Chapter 11: Despair
Lois Blake and Harold Cohen peered around the side of the organ. Neither were sure how to take Gary’s strange outburst in the midst of their prayer meeting, yet now they stood silently watching the strange blonde wander about the sanctuary almost aimlessly. Her eyes were captured by the building and both doubted if speaking to her at the moment would break her of her daze.
Turning back to the hall the two stared at each other, then at Gary who seemed to be awaiting a response.
“This is the girl you ran over earlier…,” Lois asked staring rather curiously at her brother.
He nodded, still winded after his hour long explanation of the day. He still wasn’t sure what his purpose was for bringing her here other than it being the safest place for the meantime. But the safest from what? What was this woman hiding from? Who was she hiding from?
“And you found her where,” Harold asked.
“At the park…just sitting there all by herself,” Gary shrugged watching his pastor’s expression.
Harold raised his brow and glanced back at the girl. He was an older gentleman; in his late fifties with a few gray hairs beginning to come in at the sides. He was slightly shorter than the reporter, but Gary had always been sure the man could take him out at anytime if he wanted, due to his sportsman like build-with the exception of his middle-aged midsection.
“You realize this isn’t a homeless shelter,” Harold sighed.
“Yes, I know that,” Gary began. “But I figured if anybody could help her, its you.”
The reporter tried to pull off his cheesiest smile, prompting his sister immediately to elbow him.
Harold looked back at the woman again as she reached up, touching one of the pillars in the midst of the sanctuary.
“That may be so,” he said turning back to Lois and her brother. “But don’t think you’re quite off the hook either.”
Gary gave the pastor a puzzled look. “Pardon?”
“You were the one drawn out to bring her here, thus you shall be the one to find out what she lost.”
“You’re a reporter. Figure it out.”
Sheryl returned home devastated. She had searched high and low for her friend and still came home empty handed. Gwen was alive and after such a horrible scare–now she was lost again.
“Where are you,” she cried.
She let her body fall to the floor in front of the paintings she and Gwen had moved into the living room.
She was suddenly started by the opening of the front door.
“What’s going on in here,” Shawn asked looking perplexed until his eyes fell on the stack of canvases.
Gwen wasn’t sure how long it was she roamed about the church examining the tiny details of paint and architecture when she was finally greeted again– this time not just by Gary, but two others.
“Hello there young lady,” began the oldest.
Gwen spun to face them, her eyes darting between the three of them. Gary once again tried to look as non-threatening as possible; his sister quietly watching. The blonde recognized the woman but not the man addressing her now.
“Wh-who are you,” she asked.
“Harold Choen,” the elder answered, his hand extended.
Gwen was reluctant to shake it; keeping her own firmly planted in the pockets of Gary’s coat.
“Ah, you took my advice,” Gary said noting she had finally removed her dark glasses.
Realizing it, she reached up for where they rested on top of her hoodie knocking them off and stepping on them trying to find where they had landed. She stared blankly down at them knowing her mask was destroyed. The last thing she wanted was for him to find out who she was.
Gary laughed. He stepped forward to pick up the pieces, causing the woman jump back.
“You couldn’t have expected to hide behind these forever, now could you?”
She gave him a rather irritated expression.
“Ahem,” Harold started. “Gary here tells us you may need some assistance.”
Gwen gave the reporter a questionable stare before looking back at the man addressing her.
“I-I guess…”she answered vaguely.
Her mind wandered back to Sheryl who she knew would be looking for her. She had to go back–but to what? She’d already given up her apartment and her paintings. Her life as she knew it had been destroyed. What was there for her?
Harold, watching the drastic change in her expression from awe of the building to that of utter despair, spoke up again.
“Well as you can see our building is in need of repair. How good are you with a brush?”
Copyright the Faithbook 2011