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Resignation, Part 8

This is a work of fiction that I am publishing on Saturdays.  You can read the others in the series by following this link.

June looked up as soon as the prayer was done.  She could feel the confusion that was swelling inside the auditorium.  She understood how everyone felt.  She would have too if Donald and Laura had not given her a heads up on what was going to happen.

June looked up at Donald.  She had watched the weariness build on his face each week for the past year.  She knew the toll everything had taken on him.  She knew how hard all of this had been on him and Laura.  He had done everything he could to keep any of it from affecting her friend and his wife, but it was impossible for Laura not to suffer some collateral damage.  Donald made eye contact with her and she could see that much of the weight had been lifted from him.  He smiled at her with his eyes and quickly nodded.  She knew that he was better than he had been in months.

June quickly scanned around.  She saw David making his way to the front.  He was walking with a purpose that June assumed was similar to the one she had.  She was glad that Donald had a friend like David, who was making his way to stand by his side and with him.  The last thing Donald needed was the assault that would surely come from the well-wishers and detractors alike.  David reached Donald, grabbed him in a hug and whispered something in his ear.  She could see Donald nodding and begin to move off of the stage.

June looked to her right and saw Bill.  He did not look happy.  She did not understand this, since he had been pressuring Donald for the past year.  He stepped out of his pew and she could see that he was making his way down toward Donald and David.  Perhaps, she thought, he thought that Donald should have told him in advance that he was going to resign.  If that was the case, what nerve he had.  He had spent a year pushing and prodding and then wanted to be notified that Donald was going to resign.  But that was Bill.

She glanced around again at the congregation.  She could see that some were crying.  Donald had been the only pastor that some of them had ever known.  Many had joined during his time there and he was THEIR pastor.  Others were milling about and talking.  Perhaps they were gossiping, wondering what would happen next.  A few folks were laughing and acting like it was the best church service they had experience in months.  Some just milled out as usual.  They had seen this before and they would see it again.

Finally, June locked eyes with Laura.  She could see the tears rolling down her face.  She could not recall how many times they had cried together over the years.  Those times had multiplied over the past year.  June knew the emotions that Laura was going through.  They had talked about them weekly and sometimes daily for so long.  She knew the sadness and hurt that Laura had felt.  The betrayal.  However, she also knew the relief that Laura felt.  What else could these people do to her?  She knew that Laura was experiencing a type of freedom at that moment.  After all, what else did she have to lose?

June finally made it to Laura.  She wanted to intercept her before anyone else had a chance to.  A few ladies had come by and just patted Laura on the back.  What she really wanted to do was get her out before the busy-bodies got to her.  That was the last thing that Laura needed.  Laura looked at June and just hugged her.  June just held for a moment and then quietly spoke to her.

“Let’s get you out of here.”

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