“Yes,” said Heather.
Brad noted the twinge of disappointment in her face.
“He’s got the Baker family and the Farmer’s. And Doctor goes there too. He hold’s it at his house,” said Heather.
“I might go to his,” said Brad. “I already know him.”
The light fell from Heather’s eyes.
“You’ll get good teaching with Pastor,” she said, trying to sound cheerful. “I’ve never known a better teacher, even before the war.”
Builder and Labourer began to rise. Brad took up the other roll.
“I’ve got to go now,” he said. “Thank your mother for lunch; would you?”
“I asked to do it.”
“Well…” he said fidgeting. “Thank you… bye,” he added as an afterthought, backing away.
Pastor helped Brad carry a set of dresser drawers into his newly built home. He had come to love the older man like a father during the month they shared his domicile. During that time, Pastor secretly crafted the dresser drawers for Brad as a gift.
People in Haven came to know Brad. Although they respected his distant nature, a certain fondness fermented in their hearts. It exhibited itself in the donation of other furniture for his home. Tradespeople in Haven didn’t work for a living as such, but worked to fill the needs of everyone in the community. The policy provided Brad with the clothing and blankets that he needed as well.
“Wherre do ya warnt it?” asked Pastor.
“In my bedroom,” said Brad.
They placed the drawers on the floor beside Brad’s bed. Brad shoved the item of furniture, sliding it into position.
Pastor sighed, sitting on the unmade bed.
“Well, thart’s it. Ya’ve moved in.”
“I’m going to have to thank everyone at the next meeting.”
“Hm. So you’re going te be worrking wi Buiilder noo?”
“No, ” said Brad pensively. “Building’s not for me. I’ll earn my name some other way.”
“How’s the shoulder?”
Brad hunched them to his neck.
“No pain at all.”
“Well Ii’ve tilled the soil fe the healing plots. Do you thunk ya caan get the plants?”
“I’ll go now.”
Brad took up his backpack, from where it leant against the wall and slipped it over his shoulders.
“See you tonight by the fence?” he asked.
It had become a loved ritual by both men. They chatted at length about the Bible at Pastor’s favourite spot just outside the cornfield. Pastor loved to teach and Brad absorbed the knowledge like a sponge.
He stopped by the door.
“Are ya haappy herre?”
The question took Brad by surprise.
“Why… ask me something like that?”
“Ii hearr whispers arroond Hairven. A lot of the young girrls liike ya, but ya doon’t take an intairest in thum.”
“I don’t think so,” Brad lied.
“Ii knoo of Hairther fer one. Tell me to miind me own business if ya liike…”
“No! …I wouldn’t do that. You can say what you like to me. You know that, Pastor.”
The older man nodded in understanding.
“Then is therre something wrong? I only ask because a man’s soul dries up withoot someone to love. I warnt better tharn thart fer ya, boy.”