I've started posting the chapters of Resolution 786. I'll post each successive chapter roughly every 3 or 4 days. Here's Chapter 18:
Adam and Becca sat on a wide stone fence on the Mt. of Olives overlooking the Kidron Valley, across from Jerusalem’s Old City. The minarets, synagogues and churches looked serene and still in the setting sun, a gold dome topping boxes and towers of beige and gray.
“Can you believe we’re here?” Becca flashed her toothy, dimpled smile at Adam.
Adam closed his eyes a moment and frowned. His words were laced with sorrow. “I wish Mom could have joined us.”
“Me, too,” said Becca.
She waited, giving Adam time to untangle himself from the thicket of melancholy.
“God’s a shit,” he said, head down, an angry tone.
“Adam,” she said and stopped. She had heard the rant before and didn’t want to have it ruin their time away from home. “Please try to let it go.” She watched him, anxious.
They sat in silence as the evening grew darker and the faraway cars vanished into moving headlights.
“I really liked that church,” Adam said, changing the subject.
“Which one, Einstein?” she teased.
“The one where Jesus taught the Lord’s Prayer to his disciples. It was peaceful. I liked the plants…the open sky roof…and how all those tablets looked on the wall, written in all those beautiful scripts and languages.”
Becca gazed at him lovingly, reminded of how attractive she found his appreciation of beauty. “I thought the tablets were the Ten Commandments,” she said. “I’m surprised that the weeble-wobble nun there didn’t crack my knuckles with a ruler when I said that. Did you see the look on her face? Man! Wouldn’t ‘a been the first time I got the ruler.”
“No, Silly Rabbit, it’s not the Ten Commandments,” Adam teased in a mocking voice.
“Shut up!” she protested, half annoyed, half in jest.
“Yeah, you shut me up,” he provoked in a playground tone.
“I will,” she said.
“Yeah, you and what army?
“Becca’s Brigade,” eyes squinted in feigned anger.
“And exactly who are they?” shrugging off the threat.
She suddenly thrust her head forward and pressed a smacking kiss on his mouth and then pulled back sharply, staring at him with a half smile on her face, her lips stretched thin from side to side.
Adam’s eyes twinkled as he chuckled at her in the evening light. He became quiet and still in soft, slow increments. His head tilted down gently and he confided, “I felt bad.”
“Adi, what’s wrong?” Becca put an open palm on his hunched shoulder.
“I felt bad when you guys all said the prayer together and I didn’t know the words.”
“You mean the Lord’s Prayer?”
“I can teach you. Mum-mum taught me,” she said eagerly.
He looked up at her, wanting to thank her but before he could, she excitedly pursued her idea. “Listen, ‘cause here goes,” she blurted, animated. “I’ll say the whole thing through, then we’ll do the smaller pieces over with you following along.” She brought her hands together in front of her chest, each in a lazy OK sign. “Remember,” she told him, “It’s even easier than ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider.’ OK?”
Becca took a breath, falling quiet for a moment. Her gray eyes moved up to the right briefly, then came back down, resting on Adam’s face. A soft, blurred smile floated across her mouth as her lips moved to excavate antique words from layered strata of childhood memories. “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” He watched her recite the prayer, admiring the shifting planes and curves of her face as they caught and caressed shadow after shadow in the surrendering daylight. “Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Her voice skipped through the evening air in lovely, tender hops. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
The smile on her face grew wide when she finished reciting the prayer. She quietly peered at him. Curls of brown made a tousled, flowing frame around her luminous face, her freckles playing like fading ghosts underneath her eyes. A crisping stream of air suddenly lifted a mist of perfume from underneath her ear and sprinkled it onto Adam’s face like wedding rice.
“So you want to learn, Baby Cakes?” she asked.
“Yes,” he said. “I do.”