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  • Writer's pictureBelinda Lane


August 13, 2021


Written by: J. Anthony Spencer

It’s a warm evening in San Antonio and Agent Hope exits from the street level, heading down to The River Walk. The River Walk is a major attraction in San Antonio and one of the top five in Texas. She sees her “subject” and another gentleman seated at a table at Casa Rio, a popular restaurant on The River Walk. For over a week, she has been “shadowing” and gathering research on her assignment. During the week, she has allowed the subject to see her, at a distance and always only briefly. The subject is Dwight Scott, Caucasian with a slight build, clean-shaven. And although she has not tried to hide, today he hasn’t noticed her yet.

Hope’s outfit is a flowing multicolored sundress, a contrast to the white business suit she normally wears. Her brunette hair falls free around her shoulders, accenting her angelic face. As she gets closer, she notices the companion is getting irritated. She pushes her glasses up on her head. With a speed that surprises Hope, the man gets up, grabbing Scott with both hands. “What do you mean you don’t believe in God?” The tone is not loud, but it is threating. The nearby crowd reacts, but suddenly Hope is there, placing her hand on the man’s muscular right arm. The man’s head turns swiftly to address the person daring to touch him and freeze immediately as their eyes meet.

“You don’t want to do that’ Hope says softly. The man releases his grip, and the anger seems to flow from him. Still shocked, Dwight falls back to his seat as his female savior leads the man away. She continues to talk to the man in soft tones, his eyes never leaving hers. After a few minutes he nods, looks over at Dwight (with no anger) turns and walks away. Hope returns to Dwight’s table as several people murmur, wondering what took place. Still standing, she looks down and asks “Are you ok?” Still slightly shaken, he answers. “Y... Yess. I’m not a fighter and really don’t know how the conversation went downhill so quickly.” Hope smiles and says, “May I?” motioning toward one chair at the table. He nods, and she sits down. “You seem familiar, and I’m positive I’ve seen you around. What are you, my guardian angel?” “No, that’s a different division.” Hope answers. It startles Dwight. “Huh?” Hope smiles, “Never mind. And speaking of angels. The conversation, as you said, went downhill when he found out you didn’t believe in God. What are you, an atheist?” Dwight looks sheepish and answers. “Yeah. I am…. I guess you can also call me a private contractor geek. He wanted me to set up surveillance on his wife, saying that she was committing a sin against God. It went downhill from there.”

Hope leaned back in her chair, twirling her sunglasses in her right hand. “You seem like a nice guy. And it doesn’t mean than nice guys should believe in God, but is believing in God an alien concept to you?” After clearing his throat, he speaks up. “I can’t get behind that there is an all-powerful being pulling the strings behind the scenes and that the Bible is his playbook for humanity. I wish no ill will on anybody, but it’s my belief.” “Ok.” Hope says. “So, I guess you believe in the whole primordial soup theory, then you shift into Darwin’s theory that we evolved from apes? And if so, I ask, why are there still apes? Was it only a particular ape? And don’t worry, this is only a discussion. I won’t lose my temper like the last guy.” Dwight seems to relax and almost welcomes the conversation. “I mean, yeah. It makes more sense than an omnipotent being. And if you lend more to creation than evolution, what about dinosaur bones? There is no mention of them in the bible, yet they exist. I can put my hands on them.” Hope contemplates what he says before speaking. “People find it so easy to discount what is not tangible, but you don’t see the air you breathe. You don’t see or feel gravity that holds you to the planet, yet you believe it exists.” She stands, returns the sunglasses to her face and motions to him. ‘Let’s walk.’

They walk and converse for another thirty minutes before walking up to ground level on Market St. “Dwight, it has been a pleasure talking to you about religion. I rarely engage with many people about that, no less an atheist. And please don’t take that as a slur. It’s what you believe in. And though I think you are wrong, I respect that.” She says with a smile. It’s something in the smile that comforts Dwight and asks. “Is there a God?” She doesn’t answer, instead she says. “Tell you what. Let’s table the question and my answer. Let’s meet in a few days and we can discuss it.” Dwight nods before asking, “How do we meet? How do I find you?” A car screeches as a driver locks up his brakes and Dwight turns just as she says. “I will find you.” Dwight turns back to find he is alone. He then realizes. “I don’t even know her name.”

The next day, Hope is sitting with two of her associates. They are Faith and Compassion. Faith asks “How is it going with…. with the…...?” “Atheist?” completes Hope. “Dwight can be… I don’t know how to put it. I mean…. He’s nice…. He can be kind… A bit of a nerd… but I guess he needs something he feels is tangible or factual before he entertains the notion of a supreme being. But he doesn’t push his belief on anyone. He simply is what he is. He has always been that way.” Suddenly, Compassion displays a look of surprise on her face. Hope looks at her, uncertain of if it was something she said or something else. “C? What’s wrong?” Compassion looks at Faith and Hope. “I’m not sure. It doesn’t feel like danger, it’s more like someone or something is calling out to me.” Within a couple seconds, she fades from view, leaving her friends bewildered but not worried. Faith finally breaks the tension. “Something tells me a story will come our way.”

Four days later, Dwight is sitting at the Starbucks in River Center Mall when a voice breaks his concentration. “Is this seat taken?” he turns and sees Hope now dressed in a plaid top and jeans, hair pulled into a ponytail. “No. No. Sit down. I really didn’t know if I would see you again. You left so……… suddenly last time.” “Well, I’m here now.” She says as she sits. “Why the long face?” He slowly turns the cup of coffee in front of him and she notices that it’s still full and apparently cold. “You know the reason I don’t believe in God?” He looks up from the table and their eyes meet. “Of course you don’t.” With a sign, he continues. “Years ago, when I was in my early twenties, I dated who I thought was the love of my life. We were out one weekend and a drunk driver crossed the yellow line and ran into us. The air bags deployed, but somehow the car went into a spin and when we stopped, it had caved in the passenger side and Lizzie became trapped. You know what the strange thing was? She didn’t scream or plead. She didn’t call out. All she said was I love you. And then she closed her eyes and was gone. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs for God to save her. But he didn’t. If he exists, why didn’t he? If he exists, why would he let her or any good people die? I still miss her. I miss that silly pet name she gave me. And it’s happening again.”

Hope feels the warm tears running down her face. She reaches out and takes his hand and stops and asks. “What do you mean it’s happening again?” He answers by saying. “If you have time I can show you?” Twenty minutes later, Dwight is driving them to Ingram Hill on the outskirts of the city. They enter a modest home and he tosses his keys into a glass dish to the right of the front door. “Mom, I’m home.” He leads Hope back to a large bedroom and they enter. Laying in a queen-size bed with her eye closed is Diane Scott, Dwight’s mother. Hope stops in her tracks, staring. Dwight says “This is my mother Diane. She has come down with something that is even baffling the doctors. She barely eats or drinks and they don’t have a clue to what’s happening to her.” Hope stares at the once beautiful woman that lays motionless in the bed. At her and the small creature perched on her head.


(80) The River Walk Tour in 4K | San Antonio, TX, USA | During Pandemic Dec 2020 - YouTube

Thank you for joining me for Friday at Sundown. Remember… Just Breathe!

(All Stories are originally J. Anthony Spencer and has Copyrights!)

Over the next couple of months, I will be presenting mostly stories only, written by

J Anthony Spencer and myself. Again I appreciate your support (Likes, Share and Comments).

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