Chapter 9 - Abraham It Up

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Matt and Alejandro arrived at a church within the favela. It possessed the looks of an average church; a bell at the top, medieval architectural design and a good number of decently dressed Christians going in and out of it.

Alejandro took off his straw hat as they walked in. It was spacious in the inside with several benches arranged in rows. A large glass cross was hanging on the wall straight ahead. The church was, however,  not even half full. It was expected, considering that it was a Wednesday.

Matt and Alejandro took seats in the back. Alejandro bowed his head and said a prayer to himself while Matt had his attention on a little child. Her back was turned to the pulpit while her small and fragile knees were rooted to the bench. Her innocent green eyes did not even blink as she looked right at him. Matt smiled faintly at her while she maintained her straight face.

Shit, it's like she is judging my sins or something. He thought to himself.

The girl's mother gently made her face front and whispered something into her ear that made her behave. Without her uncomfortable stare, Matt was able to redirect his attention to the pastor at the pulpit.

He walked around it with so much energy in him. He spoke with aggression and the audience nodded their heads in agreement. Some even went as far as clapping their hands. Alejandro mouthed 'amen' to himself while Matt looked on in silence. He flashed a look at his wrist watch and realized that only five minutes had gone by since he sat there yet it felt like an eternity.

Matt felt out of place. He couldn't understand the man because he was preaching in Portuguese. His eyes wondered around and spotted the church's wall clock. Only two minutes went by since the last time he checked. Matt sighed and folded his arms.

This is going to be the longest hour of my life. He breathed out through his mouth in agony.

He was only fourteen the last time he went to church. His mother was always a strong believer of Christ. As a Christian, she raised Matt and Mark according to the Christian ways. Missing church was a huge taboo in her house.

"Mama, I don't want to go to church today." his young self said to his angry mother.

"And why not?" she asked him.

"Because it's nonsense. Last week we learnt about the parable of the rich man. He harvested so much and planned on storing his corn in new store houses right after smashing the smaller old ones. He was assured of living an easy life only for God to tell him that he was going to die."

"Matthew, here we go again with your pointless arguments." she defensively admonished him.

"No mama, it is not pointless. Why did God kill him? I mean, the man worked hard and his hustle paid off. What was wrong with him wishing a good life for himself? So if I work hard in future and have tones of money in the bank, God is going to kill me for opening several bank accounts and wishing that I live a good life?" he stressed his point.

His mother snatched his hand annoyed and pulled him out of his room. "I don't have time for this. We are leaving now." she uttered annoyed.

Matt pulled his hand back. "No I will not go with you. I don't want to worship a wicked and cruel God. If he is so good, why did he let daddy walk out on us when we needed him the most?"

"Matthew!" his mother screamed after him only to see him bang the door in her face.

The sweet melody of the organ graced the room and pulled Matt out the memory he had suppressed for so long. His eyes landed on the female  player. She hid her face underneath the hood of her coat and played beautifully.

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