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Three Wishes Minus Two
What would be yours?
When the temperature dropped below 80, Norm opted to walk to the store, knowing he’d be able to carry home the items on his list without trouble. He had walked by the large and shady oak tree near his home hundreds of times. but today someone was sitting in the tree trunk V six feet up wearing an all-white robe. Norm glanced his way, acknowledged him with a nod, and continued walking.
“Howdy,” the man in white said.
Norm paused and turned back towards the tree.
“What’s going on?”
“Uh, on a walk. Off to the store.”
“I thought you’d be more curious about seeing a man dressed in a white robe sitting in a tree.”
“It’ll take a lot more than someone dressed like you to make me take a second look. This is 2023.”
“Point taken. Aren’t you going to ask why I’m here?”
“No, not really. Should I?” asked Norm.
“Come on, humor me. Ask away, Mr. Norman J. O’Leary, husband of 32 years, two kids and a dog.”
“Now you have my attention.”
“I thought I would.”
“So, why are you here in a tree in a robe?” asked Norm.
“Thought you’d never ask. To give you three wishes minus two.”
“So one wish?”
“Yep, one wish. Call me Stefan.” Stefan pulled out a card and read from it. “The wish cannot be anything related to Fame, Fortune, Power, or Physical Features.”
“Yes, we thought so too.”
“So, are you some type of guardian angel or something?”
“Sure, why not? One wish, Norm, just one. No money, fame, power, or looks.”
“Do I have to decide right now?”
“All right, all right,” said Norm. “Let me think.”
“Shall I just nap here and grow older while you think?”
“I didn’t know they made sarcastic angels.”
“Well, they,” Stefan said putting finger quotations around ‘they’. “They do and you’re trying my patience, Norm.”
“Peace,” Norm said.
“Peace to you too, Brother,” said Stefan holding up two fingers.
“No, I mean I want peace. That’s my wish.”
“Interesting choice. Love to hear how you derived at that some time, but not now. Okay, ready?”
“Will I need a notepad or anything?”
“No. I think you’ll be able to remember this long after I’m gone. Here’s how you get peace: get right with God. That’s the solution in a nutshell, Norm.”
Norm looked away and mouthed the words, ‘Get right with God.’ When he looked back to the tree, Stefan was gone.
Norman J. O’Leary stood under the shade tree stunned at what had just transpired. No one would believe him if he told the story, which made it all the more compelling to tell as many as he could.
He continued on his walk to the store, considering the last few minutes, repeating he man’s words, and looking back towards the tree several times until he could see it no more.
Then Norm said the quiet part out loud, “No matter what I chose, that would’ve been Stefan’s answer.”