This is the 66th installment of a 100-day challenge to write a new vignette every morning.
As he entered the church he could hear the soft voice of someone whispering into a cell phone. Some self-important businessperson, no doubt. The audacity of taking a call in this holy place—Joel couldn’t put his indignation into words. If he could, he might’ve thought about considering saying something. But he couldn’t, so he wouldn’t.
Instead, he stared at the hoodie in front of him and seethed. He couldn’t figure out what they were saying exactly, but he’d managed to locate the source: that threadbare gray hoodie.
As the altar boys made their preparations, Joel’s wife leaned forward and tapped the hoodie’s shoulder. She raised a shushing finger to her lips as the person turned.
As the kid turned.
The boy looking at them now couldn’t be older than 12—if even that. Tears streaked his face, and the hand holding his phone dropped as he registered the shushing finger.
“Mom,” he whispered into the phone after a stunned pause. “I have to go.”