AN: This is a story about a man who finds hope through God and love. If you're against that sorta thing, well, it's not like I'm forcing you to read this. IMPORTANT! PLEASE refrain from using curse words or the Lord's name in vain when reviewing.


Anger Management


Leon gripped the podium like a life preserver. His knuckled turned pale under the stress and he had to resist the urge to scream and run as the flashing of cameras threatened to blind him. Slowly, Leon looked up and relaxed slightly as he focused on his family smiling reassuringly at him through the crowd. "Hello," he said. "I'm Leon Caraway and I was asked to speak here this evening. My story is a long one...so if you need to use the restroom, I would take this opportunity to go." The crowd chuckled and Leon felt more confident.

Leon turned away from the crowd slightly by looking over his shoulder at the blue curtains behind him. Breathing always became difficult for him when public speaking. Leon turned back to his audience. "I was raised in a Christian home, with pesky siblings and loving parents. My father was the preacher at our small, rundown church. So no, my childhood was by no means the cause of the struggles in my life. In fact, it was by that faith that my father preached up in front of the church choir every Sunday morning that I was saved. By that faith alone am I here tonight.

I didn't act like a preacher's son. My friend Sam Barnes and I... we were always getting into trouble. But I'm not going to tell my whole life story tonight. Just the main plotline and a few extra details. Sam does play a major part in this story. Him and the trouble that always seemed to follow us..."


"Hey! Caraway! Open up this door! You've gotta help me!" I groggily made my way to the door the Sam was pounding on. Before I got there though, I snuck a peek at the clock. Two-thirty. Two-thirty AM.

"What is it? Do you realize what time it is?" I stopped speaking for a moment as my eyes adjusted to the lighting. Sam's tan skin looked oddly pale. He reeked of alcohol. "Hey now, you all right, Barnes?"

"You have to help me," Sam repeated as he shoved his way past me. He was shaking as he sat down in the living room of my small apartment.

I was beginning to be frustrated, but being friends with Barnes for so long had taught me to hold my temper well. "You have to tell me what's wrong first." I spoke with my back to him. I finished filling up the glass of water.

Turning to him, I was shocked to see him sobbing uncontrollably. Sam was holding something in his hands that I couldn't make out. "I've done messed up this time, Caraway. I've done messed everything up."

"Sam... What are you holding?" He didn't respond, so I approached him carefully. A gun was in his hands. With dread in the pit of my stomach, I gingerly removed the object from him. I checked the chamber of the gun. Two bullets were missing. "Sam," I whispered. "What have you done?"

A loud sob escaped him. "What am I gonna do? They've already called the police, Leon! I'm a dead man walking!"

"Sam - if you don't calm down this instant, I'm going to knock you upside the head." Sam quieted down, but tears still streamed down his face. "Now then. Tell me what happened."

"I got the gun from Trrell. You know how he is, Leon. Paranoid and the sorts, didn't want it laying around his house while he was on the business trip of his, and he wouldn't be able to take it with him to the airport... Said I could keep it for him... Went out drinking earlier this night, still had the gun on me...Not really thinking about it. I-I-I had a few drinks, Leon. They must've been stronger than I thought because it usually takes more than that to get me out of sorts. This guy, average looking, walks up to me and- and-" Sam started sobbing again. He took a few deep breaths. "He takes my drink. And I was just so angry, drunk too. I pulled out Terrell's gun... and I..."

A loud banging sounds on the door. "Open up! This is the police!" We must've waited too long because the door crashes open. Sam turns to me eyes wide, wondering what to do.

I stood up from where I crouched on the floor as the police officers piled into my tiny living room.


Leon paused in the story. A few more camera flashes went off. "Well," he says. "My life went downhill from there."