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Chapter Nineteen



What the fuck Amittai was doing in The Harbor:
Amittai closed his eyes as the door to his office shut slowly on its automatic hinges. The minister and televangelist took on more than he should once again. He always seemed destined to absorb completely the pain and distress of his flock.
This had already cost him his marriage to Jonah‟s mother years before. She‟d left Amittai with nary a backward glance and never a phone call or letter since. He still loved her and sincerely hoped she had found whatever it was she was searching for.
Amittai rose and went to the ornate window overlooking a setting Big City sun. He was worried about his accountant‟s despicable foible. It had him sorely troubled. However, he was even more concerned about his son‟s dual announcement of marriage to a pregnant harlot and his incredibly short-sighted decision to throw away his religious education.
Jonah was always hardheaded. As his father, Amittai realized all of his own shortcomings and how they tainted Jonah‟s decisions. The minister knew that sacrificing time with his wife and children for the sake of his ministry cost him them both.
She took the children that were young enough to still be at home with her when she left. Jonah was the eldest and the only one to stay with his father following the uncontested divorce. But by that time neglect had already sprouted bitter fruit. Jonah ignored his father. In turn Jonah‟s father threw himself even more into his ministry. The blame was shouldered squarely by Amittai.
The minister believed with whole heart of God‟s Great Plan for the redemption of all mankind. He believed that the Heavenly Father has a plan for all of His children. He loves us and protects us from evil. This Amittai supped on to sustain his faith in the Almighty during these dark times.
The Lord God had a plan for Amittai. Most of his life could be counted successful. The few failures of the televangelist however were huge. The loss of his own family while preaching family values never ceased to leave a foul taste of hypocrisy in his mouth. This failing will never allow his healthy, wealthy ministry to cancel it out.
Still, Amittai felt assuredly that his eldest son was tossing onto the dung heap his future and his many God-given gifts just to be with some little slip of a girl. As nice as Rebecca seemed to be nothing was more important than studying the
Word. To lead one‟s own flock of believers. How can marrying a pregnant girl, one who probably got herself knocked-up on purpose, equal this most Holy Calling?
The irony of these thoughts completely escaped Jonah‟s father.
Amittai knew that there was no stopping Jonah from the boy‟s chosen path. Amittai was helpless in this regard and it made him feel truly bad. He did not know what to do. He felt like an empty, useless shell. He was a failure as both a parent and a pastor.
To make himself regain some semblance of balance and control he instead turned his mind back to his wayward accountant. He picked up the embezzler‟s hand written note of confession and studied it carefully. Amittai sighed.
My God, he thought, so many problems.
It happened all of a sudden and all at once. He was responsible for the misdeeds of all beneath him and took his charge seriously. Always, always, it fell to him.
He lit a match and touched the orange flame to the sheet of the accountant‟s evil confessed misdeeds. The suicide note caught fire and was quickly engulfed. It burned to ash. There was no need to display his dead employee‟s sin to the world. He would deal with this himself. For ALL have sinned and fell short of the Glory of God. Amen.
The dead accountant had spelled out in gruesome detail all of his sins to the suicide note that lay in ash on Amittai‟s desk. It told of
investing in Plata. It told of washing dirty money. It spoke of sins enormous. It spoke of names he had never heard before: Juan de Batista and a Pilate. These names came to Amittai straight out of the Holy Bible, but residing and doing dirty business in The Harbor. Amazingly it‟s only a short drive from his Big City offices and home.
Amittai rose immediately. He decided in an instant that he needed to go to The Harbor and confront them both. He was going to get to the bottom of this sordid business. He will allow no stain on his precious ministry.
* * * *
Amittai arrived soon after in The Harbor. He sought out Pilate and Juan. He needed to confront the men his accountant had dallied with. He had a cell phone number from the dead man‟s personal effects. Amittai used it to secure an appointment with Juan de Batista. He met this man at a park beneath the big old trees.
The two men spoke briefly as the sky darkened. They spoke mostly of inconsequential pleasantries. And then, without so much as a brushing of a sound, Pilate took Amittai from behind. He fed complete on the televangelist. Pilate left him bloodless and dead with a broken neck.
Juan and Pilate tossed Jonah‟s father like so much trash into a dumpster. Juan called the police to report the body as they walked away…