grateful for Joshua's presence beside him when they
resumed rehearsals. He knew Eli and Henry had
the far greater challenge but simply hearing the
song they were to perform would be difficult.
It helped to have Joshua there... alive, happy,
comfortable. Monica was seated to Joshua's
other side while Adam sat behind them, ready to dole
out comforting shoulder squeezes as necessary.
Andrew sighed as he looked up
at the stage and dragged his hand through his
hair. "Okay, everyone set in the wings?"
"Yes!" a chorus of voices
"Great. Okay, Caleb
let's have you on the scaffolding downstage
right. Edward, stand across from your brother
on the left side. Do you remember when you
The two brothers nodded.
"Great. Eli and Henry,
how about you two stand near to each other upstage
center. When the crowd comes out during
'Hosanna,' Eli will take Edward's place and Henry
you'll take Caleb's. And if anything feels at
all shaky up there... stop and let the rest of us
know. We don't want any more, umm, tumbles
from the scaffolding."
This was met with snickers
both onstage and off.
"Okay, priests ready?" Andrew
"As ready as we'll ever be,"
Andrew sat back down.
"You ready?" he asked Joshua.
Joshua nodded, already
focused on Eli and Henry.
"Tess, get us started,
Tess smiled at Andrew then
looked to the men onstage. "Break a leg,
babies!" With that, the stark opening notes
Edward turned to Eli.
"'Good Caiaphas, the council waits for you.
The Pharisees and priests are here for you.'"
"'Ah gentlemen, you know why
we are here. We've not much time, and quite a
problem here,'" Eli croaked with a grimace.
the chorus repeatedly cheered from offstage.
"'Listen to that howling mob
of blockheads in the street! A trick or two
with lepers and the whole town's on its feet,'"
Eli and Henry grew more
agitated, even flinching at times, as the unseen
crowd grew louder. Caleb and Edward kept
gazing offstage wistfully. "Caiaphas" and
"Annas" voiced their frustrations and fears only to
be interrupted by the enthusiastic mob shouting
Superstar!'" the followers chanted.
"'He is dangerous!'" Eli and Henry
"'Tell us that you're who
they say you are!'"
Edward smiled and
shrugged. "'The man is in town right now to
whip up some support.'"
"'A rabble rousing mission
that I think we must abort,'" Henry shot back.
Caleb rolled his eyes,
peering at the source of the exultant voices.
The interaction between the
two pairs grew more tense with Henry demanding
Caiaphas call in the Romans to silence the dangerous
"'No, wait! We need a
more permanent solution to our problem,'" Eli
countered, his face grave.
"'What then to do about Jesus
of Nazareth? Miracle wonderman, hero of
fools!'" Henry taunted.
Caleb stalked over to Henry
and grabbed his sleeve. "'No riots, no army,
no fighting, no slogans!'" he protested, using his
free arm to wave in the direction of the unseen
Eli grimaced and yanked
Caleb's hand off Henry. "'One thing I'll say
for him: Jesus is cool.'"
Caleb waved his hand
dismissively and stepped away from the two.
More intent on the crowd than their priestly
brethren, the two brothers remained silent as Henry
and Eli plotted back and forth.
"'Where do we start with a
man who is bigger than John was when John did his
baptism thing?'" Henry demanded of Eli.
Eli gaped out at the
audience, missing his cue. He closed his eyes
for a moment then, opening them, met Joshua's
steady, warm gaze. He took in a deep breath
then let it out as Tess repeated the last few
bars. The story had to be told... each part of
it, he reminded himself. The angel whacked his
fist down on the scaffolding causing a loud,
reverberating bang. Then he sang.
"'Fools, you have no perception! The stakes we
are gambling are frighteningly high! We must
crush him completely! So like John before him,
this Jesus must die. For the sake of the
nation, this Jesus must die.'"
As planned, Caleb and Edward
betrayed increasing disgust as Eli sang. At
the second 'must die,' they turned their backs on
Eli and Henry then scrambled down the scaffolding
and into the wings.
"'Must die, must die, this
Jesus must die. So like John before him, this
Jesus must die. Must die, must die, this Jesus
must, Jesus must, Jesus must die!'" Eli and Henry
sang together with harrowing determination.
Then the song ended abruptly,
ready to lead into "Hosanna" but that would have to
The others shuffled
nervously, unsure if they were supposed to clap or
not. Breaking the uneasy silence, Joshua stood
and smiled at the two. "Well done! I
could really pick up on the fact that Caiaphas' and
Annas' plans were born of desperation, maybe some
jealousy and annoyance... but not bloodlust as too
many productions make it seem. Are Edward and
Caleb supposed to be Joseph and Nicodemus?"
Henry nodded and smiled
wryly. "A little bird with a Theology degree
suggested they be part of this one."
Joshua chuckled. "Got
it. I like it. And I think others will
find it meaningful."
"I really hope so," Andrew
wished. "We're trying to be honest."
"Honest is good," Joshua
reflected. He smiled gently at Andrew,
grateful to him and the others. He hoped he'd
be able to share that with them all some day.
That his story... his death... had been used to
target Jewish people was a sad truth that still
grieved him. But this... this was a step in
the right direction.
"Great job, Eli and
Henry. And you guys were great, too, Caleb and
Edward," Andrew shouted.
The brothers peeked out from
the wings and beamed. "Thank you!" they
replied in unison.
"You're very welcome.
Now... I think once was enough for tonight on that
one. So I'm going to go get Violeta and then
we'll start 'Hosanna,' okay?" Andrew smiled
when enthusiastic assent echoed from offstage.
The whole cast had been looking forward to this
one. They didn't have a T-shirt cannon yet but
the angel knew it'd still be something to see and
When he reached the office,
he found that Violeta was already peeking around the
corner. "Are they done?" she asked nervously,
stepping into the hall.
"Yeah, we're ready for
"How'd they do?"
Andrew approached and
squeezed his protege's hand. "They did really
well. And I think it'll get easier each time."
Andrew pulled Violeta into a
hug and kissed her hair. "He's doing really,
really well. He'll be okay. You know
Violeta nodded. "Just
still... a little weird."
"I know." Andrew smiled
encouragingly at her. "But look at how many
people he's been able to spend time with."
Before Violeta could respond,
JenniAnn stepped into the hall with Belle.
"Everything okay? How
are Eli and Henry?"
"Definitely fine as I was just telling
Violeta. But I'm sure they'll be touched to
know you both were concerned for them. Ready
then... Max's song." JenniAnn sighed.
"He'll look so grown up standing up there and
Andrew smiled to himself as
he walked them back to the stage. It wasn't
worth reminding JenniAnn that Max had been grown up
for quite some time.
When they reached the stage,
Andrew was immediately inundated with questions.
"Is it true we'll have a
T-shirt cannon?" Shane pressed eagerly.
"Can we come in singing
through the main aisle?" Kemara asked.
