Eddie Samuels was a fit and strong seventy four year old man. His wife Edith had died in 1998 and for the past six years he’d lived alone. His life revolved around his church. Eddie Samuels was a Baptist. He went to church every day and twice on Sunday. He raised money for the church through various means. He organised jumble sales, fetes, boot sales, in fact anything he could to help his beloved church. In honour of his son, he’d run the London Marathon every year since 1983, in doing so he’d raised well over one hundred thousand pounds in the process. The money had gone towards the building of a youth club next to the Church. Teenagers could go there and play Pool, Darts and Tabletennis. They even had a small gym with a Boxing Ring. The Ray Samuels Youth Centre opened in 1994.
There was a regularity to Eddies day. He was always up by 6.00am. He walked to his local shops and collected the morning papers. Breakfast was always at 7.00am. He went to Church at 9.00am, where he spent an hour or two praying and reading the Bible. Then off to his local gym where he would do circuit training for an hour. By midday he was back home, he’d cook himself some lunch and then take a nap till 2.00pm. Then it was time for a run, usually eight to ten miles.But at weekends he would run the same route that Ray had taken on the day he went missing. During those runs he was always hopeful of finding clues as to what happened to his son. But he never had. Back home he would continue to read and maybe watch an hour or so of television before going to bed at around 9.30pm.
He was fanatical about the Bible. He had over a hundred copies of it. His favourite, which he carried everywhere was an 1834 edition of the Polyglott Bible. He could practically recite it word for word. He loved the Old Testament, he loved the stories. His favourite was the book of Samuel, the first book of Kings. It’s the story of a young boy called Samuel who is spoken to by the Lord and who eventually becomes a leader of the people.
In his mind Samuel was his son Ray. He remembered the night he had the vision. He’d woken up at around 3.00am and went downstairs to get a drink of water. When he went into the kitchen he thought he saw a shadow, he stopped and suddenly realised he couldn’t move. A voice spoke, neither male nor female, just a voice. It was very clear and precise. He remembered the words, the words had lived with him ever since “He will come, be taken by the rain, he will come back after many years, the same. He will lead his people from despair.”
The voice only spoke once, then was gone. He went back to bed and woke Edith who was heavily pregnant and told her about the vision. She thought he’d dreamt it and told him to go back to sleep. But he knew the truth, he didn’t understand it, but was certain that it had to do with his unborn child. He knew then that Edith would have a boy.
When Ray was born, he was the happiest and proudest man alive. He loved his boy Ray, they were very close. As Ray grew older they did everything together. He took him to the Baptist church and his proudest day was when Ray was baptised at the age of 15. To him, Ray was special. He excelled at everything. No matter what sport he did, or what subjects he studied, he was the best. Even at University he was the stand out student. And when he started working with IBM, he quickly gained promotion and was their brightest star. Eddie knew he was destined got greatness.
Then he got the phone call one day from Laura, all she said was “Rays gone missing”. He remembered looking out of the window and seeing the rain.
When everyone around him was grieving Rays disappearance, he was always upbeat about it. He kept saying “He’ll be back” he just knew it.
He didn’t see much of Laura these days, not now she’d moved in with that other bloke. But Stacey came to see him once a week. He was very fond of his granddaughter, she reminded him of Ray.
He’d just returned from Church and was preparing himself some pasta, the phone rang.
“Eddie, it’s John.”
John Wilson was an old friend, they’d worked together on the buses for over twenty years, now they were both retired.
“Hi John, how you doing?”
“Yeh great Eddie, listen mate. I’ve got to tell you something, it might be nothing but I thought you ought to know.”
“Okay mate, go on.”
“I’ve just had a call from my son, he says he was in the Moby Dick pub yesterday afternoon having a pint and he saw two fellas in the corner, he didn’t recognise the older one but he recognised the younger one.”
“Eddie, he reckons it was Ray, your boy Ray.”
Eddie didn’t say anything else. He put the phone down. Put his hands together and started to pray.