Brad went to sit down with Labourer’s brood.
“Where are you going?” said Labourer. “Yours is coming.”
He and his wife exchanged knowing smiles.
Brad found another spreading tree to sit under and kept his head lowered, self conscious that Labourer and Builder might be watching. The ruffling of footsteps on grass moments later, made him look up. A red haired girl, the one who asked him about Teyata at the meeting approached. She smiled. Brad returned the expression out of a sense of politeness.
“Can I sit with you?” she asked. “Me and mum have made some lunch for you.”
Before now, he never truly looked at her. She had a spray of freckles above a nub of a nose, all framed within the strands of her long flowing hair. Her frame for now, remained that of a gangly teenaged girl, but in a short time, would develop into that of a desirable woman.
She’s pretty Brad told himself absently.
He looked away from her as she spread a basket on the ground. A sense guilt overtook him for desiring another female so soon after Teyata’s death. His eyes strayed to Builder’s, then Labourer’s wife. Ridiculous as it seemed, they all reminded him of Teyata, even though she looked nothing like any of them. He wondered if he was cursed into believing every female would remind him of the manine he lost.
The girl sat laterally on the edge of the blanket.
“Would you like to give thanks?” she asked.
Brad noticed only one plate of food.
“Aren’t you eating too?”
“No, I’ve had mine.”
Brad lowered his head and prayed briefly.
“Yeah, you know that from the meeting; don’t you?” he muttered.
“I’m Heather Solar Technician.”
“You seem a bit young to be a technician.”
Brad took up one of two meat and salad rolls and bit into it, feeling very self conscious about eating in front of Heather.
Heather laughed. “That’s just my last name. My father’s Chris Solar Technician and my mother is Sarah Solar Technician… Mr and Mrs. If I marry a man of another trade, then my name changes.”
Brad tried to nod instead of answering as he hurriedly chewed.
“Would you like a drink?” asked Heather.
“Only if you have one too.”
“I brought two glasses along,” said Heather, getting them out of the basket.
She took out a frosty green wine bottle and poured into the glasses.
“It’s apple cider,” said Heather.
Brad took a gulp, pleasantly surprised.
“Dad makes it. Everyone says “it’s the best cider in the settlement.” Are you part of a study group yet?”
Bible study group?
He hadn’t been to one of those since the war; not as a group. Christians not only absorbed the word of God in these settings but became closer to each other as a result.
“Who’s in your group?” Brad asked.
“Ours is small. There’s me, my parents, and my younger brother, and there’s Cabinet Maker, and his family.”
“Does Pastor have a group?”