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In the Cemetery, Part 3

His time tending the cemetery continues

Soon Vince's boring life took on new meaning and he looked forward to heading to the old cemetery and fixing it up. He was spotted by a few of his fellow classmates and soon Igor and Dr. Frankenstein were added to the list of nick names that included freak, fag and weirdo that were bestowed on him by his schoolmates, he really didn't care.

Now despite his parents approval of this new hobby some teachers voiced their concern when they learned of it and the Principal was approached with their concerns of this being a habit that hinted at mental illness. So he reluctantly had Vince speak with the school psychiatrist. He was called out of class and reported to the school nurse's office where they sat and spoke for about an hour.

The following day after school had let out the doctor addressed a group that consisted of the principal and some of Vince's teachers that had voiced concerns and insisted on this meeting. He stated that their fears were unfounded and Vince was not preoccupied with death, he just loved these old places. In his professional opinion Vince was in fine mental health for his age. Then he rendered a personal opinion in a voice that dripped with disdain.

"Unless some of you are hiding that fact that you attended medical school after college and then did a four-year residency in psychiatry you should refrain from rendering opinions on a student mental status. It would also be wise to quit listening to the opinions of your favorite students and leave this one alone."

The Principal agreed and stated that unless Vince broke rules or became a problem he did not want to hear anything more on the subject. It took Vince about a month to scrape all the paint off the iron gate that surrounded the grounds. He purchased a few cans of paint and some rollers, he could only afford a few at a time as he didn't make that much at his part time job.

He began to paint the fence starting with the portion facing the street.

"Looks good," he heard a voice say.

He turned and saw the attractive female he had seen the other night on the other side of the fence. She looked about his age and was quite pretty.

"Why did you run?"

"You frightened me."

"How did you get in?"

"There is a hole in the fence on the very back of the lot."

"Do you have family here?"

"Yes, I do."

When he asked their name she remained silent, so with a shrug of his shoulders he returned to his paint, and she watched him intently.

"You need some help."

"Ain't that the truth, but I don't see that happening anytime soon."

She only smiled and bid him goodbye and began to walk to toward the back of the grounds.

"Wait a minute and I will walk with you."

But by the time Vince carried his paint and supplies through the gate and secured it behind him she was gone. Well at least she talks to me, that's a good thing. He then put his supplies away and locked up for the night. After church on Sunday he went to the cemetery where he changed out of his Sunday best and into overalls and returned to his painting.

One of the parishioners from his church saw him and as he was an avid photographer and part time journalist he snapped a few pictures and spoke to Vince. He submitted the story and his editor published it was it was a great human interest piece.

A week after the story appeared Vince was summoned to the Principal's office. The summons came right in the middle of English class and fear gripped him as he took the pass and headed to the office. He was told to go right in as soon as he entered the door. There was Mr. Thames sitting across from the Principal and their smiles told him nothing was wrong.

It seems the story about his efforts stirred a lot of local interest and the city was going to donate as many gallons of paint needed to cover the gate. The parishioners from his church spoke to the Priest and he had contacted his City Hall and a painting party would be announced at mass next week. It seems the Diocese, Bishop and Monsignor were behind him too and funds were made available to provide lunch to all those that volunteered their time to help paint.

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