Calvin Hopper packed and headed to Oakland for his annual reunion. He loved the reunion. He hated going back to the old neighborhood.
On the flight he prepared his words. It was his turn to speak again. He wondered if any other fifth and sixth grade boys Sunday school classes had annual reunions. But then again his class was far from normal.
They all stayed at the same hotel, had an informal dinner together that night, and went to church together the next morning. Calvin felt apprehensive. Two brothers and a sister had died on these streets. His mother’s funeral had been in this church.
He and the nine men with him were the only ones he knew who made it out. There were four entrepreneurs, one accountant, a cop, a lawyer, a stock broker, a soldier and Calvin was in marketing. All but one was married with children, and none were divorced.
At church, the old ladies cried to see them again. The pastor gushed at their success and gladly accepted their gifts. Calvin gave a brief testimony, but he saved his notes for later. After the service, the ten survivors went to the graveyard. They gathered around the grave of Brayton Johnston to remember the man who had given them the courage and hope to survive.
Calvin took out his notes, and for the next twenty minutes he described to Brayton what he had done with his life. He thanked the man for the sacrifices that had given them all the opportunity to escape the gangs and violence. Finally, with tears running down his face he recounted how the gang had taken Brayton’s message as an offence.
He finished by quoting John 15:13. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
302 words. Prepared for the Trifecta Writing Challenge. Follow the link if you would like to participate. The prompt this time was the third definition of the word ‘remember.’