“Feet, don’t fail me now. I don’t know if I can make it another day,” Gypsy said. The big oak door that led inside of a local catholic church creaked as she opened it to reveal the interior of the church. A wall of incense enveloped her the moment she took the first step inside. Was that Frankincense? Or did that even exist? Maybe it was just some lie they told children about the three wise men.
“Hello?” calling out, well, whispering. Gypsy didn’t want anyone to respond. It was better not to be seen or heard. “I’m a fucking hypocrite. I don’t even believe in God!” she confessed. Looking to the left, the first thing she noticed was a picture of the church’s beloved priest, Father John. It was the celebration of his passing tonight. A viewing? Was that what the Catholics called it? She was of the same faith but never paid attention to the rules of the church.
The soft sounds of singing in the background, she entered the opened doors to the main church, noting a few people remained there from the service. What she didn’t expect was the priest to be on view at the front. She didn’t want to disrespect this time, but she needed to have a chat with the big guy in the sky. She didn’t realize she was shaking until Gypsy took a seat in the second to the last row, staying as far away from that body as she could. At this time in her life, seeing someone dead was not on her things-to-do list.
What does one do when they sit in church and mourn? Well, if she was honest, she didn’t know the priest, so this was not a time for her to grieve. She needed something to do with her hands. Looking around, Gypsy grabbed the bible in the pew in front of her, opening it to a page. Any page would do right now. If there was a time for prayer, this was it. Her daughter’s missing, her Father so enraged he will kill her, and in the pit of her soul, a war raged between good and evil.
“God, if you’re real, don’t fail me now. I don’t know where to go from here,” Gypsy whispered. “Forgive me, for I have sinned,” again, whispering. Was that what you said at this point in your life? Do you drop to your knees and scream to the heavens above for help? “I need a sign, please,” she said.
To the right of her, a young woman took a seat about three spots away. Slowly turning, every hair on the back of her neck stood as she watched the girl rub her fingers over a rosary. Oddly enough, it was the same type she had as a child. Even the color of the beads the same. Slowly moving from the beads to her face, again, there was something there. A feeling? Is a sixth sense a real thing?
“Do not turn around. I have a gun pointed at your heart, and it might be a church, but I’ll end you right here,” a voice from behind whispered into Gypsys ear.
Gypsy gripped the bible tight, her knuckles turning white from the force. She could have screamed but knew that this guy would do it. If you bring a gun into a church, you plan on using it.
“Listen close to what I have to say. Grace is alive, but her time is running out. Frank wants his wife back. You have 48 hours to return her, or the baby is dead. Don’t test me,” he said. Marco didn’t want to do this, but it was only business. If this were any other time, he liked the girl.
“I don’t know who she is. I would never do anything like that,” she said. In a pleading tone, she begged for Marco to return her daughter.” Please bring her home to me. I can’t return someone I don’t know. Why would anyone think I had Angelina?” she asked. Her words were falling on deaf ears. He left before she could finish. He passed along the message and left before her curiosity got the best of her, and she turned around. If that happened, he would have had no other choice than to kill her right there in the house of the Lord.
“Are you okay?” a voice from the right of her asked. The young woman with the rosary had moved closer, her hand now resting on Gypsy. She couldn’t be much older than her, but for one moment in time, she was a comfort.
“I, yes. I’m fine. I’m sorry to interrupt your time of mourning,” Gypsy said. She still hadn’t looked carefully at the girl, but she knew her. Sometime in her life, she had met this girl.
The other female sat quietly for a moment. She collected her thoughts before speaking. What Gypsy did not know was that each time she touched her, a little more of her sins stolen. “I heard the man what he said to you. Don’t worry, and your daughter will be okay,” she whispered. Taking the rosary she had rubbed, she placed the beads in Gypsy’s hand, wrapping her own around the small trinket. The beading pressing into her flesh, she held tight to the small gift as though it would save her life. Little did she know, there was truth to her thoughts.
“I know she will. I feel in my heart that she will be home soon, but God, if there is one, please hold Grace while I can’t. Please wrap your loving arms around her and settle her fears with your gentle touch. She’s so little. So perfect. She’s all I have left,” tears rolling down her cheeks, the drops hitting the bible with a small unheard hiss.
“Keep that. It will comfort you for now. She will come home. I promise you,” she said. The female moved back to her seat, silently praying as she did. Her words in Italian, she prayed for those that couldn’t do so for themselves.
Gypsy held tight to the rosary, turning to see if the man was truly gone. All that remained was a picture. A small polaroid picture of an infant. It was proof that Grace was alive. Quickly grabbing the photograph, the blonde clutched tight to her heart, leaving the hallowed walls of the church. It was in God’s hands now. She would need to trust him for the first time in her life.
Looking from side to side, the brunette rose, she would pay her last respects to the deceased. Alone in the church, she stood next to the old priest, looking down with vile disgust.
“Hello, Father. Fancy seeing you here,” she laughed. Reaching down, she pulled the crucifix from his neck, smiling as she walked away, singing. “I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places,”