"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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[Georgia Lee Day continued from Of Angels and Angles]

Georgia Lee slowed, then came to a stop next to where Cristo sat.

It was her free period, but she'd been busy before school and would be busy after, so this had been her one chance to work out. Usually she enjoyed it immensely, too. The track wasn't used much throughout the day, and the polyurethane was easier on her shins as she ran than the Kingman roads that made up her usual route. Usually she enjoyed it immensely, but what she'd witnessed at the batting cages worried at the back of her mind, like a stone in her shoe.

There was a way that the world ought to work. It wasn't the way the world did work of course, Georgia Lee wasn't nearly naiive enough to think that. Men were imperfect beings after all, and the world they lived in was imperfect as a result, but the drabness of reality didn't blind Georgia Lee to the beauty of how things could be, and how they should be. Despite how often the world failed to live up to this ideal, she was still disappointed by it every time.

Georgia Lee refused to lower the standard to which she held the world around her. Hope, she reminded herself, was a virtue, and there would come a day when the world would finally cease to disappoint.

Today though, the world had disappointed direly, and it had left Georgia Lee with a bitter taste in her mouth.

It shouldn't be easy to hit a baseball. It wasn't easy to hit a baseball actually, she knew that. They'd trained with the baseballers a couple of times, and they threw fast. Georgia Lee could hit them, sure, but she'd earned that. She'd be in the batting cages at least twice a week, and that was on top of her softball practice. She'd done that for years, and to think that she could simply step up to the plate and expect to be hitting home runs without having paid those dues... the sheer arrogance of it sickened her. It was so unfair, so unearned, to expect the world to behave like that.

That was superbia in its purest form, and that was a mortal sin. To see it rewarded not once but twice... she struggled to articulate the sheer wrongness of it.

Will McKinley too, was the last person who should be experiencing miracles. Georgia Lee wasn't without sympathy for the boy, of course. She thought of herself as a sympathetic person, and she could see just how upsetting it would be to find yourself in a place as small and limited as Kingman. It must have felt like Hell, but it wasn't like anyone else was any less damned, and rubbing how heavenly your prior abode was into the faces of your fellow suffering was just about the worst way for one to make friends.

She'd actually tried to make friends with him, when he'd first arrived. Georgia Lee had thought it might be hard for a stranger coming into such a small community, and she was interested to hear what life was like outside of Arizona.

It had been a very, very fleeting attempt at friendship. Georgia Lee didn't think she had ever met someone so arrogant, or so blindly hypocritical. Who on earth thought it was appropriate to go to a foreign country just to rant to all its citizens about how much you hated it, and how inferior it was to where you were from? The hand of friendship had been quickly and decisively pulled back, regloved and thrust into a pocket.

She put a hand on Cristo's shoulder to steady herself as she sat down next to him.

Georgia Lee liked Cristo. He was courteous, and he was funny, and he was nice to her and he was handsome. There were combined softball/baseball events fairly regularly, and he never failed to be a gentleman. He wasn't a pitcher, but he'd thrown the pitch of his life out there, and she'd seen it. She'd seen his face too, after the bat broke. He'd looked like he'd seen someone die.

"You know you're not meant to store the bats at high temperatures, right? Over the summer the storeroom gets up to over a hundred, easily. I mean some of those things are so warped they're practically at a right angle."

She turned, and looked him in the eye.

"He got lucky. It didn't mean anything."

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