Out of the Pit (Short Story — Day 7)

Tuesday evening Brad and Patty went to Lexie’s and Patty and Lexie prepared dinner for the three of them and for Bruce and Officer Watts as well.  During dinner, Bruce filled them in about the last two days of the investigation.  He also informed them that earlier that day he had obtained a warrant for the phone records of Kurt Bigler, as he was the one that was renting Kevin’s old apartment.  Bruce explained that if he could find the calls to Lexie’s apartment on Kurt Bigler’s phone bill, he would have enough evidence to arrest him for harassment and stalking.

Lexie couldn’t believe how quickly and easily this case seemed to be going.  It had been so much worse with Kevin, but then, she had been involved with Kevin before anyone even knew he was a serial killer.  She was relieved that this would soon be over.

After dinner, they went to the living room.  Brad and Patty sat on the love seat and Lexie and Bruce sat on the sofa with Bo at their feet.  Officer Watts sat on the recliner.  Halfway through “With Six You Get Egg Roll”, Officer Watts was snoring gently and Bruce slipped his arm around Lexie’s shoulders.  He felt her grow tense for a few seconds, but then she slowly relaxed.

Lexie considered telling Bruce to remove his arm from around her, but it felt warm, comforting and safe, feelings she hadn’t felt for weeks.  By the end of the movie she had snuggled closer to Bruce and had fallen asleep.  Brad and Patty got up to leave, being as quiet as possible so as not to awaken Lexie.  Brad gently woke Officer Watts and the three of them left Bruce and Lexie sitting on the sofa.

Bruce watched Lexie sleep for a few minutes, then reached out and tenderly brushed some auburn curls from her cheek.  He gently kissed her forehead and she stirred and opened her eyes.  She looked around and realized that they were alone.

“I guess I must have drifted off,” she said.  “Why didn’t anyone wake me?”

“We figured you needed your sleep.  We all know you haven’t been sleeping well lately, and you seemed to be sleeping so peacefully, we didn’t want to disturb you.”

Lexie smiled up at him, and Bruce couldn’t resist.  He leaned down and placed a short, tender kiss gently on her lips.  He waited a few seconds, and when she didn’t pull away or protest, he kissed her again, longer, slower and tenderly.

The first kiss had caught her off guard, but when Bruce place his lips on hers a second time and lingered longer, she pulled away.  It wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy his kisses.  She did, a little too much, but she couldn’t do this.

“Lexie, why won’t you allow yourself to love or be loved?”

“Bruce, I am so unclean and unworthy of the love of a good man.”

“Whatever your past sins are, Lexie, you don’t have to carry them around for the rest of your life.”

“Brad tries to tell me the same thing, and so did that Pastor David.  I’ve been reading the Book of John in the Bible, and I sure wish that Jesus were here today so he could touch me and cleanse me and forgive me.”

“He is here, Lexie.  Not like he was in the Bible when he walked among men, but he is still here and he still cleanses, and he forgave you when he died on the cross and rose again.”

“How can I talk to him?  I can’t see him.”

“That’s what faith is — believing in something you cannot see.  You believe the wind is real, don’t you?  Yet, you cannot see it.  You can see its effects as leaves rustle or a piece of paper blows down the street, and you can feel it blow your curls about but you can’t really see the wind.  It’s like that with Jesus, too.  When you have the faith to believe in him, you will be able to feel his presence.  You can see him in all of nature’s beauty.  you can talk to him just like you talk to me or Brad.  In the beginning, it helps to close your eyes while you talk to him.  It helps you to be able to focus and not to feel embarrassed or self-conscious.”

“I’m going to have to give it some more thought, but not tonight.  I’m tired.  Do you need anything before I turn in?”

“No, thank you.  I’ll be here on the couch if you need me.”

“Okay then, come on, Bo.  Good night, Bruce.”

“Good night, Lexie.”

Bruce spent the next hour in prayer, asking God to bring Lexie to the saving knowledge of the Lord, asking God to help him wrap this case up soon, and asking God to allow him to have Lexie as his wife.  Then he finally went to sleep.

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