Chapter 10: The Bus Ride and the Church
Gwen wasn’t sure where she was going as she gazed blankly out the bus window. She wasn’t quite sure why she had agreed to go with the man who now stood holding onto one of the railings of the crowded bus, occasionally glancing at her as if to make sure she didn’t run away. She readjusted her hoodie, pulling the sleeves down over her hands.
“Cold, still,” Gary asked.
Gwen shook her head. “I’m okay,” she muttered without so much as looking up.
Gently he reached down and pulled his coat tightly around her, trying to make her put her arms through the sleeves. The notion startled her, making her jump back.
“It’s okay,” he said more firmly, making her look up at him.
Reluctantly, the blonde slid her arms into the sleeves.
The bus finally came to a stop, allowing several of the riders off and opening a seat for Gary next to his mysterious friend.
“Where are you taking me,” she finally asked as the bus pulled off.
“Well…,” Gary began with a deep sigh. “Hopefully some where safe for you. Looks like life has been kind of rough with you.”
He attempted to take her glasses, but she jerked back again. Must not have a thing for guys, he thought withdrawing his hand. He wished she would take off the dark lenses so he could get a better view of her.
Gwen returned her gaze back to the window, watching the buildings fall behind the moving bus. She was still trying to make sense of what she was doing. She just took off on her best friend without so much as an explanation. Surely she’ll forgive me…the blonde wondered as tears filled her eyes again.
She was answered by a hand offering her a tissue. It was Gary. She stared at him blankly before forcing herself to take his offer. Who is this guy? Why is he doing this? What is he doing?
The Bus pulled up to it’s next stop, coming to its typical grinding halt. The man stood to leave but turned back to face her; his hand extended toward her.
“This is our stop,” he announced.
Hesitantly, Gwen stood to her feet and followed the man out. She paused for a moment to watch the bus pull off, leaving them there. Gary watched her carefully observe the buildings around them.
They were of much older architecture than those of the downtown area they had just left, yet much better maintained with the exception of the rain stained stone on the bank building looming over them.
Gwen slid her glasses down for a bit to get a clearer view, giving Gary a tiny glimpse of her dark brown eyes surrounded by faded bruising. Realizing his gaze, she quickly pulled them back over her face.
“What now,” she asked.
“Eh…this way,” Gary answered directing her toward the side walk. “It’s a bit of a walk, but it won’t take long.”
The two continued silently up the street. Gwen kept her hands stuffed in the pockets of Gary’s coat as though she were shielding herself from him. Gary pictured her evil eyeing him from behind her dark glasses.
They finally reached an old cathedral-like church building nestled between a couple of older office buildings. Gwen suddenly found herself feeling lost at its feet as she stared up at it.
“It’s under a bit of construction,” Gary indicated pointing out the scaffolding clinging to part of the front side. “But it’s safe.”
He tried to smile as he directed her inside, but was only returned by a blank stare.
Regathering his pride he followed in after her, almost running over the woman just as he had before.
She stood gawking at the massive interior. Two rows of wooden pews filled the room between oversized pillars which acted as the building’s support. On over-sized pipe organ stood as the backdrop to the altar, just in front of an even bigger stained glass window of a cross. The walls were richly colored in a dark shade turquoise, chocolate brow,n and tan. Yet it was the ceiling that caught her eye the most.
Though badly damaged, Gwen could make out paintings of various people. She wished she could be close enough to touch them—better yet to see how they were made. She had never seen such meticulous work so badly damaged, yet still so beautiful.
Gary was taken away by her sense of awe. He wondered what she was thinking as she stood there frozen in place.
“I’ll be right back,” he told her, recapturing her attention. “Wait here.” As he headed off between the rows of pews he added, “It looks better without the glasses!”
Gwen watched him until he disappeared behind a door just off to the side of the organ.
Gary darted through the entry way, down a short hall way and into the pastor’s office. The pastor and Gary’s sister, Lois, looked up at him in surprise.
“Boy have I got a job for you guys,” he announced.
Copyright the Faithbook 2011