Inspired by the song 'Heaven Help Us' by My Chemical Romance. Summary is their lyrics.
Dark colours merged into a spread of background on the busy, wet street where the girl with the grey marl hoodie and black jeans stood on the marble steps leading up to the bank. Her coal coloured hair was covered by her hood but had not managed to escape the rain, while her worn trainers did nothing to protect her cold toes from the elements.
Hands deep in her pockets, green eyes flickered over the crowds of bankers wielding umbrellas, on their way to and from their lunch break, to the stone fountain in the middle of the square, up to the forbidding storm clouds, and down to the great cathedral that reigned over the city, Gothic towers and gargoyles illuminated by dim yellow spotlights that reminded everyone of the Blitz.
No one had noticed the girl walk halfway up the steps before stopping to survey her surroundings, and no one noticed as she made her way back down them, headed in the direction of the place of worship. Drizzle impaired her vision as she blinked away tears that had been threatening to fall all day, but she kept her shoulders square and refused to look behind her at the small hotel sat next to the bank, bright lamps blazing in the narrow windows. No, she told herself as she trudged down the slate-paved road. No, she would not turn around. She couldn't spend any more time inside the dingy confines of the boarding house that had been nothing but a vessel for events gloomier than the weather.
As she found herself at another vast set of steps and a huge mahogany door, her heart sped up a notch – but she willed herself to climb the stairs and push open the door to the church. Thunder clapped as she stood in the doorway, but the inside of the building was eerily quiet, with a few people sat at pews or kneeling by the altar.
Moving softly up the flagstone isle, paintings, stained glass windows and lit candles but stopped only at the front of the church; under the stone cross that presided over the entire room.
Closing her eyes briefly, she dropped to her knees beneath the crucifix, letting her mind wander to the events of the past few months: the anger, the guilt, the overwhelming sadness. Listening to various worshippers mutter their prayers, a sense of betrayal washed over her, threatening to let the first of the tears fall.
No, she must be strong. She must be, for all the people she'd angered, hurt, yelled at and ignored, for the people she had to be there for.
But how could she? How, when her faith had been wrecked by her own actions and the blind faith of others? How could she ask for something she didn't believe in and knew in her heart wouldn't help matters anyway?
She had to try, she had to try, she had to – no she didn't. Did she? Was there any point? Even to put their minds at ease, was there any good reason to?
No. Not any more. She'd done her turn at putting her hope in something more powerful than herself. She would face the world like the bankers on their lunch break – determined to make the most of what freedom they had.
Everyone could say what they liked; she was no longer going to pretend or pray or praise forces she didn't think existed.
Pushing herself to her feet, she brushed a strand of hair away from her face, took one last look at the cross on the wall, then turned around and made her way back to the door, pausing only to light a candle in recognition of the people she wasn't going to pray for.