"Can we get a donkey?" Arthur
"Oh... I wish we could!"
Zeke bit his lip in
consternation. "But what if the donkey had
to... you know... go?"
"Can we crowd surf Joshua
down the aisle?" Owen teased.
"No!" Emma protested.
"We can't lose another Jesus! What if he got
Joshua held his side as he
laughed. "I promise I wouldn't sue. But
given the track record... maybe we better avoid any
sort of acrobatics."
The angel of death continued
to chuckle as he shook his head. "I leave for
two minutes and this happens?" he kidded.
Joshua grinned. "It may
have been my fault mentioning the T-shirt
cannon... Although, I really could get us a
Andrew's eye brows quirked
upwards. "Umm, do you want a donkey?"
"Oh, let him have a
donkey! They're so cute!" JenniAnn begged.
"His name is Yoktan.
He's very well-trained," Joshua shared. "And
very tame. He likes people."
Andrew chuckled. Why
not have an over 2,000 year old donkey? "Okay,
Yoktan can be in the show."
"Can we crowd surf Joshua
*and* Yoktan?" Owen joked.
"No!" Emma cried but she
couldn't contain her own amusement. "A donkey
would be nice, though... They really are
pretty cute. But where would the donkey stay
in between shows?"
"At Home," Joshua replied
nonchalantly. "I'm in good with the couple who
own him. They'll see to it that he gets to and
Adam snickered then feigned
innocence when everyone looked at him curiously.
Andrew shook his head in
amusement. "Okay, well, since Yoktan isn't
here tonight, let's just practice with Joshua
walking on his own two legs. I do like the
idea of coming down the aisle, Kemara. Emma,
do you think that would work with your
Emma nodded. "I hadn't
really worked all of that out for the stage so it's
not a problem to change it. I like that idea,
too. Bring the audience in more. And
it's more dramatic."
"Great! Let's try
that." Andrew stepped off the stage and
studied the set. "So... Henry and Eli, let's
have you back on the scaffolding. Caleb and
Edward, you're Romans now so stand at attention, one
of you stage right and the other stage left.
Jesus and disciples, let's try to have you... and
eventually Yoktan... onstage by the time Caiaphas
has his first line. Got it?"
Whooping and hollering, the
majority of the cast went to the lobby where Emma
quickly choreographed their modified entrance.
"All right... Laja,
come sit with me please," Andrew requested.
"Adam and Monica, can you sit on the other
side? We'll see what this looks like as they
come down the aisle."
"Got it," Adam agreed as
Monica nodded giddily.
"I'm so excited to see
Yoktan. It's been so long!" The
caseworker blushed. "Since I've spent time
around donkeys!" she added hastily.
Andrew chuckled. "I
know how you feel."
"Belle's never seen a
donkey!" JenniAnn smiled down at the baby.
Andrew smiled at them, glad
to see them both so happy. It reminded him
that he needed to ask Joshua about the eczema.
Hopefully he'd have a chance after rehearsal.
"Ready to start, Angel Boy?"
"Yeah." Andrew turned
towards the lobby doors. "Ready back there?"
"We are," Joshua replied as
the others nodded.
"Let's go then!"
As the song began, Joshua was
all smiles with Violeta's arm linked through his
"'Hosanna! Hey sanna
sanna sanna Hosanna. Hey sanna Hosanna.
Hey JC, JC won't you smile at me? Sanna
Hosanna. Hey, Superstar!'" the followers sang
as they crowded around, waving imaginary palm
branches, and occasionally twirling and dancing in a
chaotic but joyful melee. Zeke lagged behind,
as sluggish as the others were energetic.
Onstage, Eli and Henry looked
on with increasing trepidation while Edward and
Caleb smiled smugly, their standards and swords on
As the crowd reached the
stage with Joshua standing at center, Eli glared
down at him.
"'Tell the rabble to be
quiet, we anticipate a riot. This common crowd
is much too loud!'" he complained.
Joshua cast his gaze upward,
studying the man curiously as he continued to bemoan
Violeta tightened her grip of
Joshua hugged her then
embraced several other followers as their song of
praise continued. Finally, he turned back to
Eli. "'Why waste your breath moaning at the
crowd? Nothing can be done to stop the
shouting. If every tongue were stilled, the
noise would still continue. The rocks and
stones themselves would start to sing!'" He
smiled gleefully then grabbed Emma's hands and spun
around with her.
For a moment, Emma was caught
off-guard then she giggled and spun happily, both of
them joining the others in singing their
"'Hey JC, JC won't you fight
for me? Sanna Hosanna. Hey, Superstar.'"
Zeke flinched. Eli
cringed and held his head in his hands. Joshua
and Emma stilled and Violeta hurried over to
them. Joshua squeezed both women's hands
before ascending one of the risers. He shook
his head then, brightening, began to sing again.
"'Sing me your songs, but not
for me alone! Sing out for yourselves, for you
are blessed. There is not one of you who
cannot win the kingdom: the slow, the suffering, the
quick, the dead.'" Joshua beamed out at the
crowd and held his arms aloft. "'Hosanna, hey
sanna sanna sanna Hosanna. Hey sanna
Hosanna!'" he sang along with the assembly.
"'Hey JC, JC won't you die
for me? Sanna Hosanna, hey, Superstar.'"
Joshua deflated and bent over
slightly, as if he'd been punched in the gut.
Peter jumped in front of
Joshua and shook his head, trying to get the crowd
to back off as they clamored to touch their messiah.
Emma and Violeta hurried past
Peter to join Joshua on the riser, each of them
linking an arm through his. With Peter leading
the way, they walked Joshua offstage.
Adam, Monica, and Andrew
leapt to their feet with the latter helping JenniAnn
to hers. She silently marveled as the other
"Great job, everyone!" Andrew
"I love that Jesus' mom is
with him here," JenniAnn added, her eyes welling as
she snuggled Belle closer.
Andrew hugged her
shoulders. "Me too. Joshua and Violeta,
you interacted really well in this."
Adam smiled. "It's
almost as if you're really related."
Monica lightly stepped on his
foot, causing the angel of death to grin.
"Everyone was lovely," she congratulated.
"Emma and Joshua, I loved your spin."
Emma briefly glanced over at
Joshua who smiled at her. She smiled back
before turning to Monica. "Thanks! It
was unexpected... but I think it's nice for them to
have a light moment before... well, the rest."
Andrew nodded. "I
agree. So let's go through it one more time
and then we'll do 'Simon Zealotes' and 'Poor
Jerusalem' together a couple times then call it a
night... a very good night!"
Excited to give the song
another go, everyone hurried back to their
places. The second try proved as good as the
first and after soaking in the praises from their
small audience, the cast was ready to move on.
Emma took center stage.
"Okay, since we haven't been
able to do dance rehearsals yet; tonight just Diana,
Shane, and myself will dance. If everyone else
in the chorus could please sit on the edge of the
stage and watch us while singing along, maybe you
can start to learn some of the moves. I tried
to keep it simple. Ladies, watch Diana and
me. Gentlemen, keep focused on Shane."
