The Patron Saint
Nicole E Woolaston
The Patron Saint
Copyright ã 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 Nicole E Woolaston, Woolaston Entertainment
No part of this book may be reproduced by any means without permission from the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used for entertainment purposes only. This book was printed in the United States of America.
For Mom: Thanks for being my number one fan
Part One: Patron Saint of the Weak
1. A Rose Grows in Trenton 11
2. Back to Normal…Or So I Thought 13
3. “Family Reunion” or “Who Are You?” 16
4. A Little Help From Friends 22
5. The Patron Saint 30
6. A Run Through the Park 35
7. “We Are Family” or “I’ll Always Have Your Back” 44
8. To Sir, With Apologies 46
Part Two: Wild Irish Rose
9. “Valkyrie for Hire” or “The Girl from Kilkenny” 51
10. Her Idol 54
11. Old Friends, New Business 60
12. Good Old Days 63
13. On the Range 68
14. Lola vs. Damien 74
15. Bad Blood 77
16. Final Showdown 82
17. Now That Its Over 86
Part Three: Full Circle
18. A Letter from Arizona 93
19. The Prodigal Mother 97
20. Pay Your Own Way 102
21. Making of Valentine 107
22. Forgiveness 111
23. Woman of the House 120
24. Things Left Unsaid 125
25. This is Who We Are 128
Patron Saint of the Weak
A Rose Grows in Trenton
It was after midnight. The street was quiet. A streetlamp flickered for a few moments, before shutting off completely. There were several cars parked outside of four apartment buildings at the intersection of Froman Street and Gent Avenue, in Trenton, New Jersey. Every car was empty, except for one: a dark blue Ford Taurus. A man sat in the driver’s seat, staring up at a window on the fourth floor of one of the buildings. The window was dark, but he knew someone was up there, inside the apartment, watching him. It was a teenaged girl. She was crouching down, just below the window sill, peeking out at the man in the car. After a few minutes of watching one another in silence, the man finally started his car and drove away. The girl gave a sigh of relief, and stood up. She carefully made her way through the darkness, to the light switch on her wall, and flicked it on. The light mounted on the ceiling came on; the eco bulb made a soft humming sound. She walked over to her wooden dresser, and opened the top drawer. Inside, she found a tattered photograph of three people: a man, and two young women. They were standing in front of a brick wall, with the man in the center and the two women on either side of him. He had his arms around them, and all three of them were smiling. The girl smiled at the women in the picture. She had been told, they were her uncle, cousin, and sister. Obviously, the man in the picture was her uncle. But, as far as who was her cousin and who was her sister---that had never been made clear. One girl had long, fuchsia-tinted hair. The other, had short pink hair. The pink-haired girl, was the one she was the most curious about. She had heard fantastic stories about her; how people feared and respected her. The most recent stories, made the girl want to reach out to her. She protected women who had been abused by their husbands or boyfriends. She had driven across the country to save her father. She had even rescued and befriended a fourteen-year-old girl. People were calling her, “The Patron Saint of the Weak”. But her true nickname, was “Valentine”.
The girl looked up from the picture when she heard her mother call her from down the hallway. “Yeah, Mom?”
“Don’t you have school in the morning?”
Victoria groaned. “Yeah, Mom.”
“Then go to sleep, honey.”
Victoria sighed, and smiled at the picture again. She thought about the man in the Taurus, who had been staring up at her window, night after night. “Valentine,” she whispered. “I have to find you.”
Back to Normal….Or So I Thought
It was Friday night. Val, Veronica and Melinda were just coming home from a night in the city. Val was the first to enter the apartment. She came inside, laughing and grinning from ear to ear. She was followed by Melinda, who immediately threw herself across the couch. Veronica came in and closed the door, and locked it. She laughed at how excited her cousin was. “Are you okay, Val?” she asked.
“Am I okay?!” Val said, placing both of her hands on top of her head. “I’m more than okay! I’m fantastic! We just saw Green Day at the Garden! I’m not going to sleep tonight. I can’t!”
“Me neither!” Melinda said. “This has been the best night of my life! I’ve never been to a concert before.” She jumped up and threw her arms around Val, then tackled Veronica, nearly knocking her down in the process. “Thank you soooo much for taking me!”
“You’re welcomed, Mel,” Veronica said. “I’m glad you had fun.”
“I just wish we had tickets for the mosh pit,” Val said. “Nose bleed seats suck.”
“Something’s better than nothing, Val,” Veronica said. She paused, and looked around. “I just realized your dad’s not home.”
“It’s Friday night,” Val said. She sat down on the couch and sighed. “He’s probably out enjoying himself. He’s earned the right to have a normal life now. We all have.”
“I know,” Veronica said. She sat down next to Val. She looked over at the table next to the door, where the cordless phone and answering machine sat. The red light on the answering machine was blinking. “Say: we have a message.”
“I’ll get it!” Melinda said. She bounced over to the table, and pressed a button on the machine. “There’s three.”
The first message played, but no one said anything. Then came the second message: a young girl’s voice. “Hello?” she said. “Hello?”
Val and Veronica looked at one another in surprise.
The final message played. It was the same voice. “Is anyone home?” Then she hung up, and the message ended.
“I wonder who that was,” Veronica said.
“Probably a wrong number,” Val said. She stood up and yawned and stretched. “I don’t know why I feel so sleepy all of a sudden. I guess all of that jumping around wore me out.”
“A wrong number?” Veronica said. “Twice?”
“Sure,” Val said. “It happens.”
“We have an unpublished number,” Veronica said.
“What difference does that make?” Val asked. “You’re reading too much into this.”
Veronica shook her head. “I can’t help it,” she said. “I just have this funny feeling.”
“We have normal lives now, Ronnie,” Val said. “Stop worrying. That was just a wrong number, nothing more.” She yawned, and scratched the back of her head. “I’m going to take a shower, and then I’m going to bed. I’ll see you two in the morning.” She waved to Melinda and went down the hall to her room.
Melinda stared at Veronica, who was staring at the answering machine. “Veronica?” she said. “Are you okay?”
Veronica looked up at her, and blinked in surprise. “Hmm?” she said. “Oh! Yeah, Melinda, I’m okay. Val’s probably right, and I’m probably worried over nothing. It’s late: you should get some sleep.”
Melinda nodded in agreement. “You, too, Veronica,” she said. She tried to suppress a yawn, but failed. “I’ll see you in the morning.” Veronica nodded, and watched Melinda leave the living room. She was about to head towards her room, when she paused, and looked over at the answering machine again. She walked over to it and replayed the three messages, and listened carefully to the voice.
There’s such urgency in her voice, Veronica thought. There’s no way that was a wrong number. That girl was looking for us…