(Editor’s note: The following is the latest in a series of stories written by local author Richard Mays the Daily News is featuring on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The stories, presented in serial fashion, are works of fiction.)
When St. Andrew’s Church was constructed on the corner of the Greensburg square those many years ago, there was one thing that the builders fully intended to do. Giving the priest’s office the most perfect view of the courthouse tree was their gift to the first and future priests.
The office is located on the second floor. As the tree grew larger and larger from the courthouse roof, the view became more precious and magnificent.
Many priests over the many years of service to this little town have enjoyed something that very few in Greensburg could imagine. Some priests have waited for the sunsets behind the tree. Some have marveled at the first leaves in the spring. Almost all who have looked upon this view have come to realize it as a canvas, and any emotion or thought would be captured perfectly in their soul no matter what parish would be their future home.
Today was without any exception.
The holidays had passed, and the short days of winter had long ago set its claws into the small town of Greensburg.
The sound of heated air pushed its way through vents in Father John Glick’s modest yet impressive office. Father was leaning back in his chair with his left hand under his chin, while his right arm rested on top of a small box that had just been delivered to him by Rob Wickens. Rob was one of two exceptionally fine lawyers in town.
Father lazily stared through his window at the courthouse tree. It was slowly being covered by the snow that had just started falling about an hour ago. He had his shoes off and was warming his toes from a small space heater under his desk.
Moments before Mr. Wickens brought the box to him, Father had returned from the cemetery. Having just laid to rest the mortal remains of Brent Stienkamp, Father had personally made sure Brent’s wife, Edra, made it safely back home.
Keeping true to his word of never lying to a priest, Brent had his attorney deliver a treasure trove of memories regarding Edra Worth to Father upon his death.
Father was lost in his own thoughts of the many people which he had encountered and the memories that he had shared with them which had been archived in his mind.
This lazy train of tranquil thoughts was broken by a light tapping on the open door of his homey place of God’s work.
“I hope I am not disturbing you, Father,” came the voice of Maya Mays.
A smile arched across his face as he spun around in his chair from the window to face his guest, “It is always a great joy to see you.” As he said this, he slid the sealed box to the left edge of his desk.
He waved for her to sit down in one of the two leather chairs that were located on the other side of his desk.
Once comfortably seated, she said, “I just wanted to thank you for all of the talks and good advice that you have given me. I am grateful that you spent your time on me, even though I am not Catholic.”
His smile was deep and genuine. “Each and every one of us are all God’s children. So, have you made any decisions yet?”
A peaceful face looked back at Father.
With her hands folded neatly into her lap, she nodded and said, “Katlyn and Sarah are going to run the restaurant. Their brother Jacob is going with me to Jakarta, we are going to bring my new daughter home.”