There is no loss more devastating than losing hope. It leaves to mourn a shattered shell called hopelessness; broken, misunderstood and indelibly scarred.
Tears streamed from her eyes obscuring her vision.
Although she was only 14 years old, it seemed as if she had lived a lifetime. A lifetime shrouded in pain, heartache and confusion. The last few days had brought her a glimmer of hope. Now that hope was gone. She had heard the voice of her savior denounce her belittle her with ridicule and laughter. There was no one else to believe in no one to believe in her.
She stood trembling upon a chair. All had failed her. She would not fail herself never again.
She would take a leap forward and be removed from what had been a wretched life and breach the contract which promised another lifetime of suffering.
There would be no other way. She had never learned to accept herself and knew that she would never be fully accepted by anyone else. A rope as tight, a fire as hot No one could touch her now.
Her cross a young life lived in misery plagued with mental confusion and anxiety for as long as she could remember. Her imagination, hyperactive and kaleidoscopic, had always caused others not to believe in her.
There was a rhythm to her usual madness. However, this was different from the fleeting moments of frantic lunatic ravings. This had lasted five years. Rarely a day passed in those years that she had not been the subject of his sickness and shamelessness.
She felt unclean, vile and casted away. All had chosen to believe him. The masses had sanctified the devil that had stripped her of her dignity and raped more than her flesh. He had caused the demise of her spirit.
He the devil disguised as an angel of God. He stood hiding behind the pulpit, anointing the foreheads of the hopeless, sharing the blood and the body of Christ with hungry parishioners while sending her soul to burn in hell. He tortured the very soul he was sent to save. He was king of the cathedral and self-governed without restraint. He turned what was to be her refuge into a hellish prison.
She came to him when she was 9 years old. “We love you honey, but only God can help you now. You will be just fine here. Father Mears and the others will take good care of you”, her parents encouraged. She remembered his face. He looked upon her with a twisted grin; rubbing his hands with anticipation. It only took him three days.
He placed her away from the others. Many times she screamed in the night begging for mercy. Her cries fell on deaf ears.
During those episodes she fixed her gaze toward the ceiling. She became a participating audience to the dancing shadows reflecting from the streetlights that spilled through the small barred window. Her mind was removed from the physical. Those images became children dancing in the fields; spinning on their heels twirling in the sun. Their laughter drowned his horrible sounds. She was dancing with them. In her mind she was free.
After the first year, only her mother came to visit. Her father could no longer bear to see his only daughter broken and torn, shattered into a million little pieces. Her affliction caused him distress and challenged his faith. Rather than hear her charge the preacher with such beastly conduct, he chose to stay away from her. He believed in time Father Mears and the good saints would rid her of the demons that haunted her mind.
She had a vision of redemption but things are not always as they appear. The magic of the dawning day reveals what hides in the dark. His name was Jeremy. He and another were tasked with cleaning the kitchen at night.
“I know what he does; I know what Father Mears does to you. If you trust me I will get you help.”
She nodded her head quickly. Someone believed in her. “I trust you”, between a whisper and a cry. “I trust you.”
“I will come back tomorrow night after he’s done with someone who will help you. You must not tell a soul about this.” Again, she agreed quickly.
Surely, as faithful as the turning earth, the devil came and left. This night was different. It would be the last. She would be saved tonight. She didn’t play in the field with the other children but watched the devil for the last time. She watched his face. He was an old sad looking man bagging eyes, dirty grey hair and enlarged pores; nothing to be afraid of. Who had given such a man so much power and why?
After the devil had left she waited for her savior.
An hour passed. The knob turned and the wooden door opened slowly. He appeared with the other worker.
“There she is there’s the little tramp. She is crazy man the Father likes the crazy ones.”
Her savior pointed his finger at her. “She’s trash man Do you want it?”
Her heart pounded, she felt dizzy she could feel the bile rise in her throat.
“Naw she’s too little man. Let Father Mears keep that one Let’s go.”
No longer her savior, he looked at her as if to say that he would be back. The wooden door creaked on its joints as it closed behind them. She heard laughter fill the halls as they walked away.
Relieved sadden. She would not be saved.
Now staring at the pulpit from the choir loft, her hands quivered as she placed her head through the circle. Eight less than perfect coils swayed above her head.
Images of her family filled her mind. She pushed them away. They didn’t matter anymore and to think of them would slow her progress. They hadn’t helped her before and any thought given to them would be useless now.
When those thoughts left, none followed. That was her confirmation. There was nothing or anyone to live for – she was just an empty lonely shell.
She tightened the noose until it fit snug around her neck. She wiped her tears and stood straight. She fought to control her shaking knees. She would do this proudly.
It would be simple. Just a simple step forward – off the chair’s edge and it would be all over. She would be gone and her pain would end. Her strength would be restored.
She raised her right leg and stepped off the chair. Her body fell forward but was quickly caught by the rope. She felt it burn against her neck as it choked her.
“You took my life”, she whispered, but no sound escaped her mouth. This was the end Sara swayed side to side swinging from the rope attached to the ceiling fan in the choir loft.
In the single step, she had killed the pain and quieted the laughter. She was free.
A note was found neatly folded at the altar.
Why is the runt of the litter always the one who is rejected, mistreated and pushed aside? Is it not the runt that needs the most help? It is the weakest and does not have the strength to protect itself. Nor does it have the courage to fight. It is the last to be picked from the litter. It looks to others for its salvation.
My blood is on your hands. It was you who tied the noose and placed it on my neck and pushed me off the chair’s edge when you ignored my cries.
You all must learn that each of your actions have an effect. The littlest thing you do produces a seed. That seed grows and bears fruits. Your fruit fell to the earth and rotted causing a harvest to be lost.
I am lost because of your sins, your ignorance, and deceptions. You will never find me never again.