A story inspired by the book of Hosea

Jan 26, 2015

Chapter 1a

  Sal Martinelli sat in the pew for some time after the service was over. Fast asleep, Joey’s head laid comfortably on his lap. Sal didn’t want to disturb him. He looked so content. Joey was the best thing in his world. He stroked his head lightly, pushed aside his dark brown curly hair from his face. Just like his mother’s, Joey’s hazel eyes sparkled when he smiled. Sal couldn’t believe how quickly he’s grown. He’ll turn five soon, just in time for kindergarten. Time moved quicker when you have a kid rather than when you were one. He gently lifted Joey’s head and placed him down on the pew. Sal straightened his pants as he got up more out of habit rather than necessity, just like his father before him. His father came to mind whenever he imitated his behavior. It broke Sal’s heart his dad never met his namesake. He scooped Joey up into his arms. With Joey snuggled safely against him, he headed toward the door. There was nothing better than when Joey’s head rested on his shoulder. He could feel him breathe against his chest. It’s funny how he could sleep through anything without waking up. The church was now empty except for Father Robert. 

   “It’s always a pleasure to see you, Salvatore,” Father Robert said as he tapped Sal gently on his shoulder. 

   “You too, Father,” Sal whispered. 

  “Maybe next time your lovely wife could join you and Joseph? It’s been too long since I’ve seen her. Would you send her my regards?” 

   “Certainly, Father... no problem.” You would think that after all of this time, he’d realize that Vickie was not coming back to church. “It was a good service. I really enjoyed your homily today on Hosea.” 

   “Thank you. I’ll be saying a special prayer for you, son,” Father Robert replied.

   “I should get the little guy home,” Sal said to end the conversa- tion. He didn’t need any special prayer. He was good. Vickie was doing better and had been clean for the last six months. Sal hated backhanded conversations. He probably meant well, so he shrugged his shoulders. When he placed Joey in the car, his cell phone rang. He knew who it was before he looked at it and braced himself for the storm named Victoria that was about to hit.

   “Hello,” he answered after he strapped Joey.

   “Where in the hell are you?” he could hear the icicles fall from her lips.

   “I’m on my way home.”

   “I told you a million times, I don’t like you taking my kid to that place. You snuck out today before I got up. That’s not cool, Sally.” 

   He hated it when she called him that and she knew it. “I didn’t sneak off with your kid. He’s half mine and I took my half to church. I can’t help it if your half followed.” 

   “Cute, Sally. It should be a crime to put all that God stuff in a lit- tle kid’s head. He’s impressionable.” 

   Sal knew arguing with her would be futile. “I’m on my way home now. Do you need anything?”

   “Just the kid!” She hung up the phone.

   He wasn’t looking forward to going home. When Vickie got mad, she clamped down like a lion on the throat of an antelope. He loved her with his whole heart, but that never seemed to be enough. Lately, he struggled to like her, much less love her. Maybe he’s just tired from the long journey they’ve traveled. 
© Nadine Zawacki 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment