Updated: Oct 4
13. ONE LAST TIME
Read from First Chapter here.
Read Previous Chapter here.
Previously on The Bike Babaji: James was visiting St. Peter Church to meet Father Antony who was surreptitiously taking care of injured Sam.
4th Monday November, 01:55 p.m.
James entered the Church and sat quietly in the last row. He closed his eyes and made his prayers in the aisle. When he opened his eyes he saw the Father in the Chancel. Father Antony gave a phlegmatic gaze to James. He then walked to his vestry. James got up and walked along the nave towards the vestry to meet the Father.
"He is doing fine. We had successfully replaced his kidney yesterday. Two more weeks of intense medical care is needed. And then he will be good to go" said Father Antony.
"I'm glad to hear Father. And I will forever be indebted to you for this favor" responded James with fervent gratitude.
"I know how you are managing money for Sam's medication. I saw your photo in the News. You are doing the mistake again and again James"
James was embarrassed. "I am sorry Father. I do not have any other option. I asked with each and every friend of Sam. They are seeing his injury as an opportunity to climb the ladder. All of them have abandoned us Father. Nobody is lending any aid. Wherever I turn I could see only betrayal and treachery. I am left to act on my own to save Sam's life."
"Do you remember the promise you made to me James?"
"Yes I do Father. Once Sam is completely recovered, I will join you and this Church. I've had enough of living as a bandit"
"Then why don't you stop right away and come join us immediately. Why postpone an act of good deed James? I am sure we can somehow manage the remaining expenses for Sam's treatment"
"Somehow? How Father? We must not squander the Church money as you had said. That is abusing the faith and trust of devotees. We can't raise funds publicly for Sam is a criminal and the doctor who is treating him too. What will we do Father? I am doing this for the last time and only to get the necessary money for the treatment. And once it is done, I will stop Father."
Father Antony stared thoughtfully towards the Jesus Christ altar in the Chancel. He sat contemplating destiny's play that is being rolled out. "I am afraid James. I had a dream last night. You were in a desert and searching for something, water, food or something... And then you saw a Cross. You were searching for the Cross... you seemed happy in finding it and walked towards the Cross to pick it up. But all of a sudden someone appeared in a silver colored camel and shot you dead. I couldn't fathom... But I sense danger. Be careful James. Remember you were baptized in this Church. When you were four years old, you said you wanted to come join this Church and serve the Lord. Things changed and you changed over the years. But now you have come to your terms. All I request is come to me as soon as you can James"
Before James could respond, an elderly priest came to the entrance of the vestry and knocked the door.
"What is it Sister?" asked Father Antony.
"Father, Inspector Harish from York Avenue Police station has come to visit you. Shall I send him in?"
Father Antony and James were shocked. Nevertheless, nobody from the Church's priest community would reveal anything about James to the outsiders. That is the reason the Sister had knocked the door seeking for a permission from the Father before she could come in. She knew Father Antony was in discussion with James inside. Inspector Harish was standing next to the Sister.
[To be continued]