Twelve Minutes – A Flash Fiction Story in 486 Words

Twelve Minutes

Lennie checked her watch.  The bus wasn’t due for another twelve minutes.  She sank onto the bench, shoulders hunched.  The burden of the phone call Lennie received on her way to work that morning still weighed heavily on her.

Robert was in jail.  She had warned her son not to get involved with his ex-girlfriend again.  The two of them together were nothing but trouble and now trouble had turned into a 2:00am screaming match outside his girlfriend’s apartment, complete with slapped faces and shattered beer bottles.  The stories always changed about who exactly did what.  Lennie knew they both had their own versions of the story, not that either were ever fully right or wrong.

Lennie sighed.  Why did they always have to resort to violence?  Matthew 5:39 – “But I tell you do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”  The latter part of this verse sat on Lennie’s couch at home, stitched on one of her pillows.  She must have said it over a thousand times to Robert in his twenty-two years of life.

Lord, give me strength, Lennie thought.  She closed her eyes at the invocation, repeated her prayer several times, and then opened her eyes.  Lennie blinked into the sunlight.

To her surprise, she no longer sat alone on the bench.  Lennie recognized the woman next to her as Sister Francis Marie.  Lennie had volunteered at the St. Catherine’s soup kitchen on occasion and Sister Fran often provided songs during dinner time.  Lennie could listen to Sister Fran sing for hours.  She never knew which touched her heart more –providing a decent meal to others or listening to Sister Fran’s angelic voice.

Lennie could faintly hear that voice now amidst the bustle of the street.  Sister Fran sang along to her headphones, tapping her feet.  Lennie watched from the corner of her eye as Sister Fran stopped singing and searched for a new song.  Her lips pursed as if concentrating on the holiest of tasks.  Finally, Sister Fran began singing again.

Lennie knew the song.  It had been on the radio several years ago.  As Sister Fran bopped her head along and lamented about where the love had gone in the world, Lennie wondered the same thing.  Well, I still have love to give, she thought, so that’s what I’m going to do.  She imagined a beautiful angel wrapping up Robert and his girlfriend in her glorious white wings.  She held the vision for a few moments in her heart and then let it go up into the heavens.

At that moment, her bus came and Lennie stood up.  She didn’t feel so heavy anymore.  Lennie took one more look at Sister Fran.  Her prayer had been answered.  Thank you, God, she thought and with a smile she got on the bus, ready to see her son.

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