up more of her time than the degree does and suggests that she takes modules which are more aligned with her area of interest, acknowledges the limitations of university and explains that words are just rhetoric without conviction and faith. Darwin is blown away he has seen her many times before and wished that he was the sort of guy who had the guts to go and say something to a beautiful girl like Annabelle but he isn't and he didn't but now he's sitting anonymously in a booth adjacent to hers and without her knowledge has overheard her conversation he doesn't know what to do He writes his number down and stands up trembling with excitement at the conversation he could have with someone who would understand and even enlighten him and at his fear of the beautiful woman he has never had the guts to speak to he takes the two steps to the table where she is sitting with jack. Dee drops the piece of paper on the table pushes it fumbling as he does, toward Annabelle and explains at twice the speed he should have that he has many times wanted to speak to her just because she looks interesting and is beautiful and apologises for the shallowness of that desire but now really wants to talk with her about the revelation that she wrote down earlier continuing to talk way too quickly he apologises for earwigging and then runs away comes back to get his computer smiles says he's sorry again. And leaves.]]]