Shattered. Everything is irrevocably shattered into little tiny, jagged pieces. I clutch my hands over my ears, dull out the sound with my shaking fingers. They are yelling. Lecturing. I have disappointed them. They should have known better, they say.
“We let you into our home. We trusted you. We allowed you into our family. And this! This is how your repay us? This is how you disrespect us?!?” The man is spitting with fury, his eyes are glowing in anger, his hair standing on end. He paces back and forth, while I rock myself gently on the couch. I am silent.
“We should have known. We were wrong to trust you.” He looks at his wife, nods his head. She looks down in her lap and speaks softly to Jesus, asking for strength.
Pointing at me, he quietly thunders, “You must demand forgiveness for what you have done!”
He takes long, hurried strides over to his desk where his massive gold embossed bible rests. His large hands, easily big enough to cover my face in the palm alone, cradle the book as he rustles through the pages for something that will fix this. That will fix me.
But nothing can.
“Gina, you must pray for forgiveness. You must repent for your sins. Get down on your knees and pray.” I look up at him, my eyes begging him not to do this. Not to humiliate me even more. I take a deep breath, hold it, before blowing the hot air out with the force of a hundred stampeding elephants. I take my hands off of my ears, wipe the tears from my face and look up at him.
“I will not get on my knees,” I whisper. ”I did nothing wrong.”
His head whips back, my words slapping him into a stunned silence. The wife gasps, sucking in every last particle of air from the room. No one moves.
Voice shaking, chin up, hands clenched, I exclaimed, “I said no. He did not listen. This was not my choice. And I WILL NOT ASK FOR FORGIVENESS.”
I have done it. I have severed the last ties that I had to a family that would save me. And I don’t fucking care.
I walk into my bedroom, grab my keys, my purse, throw some clothes into a backpack. I sit on my bed and pick up the bible that I treasured, laying on my pillow. I embrace it, hold it to my chest, and cry. Hot fat salty tears stream down my face as I shake with each deep gasping sob. Why am I so hard to love? I want to scream. Instead, I toss my bible in with my clothes and walk out to the living room.
“I never wanted to leave this way. I never wanted it to be this way. I thought that I was going to be happy here. I thought that it was going to be different.” I looked up toward them, afraid to make eye contact.
“You gave me a roof over my head when I needed one, but now I have to leave.”
Slowly, I turned around and walked out the front door.