hail mary, full of grace

He hasn't come often lately. The idea makes him vaguely uncomfortable; it's a small community and he doesn't want to wonder what's going through his priest's mind as he receives bread and wine, as he repents of his sins. He's taken to slipping in on weekday afternoons – when he has the chance, of course – and kneeling in silence. The heavy doors are left unlocked and the floor is cold against his knees. Ceilings soar in their vain attempts to reach heaven. And he listens to the echoes of his footsteps, heavy and hollow, and knows this is his sanctuary.

God from God, light from light

He sees that his partner is a little surprised that he's held onto his faith so long, and he can't say he blames her. She wonders how he can still believe in any sort of loving god after seeing what they've seen, and he wonders how she finds the will to open her eyes in the morning. They live in darkness every day and he doesn't know where she finds her light.

lead me not into temptation

He isn't a perfect man, not by any means. He swears maybe a little more than he should and drinks the same. He's spent a lot of time lately being angry with God, screaming even, and no matter how hard he tries, he can't separate Olivia's heart from his own. No, he isn't holy, but he thinks maybe she is.

Kathleen had had to watch West Side Story for her tenth grade Honors English class the other week. She was a good student, Kathleen, and he wishes he had the chance to help her with her homework more often. One of the songs had dug into his mind, but her name wasn't Maria. Not to him. Say it loud and there's music playing; say it soft and it's almost like praying. And it was true; she had become the only prayer on his lips.

He crosses himself but doesn't rise. There's one more request he had to make, and he breathes his tattered prayer heavenward with a kind of desperation.

deliver us from evil

(the end)