Kathryn and I had shared about hiding out during meeting for worship, she in her dormitory closet, me in the audio booth behind the balcony seats in the auditorium. Leaning into the silence, or the muffled tension in the room below. Avoiding the light. Minding the spirit instead. The silence. Wondering if anyone would speak.
The kitchen table. Kathryn and visitors and companions in the story. Authors. Elizabeth’s anxious questions. Billy. Hollister and Newcomb. A note from Rita. An idea. A stranger, somewhere in the shadows.
“I think he was in the car with us,” Billy said, nodding at Elizabeth. “In the cab, when we first drove up here. You were leaning forward in the seat. Anxious. Young. Straining to see the road.” He waited. “Excited. Full of anticipation. Life. Leaning forward. I think I fell in love with you. Something in you.”
“I remember. I remember what you said. Or what I heard. Or imagined.” She looked down. “Later, you tried to explain. Something about thoughts tumbling in your heart.” She laughed. “Maybe he was in the back seat. Maybe it was him.”
“Or maybe it was you. Maybe you said the very words I was thinking. Praying. I remember that I needed an answer to my prayers. My prayer.”
“What do you want to do, Billy?” Elizabeth raised her cup and tilted it slightly toward him, a salute and a question. “What do you want to do?” she asked again.