Episode 30: Sixth Commandment

Tom picks up Bettina and Lana at their apartment Sunday AM before church.  Hello, daughters.  Daddy, Bettina greets him as she climbs into the front seat and buckles her seatbelt.  Good morning, sir.  How are you doing, Lana?  I’m ready to make a joyful noise.  Me too, Bettina says, and gives Lana a grin.  Who is going to be there today at the service?  I cannot wait to find out, her dad says with a grin.

Simon intercepts them at the east entrance.  You’re back! Bettina says with delight, and grabs his arm, and they walk into the auditiorium together, with Lana and Tom following.  I dare you to sit in the very front row with me.  That’s not a dare, Simon tells her.  Oh, really?  A dare would be to stand up the whole service.  How Simon?  Bettina says skeptically.  I’ll pretend to sign for the deaf.  Bettina breaks out laughing.  I could see you doing that and getting away with it.  Do you want coffee?  You can bring drinks into church?  Sure.  They turn around and look at Lana where she’s sitting with Tom directly behind them.  Can you bring drinks into your church?  Not inside the sanctuary.  Lana replies, and makes a circle with her hand to indicate where they are at.  Well, we’re not so formal, Bettina announces.  But you should still be discrete.  A brown paper bag?  Simon quips.  Lana and Tom burst out laughing as Bettina squints at Simon.  I mean don’t be popping the tab of your soda during the service.  She gives Lana and Simon a furtive look.  Jon could enjoy an Orange Crush in peace and safety.  Simon gasps.  He’s about to find true religion.  Everyone laughs.  The auditorium lights dim, and the stage lights come on, and the worship team sings “Mighty to Save”.  Turn around and share God’s peace with your neighbor, the pastor says.  Lana smiles at Bettina and Simon and takes both of their hands in hers.  Then she turns around and sees Tia greeting Tom, from the pew behind them.  Peace, Tia tells Lana, and then moves to shake hands with another.

We bare our souls before we bare our bodies, the pastor says, as he preaches on the subject of adultery…and this woman propositioned me in the elevator.  Guess what I said?  No thank you.  After the encounter was over, I just couldn’t believe it.  Here I was, being polite to someone who offered to ruin my marriage, my testimony, my office as a bishop, my reputation in the community.  Why?  There is a time not to be nice…

After the service is over, Tia approaches.  Lana, I’d like a word with you - in private.  We’ll wait for you out in the lobby, Bettina tells Lana.

What is wrong with you?  Tia asks Lana.  How can you beat a man so badly that he almost dies?  Lana looks down and doesn’t answer.  You should be in prison, Tia tells her.  Lana keeps silent.  I saved you a lot of pain and heartache, Lana Radley.  If you’d married the fool, you’d be stuck trying to make it work.  Lana still doesn’t look at her or say anything.  You can thank me by going to dinner with Raul, Tia declares.

Lunch, Lana replies.  Have him call Bettina with the when and where.  Tia looks at Lana curiously.  They’re friends, Lana explains, just like Kostamo and I are.

How is Don Ramon?  He craves excitement, Lana.  It’s his drug of choice.  Please send him my regards.  Of course.


Lana comes up to the others.  Thanks for waiting.  Everything okay?  Lana nods. I’ll tell you when we get home.  You’ve been hogging Simon all morning.  My turn, Lana says, and she takes his arm.  How did you get here?  Did you happen to notice the sleeping bag in the coat room?  Tom bursts out laughing.  I hitched with Toni.  She and Mike are doing brunch with her dad.  I’m heading to the hospital after lunch.  Would you be willing to drop me off, sir? He asks Bettina’s dad.  I’ll go in with you, Simon, after I’ve dropped off my daughters.