I’m not going to keep numbering chapters, since there is no tangible way to split them up, and I haven’t been posting chapter-length sections anyway. Having “Jacob’s Dream, ch. 12f” or something in the future is only going to get more annoying and harder to keep track of. So far, I have posted 2 posts for chapter 1, 2 for chapter 2 , 4 for chapter 3, 3 for chapter 4, 3 for chapter 5. That means I’m on post 15 for the story as a whole. I’m going to simply title the posts from now on “Jacob’s Dream, __” with the blank being a post number. The goal is to make the story easier to manage, especially for those who haven’t read all of it (and, hopefully, want to).
Also, I’m going to post a recap of the story from time to time, so folks can get their bearings. The “artistic” side of me would prefer that people read the whole story, before jumping in after skimming the recap. However, I know that I probably wouldn’t if it were me. And I would rather have you read the recap and join in reading the story every Friday than to not read it at all.
If you haven’t yet, jump on in and read along.
Here’s the recap:
Jacob is married to Anna and is the assistant manager of Griffin’s, a musical instrument store. He has been having a weird, recurring dream where people die in battle next to him. One of those people is Mark, the pastor of his church, called Baseli Community Church, where Jacob also serves as an elder. When Jacob and Mark meet for lunch, Mark reveals that he is $30,000 in debt from a secret gambling habit. Mark’s wife, Amy, doesn’t know about this, and Jacob tells Mark that he needs to tell her.
After lunch, Jacob returns to work, reeling from Mark’s news, wondering how to respond. At the store, there is an altercation between two younger rocker-types and Jimmy, a homeless war veteran who lives out of a shopping cart and frequently visits Jacob at Griffin’s. Jacob tries to calm the situation, but angers Jimmy, who threatens Jacob and leaves the store. Sometime later that day, there is an accident outside of Griffins – a car has hit Jimmy, who is then discovered to have a gun.
Jacob leaves work and goes home, where after Anna has gotten home, he receives a call from Mark saying that Amy left without word or explanation a few hours earlier.
And, without further ado, Jacob’s Dream continues:
“Where are you now?” Jacob asked Mark.
“I’m home,” Mark answered, “I drove all over, calling Amy, thinking maybe she’d gone to her folks’ or sister’s or something. But she wasn’t anywhere. I finally came home, hoping she’d be here. Obviously, she’s not. So I put a movie on for the kids, and called you. This is freaking crazy Jacob. She’s never done anything like this before.”
“Um,” Jacob said. He was stalling, trying to think, because he was blank on ideas. “Well, man, I’m sure that Amy just needed to collect her thoughts. It probably was a pretty big shock to her. How long did you say it’s been?”
“Um,” Mark stammered, getting quieter, “I don’t know, man. A few hours. Like I said, at first I thought she would be back pretty quickly, and then when she wasn’t, I started looking for her. I’m worried on all sorts of levels, like, ‘Is she safe?’ ‘Is she ever coming back?’”
Jacob felt as though he owned Mark’s problems – that he, in some mysterious way, now bore the responsibility for all of it. Of course, he understood that Mark’s guilt was Mark’s guilt—that these problems had been created out of Mark’s own wrongdoings. Jacob knew, judicially and actually, that it was not his fault that Mark gambled away thousands of dollars or that Amy reacted as she did. Still, Jacob felt the charge of leadership in the midst of Mark’s faltering, and Jacob knew that the responsibility to steer through these waters was his own. Not that he could fix it, as though he were some transcendent magician. No, but Jacob had become a steward of stability and leadership and wisdom and strength amidst such turbulence.
“Mark,” Jacob said much more confidently than he felt, “She is coming back. I’m sure she probably just needed some time alone.” He pulled the phone back from his mouth, and asked Anna to try to call Amy. “Maybe Anna and I should come over there.”
Anna whispered, “No answer.”
“Um, that might be good,” Mark said. “Man, I have no clue what to do right now.”
“Mark, man, I’m sure it sucks right now. I don’t know what to tell you other than we’re praying for you. We’re going to leave our house right now, and we’ll be there soon.”
“Alright Jacob, thanks man.”
Anna already understood the situation from Jacob’s half of the conversation, but Jacob explained the details of what Mark had told him.
They were gathering their stuff together to leave, when the doorbell rang.
Jacob answered it.
It was Amy.