Armando had come into Dora's life by meeting her at a party, dating, and later proposed asking for her hand in marriage.
Dora had a wild side to her; carried a chip on her shoulder until Armando introduced her into his religious beliefs which stemmed from his parents' way of life.
Armando, Dora, and little Fernando later on attended religious services together at least three times a week, i.e., Bible studies twice a week, and of course, Saturday church services, year after year, after year.
Little Fernando between the ages of two and five acted far too mature for his age, and physically, had an over-sized head for his size.
Quite strange I thought to myself but everything fell into proportion as he grew older.
He had taken on such an avid interest in Bible studies from a very young age that he had become quite a bible thumper, stoutly quoting Bible verses every time the opportunity arose to admonish a persons' conversation or actions, branding them right or wrong in his eyes according to scriptures.
He didn't take well to playing with other kids either due to his stifling maturity.
Ever since I could remember, between his toddler years and into early adolescence, he was growing up possessing pristine manners of proper etiquette and was always nicely dressed.
His shoes were always finely polished; wore razor creased trousers that never wore at the knees like other kid's pants, starchy pressed shirts, clean fingernails and neatly combed hair.
His posture was firm, always ready and well prepared to vigorously evangelize the world around him, and he was never shy when it came time to remind a person they were headed towards hell's doorway or Heavens' gates.
His dad Armando, well, he enjoyed weekend barbecues and drinking beer with my husband James.
Armando's wife Dora tolerated his weekend frivolities as he was not as serious about his religious beliefs as she but she tolerated our time together when we had the time to enjoy.
My husband James and I would attend church services with them from time to time without committing to their invitation to join in membership.
This was the typical life for us for us; work, school, occasional church, and play time for several ensuing years; a routine more or less.
My dear James, a doctor and science researcher, was offered employment overseas with his company so we left our accustomed lifestyle behind us and ventured off to see what the world across the globe had to offer.
He was not a very passionate loving man. He was a good provider but I sensed his libido and mine differed greatly. Mine was waxing and his was waning.
I was more of a touchy feely type person and he was analytical and viewed everything in life in direct proportion to his scientific thoughts.
He was a successful problem solver but not in the bedroom which frustrated me.
Every time I took the imitative to start a romantic and sexy interlude he would discourage me from sternly asking, "Is that all you think about?"
That really embarrassed me!
I was the type of woman that did not tolerate rude or naughty jokes and never bared my shoulders with sleeveless blouses regardless of the weather.
This may have stemmed from my parents teaching us to always cover up with a blanket when in bed.
I was academically intelligent but not street smart; quite naïve in fact.
I wore blouses buttoned all the way up to my neck and accented my attire with ties or scarves, and enjoyed wearing heels and mid-length skirts immensely.
We were gone nearly ten years before returning stateside.
We had first stopped by to visit our friends, Dora, Armando, and little Fernando before moving on to a coastal beach city on the west coast where we planned to purchase a home in an upper scale neighborhood very close to the beach.
Of course, Lil Preacher Boy Fernando was not so little anymore.
He was now in his upper teens, and his dad Armando had seemed to have mended his frivolous weekend party habits, to Dora's liking, falling in cadence with other honorable male church members.
But before moving away, we all had attended a relatives' wedding and their reception afterward which was a good time to see everyone we had known and also bid them goodbye.
This was also a good time for me to enjoy one of my most eccentric habits of simply watching other people; their manner of dress, their actions, and reactions to life around them.
The person that caught my eye the most was Fernando and the changes that had taken place as he had grown older.
He was still the sparkling looking gentleman in his parents' eyes; impeccable manners, neatly combed and well dressed, and had not taken on any characteristics of Armando although having lived his entire young life in his parental presence.
Fernando had gathered an attentive crowd around him, fraternizing with all his young friends having a good time as he moved about with confidence and pride.
He seemed to be the life of the party within his close circle of friends.
Judging from their frolicking gaiety, with beers and wine glasses in their hands, I had wondered if he still carried a Bible at his side that I thought would be worn and tattered from use, as it did not look like a church crowd of friends, and still under the legal drinking age.
Was he still the young boy that I had envisioned to become a righteous, holy man; the best Gospel Evangelist the world had yet to see, poised to lead lost heathens to follow a path of virtue and moral good?
No ... I thought not!
Fernando looked more like a suave, debonair, smooth talking magician than a man of the cloth.
Memories of Frankie, his biological father, began to surface as I focused my attention towards him.
The curse of my curiosity would not let me rest...
I had uneasy, stirring feelings, and felt that I was about to be disappointed as I made my way nonchalantly toward his group within listening distance before they noticed me and stopped sharing their personal and favorite topic; girls.
To be continued...
My Nephew... Not... Part Three