Waking up on Sunday morning, way before anyone should be up, Joshua stared at his ceiling, sighing and trying to process everything that had happened in the past few days. None of it was really all that pretty, not to mention that it just wasn’t the best time of year anyway. Getting up, he had an idea, and grabbed his phone to find something.
Before he could change his mind, he changed into a tie and nice pants and ran out the front door to catch a bus into town. Twenty minutes later, he was seated on a bench in a church probably older than America. Sure, most of the people at work rolled their eyes at him when he went to church, but Joshua didn’t care. Church was always the one place he got clarity, could think without anyone or anything confusing him. The actual religion or the words didn’t matter. If you actually asked him what he believed, he’d probably just shrug and try and change the subject, however church itself, that place, that experience was still sacred to him no matter the rest of his beliefs.
He closed his eyes, and just let everything wash over him. The church was doing a Requiem mass for some reason, probably the death of a prominent parishioner, and the strains of music were more than a little familiar from his altar boy days. Confutatis maledictis,
Flammis acribus addictis,
Voca me cum benedictus.
Oro supplex et acclinis,
Cor contritum quasi cinis:
Gere curam mei finis.
Lacrimosa dies illa,
Qua resurget ex favilla.
Iudicandus homo reus:
Huic ergo parce, Deus.
Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem. Amen.
He’d heard this particular setting a million times before, it was oddly one of his mother’s favourite ‘leave me alone, I’m doing something’ pieces, but now that he’d studied Latin, somehow it really hit him all the more. Dona eis requiem. Grant them rest. All of them, all who were gone, everything that he’d lost, everything that he couldn’t figure out. Rest. Let it rest, let it go.
He sank into the hard-backed bench a bit, closing his eyes, and finally letting the tears come that had been held back for so long. Joshua, you have to deal with this. Don’t bottle it up for twenty years…
You’re allowed to break, you know. You knew them better than I did.
Artie! Make him stop!
It’s killing her, Artie. You have to overload the circuit, shut her down…
Claudia… look at you. Just… look at you….
The rest of the Mass went by, the last song
bringing a few of the tears back in force. Shakily, he got up at the end, wiped his face, and turned to go. As he was leaving the church, one of the priests caught his arm. “Comment ca va, Monsieur?
” Joshua waved him off. “Ca va, mon père
Twenty minutes later, he was back in his apartment, curled up on his sofa with his familiarly-dilapidated copy of Time Machine
, doing much more sniffling than reading. [ooc: Translation of Requiem test: When the accused are confounded,
and doomed to flames of woe,
call me among the blessed.
I kneel with submissive heart,
my contrition is like ashes,
help me in my final condition.
That day of tears and mourning,
when from the ashes shall arise,
all humanity to be judged.
Spare us by your mercy, Lord,
gentle Lord Jesus,
grant them eternal rest. Amen.]