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Prayer.

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"When I was a kid, I used to think about becoming a teacher. Look at me now... look at everyone else. We were all pure at that time, but everything got muddled and confused. I miss the simple times. It's hard now." - John Gasparino

 

His shoulders hike, hand reflexively reaching for the door before him. He wasn't much of a truly religious man, other than the fact he was brought up as a Catholic. He was intending for a brief stay in the Church, to let out all that was inside of him. His hands were trembling as he walked into the Church, feeling such a strong mixture of pain and anger in that moment.

John desperately believes he can become a better person. Sure, most would say he's trying to live a quiet life, doing his best with others, is insincere; and to a point, yes, he was doing it for his own safety. Those thoughts race into his head at every moment. As the smoke from the end of his cigarette ghosts up into the air. Hearing the ambient sounds of the church, his instincts kicked in and he immediately scanned over the area for a suitable place to sit. It just had to be so uncomfortable, hadn't it? There was a priest, standing idle, lighting candles. 

His eyes watched the priest closely, keeping a steady view on him. John was always so strong, so brave and it was something that never failed. But now, he was trembling, afraid and it was an unusual sight. He noticed the priest taking notes of his nervous behaviour, and twiddled with his thumbs. His heavy eyelids began to blink at a rapid pace. He could feel his muscles tense up and the world grew a little more enclosed for him. 

John took another deep breath, clutching his hands together. He blurted out a couple words, before praying in a silent manner. But nonetheless, he was still trembling, calling out for redemption. The priest who noticed him was curious, he had so many things to ask of him. But he kept them quiet for now, not wanting to bombard the man with questions in his time of prayer. He was praying for hours, a dark shroud coating him throughout his prayer, though with a small state of agony pushing through. His voice was like a mumble at times, sounds that escaped his lips. At first, he tried to contain all of his agony in silence, thinking that he could contain years of anger. Breathless heaves tore itself from his throat. His chest rose and fell rapidly as his widened eyes gazed straight ahead. As shivers ran up and down his spine, his gaze fixed onto the priest, just looking at him.


"Are you alright?" The priest gazed at him for the sake of eye contact, and step by step he walked closer and was immensely cautious. "What?" His face scrunched into one of confusion. Since he didn't feel like he was doing anything wrong, he was a bundle of confusion; fortunately, he went along with it. His brows perked up. "I'm praying." He folded his arms and looked at him as if to say, "Alright. You've got my attention." There he was. The priest. The guy who rang a bell - the guy who built the foundations of his Church on something else than donations. John was silent for a moment, but at the same time he felt like he needed to talk. Yet again, his voice rang through and into John's ears. "You were yelling. For the past hour, and I listened." He let the man talk. His face was as confused as ever; because he didn't think he was yelling. John believed he was speaking in silence. Something obviously overtook him in the last moments of his prayer. 


John just stared at him for a moment, twiddled his thumbs, then spoke again to him. "You ever... hurt someone? Make 'em disappear? I did things for no reason." A stiff smile broke from the priest's lips. "No, I haven't... but I have met people with stories like yours." But the priest couldn't understand. Why would this man come here? Why would he even come to a Church? Redemption or Rage? He couldn't tell. He knew that John had killed people. Not because it had been justified, but solely because of temptations. He killed people who might not have deserved to be killed. He should already know that killing people was wrong. Feeling regret did not erase what he had done. It did not erase the fact that the priest knew he was talking to a murderer. He didn't want to probe him with questions, because he knew of the unease that was circling around him. "Why?" The priest looked directly at him, looking him into the eye after what felt like an eternity of silence. John's mind was daring his eyes to dart away. Search for cover and find something else to look at instead of him. He should've just kept quiet. The priest's words put even more of a sober stamp on this whole ordeal, if one could call it that.

John's heart sank a hundred miles down. His simple question made it all the more real. Painfully, so. "I... an impulse." He rasped. "But other than that, yeah. That's pretty much it." The priest's smile faded a bit. He didn't know what to think. He certainly didn't want to go for a phone, even if this man looked like a threat. There was no way he was leaving the conversation, especially whenever talking to a murderer. 

"I've waited years..." John said. "Always believed that prayers were bullshit." He almost changed his tone. He might start questioning the priest, and he was looking slightly uncomfortable at every second. "Do you... remember me?" The priest chuckled nervously at his response, his hands roaming nervously. "I remember everyone who comes here." John's steel blue eyes stare at him which almost is threatening at this point; however his movements were void. "Y'know... I wasn't only praying for myself. Prayin' for your family, too."

His eyes flick down to his gun; his reflexes are quick to motion as his gun is pulled out, complete with a removed serial number and untraceable bullets. A hint of anger rose as he's aiming at the priest - as the priest was standing like a stone. "Who are you?" and John aimed his weapon at him for several moments. "You know who I am," began John, the steady lip of his gun continuing to laser at him, as he took a calculated approach towards him. The metallic click of his safety mechanism falling sung. Two bullets entering into his legs at a crippling speed. 

His gaze dropped to the floor as he watched him tumble, and he walked slowly and stared at him for a long while - before he finally spoke. "Gasparino. Your family are gone, partner. I knew you would forget... because that's who you are. I'm the one who remembers." 

A small gasp broke from the priest's throat and it was a look of pure horror that flicked into his eyes. "...Fuck you." His expression was mixed with agony, suffering, and rage. That was what John tasted for his whole life, and he got a taste of it. Before a bullet entered into his brain. A canvas of brain matter splattering over the floor of the Church. 

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Once John left and the door was shut, he pressed his back against it released a breath he didn't even know he was holding in. John tried to clamp onto a piece of quiet as he walked to his car and left. Anything to get all this noise out. He watched as the place was up in flames. John had went back into the murky waters. A man who couldn't let go. A man who couldn't forget. That was what defined John Gasparino.

 

A crown with gems and gold, 

Chase the throne,

If I could only let go.

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