In the novel The Hike, Patrick Kincaid gives his testimony regarding alcoholism to his teenage daughter and their traveling companion Stuart. Truth and openness can break down walls and cut through age and culture gaps like nothing else.
He could see both Stuart and his daughter relax ever so slightly as they contemplated his thoughts and believed his honesty. With that, Patrick continued with his thoughts “I have a problem with alcohol.” He could see Mackenzie furrow her brow as though she doubted him and he chuckled a little bit. “That makes me happy to know that you doubt me on that one Darlin’. My whole family has had problems with alcohol or addiction in some way. Both sides of my family. My father, both grand-dads, a couple uncles, several aunts, and lots of cousins were either alcoholics or at some point had been addicted to drugs of some kind; and it killed them. And I started out the same way.”
Patrick felt the tears in his eyes continue to swell, so he stopped for a moment and opened one of the large bottles of water that he had brought in and took a swig before continuing. “When I was a little younger than you, my dad died. I hadn’t known him for a few years since my mom and him had gotten divorced, but he was still very important to me yet. He had been the only male figure in my life that I really respected. When he died, I lost it. I got in trouble with the law, started drinking, thought about killing myself… Really dark days. I went out and partied. I got black out drunk almost every day for a couple of years. I did a lot of things in those days that I’m not proud of. A lot of things that I hope that you never find out about Mak.”
With that, Patrick felt the first tear roll down his cheek. He wasn’t sure where this was going to end up, but he felt good about it being the truth. This isn’t what he had been hoping to have a heart to heart with Mackenzie about when he envisioned going on the backpacking trip with her, but he realized that this truth is what would have made a difference with her. He took another swig of water from the bottle before continuing. Both Mackenzie and Stuart were immersed in his story.
“Stuart, my faith also says that getting drunk is wrong. And many of the things that I did in that condition were very wrong,” Patrick continued. He felt a pair of tears now streak his face and he no longer tried to hold them back.
Patrick looked Mackenzie dead in the eyes and said “Your mother brought me some happiness during all of that. She was a light in the darkness of my life at that time that let me stop and think. In that time, I was saved.” Patrick changed his attention from Mackenzie to Stuart and continued “Jesus showed me that I was still loved. Even though I had done terrible things; and was still doing bad things; I was loved.”
Read about Patrick's testimony and its impact on the teens in the novel The Hike: Survivors. Purchase it at Amazon today or sign up for our e-mail list and like QT Fotography on Facebook to keep up with your favorite characters!