Adam raised his hand.
"Why is King Herod following
Shane laughed. "Because
right now I'm not Herod. Glasses off, follower
of Jesus. Glasses on, Herod. I'm sort of
like a really dysfunctional version of
Adam chuckled. "Got
"Adam, do you want to
double?" Emma asked.
"Oh no, I think I'm a little
on the old side to be..."
reprimanded. "You're not old! Well, I
mean... you know what I mean."
Joshua's face lit up.
"Jesus could always use another follower," he
remarked with a grin.
Adam smiled up at him.
"It would be fun..."
"Adam, get up there," Andrew
directed, his eyes twinkling. "We'll just have
to make sure you're close to one of the wings, when
the time comes, so you can sneak off when 'Poor
Jerusalem' starts and get into your Pilate costume."
Happily, Adam took a spot on
the edge of the stage.
"Henry and Eli, let's have
you two observing this. I think your later
actions make more sense if you hear this. And
Edward and Caleb, let's have you both onstage,
too. Max and Joshua, front and center.
Zeke, off to the side... observing unhappily.
Everyone about ready?" Andrew asked.
"Umm..." Max looked
from the script he was holding to Andrew and
JenniAnn and back to the paper. "I think?"
Joshua squeezed his
shoulder. "It's our first try together,
Max. It won't be perfect and that's okay!"
"But everything else has gone
so well tonight," Max whispered back.
"Maybe I should leave,"
JenniAnn reluctantly suggested to Andrew. "I
think maybe I'm making him nervous. Plus,
between the singing and what I imagine will be some
leaping... it may be too loud for Belle."
Andrew shook his head.
"Laja, I don't think you make him nervous. You
stay. I'll take Belle."
Monica approached. "I'd
love some time with Belle. I could take
her. You both should be here for Max."
Andrew and JenniAnn smiled,
knowing Monica loved spending time with their little
"Sounds like a plan.
Thank you, Monica!" JenniAnn handed Belle off then
watched as the caseworker walked away, already
Andrew smiled after them then
hugged JenniAnn's shoulders when they'd both taken a
seat. "Max, you'll do great!" he encouraged as
"Hope so..." Max drew
in a deep breath then let it out. He smiled
when Rose blew him a kiss.
"Joshua, you good?" Andrew
Joshua nodded. "Ready
With that, Andrew nodded to
Tess and the performance began.
As the crowd shouted their
love, Max looked on proudly. Joshua smiled,
subtly nodding his approval and appreciation.
Then Max half-spun to face him.
"'Christ, what more do you
need to convince you that you've made it and you're
easily as strong as the filth from Rome who rape our
country, and who've terrorized our people for so
long?'" he queried, his face still set in a smug
Joshua frowned and shook his
head before redirecting his attention to the still
adoring, still peaceful crowd.
Off to the side, Zeke found
himself singing along then realized what he was
doing and abruptly stopped.
In the house seats, JenniAnn
clasped Andrew's hand as Max's next solo began.
"'Keep them yelling their
devotion, but add a touch of hate at Rome,'" the
young man prodded.
Joshua flinched upon hearing
the word 'hate.' He shook his head and opened
his mouth to reprimand Max but was silenced.
"'You will rise to a greater
power!'" Max sang out. "'We will win ourselves
a home. You'll get the power and the glory,
for ever and ever and ever.'"
Joshua reached out and set
his hand on Max's upper arm, again shaking his head
as he wore a forlorn smile. However, Max shook
him off and, unabated, continued to praise the man
he'd just ignored.
Andrew, JenniAnn, and Rose
all held their breaths while Max's piercing voice
erupted with the final "Amen!"
Unable to contain themselves,
everyone applauded for Max then just as quickly
quieted. After a brief, encouraging smile;
Joshua took up his part. He peered up at the
ceiling and, smiling sadly, turned back to Max.
"'Neither you, Simon, nor the
fifty thousand, nor the Romans, nor the Jews, nor
Judas, nor the twelve, nor the priests, nor the
scribes, nor doomed Jerusalem itself... understand
what power is, understand what glory is, understand
at all, understand at all,'" Joshua
lamented. His voice shook with the last few
The smile melted from Max's
Joshua gazed out at the
audience. "'If you knew all that I knew, my
poor Jerusalem, you'd see the truth...'" For
just a moment, Joshua looked past the audience, to
something only he could see, something that made him
JenniAnn looked to Andrew but
he was transfixed. She knew that look.
He had that look when he spoke of Heaven.
Joshua turned back to Max, to
Zeke, and the others. "'But you close your
eyes... But you close your eyes. While
you live, your troubles are many, poor
Jerusalem. To conquer death, you only have to
die. You only have to die.'" He turned
around, squeezed Max's shoulder and then walked
away. He approached Zeke, bestowed a wan smile
on him and then disappeared offstage.
An eery quiet settled over
Joshua stepped back onto the
stage, smiling. "I'm really okay," he assured.
It was the permission they
all needed to clap and laugh.
"That was just so sad!" Diana
commented. "But as it should be."
"You'll have to excuse our
shock, Joshua. Your predecessor had turned
that song into something of a ham-and-cheese-fest,"
Andrew let out a low whistle
as he and JenniAnn made their way onto the
stage. "That was... wow. Up and then
down... You both were great!"
"My part still doesn't feel
right to me." Max grimaced. "It still
Rose hugged him. "It is
fake. You're nothing like Simon."
"I know... But I watch
Joshua and he just... is." Max looked with
admiration at the man. "I felt like you were
really sad for us, not being able to see what you
do. But attacking Rome? Hating on
them? I don't feel that."
"Max, I think you were
magnificent!" Joshua countered. "And I, for
one, think it's a good thing you don't feel that
"Me too." JenniAnn
wiped at her eyes. "And it's only...
what? Your second time singing that?"
"You'll find the 'trick' you need to get the edge
you want, Max. Eli and I did. It's just
different for everyone. But you'll find it."
"Okay. So are we doing it once more?"
"If you're both willing
to." Andrew turned to Zeke. "And Zeke, I
noticed that you started singing at..."
"Sorry! It's just a
great song and I didn't mean to but..."
"No, no. I thought it
was great!" Andrew protested. "Poignant.
It made Judas seem even more torn, like part of him
just wants to go back to being part of the
group. Could you do it again?"
Zeke nodded. "For
sure. Thank you!"
"You bet. So...
everyone back to their places, please."
Once Andrew and JenniAnn were
in their seats again, Tess resumed playing.
While Max still hadn't quite found his footing
emotionally, he sounded great and Joshua's
performance lost none of its pathos the second time
around. Less stunned, everyone roared with
applause and shouted praise for both soloists when
When he reappeared, Joshua
had Belle in his arms. "Look who I found in
"Wow... she got there all by herself?"
