The concept of good was difficult to grasp when she was younger. But when she had grown older, knowing goodness was like knowing the back of her hand. She would walk in the church, and right up on the ceiling smack at the center of the church, there was no question what being good meant. Sometimes when Grandpapa was not watching she would look straight up and gaze at the ceiling. The chandelier was such a nuisance but she could make out the images. Some of the figures were of half-naked men and women in different positions of prayer, repose and ecstasy. Some of them had been physically mutilated, whips imprinting dreadful slashes on the skins and nails puncturing their flesh. They looked contented and happy inspite of their agony. Nothing fazed them. She surmised that the reward for being good was getting one of those halos over or at the back of their heads while cherubs flew like bees amidst them.
At the end of the nave were a man and woman cowering from some light. The man was naked except for a lone fig leaf. His eyes and mouth were wide open with fear. The woman looked even more frightened. It looked as if her hair had been turned to fire as it got tousled here and there. One very particular thing Veronica noticed was the lone bitten apple as the woman was in the act of tossing it on the ground and the couple took steps hurriedly, running away from a beautiful bright light. She wondered who they were. She wondered why they were running away from something that was beautiful. Veronica began to wonder if they were examples of what was good also.
Times change. The ravages of war that once pocked the landscape she had grown so familiar with began to bloom into order. Chaos was becoming a remnant of a very distant past, at least the chaos which preceded the war. Along with the progress the community was experiencing, another church began to grow adjacent to the other church. Her father watched this too, for when Veronica passed that church, she would see her father sitting on some of the benches just staring at the rising steeple. Her father did not notice her. But she never failed to notice her father.
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