His reminiscence ended abruptly as Mrs. Belloni stood up.
"Thank you for listening father; I just don't know what I'd do without you and the church." She smiled weakly while gathering herself. She pushed aside the curtain delicately and pranced out. The sound of her high heals connecting with the hard wood floors of the building echoed through David's ears as though they were the sounds of the pounding hammers of his self-induced pressure slamming into him. Be something great, be something great, be something great, now, now, now.
Mrs. Belloni had left, and so had he those two long years ago. He had stepped out of the university life and never looked back. Instead he became a father at the South Vernon Church of Christ. And he really thought he would be happy there. It would be a slower pace of life, he would be helping people. And such an act took a fair amount of concentration. And his focus would shift from himself to the patrons of the church. And he would relax; be finally at ease with himself and stop the pounding of those hammers day after day to produce some silly piece of printed material with his name on it.
When it came down to it, however, the only question was: who he was fooling? The university? His colleagues? The church? No, only himself. Even now, two years after the fact he spent every free moment at his desk with papers and books spilled chaotically around the room. He would stand in front of the chalkboard in the Sunday school room writing frantically, then erasing, then rewriting, then erasing the new material... and so on. He had a stack of new erasers sitting in the corner of the room because stopping to clean them was too much of a hassle when in the midst of perpetual thought. He roamed the church at night stopping at miscellaneous windows and peering out at the dark sky; all the while numbers and equations went rolling through his mind. While preaching he would count the number of people in the audience and work magic with that number. It was 1 * 10 to the -4th power of the town's population, which is roughly the amount of chlorine in a given glass of drinking water, and that's.... And so on. It was all in the name of that elusive paper; the one that would give power to the name David Archer.
Suddenly David noticed a soft murmur from behind the wall. It was ongoing like machine gears turning and twisting forever, but it wasn't. It was the voice of Christina Veraldi, a 15 year old cheerleader at South Vernon High. She had slipped in to the confessional just after Mrs. Belloni had left. Perhaps the almost defining sound of the woman's shoes had masked Christina's entrance, or perhaps he was losing his touch and drifting in to the recesses of mental self pity during confessions would have to stop for a while.
He looked at his watch solemnly. School must have just got out.