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THE GIFTED excerpts:

Again Nick stopped. He looked me straight in the eye and tried to
explain his position.  He took a deep breath.  “Don't you see Eddie. 
It’s too late for that now... It's not that easy. You look around and 
you see so many things that don't make sense. A homeless guy on the 
street begging for a buck while some other guy's got a fifty unit 
apartment house he's gonna tear down and turn into a parking lot.  
You think back to when you were a kid and your parents owned the house
you lived in. Hell today you can't make enough money to buy a house, 
even if you have a college education.  The rich play in the field, 
and the poor do the gardening. Well after a while you get tired and 
angry. Then all of a sudden you get that call, and you think maybe now 
you can do something that will make things better. You can make things 
change.  So you leave your family and ship off to fight a war for your 
country.  You want to protect your rights and hold onto your freedom 
because that's America and you know you're doing the right thing. -- 
Well, you believe it all until you have to kill another human being. 
-- A guy with hopes and dreams just like yours. A poor ignorant farmer 
who’s just trying to protect his own family. You know this isn't right 
and you ask God to show you the way. You start to wonder what happened 
to your life; you start to question everything that makes your gut 
tighten up. You search for the answers and pretty soon you realize 
there isn't any. Just a lot of talk that turns out to be all lies. 
Everything is a sham. The laws are written for the fools to read while 
the judges are in the back room playing god with the money sucking 
attorneys that will do anything to become a favored apostle.  I know 
Eddie, and I can forgive you without a second thought. You see, I had 
my last supper in jail, and freedom will never taste the same to me."
A flash of lightning illuminated Nick’s face and it was soon followed 
by a distant thunderous roar.

	Nick just gazed at me, his brother Eddie, he could only hope I 
	"You know Eddie.  There's a million car wrecks, and a million 
fights in a million bars every year,  and life just keeps on going for 
all but a chosen few.  Mr. Dee’s brother.  Old Billy Bob... Well, his 
number was up, and you know, so was a piece of mine. It's just that 
simple. No explanations, no lies, just truth in it's purist form.  
You're lucky Eddie. Your ticket just hasn't been punched yet. You still 
got a long ride ahead of you and with a gift like yours, you can't 
afford to let your ride pass you by.  I can dream forever Eddie. 
But I need something to dream about. I need you now more than ever 
because just like Mary said, you truly are my reflection. Don't let me 
down Eddie, because I'll be dreaming about you every time I hear a 
melody that makes me cry, or a song that tells the truth.  I'll be 
thinking of you when I'm lost and I can't find my way home. I'll be 
dreaming about you whenever I meet someone that knows exactly what 
they want in life and does whatever it takes to get it. But most of 
all Eddie, I'll be dreaming about tonight. The night you finally got 
to see what’s been blinding me forever.  
	Don’t let me down Eddie, just let me go...!”
Nick started walking. I just stood there alone, watching him as he 
drifted away in the night.  In the distance I was able to hear Nick 
just once more.
	"Life can be so easy Eddie.  All you gotta do is walk up to the 
plate and take a swing. You may strike out, you may even lose the game,
but at least you'll be a player.” I watched Nick as he disappeared into
the dark night.  I shrugged my shoulders and looked down.  After a long
pause, I could hear the distant whistle of the freedom train 
approaching. I looked up and listened with a smile and then whispered 
softly to myself.
	"Sure Nick, I know... Violins on the left and cellos on the right.”
The train whistle continued to blow way off in the distance again and 
I wept...