“What happened to your face?” As soon as the words leave my mouth I wish they hadn’t. Sometimes I imagine unzipping myself right down the middle and a different me falls out, one that doesn’t make people so mad all the time.
“You think I’m ugly!” Annie wails, with her fists in a ball.
I shake my head, “No I don’t. I think you're pretty, I was just wondering what happened, that’s all.”
The red pustules on Annie's face and arms start to ooze, discharging an infectious yellow puss. My hand goes over my mouth in reflex as I start to gag. They aren’t always there, they only appear when she’s mad.
Her yellow ribbons hang loose from her lopsided pigtails as she bounces in a fighting stance with protruding eyes, “You're mean!” She cries, “I don’t want to play with you anymore.”
“I'm sorry Annie,” I murmur with my head down.
Scooping my Barbie dolls off the big square electrical box in front of my house, I walk toward the carport.
The truth is, I never really liked playing with her anyway. She can be mean sometimes, like when I don’t play the way she wants me to play. But still, I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings.
“Wait, don’t go.” Annie pleads.
“I have to go inside now.” I say.
“Fine, leave me like the rest of them.”
I glance back quickly to make sure she isn’t following me.
“Who’re you talking to Kelly?” My mom asks, passing me with her gardening tools.
“I was talking to Annie.” I sulk past her, in the house and straight to my room.
Sighing heavily, I place the Barbies neatly in the container on the floor. Blowing a giant bubble with my pink bubble gum, it pops and I suck it in, blowing another. This time when it pops the deflated bubble catches in my hair. “Dang it.”
I start to cut the gum out of my hair with safety scissors when Mom storms in my room, still wearing her gardening gloves, stained with dirt.
“What is wrong with you? Why would you deliberately stomp my flowers?”
I hold my hands out defensively, “It wasn’t me, I swear.”
She’s sad, I feel it in my heart. Why do I make everyone sad?
Mom crosses the room and leans down in my face, I can smell her morning coffee breath.
“Then who was it?” She asks calmly, “You are the only one that was playing in the front yard this morning.”
I sigh, “It was Annie.” I explain reluctantly. “She doesn’t like the flowers there because they attract the bees.”
My mother’s face turns three shades of red. She’s so mad she starts stuttering, “We...we do not tell lies in this family young lady.” Her gloved finger is flopping in my face. “You can just stay in this room, and pray about what you’ve done until lunch time.”
Grabbing my Barbie dolls from the floor, she takes them with her, slamming the door behind her.
This is a thing in my house, getting in trouble for things I didn’t do. It’s ok, I’m used to it. And besides, I like being in my room, it’s my happy place.
Climbing up on my bed with my pillow propped under my knees, I peek out of my window. Mom is bent over her trampled flower bed, pulling smashed daisies, lavender, and daffodils from the dirt. A giant sunflower is flopped over, she was so proud of that sunflower.
She looks so pretty, with her blond curls flowing down her shoulders in the morning sunlight. A smudge of dirt the only flaw on her beautiful face.
But, my eyes aren’t on her anymore, they are on the bee buzzing around her head and the angry little girl with the bee stings standing behind her.
“I told you not to play with her.”
I jump, startled when Faith speaks from behind me.
“You have to tell her to go away Kelly. They go away when you tell them to, she’ll keep coming back if you don’t.”
I plop back on my bed and blow my bangs out of my eyes. “Ok,” I sigh in agreement.
“I mean it Kelly. She won’t go away unless you tell her that you don’t want to play with her anymore.”
I blow a giant pink bubble and suck it back in, “Ok.”
My hair floats gracefully, swishing back and forth across my face as I sway my body slowly from side to side.
A drop of cold water drips from the faucet onto the top of my wrinkled toe, a welcoming contrast to the rest of my body, sunk below the hot bath water.
The muffled pounding and voices do nothing to break my trance, because I’m deliberately blocking out the sounds. When I’m under the water I can do that, I can block out the world around me. When I’m under water, the voices are distorted, the ones on the outside, and the ones on the inside too.
