Talents – Malachi Gregory: Case Number Three

“What did you expect,” he asks. “We knew she’s as stubborn as she is caring. There was no way she was going to fall for what she called my “Cowboy Casanova” act.”

“Aleksandr,” a woman says. “How could you not realize this was a test for both of you?”

“She must have been even prettier in person to keep you off your A game,” a man says.

“Yeah, pretty full of herself for someone who cares so much about other people,” he remarks.

“What now, Veronica,” the man asks. “What’s step two of your brilliant plan?”

“We wait,” she answers simply. “I wouldn’t have used this terminology before she did, but it is fitting; she’s the Chosen One She’s the one we were told would help us. So, we wait. She’ll find us when she’s ready.”

“You really believe that,” he asks.

“I have to Victor,” she answers desperately. “We need her talents.”

###

“If you’ve been in the church for a while, then I’m sure you’ve heard time and again the parable of talents,” Pastor A.J. says at the end of his sermon the next morning at church. “If that’s the case, then you may have tuned out during most of this sermon. Just listen to this though. If God is calling you to do something that you don’t want to do, then know He has a far greater plan for you than you could ever plan for yourself. Listen to Him.”

“You’ve looked really annoyed all morning,” my best friend, Bailey Thomas, observes after the announcements and closing prayer. “What’s up?”

“I’ve been presented with a new job opportunity that I really don’t want to take, but I feel like God is calling me to take it,” I tell her.

“Ah,” she says. “So, it will help you grow your talents or gain new ones, but it will require leaving your comfort zone.”

“Basically, yeah,” I admit. “Plus, the guy who offered me the job is a total Casanova.”

“And we all know how much you love overly confident guys,” she remarks.

“They’re like totally my favorite,” I joke.

“You know you need to take this job,” she says seriously after a moment.

“I know,” I whine, “But I don’t want to!”

“What’s that saying your grandfather always says,” she reminds me.

I scowl at her and she grins. “Sometimes you have to do what you don’t want to do in order to do what you do want to do.” She laughs as I continue to scowl at her. “Fine,” I sigh. “You’re right, as always.”

“Of course, I am,” she gloats.

As we get up and turn around to leave, I gasp. “Oh my gosh!”

“What,” she freaks out.

“That’s him,” I tell her. “Hey, Cowboy!” He looks at me and smiles brightly.

“Who is he,” Bailey asks.

“They guy who offered me the job,” I tell her as he comes up to us. “What, are you stalking me now?”

“Actually, yes,” he answers seriously.

I look at him confused. “What, really?”

“Kind of,” he admits. “Mostly, I was just looking for a new church and here you were.”

“Right,” I doubt.

We take a moment to look at each other and size each other up. “So, how was your date?”

“It was fine,” I say as Bailey asks, “What date?”

“Just fine,” he asks flirting again. “You could have stayed with me. We would have had fun and that’s much better than fine.” He winks at me and I roll my eyes.

“Mal,” Bailey says. “What date?”

“It’s okay,” he says. “I know you were just trying to make me jealous.”

“Jealous? I don’t even know you,” I remind him.

“So you don’t like me?” He acts wounded. “But you’ve already give me a cute pet name.”

“Yes, because everyone knows Cowboy Casanova is the go to pet name.”

“Don’t forget Romeo,” he reminds me. “Hi,” he says to Bailey. “I’m Xane, by the way.” He looks at me.

“Nice to meet you, Xane,” Bailey greets smiling. “I’m Bailey.”

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