“Impressive.  She manages to get everyone to kowtow.” I flopped on the wooden bench, exhausted, hating people, and resenting my mother.  Closing my eyes, I rubbed my temples.

The bench moved as some joined me.  My eyes snapped open to Father Jackson’s smiling, portly face.  “What’re you thinking?”

I was wondering if I could skip out without incurring my mother’s wrath.  “I needed air.”  The gym overflowed with people, most of whom had forgotten this was a fund raiser run by volunteers and not a Michelin Star restaurant.

“It’s an excellent turnout.  The event raised the money needed for the computer lab.”

Mother would be gloating over its success.  “Our parishioners really came through.”

“Sorry, I’ve seen you at church, but I don’t remember you name.”

“Juno Gilli.”

“Any relation to Gina?”

I nodded.  “My mother is Regina.  She hates nicknames.”

“I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side.”

No one with a shred of intelligence would.  She held a grudge.

“It’s good of you to volunteer.”

I was volunteered, but didn’t say so.

“What did you bring?”

“Oatmeal cookies.”

“Those were yours?  I saw Heaven when I ate them!”

“Glad you liked them.”

The door to the gym opened, and out stepped a tall woman with short black hair.  “There you are!”

“I was just coming.”

Before I could move, a booming voice called our names.

“Just the women I wanted to see.”  A white-haired priest was strutting towards us.

“Monsignor Scalia hasn’t retired yet?  What’s he?  A million?”  I muttered.

Mother shushed me.  Out loud, she called, “What do you need, Joe?”

“Joe?”

“He wasn’t always a priest.”

“I’ll be damned.”  Before I could get any information, Monsignor joined us.

“Can we speak in the rectory?  There’s an emergency.”

He walked off, and, curious, we followed him.

 

 

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