Friday, January 30, 2015

Yesu shuffled around the corner of Dreamwood Terrace to Sunnyside Up Diner. He didn't have enough time to make food for his four "patients" in apartment 413 before his early morning shift at O'Harley's so he decided to bring them back some eggs and bacon. Besides, they had been making a surprising amount of progress this week so he figured they deserved a treat. Yesu called them his "patients" because he was fixing them. Just like a doctor would fix their patients' physical illnesses, Yesu would fix their mental illnesses. He would teach them to know God and teach them the error of their ways. Yesu made a mental note to order a special side of sausage for his patient that had been making the most progress recently. Jedediah, as Yesu had named him, was an ex-sniper for the United States military who had killed over 200 people during his service. Yesu gave all of his patients biblical names to strengthen their tie to Christianity and remind them of God's word. Jedediah, meaning "God's friend," was given to this man of war because he needed to make friends, not enemies. To Yesu, war was one of the worst sins of all. God did not make man so that they could destroy each other in pointless bloodshed.

The Diner was vacant except for one man sitting at the far end of the bar with his head down over a cup of black coffee. He looked young, yet darkness sunk his eyes and wrinkles were carved into his forehead. He was lost in his thoughts, staring at his coffee, and didn't seem to notice when Yesu sat down and ordered his four to-go meals. Silence weighed down the room for the next several minutes and Yesu pondered whether or not to say something to the man. He hated to see people who looked lost and alone. They were usually people who did not know God.
"What brings you here so early?"
As if he didn't believe he'd been spoken to, the man looked up hesitantly at Yesu.
Ahh-umm I don't know, honestly," he admitted with a slight smile appearing on his face. "I guess I just couldn't sleep. What about you?"
"Just grabbing some breakfast before I go to work at O'Harley's. I live around the corner in Dreamwood Terrace so I come here often for breakfast. I've never seen you here before, though. Did you just move here?," Yesu said, happy he could engage the man.
"Oh that's my place too. But yeah, I just moved in recently."
"How are you liking it so far?"
The man was quiet for a moment. "Well... you know, I'm still adjusting. It's a process. Coming back after serving from so long has been harder than I ever expected." The worried look returned to his face.
"Serving in what?" Yesu asked, confused.
"The army. It's just that I've changed more than I can understand. I've seen so much more than I can wrap my head around. It's not that I regret serving, it's just when you meet so many people and watch every single one of them die, it... it changes the way you look at the world."
As the man finished his sentence, the waitress put four to-go boxes down in front of Yesu. Yesu stood and was silent for a moment, unsure of how to close a conversation abruptly after such personal information had been shared. "It was nice talking to you," Yesu smiled while locking gazes with the man. He wasn't sure if it was doubt or gratitude that he saw in the man's eyes.

As Yesu walked out, he thought maybe people who served in the military weren't as bad as he originally perceived them to be. The man in the diner wasn't evil, he didn't need to be cured or healed. He just needed to be loved.

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