My time going to the same college as Eddie was almost up. The semester would be over in less than a week.
I went to the little vine-covered brick house that Eddie had brought me to when I first came back, to sit on the couch and hug my knees in the place I felt the safest: the Hanwell's living room.
Genevieve came in with a bowl of hot chili for me and a chunk of buttered corn bread, a welcome sight to a hungry college kid. We sat in warmth and silence for a time before Genevieve softly asked how I had been.
I told her I had been well and I had been enjoying my friends. I told her that I was looking forward to going to Japan with an old room mate for 2 weeks. I started to tell her that I wasn't sure what to do with myself for the rest of the summer after that... but I stopped. My eyes were welling up. I bit my lips and looked away.
"I saw Eddie a little while ago and then I spent the next few hours on top of a mountain with Star bawling my eyes out." I forced the words out as quickly as I could as if they were a bad tomato that I had accidentally bitten into.
When I looked up, Genevieve looked thoughtful. "What day was that? Was it Thursday before last?"
I was confused. "How did you know?"
"Because I was really aching for him on that day, too."
The door cracked open and Kentucky came in, hair still wet from the shower and cozy in her pj's. She plopped into an arm chair and stated to Genevieve, "Mom, I don't usually think about Eddie Kindle much, but I have to tell you that Thursday before last, I just felt so heavy for him."
When Genevieve and I got our jaws off the floor, I asked Kentucky, "Did you ... hear us? All the way from the shower?" Their shower was on the other side of the house. Even without the water going, it would be a stretch. Even if we had been using really loud voices, which we hadn't been.
Kentucky looked confused. "No? What were you guys talking about?"
Genevieve noted that if we were all hurting for him at the same time, on the same day, it was likely something was going on in his life that he could use some prayer for. Because we are a church, we're all spiritually connected, so it would make sense that we could all be feeling an intercessory tug at the same time.
I grappled for a bit with the likelihood that the pain that had me sobbing on a mountain was due solely to my own sense of loss and rejection of and by Eddie. And certainly, if I'm honest, that was a big part of it. But I also remembered his eyes.
Nope. Genevieve was absolutely right. I didn't just hurt because I hurt. I also hurt because I felt deep in my bones that he hurt.
And so, we prayed together for our friend. Truth be told, we prayed for quite some time. I believe, in fact, that it would not be an overstatement to say that we warred.
At last, a weight lifted. The weight lifted. Stillness and peace prevailed. Knowing glances all around said that we were too tuckered out for even one more cup of coffee. It was a good kind of tuckered out, to be sure, but nonetheless, it definitely meant that the next order of business for our little posse was farewells followed by a solid night's sleep.
When I woke the next morning, I couldn't remember the last time I had slept so soundly. It's true, I smiled to myself, my God really does give rest to the weary.