Monica appeared a moment
later, all smiles. "Ah no. But once I
heard Max finish, I thought it would be okay to
listen in on Joshua." She set a hand on his
shoulder. "You were wonderful." She
turned to Max. "And what I could hear of you
through the door was very stirring!"
Max blushed. "Thank
you. I just still..." His eyes met
Joshua's. "Not feeling it." He frowned
and reached out to pat Belle's back.
Joshua passed the baby off to
the young man, glancing over at Andrew and JenniAnn
who looked on wistfully as Max kissed Belle's curls
and snuggled her close while Rose smiled dreamily.
"But I'll find it.
Won't I, Bellaluna?" Max cooed.
Belle nestled her cheek
against Max's chest and began to nod off.
Andrew smiled. "Well, I
think that means it's time to call it a night.
Everyone was amazing. I hope you all realize
that and I hope you all feel a lot of confidence
about this. We're back on track, people!" he
Emma beamed. "What he
said. You guys are awesome! We're going
to work on choreography mostly tomorrow so, please,
bring comfortable clothes and shoes. See you
"And don't forget to take
leftovers!" Andrew added.
"Leftovers..." Caleb echoed
with a grin.
Zeke laughed. "Oh for
the metabolism of my twenties!"
As the others shouted back
thank yous and headed to the food table or else
dispersed around the theatre to visit before heading
home, Andrew and Emma consulted.
"Do you think tonight's a
good time to bring the role up to Kylie?" Andrew
"I figure as good as
any. I hope she takes some food. She's
been looking pretty frail," Emma whispered.
She looked for the young woman. "She probably
snuck right back to the coatroom. Please watch
for her. I'm going to go make a plate up for
Andrew smiled after the
woman. Emma truly was a good person... perhaps
a little jaded but clearly she cared about
others. He was looking forward to continued
work with her and, hopefully, helping her connect
more with Joshua. At the thought, Andrew
wondered where he was. He smiled when he
spotted him just off the stage, helping Kylie into
"Th-thank you," Kylie
stuttered, flustered but not unpleased. She
smiled shyly at Joshua. "You were really
"So were you. I could
really hear you during 'Everything's Alright.'
Your voice is beautiful, Kylie! Very
soothing. Do you enjoy singing?"
Light coming into her eyes,
Kylie nodded. "Very much. Ever since I
was a little girl."
"Well, it was a blessing to
hear you. I hope you really enjoy working on
this. I know I will."
"Thank you, Joshua. I
Emma approached with Andrew
trailing her by a couple steps. "Here,
Kylie. Take some food with you. Might
save you having to cook."
"Oh, thanks, but you can
leave it for the boys. I don't need..."
Emma opened her mouth, ready
to snap at Kylie for being so willing to defer to
Emma felt immediately
chastened and smiled gently. "Oh, trust me,
there's plenty. Here." She handed the
plate to Kylie then turned to Andrew before the
woman had another chance to turn it down.
"Andrew, why don't you tell Kylie what we were
Joshua looked to Andrew,
wondering if he should step away so they could
talk. He remained when the angel replied with
a subtle shake of his head.
"Kylie, you remember how a
couple weeks ago Emma was saying she was frustrated
by the lack of female parts in this show?" Andrew
"Yes... but Jesus only had
male apostles. And the people in power were
male," Kylie reminded.
Emma again bit her tongue.
Joshua nodded. "That's
true. But I think Jesus was only recognizing
that he could only change so much, in a short time,
in the culture. Unfortunately, some simply
wouldn't accept a female leader, a female
apostle. But he did genuinely want women to to
be good, strong leaders. Remember the part in
the Bible when one of the women says to Jesus
'Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breast
that fed you'?"
Emma studied Joshua
"Well, Jesus definitely
thought his mother was blessed. He loved her
dearly. But what made her blessed wasn't
simply that she carried him and nursed him. He
said that what made people blessed was hearing God's
word and heeding it. Mary definitely did
that... and part of heeding that was caring for
Jesus but that wasn't all. So much of what she
did made her blessed!" Joshua gushed. He
hoped his Ama was listening. But right then,
Emma and Kylie most needed to hear him. "So
many of the the things Mary did are things that
anyone can do... male or female. Love one
another. Share God's word. Pray for and
with those who are suffering. Clothe the
naked, feed the hungry, comfort the weary...
Leaders should do those things. And both men
and women can do those things. Both men and
women can be leaders."
Kylie blushed. "I don't
"I do." Emma smiled at
Joshua. "Maybe I'd still believe if you'd been
Joshua's expression betrayed
a mixture of sadness and joy. Maybe Emma would
draw closer to him... but it hurt to be reminded of
what had once been and was currently lost. And
why. He wanted to hold her and tell her he'd
never left... but it wasn't time for that.
"Well... back to what Andrew
was saying!" Emma chirped.
Andrew had been so busy
studying the three that it took him a moment to
remember what he was supposed to be saying.
"Right! Well, Emma and I talked and we think
we have a way of adding another female part.
You know 'Pilate's Dream'?"
"Well, in the Bible it's not
Pontius Pilate who has the dream. It's his
wife," Andrew continued.
"Yeah..." Kylie began
to grow nervous.
"Emma and I would really like
to return that song to his wife. Kylie, we'd
very much like for you to play her, for you to sing
the song. Would you, please?" Andrew
Kylie took a couple steps
back, shaking her head. "I... I'm fine in
the... the chorus b-but..."
Emma approached and hugged
her. "Kylie, it's not fair. It... it was
a woman who tried to stand up to... to save...
him." She waved to Joshua. "Why should a
man get the credit?"
"I... I don't know...
Adam. I can't take a song from Adam!" Kylie
grasped. "That wouldn't be fair."
Hearing his name, the elder
angel of death approached. "What's going on?"
"Adam, we asked Kylie about
taking the part of Claudia, Pilate's wife, and
singing the dream song," Andrew explained.
Adam's face lit up.
"Great! I think that'll be really
something! We might be the only production to
actually get it right!"
"She hasn't agreed," Emma
frowned. "Well, that's okay. But I
really do think it'd be better if you sang
it." He smiled gently at Kylie.
"But no one wants to pressure
you," Andrew clarified. "Could you just think
about it, Kylie? Please."
Emma hugged her.
"Please," she echoed.
"You... you all really think
I can? A solo?" Kylie asked, her voice barely
above a whisper. She was asking them all but
zeroed in on Joshua.
"I believe you can with all
my heart," Joshua replied. "Truly."
Though she couldn't say why,
in that moment Andrew's words from earlier in the
evening returned to Emma: "And
I think sometimes, even when we don't believe
in people, it can happen that they still
believe in us." She let out a
"Could... could I come early tomorrow...
before the others get here... and try it with
only the four of you here?"
Andrew and Emma looked to Adam and Joshua who
"Definitely," Andrew vowed.
