Jase Parsons cares most about working. He plans to become the greatest professional fighter ever. He will make his circumstances match his expectations no matter what. No one will get in the way of the plans he has for his life. No one. Especially not any imaginary god. That is until the tables are turned on him in an unexpected way.
Myles Callaweigh knows he wants something different than his parents do for his life. The only thing that makes sense is to leave everything behind and move on. No plans, no religion, and no one telling him what to do – until he meets the one person who changes his entire way of thinking.
Kensi Austen has her life all planned. Basketball is going to take her everywhere she wants to go. Then the unbelievable happens. Heartbreak is threatening every piece of her world. She feels stuck in an uncomfortable place until she decides to listen for God’s direction. And finally realizes his Perfect Plan.
Chapter One The fourth quarter was winding down. The South High Mustangs were up by three. Jerry Austen’s granddaughter was trying to lead her team to a last second comeback. Kensi had the ball with thirty-three seconds left on the clock. Her team, the Lady Knights from Saddleridge High, needed this win tonight to keep their season alive. Her eyes found his up in the stands. He gave her the look that he always did, the one that said, “Don’t sweat it. I love ya, Popcorn.” He was the only dad she had ever known. Her parents had been killed when she was a baby. Jerry had raised her and her brother, Trey. Papa treated her like a princess and was her favorite person to be around. Trey was always annoyed because he thought Papa was spoiling her too much. Trey loved her, Papa had raised him to take care of her and look out for her. Plus, Trey knew better than to question anything Jerry did, like basically the whole town did. Their town was a small one, the mailman joked that he could fit the whole thing in an envelope and mail across the country for less than a dollar. It was the kind of town where everyone knew each other. What everyone knew, but no one ever talked about, was the fact that Jerry Austen, from their small town of Saddleridge, Georgia, was the biggest arms dealer in the whole southeast. He was the unofficial mayor of the town. If anyone had a problem, they knew to come to Jerry, even the real mayor came to him with issues. Jerry was glad to help anyone he could. He had only gotten into the business for the money, to keep his wife happy. He had funded the construction of Saddleridge High’s new state of the art gymnasium, mostly so that the small town team could get the attention of big named colleges that Kensi was going to need. It was the best way he knew to give back to his community, and it made him feel better about some of his other choices over the years. Jerry moved into the illegal side of the gun business when his position at Knight’s Ammunition International was dissolved and he was laid off. It was a simple changing of the times, but he was so ashamed, he could never bring himself to tell his wife, Melanie. He simply told her that he was starting up a new business with a colleague he had from KAI. Because of the money Jerry made, Melanie kept the mindset that she was above the rest of the town. She never pay attention to the mindless gossip that ran through the town, so Jerry knew she would not catch wind of his new employment situation - at least not for a while, anyway. Melanie had grown accustomed to the lifestyle she had made for the two of them on Jerry’s substantial paycheck. She liked spending his money on things for their home, their son and his wife, and her adorable grandson. Jerry was not sure if Melanie would understand what had happened or if she would tolerate a lower level of income, so he decided the best solution was to not tell her. He had a colleague from KAI that partnered with him to create their own smuggling ring buying and selling illegal weapons. Melanie never asked any questions, so he could not foresee a reason he would ever have to tell her the truth. Once in the business, Jerry felt like a boss, but he did not like the feeling. Instead of creating a gang or a mob like atmosphere, he wanted to create a different kind of family. He valued his family more than anything else in his life. He wanted the business to be a family, because they would each need to take care of and look out for each other. That was when Jerry brought his son, Darrell, into the business. Jerry found out his daughter-in-law, Monica, was expecting a second child. Jerry did not believe in hand outs for his son, but also knew his current job would not pay enough to support the four of them. He let Darrell in, but made him understand Monica was not allowed to know anything about the business and what they really did. All she needed to know was that he would be making more than enough money to provide for their two babies. The trouble started after July of 1990, when Monica gave birth to Kensi. She became increasingly restless sitting at home with the baby all day, while also becoming more and more curious about Darrell’s job. Finally, she wore him down, and reluctantly, Jerry let her in to the business as well. Monica tried to find her own clients to make her own money and pull her own jobs. Jerry did not approve of that. One night, without his knowledge, she arranged a deal with a drug cartel out of Texas. She and Darrell went to meet them, but it was a set up. The gang murdered Monica and Darrell so that they would not have to pay for their new weapons. It was a night he would never forget. The one when his world crashed. The February night started like any other. It was rainy and cold, the sort of weather that welcomed unhappy stories. His wife just came downstairs from putting Trey to sleep in his bed, while Jerry was giving Kensi her last bottle for the night. He tuned the television to the late night news. As he went back to the kitchen to put the empty bottle in the sink, he heard the beginning of a story about gang crime in Texas. “Why were they in Texas,” Melanie was asking. “What were they doing there?” Jerry rejoined her in the living room. “What are you talking about?” The reporter caught his attention. “The couple was visiting from out of town. Their names have not been released to the media at this time, nor have the police made any statements as to what possibly lead to the murders. One of the reporters from a local affiliate channel was able to obtain this video footage from the scene.” The woman on the screen was still talking about the video as the station began to play it. The faces of the victims were blurred out, but what was unmistakably visible was the black BMW’s license plate which read “5348 ADF”. It was the license plate that belonged to their son. The blood drained from Jerry’s face. He could not breathe. He did not believe this could be real life. Then he felt Kensi squirm in his arms. Somehow he ended up at her play pen and placed the sleeping infant inside of it. A million questions were spilling out of his wife’s mouth. He took her into the dining room so they could talk without waking the baby. “I have some things to tell you.” When he first sat down with her, her hands were folded into his. The more he spoke, the more truths he revealed, the farther away from him she started to pull. By the end of his explanation, she was gathering up the few possessions that she wanted, preparing to leave. The love that had lived in her eyes for the last twenty-nine years was entirely replaced by hurt, disgust, and anger. She went from the dining room, to the bedroom, and back through the downstairs toward the door. She stopped for just a moment. “You.” She faced Jerry and looked deep into his eyes. “You are a liar and a criminal. And I will not be a part of this.” That was the last night that he ever spoke to her.
Whitney Sullivan is a business graduate of Liberty University. Whitney’s faith and belief that God has a plan for anyone who desires to follow Him fueled The Perfect Plan. She hopes that the themes of the story will encourage anyone else wondering if there is a plan for them.
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