2010-01-23: FB: Madre de Dios



Date Set: January 23rd, 2009


They're a little confused as to who is saving whom.

One Year Ago…

"Madre de Dios"

Gesu Catholic Church, Miami, FL

It's a balmy seventy-five degrees on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in downtown Miami. Let the rest of the world freeze; here the retirees are cruising by with the tops down in their land-yacht convertibles and there are girls in bikinis playing volleyball on the beach. The cafes have set up their patios, ready for the after church crowd that's soon to swamp them and provide the business that'll carry them into the evening, when the more colorful residents of the city emerge to enjoy the night-life.

In the South, the usual choice of church is Southern Baptist but others have established roots, especially in Florida where Catholicism has dug in deep and refused to let go. At Gesu Catholic Church, the flock has just been released from mass and emerge into the sun, blinking at the light. A few linger to speak to the priest, others cluster in groups out front beside the street to engage in what is as much a tradition as after-church lunch: gossip.

Less concerned with priests or gossip is Lena. True, Sundays and the church provide sanctuary from Insane Boyfriend Number Three (also known as gang-leader Jose, or just el cabron). Not so much sanctuary from the gossipers but she ignores glances and whispers both as she steps into the sunlight. Chin down, she's in the process of slipping a pair of shades on while moving to cross the street.

It might have been a good idea to look both ways but everyone knows what church traffic is like.

To define his faith in one denomination would be hard for Gene. While the principal of Christianity has been key in some, if not most areas of his life, his attendance to churches have been low. Social interaction was something that his grandfather controlled tightly to protect the fragil child and concern of his gift being made known was always a concern. Now a legal adult, Gene is able to choose the places he attends. While he visits many places, none are ever home.

Still wearing the polo shirt from Evosoft and some dress slacks, a pale skinned Gene is already at the street, looking both ways (and even double checking). Seeing Lena, the young man puts out a hand on her shoulder. "Hey, careful," he states. "Don't want to be hit by a car or anything."

Lena apparently didn't check the weather report before venturing out that morning. Not only is she in long pants, but she's also got a long-sleeved shirt and a hoodie on. Sure, they're summer-weight, and both tops are cropped at the belly, but the girl's obviously sweating. She's also caught off-guard by the hand to shoulder action, actually dipping and sliding back to remove herself from the unexpected touch. But at least it kept her from strolling out in front of one of those big old Caddies.

It's difficult to tell just how she's looking at the young man, with those sunglasses on. But that her mouth is slightly agape hints at shock.

It's an emotion mirrored by one of those nearby group of hens. Older, Hispanic and all too bold, they make no secret of watching while chattering amongst themselves in rapid-fire Spanish.

"Tu chiflado? What's your problem, man, you trying to get yourself killed?" The brunette gives her head a toss, sending a look at the nearby ladies before looking back to Gene. Or rather, at Gene. "…you ain't from here, huh?"

"Getting myself killed? I'm just trying to keep YOU from getting killed," Gene offers with blink, stepping back as the girl doesn't seem too thrilled with his actions. He glances toward the hispanic gentlemen, giving them a nod before looking back toward Lena. If he should be worried, he doesn't show it, merely tucking his hands into his pockets.

"Yeah, like I'd be that lucky. Hang on." Lena presents Gene with her back, but only in order to plan her hands on her hips and chatter back at the observing harpies. "Cual es tu pinche pedo?! My fly open, huh? Something hangin' from my nose? No? Then mind your own business! Putas!" Having shocked and appalled the bunch into a retreat, she spins back around. A pair of small leather gloves are pulled from her back pocket and slipped into before she reaches for Gene's arm.

"Cmon, you can't stay here. Jose's gonna hear and then it's gonna be you in traffic. You a tourist?"

This is very confusing for the young man, who has no idea what Lena is telling those guys. Japanese is his language, not spanish. Before he can even try and pull it up on his PDA, he finds himself grabbed by the woman. "Why can't I get help someone without getting threatened?" he asks, clearly confused as he makes sure that the men are actually leaving with a prolonged glance.

This time, at least, Lena looks both ways before leaning forward to haul Gene across the street. There's one of those ubiquitous cafes there, and once they're on the sidewalk, she begins to point. As if giving directions. While glancing back the way they came. "Because you don't help people like me. You can't, Wonderbread." Nevermind that she's every bit as white as he is. "So yeah, the beach is that way, police station's that way, bus is over there…"

The directions go on until a glance shows that the crowd has cleared away from the front of the church. Then her shoulders sag, a low breath is released and she hooks her thumbs in the pockets of her pants. "Madre de Dios…they're probably calling him right now, I gotta jet. You gonna be okay, man?" Pause. "Thanks for saving me from being roadkill." Although she doesn't sound so enthusiastic about it.

The confusion continues as he is shown everything between tidbits of information. "Yeah, I'll be fine," he states with a weak smile. Gene doesn't seem to mind the fact that looks like Death warmed over, but he's used to it. "Madre de Dios? You make him sound like he's some sort of really bad guy."

Lena slides the sunglasses down just enough to give him an incredulous look over top of them. "Only like number one on the cops' radar around here. You felt up his girlfriend back there," she explain, unhooking a thumb long enough to indicate the other side of the street. "At least that's how he's gonna see it. Jesus, white boy…I hope you're a tourist and not moving here 'cause I dunno where you're from or how they do things there but you don't go 'round grabbing strangers. Even if they're about to play suicide by car."

The young man arches a brow. That little fact about number one criminal in the area is placed in his memory banks. "I'm here on business. New York most people are pretty mean too, but I've learned that sometimes even when doing the right thing, people still get mad. Just the way life goes, I guess." He pauses for a second before looking over Lena again. "And that was feeling up around here? Man, I guess I really DO need to go to church more or something, my values are slipping or something." He adds a smirk to the end to suggest that he's not all serious.

"You think I'm mad at you? Boy, you're slow as you are skinny, looking at me like that." But Lena's able to summon the ghost of a smile for him as she re-adjusts the sunglasses. "It's bad for your health to grab me, okay? You planning on sticking around Miami, you save anyone else you feel like but hands off me. God knows what lost causes look like, he won't ding you for it too much next time you go to confession, huh?"

Having delivered both a safety lecture and directions, she begins to walk backwards from him, stripping the gloves off as she goes. "Stick to the beach, Wonderbread. You could use a little sun."

"Right…" There is a laugh given about the needing sun, deciding not to go into health issues with random strangers. "I'll see you late-Oh, no I won't. Take care," Gene states as he watches the woman go off. Shrugging the matter off, he pulls out a piece of paper. Tattered and torn, it has the heading 'Bucket List' on the top. Some things are crossed off, others aren't. But there is one thing that he adds to the list. What is that?

'409. Bring Madre de Dios to Justice.'

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