* * * * * DO WHAT YOU LOVE * * * * *
[Reddit Theme-Thursday] - Wrath
(*warning - triggering subject matter)
His words, as we lay together, "You are lovely. Gazing at your tears gave me a certain kind of pleasure. I felt closer to God when I was inside you. We were meant to be together," still echoed in my head.
He was a pastor and it was a blind date set up by one of my Christian friends. He was like no one I had ever met before. Mature. A man. Not a silly boy.
Things got out of hand quickly. A rebuff to his advances. His reaction at being turned down...immediate and violent...and it was over as quickly as it had begun.
I contemplate how a man of God brought me to my knees. Oh. Not in the way you are thinking. Shame on you...On my knees, praying for God to have mercy on my soul. I couldn't staunch the mental images and evil thoughts that ran through my head; thoughts of how I wanted to make him feel the same pain that I felt every minute of every day. What we had, on the fateful night, was not consensual. I prayed the wrath of God onto his soul.
He appeared; quietly, at my side. I looked up to see a face so familiar. So kind, with eyes filled with empathy. I felt shame and turned away. Back to nursing my wounds and my drink.
The bartender growled, "This man bothering you?" pushing up his sleeves to reveal what could only be prison tattoos. I shook my head then glanced at his fingers wrapped around the bottle of cheap whiskey I had been steadily draining for the past hour. A shaky letter, just below each knuckle, spelled out M.I.N.E. I hadn't noticed it. I was wrapped too tightly in a cocoon of misery. What could it mean? I really didn't care—as I tapped my empty glass on the sticky bar top.
"Keep ‘em coming, Barkeep," I slurred. I was only joking and he laughed at my cliched attempt at humor. I joked when I drank.
"You're pretty funny there, little lady," the Barkeep chuckled as he topped off my highball, adding a couple of fresh ice cubes. Then, aiming a snarl of sorts at the man still hovering around my barstool, he said, "Holler if you need anything," giving me one last look before he turned a corner, disappearing into what could only be the kitchen.
Continuing to ignore the man, standing very close to me now, I sipped my whiskey, watered down by melting ice cubes. This was my new life. My dirty little secret. Slipping out as the sun was setting to a different bar each night. Drinking away the memory...hoping to find a glimpse of the person I was before the incident. What used to be an occasional indulgence had become an addiction in recent months.
“Let me pay for your drinks,” a hand, speckled with age spots and wearing a thin gold wedding band, set a credit card down beside my empty glass.
"Please come home, Sweetheart. This will only make things worse." He softly, so as not to startle me, rested his hand on my shoulder.
I looked up at the kind eyes. He knew me so very well. He was the one who would never give up on me. A gentle man I could trust with my life and darkest secrets.
"How did you find me, Daddy?" I reached up toward my shoulder and like a drowning victim going under for the final time, grasped his hand.
“I’m ready to come home.”
By Lisa H. Owens
Inspired by a Reddit Theme-Thursday Writing Prompt-Wrath