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Rated: 13+ · Novel · Drama · #2111944
An Air Force brat moves from Germany to Texas and falls in love with a pastor's daughter

“Other seeds fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.”
Matthew 13:7

“Ariel!” Daniel kept shouting into the phone even after she was already disconnected. A deep sense of foreboding filled Daniel.
He re-dialed her number only to have it go straight to voicemail. Daniel hung up almost immediately and bolted to his car. As he backed out and sped down the road he tried calling again.
“Come one! Pick up pick up pick up!”
He tried re-dialing over and over as he drove ten miles over the speed limit and only slowed to a roll at each stop sign.
“Please God let me make it there in time,” he cried out as he finally reached her neighborhood. Barely slowing down on the residential roads, he pulled up to the house and skidded to a halt. Upon killing the engine, he nearly burst out the driver’s door. Doing a barrel roll over the hood he ran up to the door and rang the doorbell multiple times as he tried to catch his breath.
“C’mon Ariel answer the door!” he yelled as he pounded on the front door. He ran around the side of the house and jumped the backyard wall. Coming up to the office window he spotted Ariel standing just a few feet away from the desk, holding her father’s gun to her head.
Upon seeing Daniel, Ariel started sobbing again as she held up her hand as if to say stay away. Horrified at what he was seeing, Daniel held up his own hand and started mouthing the word no. Ariel shook her head and pressed the weapon against her temple.
“Ariel don’t,” Daniel begged as he placed his hands on the glass. Again Ariel shook her head and took a step back farther away from the window.
“No Ariel!!! PLEASE DON’T!!!!”
Screaming at the top of his lungs, Daniel pounded on the window with all of his might but to no avail. Ariel’s face hardened with resolve. Daniel acted quickly; he ran over to the backyard dining set, picked up one of the chairs, and ran back to the window. As soon as he got within reach he swung the chair, shattering the glass with one blow. At that moment a gunshot went off.


Chapter 1
Daniel Benz ran the last strip of tape down the side of his last packed box. He took a step back and looked at the pile of stacked boxes in his room. He looked at the walls where his posters used to hang. Every trace of his teenage years that he spent in this house were gone, removed as before all of his moves. He and his family were leaving, leaving their village in Germany and headed for Brian Air Force Base in Palmsville Texas. He took another look before walking down the stairs. He came up to his father who was on his phone as he leaned back against the kitchen counter.
“Alright thanks Rick. Talk to you later,” he said as he hung up the phone.
“Was that the sponsor,” Daniel asked.
“Yeah it was,” replied his dad, “What’s up son?”
“The last box is packed sir,” said Daniel as he pointed upstairs..
“Excellent,” Christopher Benz, his father replied. “Did you pack some clothes and your toiletries for the trip there?”
“Yes sir.”
“Awesome,” said Chris as he put an arm around his son. “Thank you for being on top of that. This will make everything smooth for the movers tomorrow.”
Daniel nodded, even as his eyes drifted to the floor.
“What’s wrong son?”
“Well dad, it’s just that...well we’ve moved so many times already, and I consider Germany my main home.”
Chris gave an understanding nod. “Son I know it’s been hard on us, but I promise you this is the last move we will ever make since I’m retiring and having us settle down in Palmsville.”
Chris drew Daniel closer. “Rick told me that there’s a giant lake there where we can go fishing.”
Daniel smiled. “That sounds nice.”
“Yeah, and I know you’ve been working hard to get enrolled in that university of international business. If you do well, and I know you will, you’ll get to work anywhere you want in the world. How awesome is that?”
This cheered up Daniel even more.
“After your senior year you’re a free man, free to forge your own future,” Chris reminded him.
“Excuse me,” a woman’s voice laden with a German accent called from another room, “could one of you please come and help me finish packing?”
“Go ahead and help your mother,” said Chris, pulling out his cell phone again, "I need to make a couple more phone calls."
Daniel nodded in acknowledgement and made his way to the family's now former craft room. He stepped into the now almost empty room and took a second to survey it. So many paintings and murals from his mom hung on the walls. One of her sculptures sat in a corner wrapped in tarp, bubble wrap and duct tape. Sandra Halle Benz, Daniel’s mother, was putting away her last pieces of work in her suitcases and taping down her last boxes.
“Daniel, I’m glad you came. Can you please put those last paintings in the suitcase while I finish taping these boxes,” she asked in her diminished German accent. Daniel got down to one knee and began putting away the paintings.
“Is there a particular order you want these in?”
“Oh no there is one slot left so just put the paintings in however you wish,” she grunted as she struggled with the roll of tape.
“Yes mom,” Daniel smiled in amusement as he knelt down on one knee and began filing away the works of art.
“Are you excited about our move,” Sandra asked her son in her native German tongue.
“Not really,” Daniel answered back in the language she taught her.
“This is my home,” Daniel answered, “I was born and raised here. All my friends and family are here. Even though we have lived in different countries, including the States, my heart has never left here.”
Sandra stopped what she was doing and went over to Daniel and put a loving hand on his shoulder.
“Son I know you’re heart is here, this is my home too. However I am ready for a change. I am really looking forward to living in Texas. I love the warm weather, the Hill Country, and most importantly the ‘Southern Hospitality.’”
Sandra cupped his chin in her hand so that he looked at her.
“Everything will be alright, I’ve been praying that you will make really good friends and maybe...find a girl to fall in love with,” Sandra said with a wink.
Her son chuckled. “No there probably won’t be another woman for me after-” he fell silent and looked away. To this Sandra nodded.
“I know you and Nordica were in love, and even though you are good friends now, it’s been a year now. It’s time to move on.”
Daniel nodded as he smiled. He closed his mom’s now full suitcase and laid it on it’s side.
“Is that everything,” he asked.
“Yep,” she replied, “I am all ready to go.”
Just then Daniel’s father walked in. “Is everything good here?”
“Yes everything is wonderful now. I just got finished packing everything.”
“That’s good.”
He looked around the room as he put his arms around his wife and son.
“This is it. This will be our last move. I just want you to know I love you both.”
Sandra leaned her head into her shoulder as Daniel tightened his grip on his father’s shoulder.
“We’ll make it, as we always have.”
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