Re Turning To Faith

IC Time: IMay 7th, 2007 Afternoon
Location: St. Anne's Church
Synopsis: Helena goes back to the church to apologize to Vincent
Submitted by: Helena

It is middle of the afternoon when the doors of the church open. Several hours before evening services. The steps are slow and hesitant at first, coming to the level of the final pews. Definately not the erratic stumbling a few days prior. Her hands rest on the last pew again as she looks up towards the front of the church. Her dark gaze flickering on saints and dieties before dropping her gaze from them to search out someone else in the church.

A few hours before the evening services are pretty routine. On a Thursday afternoon, it's possibly the slowest time of the week. However, Father LaRoe remains in the church, to be present for the occasional person who drops by unannounced. A few minutes after Helena enters, he appears at the front of the church, head tilted in his usual listening posture. He's a bit more well-kept than the last time she saw him, and without the daze of sleep making him clumsy, he negotiates the path without incident. "Hello?" he calls, pleasantly, with a friendly half-smile. "Can I help you?"

Helena opens her mouth to speak, to yell across the distance, then closes it and chooses to move up the aisle instead. About twenty feet from him her footsteps pause. Her breathing is definately calmer today. "I just wanted to apologize for the other day…" Her voice definately holds less strain, though a bit is still evident. "I wasn't exactly in a good frame of mind when I came in here the other night.." She says, hoping that will give clue enough of who she is.

Vincent is puzzled for a moment, not sure exactly what she is talking about. After a moment, however, realization dawns and his eyebrows lift. "Don't think anything about it," he says, now that he remembers her. "You probably saved me from a terrible crick in the neck…" He tilts his head, giving a slightly concerned look as he asks, "I hope you're feeling better? I hope you don't mind…I tried to find out who you were, but without a description, I didn't mean with much success."

"I think so…as well as to be expected." She replies with a certain uncertainty, but that barely controlled voice of the night past is not there. This one is calmer, even if still not entirely sure of herself. As he speaks of hunting out who she was, she winces quietly and shakes her head, "I suppose how I left earned that…" She pauses and shifts a couple steps closer, "So…anything I say…covered by that priesty secret thing, right?"

Vincent smiles faintly. "I was a bit worried about you when you ran out like that." Though her question causes him to chuckle faintly. "Of course. Anything you say is privledged conversation." He hesitates, tilting his head slightly. "Though to be fair, this isn't the most private of environments. If you're worried about anyone overhearing, we can move to a smaller room?" he suggests.

"Yeah…I was a little out of my head that night. Sorry about that, I have a better sense of things now." Helena responds evenly to the Priest. There is a hesitation for a moment before she moves forward the rest of the way, dividing the distance between them. "Helena Lyons…" She responds. The name may or may not mean much to him. Her father is a city councilor, and she is freshly returned from Medical school to resident at the local hospital. The name may or may not have made the gossip rounds. The question invokes another hesitation before she nods though he can't see it, "Yes…that would be better."

Vincent doesn't react to the name, if he recognizes it. More often than not, he's found that those who drop into the church unannounced are more comfortable talking if they feel somewhat anonymous. So he smiles, in a friendly manner, and replies, "It's nice to meet you Helena. I'm Father LaRoe. Some people call me Father Vincent. Whichever you prefer. There's a place we can talk this way," he directs, gesturing for her to follow him as he turns back the way he had come.
Forks - St. Anne's Catholic Church

The anonynimity is definately appreciated. A doctor in the community going crazy, well not good for job prospects. "It is a pleasure to meet you…" She says in a clear voice, though perhaps there is not as much sincerity as the words entail. "Sorry…I haven't done the God thing in awhile…" She admits as she starts to follow him, "But I…couldn't think of anywhere else I could go at the time."

Vincent raises an eyebrow. "I'm not sure that I've ever heard it put quite that way, before," he comments, but shrugs a shoulder. "I've been doing the 'God thing' for a few years now, and if it makes you feel any better, you aren't the first one to loose her way." He talks as he walks, eventually leading her out of the main church and into a smaller back office. The room is dominated by bookshelves that are loaded down with braille books, but also contains a desk, as well as several comfortable, if worn, chairs. "We can be sure to have privacy here," he says, waiting for her to enter before closing the door behind her. "Have a seat."

