Out of Clandestinity?
After a wonderful night on which Lorenzo told Elena all thrilling developments of Father Joseph’s visit, they woke up early to enjoy each other’s presence with tranquility on bed before departing for the day. First of all, Elena loved to feel the perfume of his skin every morning. Lorenzo loved to see her beside him, naked as they slept in cold or warm weather. He never got out of bed without kissing her breasts. He knew if she was under pre-menstrual syndrome by their size and sensitivity. She loved how he fondled them over the days before her period because she felt that all water in her body seemed to be retained in the breasts. The way he squeezed and caressed them acted like some sort of spontaneous draining massage that made her good and after his caresses, noticeable relief was felt over the day. Sometimes, she would be the one to start fondling, kissing his torso, coming closer to embrace him, to caress his abdomen down to his thighs. She loved when he took her hand, held it strongly, caressed it on his hip and led it to his penis, erected or not. Sometimes, after some cuddling, she just kissed from the back of his head down, following the lead of his moaning, eager to reach his buttocks, sliding on bed in morning contortions to deliver those kisses, opening room in between buttocks for the kisses on his balls, reaching the shaft of the penis and upwards. Sometimes, there were already drops waiting for her, pouring from the tip of it. And she would lose none of them.
On that morning, after making love, Lorenzo invited her to stay and have breakfast with him. The marks of the past, though, were still strongly imprinted on her:
“No, Lorenzo, let’s not take unnecessary risks; I prefer to leave, not enjoying breakfast with you than to be caught, having to be apart from you the third time!”
“Trust me, Elena, after yesterday, there will be no monitoring for as long as she believes that there is some woman from the church with me!”
Fear and concern had become a constant in Elena’s life. She avoided speaking about it with Lorenzo because, after all, Veitena was the mother of his son and daughter. But the fact was that the impression that Veitena transmitted, of rather being widow than separated or divorced grew steadily with time, starting right from the beginning, when Lorenzo called her informing he was definitively separated and homeless inviting her to a motel because at that time, Elena had been threatened too by her neighbor ex-husband, who warned her to not to be seen by him with anybody else, otherwise he would not answer for his acts.
When Elena drove into the garage of the motel suite, she was shocked when she saw a red-faced Lorenzo waiting for her. Good Brazilian motels had private garages for two cars. As soon as she parked, he came running to embrace her, restless, near panicking, as if the world would be destroyed in the next five minutes. What he had said triggered the first warning signs: he demanded that she went to the doctor with him.
“Lorenzo, what are you talking about?! You are frightening me!”
“You have to go because Veitena said you will be sick and dead within thirty days! Please, Elena, listen to me!”
“What?! Oh my God, Lorenzo, why do you believe in cursing?! I feel fine!” she, then, locked the car door and pressed the button to close the garage, but Lorenzo was emotionally unbalanced:
“She uses to make some powerful ‘things’ with shady people from her hometown, never from Green Palms! Promise me you’ll go see a doctor!”
“What do you mean by ‘things’?” she should never suspect witchcraft from a woman who goes to church every single day, but the manner by which that creepy conversation evolved made impossible to disregard the possibility.
Lorenzo was nearly crying, in obvious distress:
“Please, Elena, do promise you will make an appointment! I will never ask for anything else in my life!”
Elena was shaken by such demonstration of fear to lose her, but she had to bring back some reason to his thinking. In between rapture and clear-mindedness, she held him strongly there in the garage, sheltering him. Then she tenderly said:
“Lorenzo, first of all, you will recover control.” she knew that if she demonstrated outrage, it would be worse. Serenity was critical at that time, “Each one of us has to decide in what to believe; I have no religion, but I do believe in God. Therefore, I feel, from the bottom of my heart and brain, that no evil can be produced upon request; otherwise, I would have to accept that God fails when facing evil. But God is perfection; hence, nobody will succeed in requesting bad things for other people!” her voice was filled with palpable sweetness, “You see, bad things may happen. Rest assured that when shit happens, it is not due to any ‘requested service’. Nobody is fully protected in life; it holds an inherent risk, but I believe that love, truth, respect, tenderness and joy bless our ways. Humbly, I intend to demonstrate for you if such witchcraft will have any power in the forthcoming weeks.”
“Then, it will make no difference to make an appointment. Please, Elena!”
“Lorenzo, I love you so much that you cannot imagine!” by the time she said that, she was already wondering if the witchcraft of Veitena would have thrown Lorenzo right into her arms, “Listen to me: we will see how the next forty days will go; then I ask you to use them in benefit of your true faith. Do not believe more in witchcraft than in God.”
When she finished speaking, Lorenzo looked at her and remembered Father Joseph’s words. He felt reassured, alleviated from irrational fear. Infatuated, Lorenzo looked at that woman who did not go to church, but had demonstrated more faith than he himself. They started making love right there in the private garage on their first twenty-four hours together.
Elena did not go to any doctor, enjoying a proper relationship with Lorenzo, officially separated. Thirty days later, the only event that had happened was the first forced separation under death threat against Elena by three men hired outside Green Palms.
Back from her recollections on that bed and tempted by the invitation to stay for breakfast, Elena had to deal with her fears. She decided to trust and to take the risk. The meeting with Father Joseph made Lorenzo so confident in a closer decent future with Elena, that he surprised her, booking a weekend in a beachfront hotel for within two weeks. Breakfast was delicious before they departed for their working days.
Attending the church service early in the morning before work, Veitena hardly focused in the ceremony. She looked if some of the women there fitted the type that could have something with Lorenzo. After the service, she talked to a close friend, also a missionary laywoman from the elite of town, much older than her and as devoted as she was:
“Dona Silvana, do you believe that it could be someone from here?”
“Dona Veitena, I believe it can be from here or from any other church in town. But I’ll take the opportunity to tell you that when the news on your separation circulated in the high society of Green Palms, year ago, there was a female hustle from churches to beauty parlors and designer stores and many women said that ‘Lorenzo’s wife’ had eyes for the church only, while women had eyes on him.”
Lorenzo was focused on the projects at the computer when he noticed that Veitena was in her office. He was sure that he would enjoy some peace, given the events of the meeting with Father Joseph. However, he knew that such peace would not last forever. The inventory of goods for divorce and future assets split was taking too much time to be ready and he hoped to open his own architecture office soon, far from Veitena's emotional outbursts. He, then, decided to call the lawyer, Dr. Santos. After some brief personal conversation, he went direct to the point:
“What is the stage of the inventory of goods, only for some idea and planning? It is taking a little more time than I previously expected.”
“Well, I suspended it as requested."
Appalled, Lorenzo listened as Dr. Santos said that Veitena Marces informed him that they were reconciling and the date of that information was documented in the Marces file. It was on the day before Veitena invaded his apartment threatening him with death followed by her suicide.