We made our way quickly to the advertisement company. The whole way there I held on tightly to Liss’s hand. She had really scared me back there. I had woken up and she had simply disappeared! I had I had pretty much gone nuts as I looked all around the house for her, only to find her happily chatting with two random kids outside. What if they hadn’t been so well intentioned? Liss didn’t know how to fight yet!
I sighed…it was done now, no use in worrying myself further about it. We arrived at the advertisement building just as our agent did. He greeted us kindly and showed us inside to the room where we would be doing most of our filming. “Alright you two,” he said after looking us both over, “the first thing we need to do is wash you up and give you hair cuts.”
Liss beamed happily and I grinned, I loved to see Liss so happy…it only happened very rarely. Not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t mind a haircut either…and if the showers were anything like what they had at the hospital…I would absolutely love one of those...
The agent took us to an adjacent room with two closed-off shower stalls and a group of people I assumed were to be our stylists waiting for us. Liss was sent directly to one of the shower stalls, meanwhile they sat me down in a seat and began brushing out all the knots in my hair. It wasn’t a great experience, but they finished just as I heard the shower turn on in Liss’s stall and sound of her pleasure escaped. I smiled and laid back, life was really starting to look much brighter for us now. We had a job, a place to stay, and best of all, we had eachother and our freedom. Soon scissors were happily snipping away at my hair as the stylists artfully shaped my shaggy mess of hair into something that actually looked really good. A little later our agent came in with a new, clean set of clothes for both of us, he hung Liss’s over the top of her stall and put mine on a chest of drawers nearby where I sat. I examined at them as the stylists put the finishing touches on my hair and began to wax my face and pluck my eyebrows. I really didn’t like that part, but it was my payment for the haircut, shower, and clothes I supposed.
My new clothes consisted of a dusky, red, skin-tight tank-top and long, tight Levi’s. There was also a stylishly scruffy cargo-hat with the flat top and visor. My stylists finished with me and I went into the other shower stall for a long wash…all the hair that had gotten on me was really itchy.
When I finished I pulled on my new clothes as well as my (slightly) older Converse and came back out of the shower stall. Liss was waiting for me and for a little bit I had to just stop and stare. They had brushed her hair and just barely trimmed it, and now it had a silky gloss to it. Her indigo tank-top fit perfectly and emphasised her waist and form. The tight, dark blue Levi’s she had on matched perfectly. “Wow,” I managed to blurt out after I got some semblance of half-control of my self again. Liss grinned and turned pink. I stared into her beautiful chocolate eyes, “Liss, you look gorgeous.”
Liss turned and even brighter pink and looked away. I grinned widely and opened my arms wide for a hug. Liss was quick to respond, she flew into my embrace, pressing her forehead against my chest. I almost laughed as I wrapped my arms around her and rubbed her back.
“You two are so perfect!” came the voice of our agent from behind us. I blushed too at this point as I released Liss and turned to face him. “Alright, let’s get this started. Here are your scripts,” he told us as he handed us two identical scripts for a shampoo comercial. It was the typical “girl uses shampoo and guy loves her” add, there were no actual words for us, just movements.
We spent the rest of the day (until 3:00 PM because that was when our work-day finished) perfecting the movement, at several points it got very frustrating for both of us, however, in the end we did manage to complete the commercial to the director’s satisfaction. I was very happy that Liss had finally gotten me over my stupid self-hatred, otherwise it would have been so much more awkward for me to have held her the way I did so many times. Now that I had gotten over it though, I ended up enjoying those parts very much.
After work, I took Liss out to the park to continue her training in how to fight. First I took her though everything she had learned from the last lesson, I had her practice that a few more times, then moved on to actually having her do different excersizes to increase her agility. “You aren’t going to be able to be stronger than everyone else out there, so you need to be faster and smarter,” I kept drilling into her. I also gave her some excersizes to increase her strength, because although she probably would never be as strong as me, she needed to be strong enough to throw punches and kicks that would actually do something.
After a while I could see that Liss was getting worn out, soon she wouldn’t even be able to make the short walk to “our” apartement.
“Alright Liss, I think that that is enough for today,” I told her with a soft smile.
Liss sighed and leaned into me gratefully as we began the walk home. One the way there we passed a crowd of people all huddled around someone who was giving a speech. I stopped to see what this was all about and realized that the man speeking was the man who had given us the $5 in the café. “Hey, let’s stop and listen to this guy Liss, he’s that guy who gave us that money in the café!”
Liss nodded and so we both joined in with the rest of the people around the man. “Most of you probably don’t have a place to stay. You’ve run away from parents who don’t care about you. You guys think that no one out there cares about you. Well I’ve got news for you, there is someone out there who cares very much about what happens to you guys. His name is Jesus. He is God, He not only created you, but he also loves you! How could God love me after everything I have done, you ask? Well He loves you guys so much that he came down to die for you! By dying he has earned forgiveness for everyone! He cares what happens to you!”
I listened as the guy continued to explain this God who loved me and Liss. Was there really someone out there who would love people like me and Liss? Someone who would take care of us like the parents we never had? By the end of the sermon I felt something I had never felt before…as if someon was there who was watching out for me. I had always had to watch out for myself, never before had I felt like I could just relax and let someone else take care of me. It felt amazing! I hugged Liss tightly against me, and realized that she had been crying into my chest for a while now. I think she felt the same presence I did.
As people started to drift away, Liss and I slowly made our way up to the man, who was packing away different illustrations he had brought with him. When we got up to him I cleared my throat hesitantly. “Um, sir, what is it we have to do to for this Jesus to enter His family?”
The man looked up and beamed at us. “You are those two kids from the café!” he exclaimed.
I looked away embarassedly, “I, I can get that money back to you next week…that’s when we get our first paycheck…” I said hesitantly.
Than man smiled good-naturedly. “No son, I don’t need that money back! It was a gift! Just like getting into Jesus’s family is a gift. All you have to do is ask Him and He will let you in. Just be sure that you really mean it, because He will know.”
“How can we ask Him?” I asked curiously…I didn’t see Jesus anywhere around to ask…
“He can hear you no matter where you are, all you have to do is pray…it’s just like talking to a friend over the phone,” the man replied. “Just tell Him that you realize that you aren’t perfect, and that you want to change and you want to be part of His family.”
Both Liss and I prayed for the first time right then and there. We asked that God would forgive us and please accept us. When I had finished the prayer I felt like a new person completely. It felt like a huge weight of sorrow and all the self-hatred that I had still harbored had suddenly been taken away. Just like that! I grinned at Liss, who was also beaming from ear to ear.
“Thank you so much Mr. …” I began gratefully.
“Call me James,” the man said with a smile.
“Thank you so much James, I can’t tell you how much this means to either of us,” I corrected myself as a tear of pure joy ran down my face. It felt so amazing to have know that someone out there really did care!
“Oh, just seeing you two like this is thanks enough!” James replied, he looked just as happy as us. He was really such an amazing man! He quickly reached into his pack and pulled out two leather-bound books. “Do you two know how to read?” he asked. Both of us nodded. “Well then, these are Bibles, everything you need to know about God is written here. If you guys want to learn more about God, or have any questions just come visit me,” he said handing us each a Bible and a card with his cellphone number and house address on it. “Hope to see you two again soon!” he said before turning with his bag of stuff and heading in the direction opposite of the one we needed to go.
“Goodbye! And thanks again!” Liss and I replied in unison before turning to head home.