Luigi was strapped into one of the seats in the Dauphin’s cabin. Cody’s stretcher was fastened across three seats opposite him. He held Cody’s hand. But Cody remained unconscious.
He didn’t bother praying to God. He prayed instead to Mary. Like his nonna, he didn’t believe that God had time for him, especially a God of a homophobic church. He imagimed God like his father, judgmental, angry, punishing—a straight alpha male. Nothing to gain there. But Mary was a woman, and somehow in his heart Mary resembled his nonna: kind but firm, strong but forgiving, and above all loving unconditionally. Ave Maria, madre di grazia, salve mio amico …. He does stupid things, but we all do. But I love him and he loves me, and he’s so brave. He attacked that killer, even though he knew he night die. To save me. I know that’s why he did it. He’s suffered enough already. Don’t let him die, Mother Mary. Let him live! Even if he goes back to his wife. I couldn’t bear it if he died. It would all seem so pointless. Let him live, Mother Mary. Please, I beg you.
And on and on, a litany of begging and despair, as the chopper made its way through the bright late autumn morning to treatment. And perhaps salvation.