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June 17, 2018
In the parking lot, as if in slow motion, the tall man's fist coming out to hit him in the face. A rain of startled saliva, flecks of blood, his nose appearing to twist, but it was just the cartilage, it had not broken. Damn kid, why are you here? when he reached into his pocket and withdrew the rosary he always, after that moment, credited with saving his life. 

Here. Take this.

Why the fuck you here? Go home. But to call home would be a punishment. His parents would question him, why was he, a good Christian boy, in such a bad place?