24 August 2009

The Music Starts, Chapter Two

It was like slow motion in a movie. Tim Andersen and Aaron Rayburn looked at each other, broke into broad grins, and for a moment the surrounding world stopped, silenced. "Finally, here you are," each one thought, "I've been waiting a long time since we were together last." Each found himself holding the handshake well past the normal duration until just before that moment when others around them would have noticed something unusual. Neither knew what it was, but as Tim and Aaron said to each other later, something happened to them in that instant. Something neither ever imagined or expected. They recognized each other with a half-puzzled, half-delighted, slightly quizzical smile and sparkle in the eye, an instant connection as hands touched, something deep down that said "I know you."

Tim recovered from the shock of this unexpected recognition quickly, and reverted to standard diplomatic form. He welcomed Elder Rayburn and expressed confidence in his ability, particularly with Elder Stephens, who would be Rayburn's trainer. After a bit of further chit-chat, the new companionships began veering off in their several directions, some for buses, some for the train station. Tim watched Aaron as he walked toward the exit, a suitcase in each hand. As Aaron reached the door, he turned, and his eyes met Tim's again. Both smiled broadly once more, then Aaron turned back round and followed his new companion from the room.

Tim and Elder Hemsworth were soon on the train for Wellingborough. Hemsworth dozed as Tim sat pondering silently. What had just happened to him? Something very like electricity had arced from his hand to Rayburn's and from Rayburn's to his. He had never felt such a thing before in his life. Why had their eyes sparkled as they met, why had his heart jumped? Why had they not wanted to let go of each other? Tim was confused. He never knew such feelings existed before. He felt like he'd been hit full force by a train full of happy, and wow did it feel good. Why did his heart still glow as he thought back to those few moments? And why had Rayburn turned and smiled at him just before leaving? He was glad Hemsworth had remained clueless throughout. This was all wonderful, fantastic, but too new and confusing. Tim needed time to think it over.

The two of them reached home and resumed normal activity for what was left of their day off; errands, shopping, a little basketball. And that night, as they fell into their beds with the usual exhaustion, Tim found that he couldn't sleep for thinking again of what had happened that day. Rayburn's smile and the sparkle in his eyes just wouldn't leave his mind. He finally drifted off, that image still shining brightly.

The rest of their week went much like any other: searching for new contacts, visiting church members, all normal things busy missionaries did. Sunday night came quickly, and Tim found himself eager for the phonecalls from his district leaders; Rayburn's trainer was also a district leader so Tim would have a chance to hear how Rayburn's first week had gone. Quite well, it turned out. He was a quick learner, outgoing, affable, self-assured but not brash. This didn't surprise Tim. As quickly as he thought of it, he played the ZL card and asked to speak to Elder Rayburn directly, heart suddenly in his throat. They spoke for a few minutes, and afterward Tim couldn't remember what they talked about, other than learning that Elder Rayburn was musically trained just like Tim. All he knew was that his heart was glowing again. Elder Hemsworth looked up from his book and said "Well, that call must have gone well, why the big smile?" Tim mumbled something about stats the mission president would be really happy with. Hemsworth believed it and went back to his book.

That night the president called unexpectedly. "Elder Andersen, we have a mission conference coming up in three weeks. We want some music on the program and are putting together a quartet to sing a couple of hymns. We know you sing well, would you be willing to do this?" "Sure, president." "Thank you elder. The first practice will be next Monday at the chapel next to the mission home, we'll see you there at 10 in the morning." "All right, president, see you then. Who else is singing?" "Oh, sorry," said the president. "It's Elder Reynolds, Elder Parkinson, and Elder Rayburn."

1 comment:

Ned said...

Well, my friend, for what it is worth, this one brought tears to my eyes. And I'm hooked. I want #3 like MJ wanted his propofol.