She looked up and realised the mother of the little girl was kneeling in the pew in front of her.
Vera leant forward across the pew as much as she could, without moving the hand wearing the bracelet. Then she saw a dark stain on the red cushion. Her eyes followed it to its source. The little girl had wet her pants. Vera felt sorry for her and looked at the mother’s back in pity. Now she had two things to tell her. Vera noticed the lady was wearing a light grey skirt. Somehow she had to attract the woman’s attention but make sure she did not sit back on the seat. Vera looked at the wet pew cushion and realised the red dye was probably coming out too. She had to stop the woman from sitting down.
“Lord in your mercy.”
Vera murmured. “Hear our prayer.”
She was going to have to ask Beryl. Vera had been so pleased there was a new person her age. It was a rare event at St. Mark’s. New families were always turning up on a Sunday morning, but her age group were the same old ones that had been there for years. Even better, Margaret, the most outgoing one of them all, had been involved setting up the sanctuary. Vera had the chance to get to know Beryl first. Everyone ended up friends with happy, resourceful Margaret but Vera felt sometimes she could be a better friend if she were only brave enough to act like it. Here was her first opportunity at making a new friend for months and she was going to have to ask for help for being a clumsy fool.
She turned to Beryl, who had remained seated for the prayers. Then Vera saw the tears. Two lines had made their way through Beryl’s foundation. Vera berated herself. She had been so wound up in her predicament she had not even noticed what Beryl was doing.Without shifting her hand, she tried to lean closer to Beryl.
“Are you okay?” She whispered.
There was a pause.
“No” Beryl whispered back without opening her eyes or looking up.
“I’m not sure if I can help but what’s the matter?”
She looked around to see if anyone was noticing what was happening in their corner of the little stone church. Beryl opened her eyes. Vera could see the pain etched in them.
“I’ve locked my knee. It won’t move and it really hurts.”
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