The sunlight streamed into Pablo’s room, tinted with the colour of red, blue and green from the lead light window, situated high on the rear wall. The room was rather small and simple, with a single metal bed to one corner and a small wooden table and chair by its side.
Pablo sat up, the bed squeaked with the movement of his weight. The Padre gave Pablo 20 ‘Our Fathers’ and 10 ‘Hale Mary’s’ to pray for his sins the night before. Pablo still held the wooden rosary in his hand, the one that had adorned the Padres neck. He clenched to it, like it was his savoir, that all would be forgiven.
Looking around the room, Pablo noticed some clean clothing neatly folded on the old wooden chair, his dirty belongings were nowhere to be seen. Pablo was still rather dirty and needed to bathe, his bladder desperately needed to be relieved. He stood up and got dressed in what appeared to be a robe, though this was different to that of the Padre’s, it was slightly cooler to wear and dark tan in colour.
Pablo carefully made steps toward the solid wooden door, which was closed. He reached out and turned the dull metal doorknob, it was loose and made a grinding, screeching noise as he turned it. He gently pulled the door open and peeked outside the room…the corridor was vacant, no sign of movement? Pablo stepped out of his room and walked along the corridor hoping to find a bathroom where he could bathe…at the end of the corridor he came to such a room.
He stepped in, barely closing the door behind him, with great urgency, opening his robe to relieve himself. The stench was strong…but it felt good, the hot stream went on and on, when Pablo finished he allowed his robe to fall from his body to the worn stone floor.
An old chipped, floral ceramic jug, filled with water sat in its matching bathing bowl, in the centre of a worn wooden dresser. Pablo poured some of the water into the bowl, he placed his hands in the tepid water, it felt soothing, as he rubbed his hands together removing the dirt, the water became murky, stained by the red earth. Pablo cupped his hands and raised them to his face, placing his face in the water allowing it to sooth his dry dirty skin before opening his fingers to release the water like a water fall, falling between thick solid branches. He cupped his hands again, this time splashing the water against his face and rubbing his hands around the back of his neck. Pablo then washed the dirt from his arms and then his chest, splashing the water under his arm pits, they needed particular attention. He washed his groin and then his legs and feet, he poured some fresh water in the bowl, disturbing the sediment on the bottom. Pablo washed his face once again and then his ears and hair, he ran the tips of his fingers through his dark locks.
His nude body tanned and glistening, masculine and broad shouldered. Pablo stood there in the bathroom naked and alone, the last couple of days felt like they were a bad dream? He stood there and felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders, as though he had been baptised and cleansed of his sins, his body still wet, he put the robe on and left.
Entering his bedroom, Pablo found the Padre and a young woman holding a neat pile of his clothing, which had been cleaned. “Ah I see you are up” said the Padre, “how are you feeling this morning my son”, “Better” Pablo replied as he looked down. Pablo wondered if the woman knew of what had happened the night before?
The woman was petite and rather lovely, with long wavy black hair, her skin a golden cinnamon brown, her eyes warm and gentle, non judging, Pablo thought. Her eyes a deep dark brown, simple beautiful, Pablo glanced at her again and then looked down.
The Padre than spoke “my apologies, how rude of me, this is Señorita Ginjeria Torres, she is a volunteer at the convent and helps us with the cleaning duties of Gods House.” Ginjeria nodded her head in greeting, her eyes meeting with Pablo’s with a gentle smile.
Ginjeria suddenly noticed Pablo was wet; she placed his clothing down at the end of his bed and spoke in a soft voice, “ I shall get you a towel, my apologies for not leaving one in your room earlier”, at that instance she did a slight nod and quickly left the room. Neither the Padre or Pablo had a chance to reply.
The Padre laughed “Ginjeria is very keen to please, she is a blessing sent from god, I am sure. I don’t know what the convent or the church would do without her.” The Padre had a slight smirk on his face and continued, “I see you noticed Ginjeria is a very beautiful young women?” The Padre placed his hand on Pablo’s shoulder, giving it a friendly shake. Pablo blushed, a little embarrassed his observations of Ginjeria were noticed, “she seems very nice” Pablo replied, not knowing what else to say.
“She is” stated the Padre “she is a fine young woman. I shall leave you to get dressed, mass is at 9am.” As the Padre turned to leave, Ginjeria appeared in the doorway with a clean towel in her hands, the Padre smiled at her on his way out.
Written by Angela Sparks