I didn't get a lot of sleep last night. After looking around for the Bible
I kept in the house, I finally found it underneath a stack of Sports Illustrated
in the back room. I wasn't sure where to start since I wasn't really all
that familiar with the Bible. I had a study guide about the "end times"
that a friend had given to me, so I figured that was as good a place as
any to start. I'd told my friend that I would take a look at it, but I
just didn't want to make him mad by not taking it. (I didn't have much
use for "religious mumbo-jumbo.") I had to use the index in the front
to figure out where some of the books were, but I finally started finding
the passages mentioned in the study guide. I wasn't really crazy about
what I was reading, and the more I read, the less I liked it. According
to what I was reading, the so-called "last days" didn't sound like they
were going to be any fun at all.
What I was reading didn't seem to have much connection with reality, though. I mean, burning mountains falling into the ocean? The sky rolling up like a scroll? A seven-headed beast coming up out of the sea? How could anyone take this stuff seriously? To me it sounded more like something out of Aladdin or ancient mythology than anything else. I decided to put it aside for the time being. Still, it took me until almost 3 a.m. to get to sleep.
I decided to walk over to Randy's house. He's the guy who gave me the study guide. I figured if anyone could explain it, he could. He used to always go on about Jesus, and God, and the last days, and something he called the rapture, but I didn't want to hear it. I mean, I like Randy, he's one of my best buddy's, but I don't have time for all the religious stuff. After I made that clear to him, he eased up a bit. Every so often he would still ask me to come to church with him, but every time after I politely declined (made an excuse) he would let it drop. That is, up until the last two or three months. That's when he started in on me again to come to church. He seemed to think that something was about to happen and that he didn't have much time. I thought he'd gotten some bad news from the doctor or something, but he never went into any detail, just kept asking me to come to church with him. After a couple of weeks of this, I lost my temper, and told him that religion was fine for him, but I didn't need it. He seemed sad to hear me say that and said he'd pray for me. I told him that was fine, just don't expect to see me in church any time soon. We'd both been pretty busy and hadn't seen each other too much over the last month or so, and I hoped he wasn't mad at me over the church thing.
When I got there Teresa's car was in the driveway. She's Randy's wife. I figured she must have stayed home from work. I hoped Amanda, their little girl, wasn't sick. I knocked on the door, but no one answered. So I rang the bell. Still no answer. I looked in the windows, but I couldn't see anyone there, even though there was some food still on the table. I'd watched their house for them before while they were on vacation, so I knew where they kept the key to the back door. I went around back and let myself into the kitchen. I called out, but no one answered. That was a little strange for them, but I thought, "maybe they've gone out of town for something," although every time before when they had gone out of town they called to see if I would watch their house for them. Odd.
After I fed Buster, their cat, I walked into Randy's study, and started looking through his bookshelves. He has quite a collection of books, mostly religious. I didn't think he would mind if I borrowed a couple. Actually, he'd probably be ecstatic when he found out I'd read any of them. I found one called Last Days and another called Final Countdown. I thought, "that ought to be a good start." After making sure everything was OK in the house, I locked up and headed for my own home.
***Strange thing, though. It looked like they left right in the middle of breakfast.
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