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She didn't answer and began to ponder. Still, she couldn't get that conversation from last night out of her mind. Hiraya wanted to say thank you, but the right words could not form a melodious tune on her lips. A simple "Thank you for everything" was not enough for her.
A bruised smile she managed to produce, that was all she could do in those seconds.
"It's wrong for you, isn't it?"
Hiraya put the dishcloth aside, turned around, and propped her hands on the edge of the kitchen worktop.
"You're not supposed to do that, were you?"
Hilaria saw that she was beginning to turn stubborn again.
"You mean because you attacked your housemaid?
"She's a 'puta,' a stupid bitch."
"Hiraya, I wish that such filthy language be refrained from in our house. You can rewrite your feelings, okay?"
"Opo, Ma’am. I won't, though."
"Would you like some more coffee?"
"Deal? No more dirty words like that? You're not someone to spew garbage, are you?"
Hilaria took her hand, placed the freshly brewed drink on the table, and signaled that she wanted her to listen. Hiraya, meanwhile, felt that she had to completely expose herself, but in the world of thought that had been formed for her, in the judgment that she made about her family when she ran away from her home. And this woman always reacted towards her so strongly, so controlled. It annoyed her, but again, it did her so much good.
"Do you want to talk?"
At first, she was a little hesitant, then began the wild eruption of a cascade that had so taken over her whole soul. She made pointed remarks about Hilaria's views and began to justify her actions in her family's home. Her words bubbled forth again in a snide and aggressive manner. She was good at that, if only the right time came for her.
Hilaria let her blow off this steam with stoic calm and showed immense patience. Slowly, the respect in Hiraya's heart for this woman grew, but she believed having to suppress her opinion would challenge her existence as a free person.
"He beat me up, in front of everyone. His face was so evil. That wasn't my daddy anymore. I had warned my sister over and over. It was... horrible. Linti!"
She pressed her lips together. Energetically she tried to suppress her tears, which was not crowned with success for long. Hilaria knew that hugging her wouldn't be the right way, not at that moment.
"You insist on justice, bravo. So, you make your father feel what he did wrong. Do you know who will be the biggest victim?"
Hiraya already realized what she was getting at. During her many lonely nights in the apartment, she had been aware of the suffering she was already going through. But she pushed it aside, driven by a dream and a disappointment that was the culmination after such a terrible blow after losing her mother. Hilaria wanted to help her with all her heart, simply patiently endured these tumbling out scoldings of a girl who just had to shout out a huge pain.
"Imagine your father was sorry for what he had done and suddenly died without seeing you again. Could you live with that?"
Grinding her lips, she now had to capitulate.
"Do you even know how your sister is suffering?"
"She did... not..."
"Wrong, Hiraya. Why she didn't notice or didn't want to realize about your maid, I don't know. That doesn't undo your love for each other just like that, does it? Your father hit you, not her."
Why hadn't she found someone before who could pull the pain out of her heart with such a dramatic sequence of deep arguments? Almost every sentence out of Hilaria's mouth hurt, but only briefly. The conversation seemed like an ebb and flow of stitches and relief, and Hiraya didn't want to stop paying attention. She already appreciated these people so much and felt the enormous debt she owed.
"Do you want to punish your whole family for something that two people alone did to you? Do you want proof that your father is sorry?"
"I get what you're saying."
"Please call your sister."
Hiraya agreed, but Hilaria saw that her arguments about her father were still going nowhere.
"I will not forgive that woman, Ate Hilaria. And when I want to deal with my father is my business."
"I don't want to force you to do anything. Who should do that either?"
"You see, I have my free will."
"You don't understand God's views on forgiveness yet. How did she actually react to your attack?"
Now things were getting tricky for her. She had revealed a lot to Hilaria, but not the fact that she was wanted by the police for violating her.
"Did you guys get into a fight, or how did it end?"
"I hit her with a piece of wood."
Hilaria didn't find Hiraya's perky grin funny at all and literally glued herself to her with her gazes. Her expressive eyes further emphasized this reaction.
"Was her injury serious? Did she need to see a doctor about it? Or was there something more?"
"A scratch on the forehead, that's all. You already know that. She went to see Doctor Romero."
"That's assault, Hiraya!"
"She's a lousy slut!"
Hilaria had to control herself enormously again. She almost burst, but knew that an unrestraint would ruin everything. This young thing was a volcano, but by no means did Hilaria want to wreck her mission. She remained surprisingly calm when the girl told her about the mahogany dildo in Dolores' drawer. Being a chaplain had many challenges. So, she took it calmly again.
"Can you see into a person's heart?"
"Not quite, I don't think."
"Believe me, you can't, I can't, and neither can Jason. Only God knows what we are after all. He knew you when you were still in your dear mother's womb and has witnessed every second of your life since you were conceived."
"We tend to make quick judgments. Sometimes they're even accurate, but often we miss the whole picture of what's really going on. I don't know if this Dolores might feel unhappy and really dislike her lifestyle."
"With Ate Elaine, I felt it was like that. She has such a beautiful face, but the eyes, and then what had happened to her in life. She was so unhappy."
"Elaine? Who is that now? A friend of yours? Why would she have been unhappy?"
"She's been..., Oh man..."
"Is everything okay?"
Hiraya's lips began to tremble. Hilaria saw her struggling with tears and didn't want to probe further. She already figured that something must have been dramatic in Hiraya's relationship with this woman.
"She lived in the same house and had arranged to get the apartment for me."
"Let's go visit her."
"She lives somewhere else now."
Hilaria took a deep breath. That Hiraya had more to say about this Elaine, she literally felt as if a stabbing flame was racing through her body.
"Ate Elaine had tried to take her own life."
Now Hilaria had to hold on and blow.
"But she survived. Are you shocked?"