Finally, Kylie smiled. "Okay. But
just to try... I... I may not be able
Emma nodded. "We understand. Thank
you for giving it a chance, Kylie! How
about 5:30? Will you need a ride?"
"No, I can get here on my own. 5:30 it
is." Kylie agreed then, seeing Zeke and
Diana, she stepped away. "I think
they're wanting to leave. Good night!"
The other four watched, waving to Zeke and
Diana, as Kylie hurried off.
Emma turned back to the three men.
"Honestly, that went better than I thought it
might. I figured we'd need a few more
conversations before she'd even agree to try."
"I hope it'll be good for her," Adam added.
Andrew nodded. "Me too."
"It will be," Joshua affirmed. He smiled
at Andrew and Emma. "I had an amazing
time! Thank you for hiring me. I
can't wait until tomorrow night!"
Emma returned his smile. "I can't
either. And I'm very glad we hired
you. And... the stage is great!
Shane was jumping around quite a bit right on
the former hole during Max's song and... no
problems! Thanks again for that!"
Joshua beamed. "You're very
welcome." He turned to see who else
remained. "I'm going to start saying my
good nights. I'll be sure to be here
tomorrow at 5:30. Good night, Adam,
Andrew, and Emma!"
After they'd echoed their good byes, Andrew
remembered that he needed to speak to
Joshua. "Hey, Joshua, before you go... I
wanted to ask you something."
"Sure. I left my coat in the
lobby. Walk with me?"
Andrew nodded, following Joshua into the
Joshua grabbed his coat off a chair.
"The ticket office counter could use some
sanding and re-staining. Pretty marked
up by pens and markers. Used to drive
Eugene crazy when people would get sloppy
signing their checks."
Andrew smiled. He hadn't even
"What time are you coming in tomorrow?
I'm doing Bingo at the Abundant Living Home
but should be done by lunch. Maybe I
could come after that and start if you're
"Sure. JenniAnn's resuming her classes
tomorrow so I'm coming in as soon as I walk
her and Belle to the classroom. Still a
lot of bills and things to go through."
Joshua grinned. "Want me to ask Mattay
to come help? He's good with money."
Andrew chuckled. "He'd probably be
horrified by how complicated the tax code is
these days. I think I can handle it but
I'll let you know if not. Joshua?"
"JenniAnn said you held Belle for a while when
they were in the cry room."
"Is that all you did?"
Joshua smiled. "No..."
Andrew hugged him. "Thank you. I
noticed the marks were gone when I changed her
earlier. I... thank you," he repeated,
tearing up. "I love you."
Joshua patted his back. "I love you,
too. And I hope all three of you sleep
better tonight. Now... Director, let's
get back in there so you can finish saying
good night to your cast and crew."
Andrew smiled. "Okay." He sighed
happily as they both walked back into the
house where everyone rushed Joshua, eager to
speak to him before they parted for the night.
Tess approached Andrew, beaming as she
embraced him. "You did good, Angel
Boy. Look at him..."
The two angels observed as Joshua soaked in
the goodwill and admiration of the
Though neither mentioned it aloud, both Andrew
and Tess prayed that, this time, those
feelings would last and no one would turn away
arriving back at Cora's, Andrew and JenniAnn got
Belle fed, changed, and settled into her cradle in
Andrew's room. They'd move the cradle to
JenniAnn's room the following afternoon, when Max
arrived, but the angel wanted one more night to care
for the little one.
Andrew and JenniAnn hovered
in the hallway for a few moments, straining to hear
any protest from Belle after they'd laid her
down. None came. After tucking the
monitor into his pocket, Andrew took JenniAnn's hand
and led her to the living room. Exhausted,
they both collapsed on the couch.
With a weary smile, JenniAnn
rested her head on Andrew's shoulder. "I was a
lil iffy this morning when Belle was so upset but...
today ended up being a good day... a very good
day. Actually... I meant to mention this
earlier but did you notice that the eczema's
gone? The cream doesn't usually work that
Andrew kissed her hair and
nodded. "I did notice."
"Joshua held her for a while
in the cry room." JenniAnn looked up at
Andrew, waiting for a reaction to her seeming non
Andrew wished he could tell
her what Joshua had done but he only smiled.
"He really loves babies."
JenniAnn nodded, deciding to
leave the subject alone.
"Well, I'm very glad you had
a a good day and... I think tomorrow will be even
better!" Andrew enthused.
"I hope so! Big day..."
"You ready to start back to
JenniAnn nodded. "I've
missed the kids. Hearing their thoughts on God
and Heaven and life and angels and spirits and
animals and nature and... well, everything!
And... I've missed spending that time with
Vincent. Maybe it's weird but... since
becoming a mother, I feel more like a child... their
child. I need them more."
"I don't think it's weird at
all," Andrew murmured. He remembered how often
he'd wanted Joshua nearby at the hospital. And
he'd felt better having him around the past few
"Owen told me something
earlier... about Joshua."
"What about him?" Andrew
asked. It was strange... and endearing... how
sometimes she seemed to know when he was thinking
about Joshua. Then again, maybe not. He
suspected they both thought about Joshua a lot... by
one name or another.
"Owen said that apartment
building he's staying at is a wreck. Not a
terribly safe neighborhood, either. Do you
think he's safe there?"
"Joshua can handle himself,"
"I know. Still...
I hope he doesn't have any trouble there."
"You really care about him,
Afraid that Andrew might be
worried... or even jealous... JenniAnn sat up and
faced him. "I just think he's very nice.
And... and something about him... I realize he
looks nothing like you but... somehow Joshua reminds
me of you. So... he's hard not to care about."
Andrew smiled and stroked her
hair. Only the previous month, she'd told him
that he reminded her of Joshua. "Thank you,"
he replied as he'd been too emotional to do then.
continued. "But I don't... I won't... feel
about him as I feel about you. I'll never
feel this way about anyone else."
hugged her tightly. He knew her words were
true. She loved Joshua differently... she
loved him more. She just didn't realize it
yet. And he loved Joshua more, too.
That love was the chiefest thing that had kept
them together in the last years. Even when
it would have been easier to bend to the other's
whims... for her to leave West Hollow because he'd
wanted her safe, for him to avoid Afghanistan
because she'd simply wanted him with her... their
devotion to God had kept them from it and Andrew
knew they were better, closer for it. "I
know," he finally replied.
enjoying the companionable silence for a few
moments, JenniAnn sighed. "What was it like
for you? Back then, I mean. And even
more recently... In places and cultures
when... when you can't freely hug and touch
Andrew answered simply.
laced her fingers through his. "I bet it was
hard for Jesus, too. Maybe especially for
nodded. It still was... JenniAnn's own
generation and culture was a minefield of more
subtle, less predictable mores attached to
straightened up and stretched. "Well, this
isn't exactly happy pre-bedtime talk.
Sorry. But... I think I better settle in or
else the kids are gonna have one sleep-deprived
smiled, stood, and pulled her to her feet.