She hesitates at the doorway of the office, her fingers rising to the door frame. Helena takes a breath before finally entering and taking the nearest chair to the door. "Went to bible school as a kid, but never been much on the hype." She continues in such frank honesty as she settles in the seat. The leather creaks as she tries to settle herself in a comfortable position. Dark brown eyes scan the room, taking in the details and smirks. A blind priest. Well maybe its a sign.

Vincent follows, but takes a seat nearby, leaving Helena to get comfortable. "Well…" he says, thoughtfully. "Sometimes it takes a difficult time in our lives to turn us to God. I don't mind admitting that I was rather slow to catch on, myself. But perhaps that's a story for another time." He smiles faintly, and raises one eyebrow. "You're here /now/, so let's focus on what brought you here."

Helena blows out a slow breath she had been holding, "Well…I still don't know why I am here…can't say my feelings have changed on the God thing…but seemed the…safest place to go." She admits, her hands going to the arms of her seat. She cants her head curiously before dropping her gaze to her lap. "Well…I…um…have been infected with a disease. I suppose you can say…its like HIV. Blood born, it could cause…well disfigurement at times when it is not under control. What I have found so far is that there is no cure at this point, but it is not exactly terminal either." She seems to working hard at phrasing her words. "I am a doctor Father…I am worried about how this…disease will affect my patients."

Vincent grows more and more puzzled with every bit of information that she adds. When she finishes, he nods slowly, thoughtfully. "I suppose this disease doesn't have a name," he comments. "But you say it's communicated through blood? If that's the case, then your patients should be safe, so long as you remain healthy enough to work." He frowns a little, "Or are you worried that being ill will affect your judgement?"

"It is no relation to anything I have studied before, I think that is what unsettles me the most. I do not like…being blind." Helena responds with a slight huff before lowering her head, "Sorry.." She apologizes for the term she uses. "Yes I suppose, there are doctors who have performed with infectious diseases. There are precautions I will need to take. I worry that my boss might not understand. You know…I am just a resident, he could trade me in for a healthy one." She gives a little huff of a laugh at that. She nods to the last question, not thinking her body language is lost on this man. "I think…that is part of it. I am still working to understand how…this will effect me, those around me."

Vincent chuckles faintly. "Well, you know, it's not a bad analogy," he comments, not offended by the blind comment. "The truth is, I'm less nervous about the unknown now than I ever was when I was sighted." He thinks for a moment, brow lowering just slightly as he considers. "You sound like an intelligent woman," he says, finally. "And I have no doubt that if your…condition should start to affect your work, you would step down rather than do harm to your patients. But it's a scary situation to be in…" He smiles, faintly, "This is the part where I'd usually say to do your best, and put the rest in God's hands."

"It is the best I have got at the moment. I have been called stubborn in the past, hoping that will serve me here. I just will need to keep control of things, keep a watch on my illness..I suppose learn the signs of when I am losing control." All very clinical sounding it is. Doctor through the core. She is probably going to annoy the hell out of her pack. She doesn't blush at the compliment, she isn't so modest as to refute it. "I will hope that I can…It is early days yet. I am faced with, will I be like a drunk who doesn't realize his judgement is impaired? Will I know?" She laughs at his last line and looks down to her hands, "I am not sure I can trust something so…nebulous. If he exists, he allowed this to happen to me in the first place, will he NOW decide to help me?"

Vincent smiles faintly, listening to her scientific words with endless patience. When she finally asks that question, he nods slightly. "I do believe that question may be as old as time itself. If God is so very all-knowing, why does he allow bad things to happen to good people? I'm afraid I don't have an answer for you. But, personally, I believe that all things happen for a reason. Perhaps there's something you are meant to accomplish in this life that you couldn't accomplish without this…illness. For instance, I know for certain that I'd have never become a priest if I hadn't become blind." He smiles warmly, then adds, "I suppose we all have to find our own answer to that question, in the end. God is endlessly forgiving of error…The trick is to not give up trying to find the right path."

Helena listens to the words quietly, though there is a shifting in her seat as the concepts seem uncomfortable to her. There is silence for some time after he speaks before she sighs, "Sorry…hard to buy it. Hell, you could have been destined for some great path, been the man to bring about world peace or some such nonsense, instead you are stuck as a priest in a little town on the farthest edge of the map. How do you know you are serving the greater good with your blindness?" Helena says harshly as she shifts in her seat, "Faith is just lies we tell ourselves, our children to justify all thats wrong in the world…to make us accept it as meant to be." She rises from her seat sounding a bit upset, old arguments really.

