Uneventful. Emotionally uneventful, despite what the proud cross and tattered hardcover book promised. The beat of my heart no more violent than how it began, no glistening eyes that were proud in some spiritual realization.
"You're both welcome to stay for lunch, if you wish," the Reverend offered kindly. Mother never ate lunch at church. She said there were "other places" their food could go. I never understood if she meant for it to be to the homeless or to the dead. She liked to give things labels, and used them as though a stranger was supposed to understand.
"Thank you very much, but we'd best be going. It was a beautiful sermon by the way, Reverend. Thank you for being ever so welcoming," my mother kindly told him.
"It is my pleasure." No, it is his job. It's a mistake people often make - confusing the duty of a job with an act of kindness. Had one hired a fashion designer to make a dress, it would seem to her as though making one to their liking was done out of niceness. No, it is just their job.
They exchanged their goodbyes, and I said a kind word or two, as we set off back home. The streets were quiet at this time of Sunday; it seemed all were due at church, and a free lunch with other "spiritually healthy" people was not a chance to pass up to most. The ground of the sidewalk seemed brighter, cleaner even, the children absent. Except for the one sitting at the curb. Oddly, however, his presence seemed belonging. As though the streets always made sure he held a place.
"Good morning, Callum," my mother greeted. She seemed rather displeased -- or to say she was neither pleased nor displeased would be more accurate -- at his absence from church. I guaranteed she reviewed the excusable possibilities for it.
"Good morning Mrs. Ryce. Hi Pippa," he replied, unbothered by her noticing his surprising presence.
"Are you feeling under the weather?" My mother asked, after I gave him a wave. She had concluded his excuse was an illness; she had obviously overlooked his usual-sounding voice, not a whisper of a sniffle or cough, nor a face marked not at all with fatigue.
"No, Mrs. Ryce. I feel fine, really," he answered confidently. He gave me a sideways glance as if to say "what's she suggesting?". I looked away, embarrassed at my mother's oblivion to things she made ever so obvious.
"Well, I hope you feel better. Pippa?" My mouth opened, ready to inform her that he wasn't at all ill, but instead,"I'll be up in a bit, Mom."
She looked disappointedly at me, examining my stainless dress. Her expression was a patent indication of her worry that my sitting on the curb would get someone's leftover gum on my butt. I looked carefully as to where I was sitting, and I got into a comfortable position, I heard her walk away. I don't think the concrete liked her heels on it.
"What was she suggesting?" C asked with a smirk. I sighed.