"Don't want that. We should both get some
rest. I thought I'd walk you and Belle to
the classroom in the morning if that's okay."
beamed. "I'd love that. Then are you
going to the theatre?"
nodded. "Still have some paperwork to sort
through, calls to make. Joshua will be by
around lunchtime to do some carpentry work.
So I'll probably be there most of the day but I'll
head back to Dyeland at 3:00 to get Violeta,
Kemara, and Max and their things. Then I
need to be back at the theatre at 5:30.
Kylie agreed to give playing Pilate's wife a
brightened. "That's wonderful!"
she feels pretty shy about it. She only
wants Emma, Joshua, Adam, and me there during her
first attempts. So I thought maybe you,
Kemara, Violeta, and Max could help Monica take
inventory of the costume room. She told me
she plans to get there around 5:30. Sound
"Yep." JenniAnn giggled. "Sometimes it
still surprises me how good you can be with
schedules and punctuality and yet not so great
about making your bed..."
chuckled. "I thought you found my faults
smiled and kissed his cheek. "I do.
Just try not to let it rub off on Max. Rose
will appreciate your restraint there eventually."
Laughing, Andrew hugged her tightly.
"Noted." He kissed her hair then led her out
of the room.
said their good nights in the hall then turned
into their own rooms. Andrew crept up to
Belle's cradle, stroked her hair and kissed her
forehead softly. He gently ran his fingers
over the roses Joshua had carved into the
wood. The angel's eyes welled as he thought
of Yeshua, swaddled and tucked into a
manger. Andrew remembered the bittersweet
joy he'd felt that long ago night. He'd
rejoiced. It was impossible not to.
And yet, it had been difficult to fully comprehend
and appreciate what it all meant. He'd been
in Search and Rescue at the time and his exposure
to humans had been somewhat limited.
Redeeming humanity had sounded wonderful in the
abstract but Andrew had struggled with
personalizing it. Not so now. Joshua
had saved his friends, the mother of his child...
long time, Andrew rested his head on the side of
Belle's cradle and watched her as he contemplated
the enormity of that.
Monday, March 3rd
It was half past 10:00 and Andrew
felt like he'd barely made a dent in all the
paperwork. So many people refused to talk to
him since he wasn't on any of the official
paperwork. They'd only speak to Doug or
Lucy. On the plus side, this had
necessitated a call to Doug and that had been
encouraging. The man sounded much better
than he had the day he'd left town. The time
with Toby and his family was obviously
helping. The two had spent a good chunk of
the morning emailing paperwork back and forth so
Andrew would be able to sign checks, place orders,
and have clearance to speak to everyone from the
electric company to the paper supplier. With
the last piece received and a cheery "Call if you
need anything else!" from Doug, Andrew could
really dig in. He was just about to retry
the bank when the phone rang.
Genesius' Theatre. This is Andrew," he
please speak to Doug?" the caller requested.
on leave. I'm acting director and business
manager. Can I help you?"
about Eric?" the woman on the other end pressed.
grimaced. "Eric is no longer employed
here. He... left suddenly."
"Crap! Well, how about
"May I ask who's
sorry. Terrible manners today! My name
is Bryce Kelley and I'm a reporter for The
Manhattan Arts Monitor."
Kelley, I'm sorry you have to hear it this way but
Lucy recently passed away."
"Oh! Oh... I'm so sorry!"
you a friend?"
no. I never had the privilege of meeting her
actually. But Lucy and I had arranged an
interview at 7:00 this evening with Doug and Eric
and I was just calling to confirm that but... is St. Genesius'
still putting on a production of Jesus Christ
brightened. "We are, yes. I promised
Doug that I'd make sure that still happens."
have someone cast as Jesus?"
yes." Andrew could hear Bryce let out a
"Good! So can we keep that interview
blinked. "Oh... Umm... Well,
maybe I should check with Joshua..."
sorry. He's the actor playing Jesus now."
see. Well, Mr..."
but Andrew is fine."
Andrew... we've reserved space for this
interview... with photos... in our mid-week
edition. It would be extremely inconvenient
to try to come up with another piece at such late
smirked, realizing Bryce was leaving him with
little choice to either comply or appear to be a
jerk. "I'm happy to be interviewed and I'm
sure Joshua will feel the same way."
"Wonderful! See you at 7:00! Bye!"
that, the line went dead. Andrew hung up the
phone and looked up at the ceiling. "I hope
he's okay with this..."
later, Andrew smiled. Whatever Joshua's
feelings about the interview would turn out to be,
his Father was delighted and his mother wanted a
copy for his scrapbook.
Vincent smiled as he watched
his Psyche finish up her class. The children
had been overjoyed to have their Religion teacher
back and Vincent himself had missed having her
assist with his Literature class. And then
there was Belle... Vincent peered down at the
baby in his arms, feeling such love for her, his
grandchild. He thought back to the Christmas
when JenniAnn, knowing she would be a single mother,
had asked for him and Catherine to take the place of
her hypothetical baby's paternal grandparents.
He had agreed. How could he not? But he
had worried. What if it would never happen for
her? But it had, for her and Andrew both and
the most perfect, precious evidence of that was
gazing up into his eyes. Vincent was so
enchanted that he was only vaguely aware that
JenniAnn had dismissed the class for lunch.
"Vincent..." JenniAnn said in
a singsong voice as Jacob, standing beside her,
clasped her hand. "I'm very hungry... and
there's pot pie to be had..."
"Very hungry, Papa..." Jacob
echoed, rubbing his belly.
Vincent smiled at them.
"My apologies, Psyche and Jacob." He
rose. "Let's go."
"Mama's coming," Jacob
reminded before speeding ahead of them down the
corridor and towards the Dining Hall.
"She is?" JenniAnn asked with
"Catherine wanted to come
celebrate your return to classes," Vincent
JenniAnn grinned. "I
think maybe Grandma Catherine is mostly coming to
wrest my baby away from you."
Vincent smirked. "An
astute observation." He used his free arm to
embrace her. "I'm glad you're back,
Psyche. I've missed having you there during
JenniAnn nodded. While
Vincent had been a frequent presence at Willowveil
since Belle's arrival, it wasn't quite the
same. "Will you read to us... Belle and me...
after lunch? I mean, if you have time?"
Vincent beamed. "Of
course. What would you like me to read?"
"Does it involve a certain
lion? Perhaps also a witch? Maybe a
"I would be delighted."
Once they reached the Dining
Hall, they were swarmed by several of the Tunnel
dwellers, each vying for their chance to hold Belle
or catch up with JenniAnn or affectionately tease
"Gramps." Catherine arrived soon after they
had and, sure enough, managed to get Belle.
