A SHORT STORY TO SAVE A LIFE
Right now I’m giving 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of my quirky romantic short story to help a young wife and mother fight for her life
In October 2007, I was hanging out at my favorite coffee shop, Bluestem Bistro, in Manhattan, Kansas, when a woman came walking through the front door. She was young and Latina and I was transfixed. What I experienced wasn’t physical attraction, however; it was one of those rare moments (that I believe all men have experienced) where I was simply in awe—in a holy and innocent way—of the beauty of a member of the opposite sex. At that moment, it wasn’t the spirit of Hugh Hefner that had possessed me, but the mindset of the Swiss Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, who once wrote “Every experience of beauty points to infinity.” In other words, I saw this pretty Latina girl and my soul exclaimed, “glory be to God!”
(Incidentally, the next time I experienced the same phenomenon was when I first saw the woman who eventually became my wife.)
She was praying in a Eucharistic adoration chapel, looked up, and smiled at me. Thinking about that moment, the words of C.S. Lewis come to mind: “It was like when a man, after a long sleep, still lying motion- less in bed, becomes aware that he is now awake.”)
At any rate, I eventually figured out the pretty Latina girl’s name; but other than stupidly adding her as a friend on Facebook (she added me back!), I pursued no further contact with her.
At that time, however, I was enrolled in the creative writing program at Kansas State University. So shortly after my experience at Bluestem Bistro, I was inspired to write a short story about a rather complicated young man looking for love who one day beholds a pretty Latina girl in a coffee shop—and is absolutely captivated by her.
For the next nine years, I didn’t really do anything with my short story. I did, however, notice that life went on for the real woman who inspired The Pretty Latina Girl. Her name is Krystal; and based on the information that showed up on her Facebook news feed, I learned that she got married and became a mama. Life seemed pretty grand for her.
But then in June 2016 I noticed that many people were posting their thoughts and prayers on her Facebook wall. I clicked on her profile to investigate and discovered that she had been diagnosed with cancer.
I’m not sure why it impacted me so much to learn that. In truth, I don’t really know Krystal at all. But I am a husband and a parent, and my own dad recently died of cancer. My heart went out to her and her family. I wanted to do something to help her.
After running the idea by my wife, I dashed off a Facebook message to Krystal and told her how she inspired my short story, how I wanted to publish it, and how I wanted the sales of this short story to help her family pay the high cost of her medical procedures. It took her two weeks to reply—so I figured she thought I was an idiot. But when she did, she was extremely grateful and accepted my offer.
So I want you to know, my dear reader, that by purchasing this short story, you will help a brave and beautiful young woman in her fight against cancer.
So as you can imagine, this story is very special to me and I hope you like it. Yes, the main character is a lovable weirdo, and some of the details of the unfolding plot strain credulity, but who cares? If the dreadful piece of writing known as The DaVinci Code and the utter drivel known as 50 Shades of Grey can gain a popular and passionate following, then why not The Pretty Latina Girl and Adam Jones?
HELP KRYSTAL IN HER FIGHT AGAINST CANCER
Buy this short story for the price of a cup of coffee, and all proceeds will help pay the cost of Krystal's medical bills.