“Mum, I really don’t want to go to church, I have too much to do.” I insisted.
My mum’s voice sounded weary. “Lucy, for me, please. I promised Reverend Laybourn you’d come. He’s worried about you.”
“Tell him to go and tend to the parishioners who need him, I don’t.” I said sharply. Did I hear my mum sob? I was tired. Sleep had eluded me for several nights. The truth was, I was afraid to sleep, afraid of where my dreams took me.
“For your dad, Lucy, go in memory of your dad.” That was a blow below the belt, but it got my attention and I felt guilty.
“OK mum, I’ll go to church. I’ll see you there. Ten o clock right?”
“I’ll pick you up at 9:30.” she said. Damn, there was no way of getting out of it was there? She hung up the phone before I could object.
I started feeling nauseous at around 9:15 and by the time my mum arrived I was quite sick. After waiting it the car for five minutes, she came up to see what was wrong. “You look as white as a sheet, are you alright?” she asked.
“Not really mum, I think I should stay here, go to church without me.”
She pursed her lips in determination. “You are going to church, it’s cool in there, it will make you feel better.” Fighting with her was pointless so I followed her down to the car. The closer we got to the church, the worse I felt. I could barely muster up strength to get out of the car. We walked slowly toward St. Paul’s, a place of worship I’d frequented often as a child and teenager. A place I didn’t want to go anymore. When we reached the gate, I could go no further. With my my hand on the wall to support me, I bent down and threw up. My mum stepped back. “Oh dear,” she said, “You really are sick, let me get you some water.” As he walked towards the church, I stood up, suddenly full of energy and snarled, “Just make sure it’s not holy water.” The laughter that followed, coming from my own mouth, wasn’t mine, and it scared me.
My mum turned around and looked at me, clearly shaken, then she stood in front of me and slapped my face, hard.
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