Vincent raises an eyebrow, but doesn't loose that peaceful smile. He is silent for a time, thinking hard about how to answer that. Finally, he replies, "Well, let's look at it this way… I /am/ blind. This is a fact of life. And it was my own stupidity that led me there. Will it do me or anyone any good if I decide to use it as an excuse to lay down and do nothing?" He laughs faintly, more self-depricating than his usual quiet chuckle. "I can tell you one thing, though. I'd choose between being a priest in a little town on the edge of the map, struggling to help a lost and frighted girl to find some peace, than the life I /was/ headed toward. I'd choose it any day. But I suppose these are very personal choices. Perhaps you'd prefer to spend the rest of your life in mourning over what might have been. That's why God gave us free will."

Helena doesn't leave just yet, though she stands near the doorway, arms crossed over her chest. "I suppose its my own stupidity that led me where I am as well. I put myself in a place where I could get infected." She gives a faint snort and shakes her head. "Well thats good enough for you, being blind ain't gonna hurt noone but yourself perhaps. I could kill people…" She starts to say but cuts her voice off and turns toward the door, "But what if your will has been taken away?" She whispers as her hand moves to the door.

Vincent frowns faintly, listening to her words. He takes a deep breath, lets it out slowly, and eventually just shakes his head. "I didn't say it was your stupidity. I was talking about myself." He tries to keep his voice gentle as he speaks, standing slowly, "The way I understand it, it's very difficult to transmit a blood-borne disease like AIDS. It just doesn't live very long outside of the body…" He frowns, uncertainly. "So unless you cut yourself and bleed on a patient with an open wound, I fail to see how there could be such a risk of passing it on." He shakes his head a little, and sighs. "Helena…I don't pretend to know what happened to you. But I can say this… We /all/ have free will. That means the bad people as well as the good ones. And sometimes a bad person takes what God has given them and uses it to hurt other people. It doesn't mean that you aren't loved by God. It just means that you'll have to change. And it's up to you whether that change is positive or negative, regardless of the cause of the change."

So she is a little on edge still, but she still seams to be in control this time. No muttered phrases or heavy breathing. She turns to look at the priest as he speaks, silent still as he tries to reason with her. "I just worry about losing control of myself, of this illness taking me over…defining who I am." She finally says in a quiet voice, "I am Helena Lyons, Resident at Forks Community Hospital…" She says that as a declaration, "I don't want to be anything more, anything less." She sighs and leans her head against the door frame.

Vincent is still a bit puzzled about this obsession with identity. "Of course you are," he finally replies, uncertainly. "A disease doesn't define you, unless you let it," he says, finally. "Perhaps it will become a part of who you are. But it's only a small part of what makes you…Helena Lyons…" And yet, in spite of his words, he still feels like he's missing something. It seems that ever since he arrived in this town, he's perpetually felt as though there were something going on all around him that he doesn't quite understand.

Helena shakes her head at him, part of her just wanting to spill everything despite the warnings from her maker, despite the alarm bells in her mind but she keeps her mouth shut. Her hand moves to the door handle again, "I am sorry, I should get going. Thanks for the chat." She puts some false cheer into her voice, "I am sure I will sort things out in time, don't you worry about me." Forget about me please. With that, her hand is on the door handle and she opens it.

The faint frown of confusion that Vincent has worn for the last few minutes morphs into one of concern as Helena announces that she is leaving. "Helena…" he starts, but then trails off when he can't think of anything to say. Instead, he just manages a faint, caring smile, still touched with that same real concern. "I'm sorry that I couldn't help you."

There is a pause and Helena looks over her shoulder, "No…You have. Theology aside, it helps to talk about this to someone." Even if not all the details are relayed, that which is most important were in her mind. "I might come back sometime." She says in a noncomittal tone. There is a pause before she starts to walk away.

Vincent smiles vaguely. "Well, I hope you will. My door is open, anytime," he reminds her, letting her walk away when she's ready. When she's gone, he sighs quietly to himself, but returns to the desk. He picks up a book that has pride of place on the corner of his desk, flipping it open to start reading, his fingers skimming lightly and quickly along the pages.

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