However, she showed enough restraint to not hog the
child and everyone who wanted a chance to hold her
got some time. When the lunch hour had ended,
Catherine walked with Jacob and the other children
back to the classroom to commence their time with
Owen. She returned to her chamber to find
JenniAnn and Vincent settled on the overstuffed
"'Wrong will be right, when
Aslan comes in sight,'" Vincent read the familiar
rhyme. "'At the sound of his roar, sorrows
will be no more, when he bares his teeth, winter
meets its death, and when he shakes his mane, we
shall have spring again.'"
Catherine smiled as Vincent
shook his own mane. She remembered him doing
so when Psyche was small. Always she would
laugh. She still did but only briefly.
Her cousin could tell she was pondering something.
Before Vincent could
continue, JenniAnn spoke. "Did you ever really
think about that? I mean... do you think Jesus
has to go to a buncha different worlds and die in
Catherine stepped into the
room and sunk to Vincent's other side on the
couch. She smiled. "The things you think
of, Psyche! But now that you mention it... why
do you think He'd have to die in each one?
Every world needs a Creator but maybe some don't
need a Redeemer."
smoothed Belle's blanket and bent to kiss her hair.
Vincent could tell the answer
did not appease his godchild. He could hardly
blame her. No doubt the story was very much
weighing on her mind with Andrew's production.
He realized with a start that he hadn't asked her
about it. "The show... Owen tells me the
new actor is quite good. And Catherine said he
seemed very kind. Joshua, is it?"
JenniAnn beamed. "Yes
and he's... amazing, wonderful, perfect. Trust
Andrew to finally hire a Jesus who I approve of!"
Catherine laughed. "I immediately reported to Vincent that you
Vincent smiled, squeezing her
shoulders. "Yes. But I must admit that I
was more pleased to learn this Joshua is unlikely
to... cause offense to you or any of the other
JenniAnn rolled her
eyes. "I told Owen to keep it quiet about
Eric! I knew you'd just worry. But worry
no more! Joshua is the antithesis of
Eric. You wanna hear something really crazy?"
"I believe I do," Vincent
replied, his eyes alight with amusement.
"Okay, I do know this sounds
crazy. Really I do but... I think he made
Belle's eczema go away!"
"Psyche, I think maybe the show's going to your head
"I swear! Yesterday
morning at Mass it was terrible and Belle was so
upset and when I checked... the red patches were
just so awful. We were in the cry room
then. And Joshua came to check on us.
And I started crying cause I felt so bad and so he
held Belle for a while a-and then when Andrew
changed her later... no trace of it. I mean I
had put some cream on it but that doesn't make the
spots totally go away. But they were and are
gone!" JenniAnn prattled.
Vincent opened his mouth to
suggest that, perhaps, it was due to the change in
the weather or maybe even the fabric Belle's clothes
were made of. However, no words came.
And he remembered how he and Catherine had been
convinced that "Cupid" was a trauma-induced
hallucination. And now "Cupid" was raising a
child with Psyche. And surely Andrew would
know to intercede if, by chance, this Joshua proved
to be a Svengali. Vincent reached over to
stroke Belle's hair. "Whatever happened, I am
glad and grateful that Belle is comfortable."
Catherine opened her mouth to
press the matter further, not wanting her cousin to
get fooled. But JenniAnn looked so happy as
she smiled down at Belle while Vincent resumed
Miracles did happen...
Catherine knew she was looking at proof of that.
"So how do
you feel about peanut butter, honey, and banana on
whole wheat?" Andrew asked as Joshua washed up in
preparation for lunch.
Joshua smiled over at
him. "You made lunch? I thought since
it's just the two of us here maybe I'd, you know,
provide but if you're offering..."
Andrew chuckled. "If
you'd rather have something else then that's
fine. But... JenniAnn packed my lunch and
since she knew you'd be here..."
Joshua dried his hands and,
after blinking a few times, took the brown paper bag
Andrew was holding out. "Thank you."
The angel watched as Joshua
emptied the bag which contained the sandwich, a
banana, a container of applesauce, carrot sticks,
pretzels, a bottle of ginger ale, silverware, a
napkin, and... Andrew let go of the breath
he'd been holding in when he saw Joshua remove a
frog-shaped slip of paper. JenniAnn always put
a note in his bag when she made him lunch and, of
course, Joshua knew that. While Andrew knew
Joshua's note would be considerably more restrained
than his own, he was glad JenniAnn had sent him
Joshua read the note then
slipped it into his pocket. He looked at
Andrew with a wavering smile. "She says that,
even though we just met, she hopes this show will be
the beginning of long-lasting friendships for us
all... And I make a great Jesus."
Andrew smiled and reached
over to squeeze Joshua's shoulder. "You do."
Joshua chuckled as he began
to slice the banana. "You know, I've actually
wondered about how I'll feel if reviews come out and
read like 'Mr. Davidson, though technically up to
snuff, made for an unconvincing Christ.'"
"Not gonna happen."
"I wasn't what everyone was
expecting the first time."
Andrew couldn't argue with
that. He debated whether to say what was on
his mind. He didn't want to raise Joshua's
hopes only to see them not come to fruition.
Still... honesty was the best policy. "I think
JenniAnn suspects you have something to do with
Belle's eczema clearing up."
Joshua's head darted
"We were talking about it
last night and she suddenly remarked about how you
held Belle in the cry room. And she looked at
me like she hoped I'd agree with her
connection. I dodged it... but I don't think
it really mattered. I think she still believes
Joshua smiled. "Good."
"I think so. So...
looking forward to our interview?" Andrew grinned
before taking a bite of his sandwich.
Joshua laughed, recalling
Andrew's tale of being guilted into keeping the
appointment. "Very much. But...
I'm looking forward to hearing Kylie even
more." He smiled tenderly as he thought of the
Andrew wished, as he often
did, that he could snap a photo, caption it with the
words "This is what God looks like when He thinks of
you," and share it with the world.
on lunch break
from the diner,
Emma sat in a
snacking on fries
and sucking down a
wasn't a very
healthy lunch but
much appetite and
only a shake and
She'd had a dream
the night before
and it had stuck
with her all
it, she'd been a
was sitting with
her grandma and
shoes shined as
her legs kicked up
and down while she
waited for Mass to
she'd heard the
opening notes of
Her grandpa had
swung her up into
his arms so she
could see over the
heads of the
and altar servers
priest reached the
altar then turned
clamored out of
her grandpa's arms
and ran up the
aisle and into
"I'm here," he'd
"I've always been
She'd stared up at
her ceiling for
the show was going
to her head.
Or at least the
With half a fry
hanging out of her
mouth, Emma looked
up to find the
woman who had
held a napkin over
I think that's a
very good thing."
grateful for the
"Our breaks aren't
very long so I'm
afraid me stuffing
my face isn't an
Please, come sit."
beamed and sat
beside her on the
The young woman
responded with an
"Sleepy, I think,"
Maryam guessed in
"I had a weird
dream is all."
