When I returned home from class the next day, one of my roommates said, "Someone called for you."


"I think his name was Andrew."

I wanted to be on my way and not talk about who Andrew was, so I received it as I would any other message: "Okay, thanks."

"Who's Andrew?"

"Just a guy," and I went straight to my room.

Andrew called again that night, while I was out. I erased his message. I was being tortured, mostly by myself. I knew rationally that Andrew had so much less than me, and that for me to give a little of my time and energy to helping him was really the least I could do, the least a regular decent person would do, eagerly even. And I've never consciously admitted to myself that, given an opportunity to help, I would refuse. Yet here I was, proving that this was the type of person that I was. And for a couple days, I was fine with that.

I didn't answer the phone anymore, and yet I always had to be by it to make sure a roommate didn't answer the phone either. I turned off the ringer, and I had a little peace. Calls from friends were missed, and that was okay.

Then, I realized I wasn't fine, that this had to be ended more officially. I called Andrew, and agreed to come to his house, to read to him. He wanted to read the Bible.