The drive home found my newly-fixed car in the lead, followed by Jess in the bug, and the Agent far behind. The extra space in the yard of the Cummings estate was slowly being taken over by various vehicles of all shapes and sizes. When we pulled in, however, I noticed the nice pickup truck that I assumed to be normally used by the family was gone.
“Oh, Joseph went out to get his new suit tailored for him,” Sharon revealed to us after we settled in. “He should be back in just a short while.” The wife asked about the drive and how much the repairs had cost. I answered quickly to avoid the extra contact with Jess, who now carried with her possibly damning information. I heard her talking to her mother as I excused myself to my room.
I must have lost the time in my long-awaited return to doing proper work, as soon enough there was a knock at my door. “Jude, you there?” Came Joseph’s voice.
I stood and answered the door. “Welcome back.”
Joseph took a step back. “Got your car back, I see.”
“I did.” I replied, trying to lead him to where he was getting at.
“That’s good.” The Pastor shuffled, rubbing his hands together. “You might not be driving it much, if plans turn out the way I’m thinking, though.”
“Perhaps out in the living room, then?” I said, looking back to my glowing laptop screen.
Sharon, Jess, and the long-haired man were still watching TV, this time with some sort of old soap opera-looking show on. Joseph and I sat at the dinner table just inside the reach of the sound. “Well, I told you about the interview and how it was just supposed to be a quick local flight out?”
“Right, just this morning,” I concurred. “I was actually preparing a few talking points just now. I was looking into the network and how they usually conduct.”
Joseph leaned across the table slightly. “Oh, sounds like you’ve been busy.”
“Well, I’ve only just got started. But I was planning on sending it your way so you’d get it by the time you are landing.”
“Oh, well that plan is canceled, actually.” Joseph contradicted his plans he had described before I left that morning. “When I called to make reservations, I found that they might not be too friendly to our friend. They wanted an ID and everything.”
“Right…” I said, glancing to the man sitting on the ground in the next room.
“I should have told them to pick up a Bible, that’s all the ID they would have needed.”
“Well,” I spoke up, trying to break Joseph out of the obtrusive train of thought. “Georgia is still a bit of a trip…”
“But enough of a way in the direction of the DC area.” He asserted. “If we’re already up north, might as well stop there as well. We’ll take the RV.”
“So, that’s what you said about me not driving?” I asked, glancing to Sharon, who I assumed would have been listening. “But if I recall, it might be pretty packed if I come on board with everyone.”
“Just you, me, and the Good Son, Jude,” Joseph replied with a smirk. “I discussed it with the family, and while I’d love to have them along, we’d have to worry about school for Jess and this and that. Just us three.”
“And we can continue to put our heads together and get the best word out to the good people,” The Pastor said, touting his big idea. “The primaries are right around the corner, and once we get the nomination, we can look to the young political talent in DC to join the campaign. Maybe even look for an office to settle down in.”
There I was, yet again in the back of the RV and staring at the assumed holy man. He wasn’t looking at me, or rather anything in particular, and I was giving it my best attempt to continue my work. Joseph was in the driver’s seat focused on the road, and I was imagining the secret-service cars following behind.
After some driving and stopping to refuel, Joseph offered me the driver’s seat for a while. While I had never driven something so massive before, he promised me that it wouldn’t actually be terribly hard. Feeling somewhat bad for making Joseph do all the driving, and hoping for the long, straight and flat southern roads, I accepted. In turn, I allowed him to look at my computer with the doc containing all the talking points and ways to expand upon them.
It wasn’t long after we had switched places and set off that Joseph joined me in the passenger seat, bringing with him my computer. “Hey, Jude.”
“Heh, it’s just like that Beatles song.” He joked suddenly.
“Oh… yeah…” I remarked, too distracted by driving the beast to react to what he was saying.
“Anyways, Jude,” the Pastor continued, ready to skip to his next thought. “I like a lot of these, but some have my concerned.”
“Addressing those who are still not willing to believe.” He read off. I bit my lip, already knowing he was going to focus on such a detail. “What’s that about?”
“It’s just something that I imagine they would want you to cover,” I said, holding tight to the wheel. “Political beliefs come in all shades of gray… whether people can put their trust in them or not. But… he… believing, in this case, is either black or white. Believing or not.”
I caught Joseph squinting at me out of the corner of his eye. “Lots of people are out there, doubting this obvious truth before our eyes?”
“Well,” I sighed, shifting about in the spongy driver’s seat. “Yes, a fair bit, actually.”
“Just those shameless northern states, I hope?”
“A little bit of everywhere.” I shrugged.
“I won’t answer it.” The Pastor huffed, hunching down in the seat with my laptop on his knees.
“That won’t do your image very well,” I remarked in a low voice.
Joseph slapped the faux-leather armrest, startling me enough to allow my hands to briefly leave the wheel. “The true believers will prevail, is what I’ll say,” He said indignantly. “Blessed are those who believe without seeing.”
“You might…” I spoke up, playing with the words in my head. “Joseph, perhaps not all are… blessed in the same way. Some may need… to be blessed in other ways. Some may find the blessing in not just seeing you, but… his… holiness as well.”
The pastor pursed his lips. “You are quite right.”
“We should request that he be brought on camera…” I said, remembering the plan. “Have him speak for himself, maybe…?”
Joseph put his fingers to his lips and lurched the chair about. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught him looking at the man before he spoke. “My lord, would you care to join me on the television this coming morrow?”
“Yes, Joseph, I would be glad to.”
“Great,” I spoke up. “I maybe… could pass some talking points onto him as well.”