"Dreams can be
don't think this
was that type of
I'm in this
musical... a rock
"Yes. I know
preparing to tell
Emma that she was
"Well... I think I
that my co-star
face flushing as
Maryam did her
best to mask her
surprise over Emma
couldn't tell Emma
that Joshua was
her son now.
The girl would be
And was she
pleased by the
Wearing an even
Maryam set her
hand on Emma's
see. And how
did that make you
feel?" she gently
Emma opened her
mouth to reply but
Instead, a tear
rolled down her
Maryam pressed a
realized with a
start the dream
had been the
been in a long
swiped at her
don't know why I'm
"It's an emotional
is. Thing of
it is... I'm not
mean... not any
don't know why I'm
going on about
this. Do you
want to go back to
the diner and get
My treat for
making you listen
to this rambling,"
Maryam shook her
I only stopped by
to check on you,
when we met."
"Just... a lot
And maybe that's
all the dream was
It's a common
enough response to
"I would not so
easily dismiss a
dream that clearly
meant a great deal
"Maybe not," Emma
stood and pulled
out her cell
phone, noting the
back. I hope
I see you again
Thank you for
Maryam rose and
I will come
then, I will pray
you find your
held out the
"You keep it,
Emma. I hope
Maryam bestowed an
on the girl then
turned to leave.
Only when she was
back at the diner
did Emma notice
the letter "E" was
After sliding a
Roman pillar into
was nearly 5:30
and he was
Joshua patted the
once he had a
here. I know
"I mean I don't
I know that when
Kylie has promised
do everything she
can to keep that
if... if maybe
it's a promise she
echoed from the
Kylie rushed onto
"Sorry if I'm
off at the wrong
I'm here now
think... I hope."
Adam and Emma both
the other side of
Once they'd set
down the table
"So glad you made
forward to this
surprised to find
she felt it.
"So... are we
"Where should I
go?" Kylie asked.
"Let's have you
start by this
pillar to the
Andrew turned to
"Adam, could you
go stand behind
that table, facing
out to the
looking at battle
And just... act
Adam wrinkled his
noise but obeyed.
Emma cast a
sidelong glance at
what sort of
like Pilate" was.
"Thank you, Adam."
Andrew, Emma, and
Joshua all moved
reaching for the
The woman smiled
back nervously and
moved to stage
right where she
wound her arm
Kylie stared out
at her audience of
when the seats
around them would
be full. She
this was a bad
idea. I... I
don't think I can
"Oh no..." Emma
"Can I go talk to
her for a moment?"
him. "If you
"I do." With
stepped onto the
setting his hand
on her arm.
"Earlier in the
day, I was
thinking about how
hard it must have
been for Claudia
to speak up about
something she knew
was wrong and then
have her words go
Can you imagine
"You know this
"It's time to
return her words,
her feelings to
her. I know
you can do
I made you
He withdrew a
small object from
his pocket and
placed it in her
Kylie let out a
quiet gasp as she
looked at the
stone cross that
fit perfectly in
the palm of her
God so loved you"
painted onto the
"Jesus is with
help you through
going to go back
to my seat now."
Kylie shook her
head and grabbed
"Could you stay
You... you have a
Joshua smiled and
offstage, only a
couple feet from
"I'm ready, Emma,"
started the CD.
After a few
notes, Kylie began
to sing to Adam's
"'I dreamed you
met a Galilean, a
man. He had
that look you very
rarely find... the
asked him to say
what had happened,
how it all
He never said a
word, as if he
forward, her right
towards Adam who
paid her no heed.
"'And next the
room was full of
wild and angry
seemed to hate
They fell on him
She clasped Adam's
shoulder but he
shook her off and
the documents in
front of him.
Tears welled in
I... I saw
for... for this
Panicked over her
looked over to
Joshua who offered
her a comforting
resumed her song.
"'A-and then I...
I heard them
Kylie reached for
briefly holding it
in her own before
he pulled it away
"'Leaving you the
voice drifting off
as she sank to her
There was only
sniffling and then
the creak of the
Andrew swiped at
his eyes and, when
he looked up, he
found that Joshua
was holding Kylie
who was weeping in
Emma leapt to her
pushed her on
exclaimed as she
stepped into the
"I... I'm so... so
tired of not being
So tired..." Kylie
"I know," Joshua
deserve to be
The woman shook
Joshua's shirt was
to being used as a
While the angel
evening with eye
makeup smeared on
his shoulder, he
knew it would
Kylie took the
tissues from him
and wiped at her
you want to put
this on hold for
sure Andrew and
Kylie looked from
Joshua to Adam and
Joshua shook his
head, refusing to
make the decision
"Whatever you want
to do, Kylie."
Kylie stared down
at the cross in
her hands, tracing
Back in their
seats, Emma was
growing antsy and
wishing she could
hear what was
"I should go up
barely knows those
Just give them a
Kylie smiled at
Joshua and Adam
looking to Andrew
"I'd like to try
"Are you sure?"
you please restart
studied the woman
for a moment and
when Kylie smiled,
she picked up the
be where I was
Adam patted her
"Go get em... or,
I guess, go get
Kylie laughed when
he winked at her
back to the table.
Andrew called from
"This is wrong..."
under her breath.
back towards the
notes began again
performed much as
she had the first
Kylie moved to
stand at the
right side of
"'Then I saw
She rested her
hand on his
arm but he
shook her off.
get and keep
the edges of
the table and
thumped it on
Adam was so
he turned and
gaped at her.
"'And then I
your name and
tears in her
to his feet
in shock for a
then stood to
and ran over
to Joshua who
was beaming at
is how that
song should be
onto the stage
So... do we
up at Joshua
the smile then
over at the
"How did that
in a matter of
had gone from
thought of her
dream, of how
she'd felt in
But that was
the man still
held her hand
"Could we go
at the three
We'll be back
in a little
After the two
did you do, if
you can say?"
"I told the
loves her and
is with her,"
Moved, the two
It was nearly
7:00 and while
rest of the
near the front
door of the
whispered as a
woman with a
dark bob, loud
and coat over
"You know, she
looks like an
been a long
up at the
used to take
me to shows
She stuck out
her hand to
You must be
You look the
Bryce tried to
Why don't we
He opened the
door and waved
the other two
we'd show you
"The rest of
the cast is
now with our
come back out
here for the
"Do you think
I'd have some
the cast and
crew a few
Andrew snuck a
look at Joshua
"I think a
number of them
would be happy
to visit with
evening by the
arrival of a
people for the
Jeff, and Tim,
give it a try,
and Cira and
Inn had become
had told them
might want to
at the idea of
the true face
of Jesus of
again, so long
as you accept
that some may
not want their
But I know
we'll be able
to get you
"We planned to
her into the
where Emma was
going over the
for the leper
in for Joshua.
"What part is
wanted what we
all want: to
her head as
she looked at
Well, shall we
that's a great
He ushered the
other two back
into the lobby
Bryce to where
"Can we get
and took a
you were kind
Again, so very
sorry to hear
all doing this