The tune was so sweet, yet seemed so powerful, like it was a living thing making its way deep inside her heart. What were the words? They surely couldn’t be as powerful as that melody, could they?
She closed her eyes to better concentrate as she tried to make out the words in the song. She was listening so intently that she didn’t notice Jude return with her water. She jumped when he called her name.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” he said as he handed her the glass of water.
“No, no. It’s not your fault. I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention.”
“Oh, I thought you had dozed off or something,” he laughed. “What were you thinking about?”
“About that music.”
“Ah, yes, it’s pretty awesome. It seems to drift right down deep into your soul, doesn’t it?”
They both listened for a few minutes as the singing continued. Finally Bella asked, “Who is that?”
“A good friend. One I hope you’ll get to meet someday.”
“Why not today?”
“My dad and I have other plans for you right now. As soon as he gets here, he’ll tell you.”
Uh, oh. Plans for me? That sounds ominous, she thought. She looked at her water to mask her nervousness. Why does being there scare her so much? Especially since all she wants when she’s not there is to be there. Why does this have to be so strange? Maybe she should just leave before the pastor got in the room. She took a sip of the water as she thought of a graceful way to leave.
“Wow!” she gasped. “This is the best water I’ve ever tasted!”
“Thank you,” Jude answered. “Somehow I knew you’d like it.”
“What kind is it? Where can I get some more?”
“It’s from our well. So I guess that means the only place you can get it is here.” He smiled at her. “And there’s plenty so you can have as much as you want as often as you want it.”
She took another sip, She couldn’t believe how good she felt after drinking it. But then the doubts flooded in. Was it just a fluke? Maybe she had just been extra thirsty or something. Or maybe it was her nerves playing tricks on her. In any case, a second glass should show her that it was just ordinary water. She drained the glass, then holding it out to him, asked, “Can I have some more right now?”
“Sure thing!” Jude took the glass and left just as the pastor walked in.
“Hi Bella! Good to see you again!” Toby walked across the room towards Bella. “How are you doing?”
“I’m fine, thank you. How are you today?”
“Oh, I’m doing wonderfully well! Ready to take a walk? I know you had some questions the last time you were here that we never got to. We could go to the lake and talk about them if you want.”
Bella frowned up at him, puzzled. Walk? In the rain? She hadn’t brought any dry clothes with her. Surely he was kidding.
Ignoring her frown, he reached down to take her hand. “Let me help you up. Jude is going to meet us in the garden.”
Bella allowed him to pull her up and then followed him to the hallway. This had to be a joke. Jude would pop out of the kitchen and shout, “Got you!” any moment now. And if, for some reason, this wasn’t a joke, and Pastor Toby really did want to take a walk in the rain, she would just refuse. She didn’t want to get wet, and the rain would end up being a distraction from the questions she wanted to ask. They’d be able to focus better in the living room.
By the time they reached the back door, Jude had not popped out to surprise her. She stopped and said, “I don’t want to go outside. It’s raining and I don’t really want to get wet. Can’t we go back to the living room?”
“You won’t get wet,” he said as he opened the door and motioned her to go first.
“But it’s raining outside. And I know your garden doesn’t have a roof. I’ve been there, remember?”
“Trust me, you won’t get wet.”
She stared at him for a long moment, then, to prove him wrong, she stepped outside.
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