Holding my breath became quite painful for me. What was only minutes seemed like hours and I was so afraid that my knees had begun to shake wildly. Beside my camera, deep within my purse I found my hand gun. It was a contrast of cold next to my heat emanating body. I would use this little gun it if I had to.
“Rayanne, I know you are in there.” He smiled and rubbed his chin as he called me out.
My throat seemed to close and my eyes watered as if they were ready to spill over. I was not coming out of here, damnit, he could not make me. Fear gripped my reality and reminded me to look at my watch. It was 9:45. But what did that mean? When exactly did they change? My hopes were leaning toward midnight but my fears were leaning on ‘get out of here because he could change any minute’. But , how could I escape? He was between me and the door.
Pastor Tim looked impatient and his eyes demanded that I vacate the bathroom or there would be dire consequences. But for some strange reason, I had a feeling that he could not harm me.
In a sudden explosion of breath, I exhaled and my finger accidentally took a picture in my purse. Gripping the door handle, I steadied my footing. “Crap! He definitely knows I am in here now.”
The creepy evangelist walked over to the front row of pews and sat down. He crossed his legs man style and cleared his throat again. As if it were just another ordinary stalking, he spoke to me. “I need to talk to you my dear. Please come out; I have to leave soon.” He turned toward the bathroom door and smiled as he picked at his manicured nails.
It was either stay in there all night and possibly be ripped apart or come out and take a risk. At least out there I was closer to the door and could escape easily. Inhaling deeply, I grasped the door and pushed it outward. Tim’s smile grew larger when he saw me in the doorway. I realeased the small hand gun that I gripped ever so tightly. I decided to play brave girl.
“Ah, there you are little red. I was wondering that maybe you were spying on me.” Tim’s warmth portrayed no furry monster in disguise as he spoke softly to me.
Stuttering and fumbling for the right lie and excuse, i managed to speak. “I…I was just refreshing my make up and fixing my hair. I am sorry I was holding you up Pastor Tim. I will be going now, if you don’t mind.” With speed in my step I attempted to whisk past him. My skirt clung to the sweat on my legs and my long red hair was stuck to my neck. I had not realized how hot that bathroom was. Or maybe I was really that scared.
“Wait!I said I wanted to talk to you. Do you have a minute…or two?” I felt his hand on my forearm as he grabbed me and stopped me in my tracks. His hand was strong and there was no way I would pull free from his grasp. He had me captive for the moment and all I could say was…
“Yes, Pastor Tim. But just a moment. I have another engagement.” I was no good at lying and I wondered did he know that.
“Sure Rayann. Just a moment. Have a seat.” Tim spoke with eloquence and rubbed his hands together nervously. “I hear that you have a gift and I would love for you to share with me, about your gift.”
Shocked, I sat down and looked at my lap. I rung my hands as I often do when I am very nervous. I did not know how to respond to the observation so I just shrugged my shoulders.
“It is ok Rayanne. You can tell me and I will believe you. I promise.” His voice became almost silken with its quiet melodic tone. Out of the corner of my eye I saw his hand move to push the hair from my face. I jerked and drew back in horror.
“What are you doing?” I commanded drawing away from his too familiar hand.
His laughter caught me off guard. I was having a roller coaster of emotions play ping pong in my head. Yes, there was alot of activity going on in my brain at that moment. I glanced at my watch. It was 10:00.
“You should relax, we are safe here. There is nothing here but the glory of God. When you are in his presence, no evil can harm you, my dear. So you should not be afraid of me. He sat back and looked at me admiringly. “Now, out there beyond his glory and if his hand is not on you, then you are in a heap of big trouble girly.”
The statement horrifyed me considering I was thinking of the dream again. “I am sorry Pastor. YOu just make me nervous is all.”
” I understand.” He dropped his head and glanced at his watch.” Oh, would you look at that. I told you a lie sweetheart. I have to be leaving now. Duty calls.”
“Do you have a night shift job, Pastor Tim?” Bravery pushed me to ask the question and bravery was the only thing that glued me to that spot.
Tim’s smile faded. He grabbed his suit coat from the back of the pew and threw it over his shoulder before speaking. “I have an appointment with a long lost friend, if you must know.” His lips curled back into a smile but his eyes said he concealed much more. “Come on now, I have to lock up.”
I stared blankly as he motioned for me to leave before him. “But what about my gift?”
The strange evangelist tilted his head and pouted. “Why you are the only one with a gift like yours my dear..that I know at least. I have ministered to many people in my time and your gift is rare. It is as if you can look into the souls of man and know what lies within. I need you here and with the tough crowds that I get…why you just might be my only hope.” Tim put his hand on my back and guided me toward the small front door. “Goodnight my dear. Oh and watch that last step. It is a little tricky.”
I shivered and left the building. I did not look back but I felt his stares
I heard the door shut and the lock click. I wiped the sweat from my forehead as I fingered my gun.