Chapter 14

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Gary button the very top button on his white starched Wrangler shirt. Today is the day he never wanted or thought he would see. Not once did he think he would be attending his best friend's funeral when they are only thirty years old.

Tears silently stream down his face. In the last week it has happened more than he cares to admit. Although he tries to sing his favorite praise song his voice will not form any words. He sinks to the floor and rests his head in his hands.

Father God, this is too much for me to handle on my own! I need you now more than ever. You have a beautiful plan from all of this, but for the life of me I can't see it. Be with me through the service. Thank You for being the best comfort I can ever imagine. I love You, Lord Jesus. In Your name I pray, Amen.

The steps he takes down the hall, mindlessly putting one foot down the stairs in front of the other, and finally out to his pickup take him closer and closer to the unknown scene before him. He doesn't know if there will be lots of people; he doesn't know if he will cry in front of them all; he doesn't know who will say something that will have him in an emotional wreck.

It takes him ten minutes to pry himself out of his pickup to enter the large church. Upon entering the tall ceilinged, white walled, building he takes his hat off and looks around. As planned, he is early, so not many people are there yet, but those who are make their way towards him.

He greets them with small smiles and firm handshakes. It is a while before he gets to the back room where the family and close friends are. As his gaze sweeps over those in the room his eyes land on the sight he hopes with all but his life is only a nightmare. He blinks a couple of time hoping that he is just seeing things, but the image hasn't moved. His heart begins to beat faster and his palms get sweaty.
***

Brooke enters the white church early ready to jump in and help wherever she can. Her gaze travels around to find someone that she knows or who looks like they know what they are doing. As she is standing lost like a young man comes up and clears his throat with a grin. "Oh! I'm sorry I guess I zoned out a bit there," she cries hastily.

He chuckles lightly. "No worries, I was just wondering if I could help you with anything?"

"I hope so, I'm looking for someone who knows how I can help."

Once again he grins. "Well I'm no head honcho, but I am David and I do know that chairs need to be put out."

She grins and sets her bag down in the corner. "Well David, I'm Brooke and you just got yourself a partner."

They started off putting the grey folding chairs at the back of the church for extra seating. Then they move to the fellowship hall to set chairs up for the family to eat and talk afterwards. In the middle of the task David gets pulled away to help with something else, leaving Brooke to finish.

After a few minutes of continuing the task Brooke looks up to find a young women about her age looking around. "Maybe I can help you find something?"

"Oh! I hardly noticed you there. I was just looking for Gary." Her voice is soft and flowy like it is floating on a spring breeze. "I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself, I'm Janet."

As she shakes Janet's hand Brooke can't help but feel a twinge of jealousy at the fact that this tall, slender, blonde headed beauty would know who Gary is let alone act like he should be looking for her. She tries deeply to shake it off as she replies, "I'm Brooke. I haven't seen him, yet."

"Oh, that's okay. Would you like some help?" Janet gestures to the chairs and smiles almost too sweetly.

Brooke smiles and nods. "Sure, it will make it go faster."

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