My lungs are starting to give up, they always do. Just a few more seconds though, and I can recreate that sensation from yesterday. The stifled pounding is louder now, I should hurry.
My lungs are aching as bubbles escape from my nostrils, my cheeks are puffed out and my eyes are bulging, but I won’t give up. I have to recreate the feeling I got yesterday when the preacher held me under the water just a little too long.
They don’t usually baptize kids so young at my church, but they made an exception for me, on account of…you know.
It was a strange sensation, being born again. The preacher had his large palm on my forehead, holding me just below the surface of the water. His hand was so big that I could feel his pinky finger resting over my nose. When I couldn’t hold my breath anymore and everything was starting to fade, that’s when it happened, that’s when the Holy Spirit entered my body and my sins were washed away.
It wasn't the first time I felt that way. And also, I wasn’t alone under there. Someone was with me, someone familiar whispering in my ear. It’s the same person from my dreams, I just can’t remember when I’m awake. I wish I knew who it was, wish I could remember the words. The water was comforting too, it felt like a warm blanket swaddled around me.
When I woke up, a bunch of church people were standing over me and my parents looked troubled. I think maybe the preacher must have held me under just a little longer than most people, just to be sure the demons are gone.
Anyway, I need to recreate it now. I need it to happen again, because it didn’t work right. I still see them. I still see her.
I can’t hold my breath any more. Finally, I bring my face out of the water and gasp for air.
“If you don’t get out of that tub I’m going to break down this door. I’ve already called mom, you’re in big trouble.”
I’m intentionally ignoring my oldest brother, Michael, he’s always yelling at me.
“Just leave her alone, she’ll come out when she’s ready.” My other brother Mark, tells Michael sternly. Mark always sticks up for me.
Flipping onto my stomach, I turn and float forward a few inches to face the shiny, round metal drain plate.
I can see my reflection in it but it fogs up when I breathe. A cold drop of water trickles from the faucet, plopping on my forehead, making me giggle. I wipe the fog away and stare closely at the warped reflection of my own eyes in the smooth metal. Sometimes you have to do that you know, to make sure you’re still in there.
“She’s been in that tub for like forty-five minutes, what’s she trying to do, drown herself?” Michael bellows angrily. “Get out of that bathtub before I break down the door.”
He is such a liar, because according to the clock on the wall, I have not been in the tub for forty-five minutes; I have only been in here for thirty-four minutes. Mom hung the clock on the bathroom wall so we could time our showers. With three kids using the same bathroom, we only get fifteen minutes each to get ready before school.
The clock is in the shape of a brown owl sitting on a branch. It matches the owl patterns on the shower curtain and the toothbrush holder.
The bobble eyes of the owl follow me as if it’s watching me, so I usually drape toilet paper over it while I’m going to the bathroom. I find myself using the clock to time everything though, three minutes to brush my teeth, two minutes to floss, thirteen minutes to go number two.
I was under water for forty-two seconds this time, only ten seconds more than last time. Maybe if I can make it just ten more seconds it’ll work.
I hold my hands up in front of my face for inspection, my alien fingers are pale and wrinkled.
“She’s just a little kid playing in the tub, cut her a break Michael, just go use Mom and Dad’s bathroom.” Mark says.
“No, that’s not the point. I’m tired of her being so weird all the time.”
I hear something metal poking into the door handle. Taking a deep breath, I look at the second hand on the owl clock, before I plunge myself backward under the water again.
With my owl pattern towel tight around my body, I step up onto my pink bed spread and twirl the stick to close my blinds with my fingers, still wrinkly from the bath.
I pull the pink lacey curtains closed, and then turn off my overhead light by the switch. Grabbing my clothes from the dresser, I slip into the closet and close the doors behind me. Dropping my towel, I dress quickly.
“Why are you in the closet?” I hear Faith say from the other side of the closet door, but I ignore her. I’m not supposed to hear her anymore, because I’m born again now. If I ignore her and pretend she’s not there, maybe she’ll go away.
