He was a peaceful looking man, with a large round belly and rosy red cheeks. Jonas couldn’t help but smile as he stared at the gentle looking figure. The man looked down at the freezing pair. He noticed Jonas’ trembling blue lips and the tiny shaking bundle of blanket that was Gabriel.
The man immediately invited Jonas into his home and screamed for his wife to grab blankets and hot chocolate. Jonas sat shyly bundled in blankets as all of the strangers around him whispered to each other about him and Gabe. After a few awkward minutes the man who answered the door appeared with a steaming cup of “hot chocolate”. The man placed the mug in Jonas’s hands and told him to drink it, and that it would warm him up.
Jonas peered over the edge of the goblet at the steaming hot brown liquid. Jonas had never heard of hot chocolate nor tasted it, but was delighted to have something to drink after his lengthy journey. He put the cup up to his mouth and took an enormous gulp. The children in the room giggled as he ferociously clawed at his tongue to try to get rid of the burning feeling.
A woman in the room stood and walked over to Jonas and blew gently across the top of the cup. Jonas took another sip, but was more careful to take small amounts this time. He felt the drink flowing through his veins muscles. Jonas let the hot chocolate cool a little and then gave some to Gabriel also. Gabriel was now asleep in Jonas’ arms.
The owners of the house left Jonas and Gabe alone to warm up, but now Jonas was warm, and curious. He found the adults in the kitchen because the children had been put to bed hours ago. After a complete interrogation by Jonas to the adults, he learned the man who opened the door was named Paul. His wife, the woman who blew on Jonas’ hot chocolate, was named Isabel. The other people who were in the home earlier were simply friends and relatives of Paul and Isabel. Jonas also learned of the name of the town he was now in, it was called Columbus, after an ancient explorer who existed over two-thousand years ago.
After Jonas was done asking questions he started telling his story, of how he got there, why he had Gabriel with him, who The Giver was, where he came from, and most importantly, what it was like there. Paul and Isabel were shocked to hear this. They would not have believed him if it were not for the rumors they had heard about such places. An old man in Columbus who just passed away spoke about the same town, most people just assumed that he was crazy. Caleb was the man’s name. Jonas was astonished to hear this.
He asked himself how could this be? But, then Jonas recalled the Ceremony in which families are assigned infants to add to their family units. One family received a replacement child named Caleb, because their child had been lost in the river. Jonas could hardly sleep that night. He could not believe that another person from the town had escaped, other than him. He also could not help but think of the people back in the Community, he wondered if they were suffering.
In fact, his curiosity drove him to do something he did not want to do. In the morning, Jonas decided he would ask for a ride to his old Community. He knew it was forbidden, but he had to see if he and The Giver’s plans had worked. He though about what it might be like.
Would there be total and utter chaos? He wondered how the people handled the memories. It was not until Gabriel snuggled into him that Jonas shut his eyes and fell asleep. Jonas awoke and looked over at Gabriel, but he was not there. Gabe was not there! Jonas entered a state of panic. He questioned his judgement on wether or not he should have trusted these people. What had they done with Gabe? He put on his clothes and sprinted .