Danny and Kallie

It’s been a long time since I posted anything for Fun Fridays. So here is a short story. The bones of it was turned in last weekend for a writing contest that allows for stories up to 360 words. That wasn’t enough for this story to be told right. So here is the longer version. Feel free to tell me what you think. My own opinion is that the ending is still a little soft.

Danny and Kallie

Danny lives on the second floor. Most mornings he rides the waves before leaving for work.

His surfboard doesn’t fit in the elevator. So he risks dropping it from the balcony onto the sidewalk below. So far it hasn’t been damaged. Then he’ll run downstairs, hoping to get there before it walks away. So far it hasn’t been stolen. If it was he would be at a loss. The surfboard had his heart.

Kallie lives in the next building over. Her morning exercise is rollerblading. One day she heard something fall and timidly spied around a corner to see the surfboard, followed by the young man who gathered it up. She didn’t know why the sight of him made her catch her breath, yet she checked on him every day after that.

She continued to catch her breath at the sight of him, and she missed him when he wasn’t there. Still she did her best to blend in, hidden by the fog, or watching around a corner.

Then came a morning with strong winds, high waves, and a receding tide. Kallie had never surfed, but had researched a little and knew these were the most dangerous conditions. They are also what surfers like best.

She didn’t skate. She stood frozen, praying for his safety. She didn’t know why she worried about this stranger, but she did.

He struggled to get out to position. Twice the waves tossed him off before he could even attempt a ride. When he dumped a third time, Kallie counted seconds, waiting for him to surface. Thirty seconds and she was frantic. Forty-five and she hated herself for not knowing what to do. Fifty-three and he was spit out by the undertow, thirty yards behind his board.

She prayed harder as he swam for it. He struggled to climb on and then rode straight in, completely exhausted.

She watched him drag the board to the building. He tried to toss the board up, but couldn’t this time. Her hand on his shoulder, stopped him. When he turned to see her, he felt his breath catch. For a moment neither of them could talk. Kallie found her voice first, so she volunteered to lift the board to him. The board suddenly was less important than it had been a moment earlier.

That was how Danny met Kallie, and they got to know each other better over the next several days. Now she watched him openly. She would sit on the beach and enjoyed her heart racing at the sight. She felt guilty at taking such pleasure in the young man. Yet when he invited to date, she declined. By way of explanation she described how she prayed for him. He didn’t understand what that had to do with it.

When he persisted she said there was one place she would go with him, if he was willing. He would have done anything at that point. So he met her on Sunday morning in front of a local store front church. Only about thirty people, mostly young adults, gathered there. The music was hokey. The people were awkward. The message was life-changing. When the gospel came clear to Danny’s heart, it took his breath away.

That was how Danny met Jesus, and he got to know Him better over the coming weeks.

The surfboard was almost completely meaningless now. He almost never used it anymore. But one day when the waves were high he thought it was a good chance to impress Kallie. Dropping the board over the balcony as he had done hundreds of times, he heard it shatter apart.

Kallie and he stood over the remains a few minutes later. Both were silent for a long time. Kallie almost cried for him, until she looked up and saw him smiling at her, almost laughing. He told her it would be fine, they could go out to breakfast instead.

Kallie was impressed. So much had changed in Danny’s life. So much had changed in hers.

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