Emily Harper Chapter 2: Reverand Benjamin Harper
Chapter 2 Benjamin Harper
As the last of the parishioners leave, the only two people left in the church are Reverand Benjamin Harper and his wife Bethany. He watches as Bethany as she walks among the pews picking up discarded bulletins. He hadn't always wanted to be a minister. He had wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a doctor. He had made it to his fourth year. A week before graduation he lost his first patient.
He was a 72 year-old pastor from a local church. He had collapsed while preaching from his pulpit. By the the time the ambulance had gotten him to the Hospital he was in full arrest. There wasn't much that could be done. Not a day goes by that he doesn't replay that scene in his mind. The call had come in that a bus was on the way. ETA 5 minutes. Waiting at the entrance doors the adrenaline started pumping. The swinging of the doors as they swung inward. He jogged beside the gurney, ordering them into trauma 2. That's where everything would play out. The EMT had run through the bullet as they lined the gurney beside the exam table.
Now all eyes were on him. He was running this show he had thought with a knot growing in his throat.
Grabbing the backboard,"On my count!" orders Benjamin, "1,2,3!"
With a quick motion they had transfered the pastor to the exam table. That's when he saw the cross. It had fallen from his limp hand to the floor. He had done everything he could think of but he knew that when that cross fell it was too late. Working on him for 35 minutes he slowly backed away. Glancing at the clock then down to the fallen cross. All he can mutter is.
"Time of death 11:45." He turns from the table as he rips off his gloves and rushes from the room. He didn't stop there. He rushed down the hospital corriodr and out the hospital doors. He had roamed the city streets for hours. Heading back to the hospital he stopped at a small church.
When he entered he heard the sound of a woman singing. He had hesitated going in at first. He had wanted to be alone. However the lure of the woman's angelic voice drew him further into the sanctuary. There she stood. She was lost in her singing as she polished the bronze collection plates. She hadn't heard him come into the church and now he stood there unbeknownst to her. Benjamin still cringes when he recalls her shrill scream. Bethany just laughs it off as just a unique way of meeting the love of her life.
After Benjamin had settled Bethany down and reassured her that he wouldn't hurt her they talked for hours. She would introduce him to her father who was the pastor of that church. Benjamin quickly became a fixture in the church and within a year he dropped out of medicine and chose a different path for his life. To become an ordained minister.
After many years of schooling and filling in for Pastors who were on vacation he was assigned to a church. He was an assistant pastor for Grace Fellowship of Lyndon County. It didn't pay much so he lived with his brother Jack and his family. It was an adjustment with all six of them living together,but in the ended up living together as one large family. That's why it was so hard to leave and take this position as the pastor of the First Church of Marshall.
Bethany, noticing that Benjamin is deep in thought comes up and hugs him from behind. He caresses the soft skin of her hands, "This is going to be OK."
"Of course," reassures Bethany, "AS long as we're together everything will be fine."
Taking her by the hand they walk out of the church. Emily is sitting on the bottom step. With a long stick she is scibbling imaginary pictures on the sidewalk. Hearing her parents descend the steps she stands up and stares at the ground.
Bethany wraps her free arm around Emily and whisper, "A young lady shouldn't pout. It cause wrinkles."
Emily straightens up and walks in Bethany's arm.