Two blocks west of the athletic field they turned left at Saginaw Street.

They walked silently,  toward the downtown lights three blocks away.

The autumn leaves alongside the curb blew along with them. Occasionally a small whirlwind of leaves rose up. The grayish light from the moon blended with the blue tint of the street lights painting the leaves on the lawns of the houses to their left, pale yellow. Occasionally they looked through the windows of people they had known all their lives sitting in front of the flickering lights of their TV’s.

Halfway downtown he stopped, turned and looked at her profile.

She felt his gaze, turned her head, and looked up at him. The half-moon light shined down onto her face through the naked limbs of the trees. There’s that blue aura again, he thought.

He stared at her eyes the only way he could see the aura hidden from sight otherwise,  mesmerized for a moment.

He smiled. She looked curious.  Curious about what was he thinking,

Then.  “Your mom?” He said it as a question.

She looked straight ahead!

He continued. “How did it happen?”

She shook her head side to side. “I don’t know. It’s a long story. It started a few months ago. She started feeling bad. She was playing with the dog one day and ….”

She couldn’t continue. She pursed her lips. He could tell she was struggling not to cry.

“But, it happened so fast,” he said.

A car drove slowly past the only sound the hush of tires on the black top. The yellow beams from the headlights stared straight ahead as if to respect their privacy.

“Yeah. It was fast. Way too fast. She was playing with the dog one day.  Somehow a mole on her back got torn open. It looked serious. But she refused to get it treated.

“But why?”

Pause …

She grew up as a Christian Scientist. It’s a stupid religion. They won’t see a doctor if they get sick. They think it’s God’s will if a person gets sick and dies. I don’t believe in God anymore. If there’s a God, he must not care about the people who love the ones he takes away. “

continued …