Max wouldn't dare think he was on a slipper slope. Things were better than he ever imagined. It was thriving at church. With Chris around, the list of little catastrophes was being nipped in the bud. It was like music with a good beat that just kept you moving. But not too fast. Just at the right pace.
It just kept him smiling and it made him forget everything going on with his mother.
They had had a falling out. Because, she'd lied to him. She was a liar. Plain and simple and this was something he still couldn't come to terms with. She'd been this was way he supposed from the day he was born. Letting him believe he was in a real family with a real father who wasn't even his own. It had worked so well, too. He had a sister. He was a big brother. And it didn't really bother him all so much when his parents divorced. He still saw his Dad from time to time. Of course, it didn't take his mother long to remarry again. Although, that didn't really last all that long either. Then another. But it always turned out better. Somehow. A better house, more money. And still in the end, his mother always had a knack for turning a house into a home.
But he wasn't so sure he believed her, anymore. And when he ended up with all this money from a man he never even knew who was his father, it gave way to her true colors.
"I want whats mine," she was rather honest about it when it all came about. Really it hadn't been all that long ago. His sister was moving out. He was in the midst of wondering what to do with his life after college.
And he had to laugh, because she didn't tell him anything about this stranger he never knew of. Except, he supposed this man knew about him. It was all so complicated. And she expected him to give in. But he hadn't. It was like an illness that had swallowed him whole, and she hadn't given him any real answers.
Going off to be a missionary was like finding his own odyssey. Who was he, really?
He'd thought about giving the money away. So many deprived. He intended too, but he hadn't in the end. He'd held on to it. Hadn't spent it on anything. But he didn't want his mother to have it, either. There was this torn rift between them now. He didn't want to hate her, but she wasn't making this easy, either. So in the end it had came down to nothing.
They just avoided each other now. And it hurt, but he had a feeling it never hurt her quite as much. It just didn't.
Max knew some day there would be a day when he could use that money. Just not yet. Not even with Chris. He wouldn't use that money until he had, too. He didn't want to be that sort of dependent like his mother. And yet, he found himself depending on the kindness of strangers everyday. For all he knew that might not last much longer. Especially, if he had a congregation who couldn't accept him for what he was with Chris.
But Max kept smiling. He savored every sermon that came to him. Always, he was thankful for Serenity. It was at least a peace of mind.