I’m relieved when several moments of silence fills the small closet, maybe she’s gone. But then my heart fills with sadness, I miss her already. She’s my only friend.
“Why did you close the blinds?”
Startled, I jump. “I can’t hear you.” I lie.
“And the light, why did you turn the light off?”
I squint my eyes tight. “Shhhh,” I beg. “I can’t talk to you anymore, I’m baptized now. They told me I would stop seeing you now that I have the lord Jesus in my heart.”
Faith giggles, “You have always had the lord in your heart silly, you were born that way.”
Silence fills the closet for so long again that I think she may have finally disappeared.
I peek through the slots in the closet door, but she’s still curled up on my pink beanbag, examining her sparkly fingernails.
“So, are you going to answer me? Why are we in the dark?” Faith asks.
I finally snap, “It’s not even dark because it’s daytime so it’s still kinda light in here without the light on. Now please just go away!” I say, but I panic. She said they went away when you told them to. Oh no, what if she’s gone before I can say goodbye.
“Faith?” I crawl out of the closet on my hands and knees and plop down next to her on the pink beanbag.
She immediately starts combing my wet hair with her fingers.
“I’ll tell you, but then you need to promise you’ll go away.” I sigh sadly, “I closed the blinds because they said Jesus is always watching me and I didn’t want him to see me naked.” I admit, embarrassed.
I always felt that way at Christmas time too, Santa Clause is watching, so you had better be good. He knows when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’ve been bad or good. Now I have to be good all year long, because Jesus is watching all the time. Plus, Dad says Mom has that heart condition so I have to be good from now on.
Faith stops combing my hair and places her delicate hands on my cheeks, “Did you ever stop to consider maybe you’re supposed to see me? Like, maybe I was sent here to protect you, to be your friend?”
She wipes the tear off my cheek. I turn my face away from her to stare at the small metal cross hanging above the light switch by my door.
“I don’t want you to go, but they say you have to go away.” I whisper sadly. “I’m born again so I’m not allowed to talk to you anymore. I don’t want to be bad anymore.”
Without even looking at her, I crawl back into the closet and close the door. Being in the closet, in the dark, is the closest feeling I can get to being under water. I can block it all out. There are no shadows in the dark.
“Ok, but I’ll always be here for you Kelly.” Faith whispers from the other side of the slots in the closet door. “You won’t be able to see me or hear me out loud anymore, but if you talk to me in your head I’ll be there. And don’t ever let them tell you you’re not good. Do you hear me Kelly? You are good.”
I don’t speak. I just nod my head as tears stream down my cheeks. They don’t think I’m good, they think I’m bad.
As though she’s reading my mind, she breaks into my thoughts, “Kelly, you are not bad. It’s not their fault, they just don’t understand you’re special. Always remember you are special.”
“That sermon really hit the spot this morning,” Mom says as we pull out of the church parking lot. I’m squeezed between Michael and Mark in the back seat of our gold Cutlass Supreme. Dad bought it from a used car lot a few years ago, it smells like feet.
“It was a powerful sermon.” Dad says. Mom always scoots next to him in the front seat, and they always hold hands.
“They’re asking for help with the new youth group so I signed us up to volunteer. I think the kids will love it, I’ve already put them on the sign-up sheet.”
Why do they always talk about us like we’re not here?
I turn my head to Mark, looking out the window, resting his chin on his fist. “Mark,” I whisper. “Do you want to ride bikes after lunch?” He shrugs. I turn my head to Michael, but he’s already shaking his head no.
The smell of pot roast fills my nostrils as soon as I walk in the front door, making my tummy rumble. Our house is not big, sometimes it’s not big enough for our family of five. The living room, dining room, and kitchen are one small open area as you walk in the front door. The kitchen and dining room are combined in a small area to the left with the living room to the right. The dining room table is a wooden six top that Dad bought from a garage sale. It’s too big for the small dining room so it takes up some of the living room too.
We spend a lot of time at that table between family meals and game nights. We play a board game together at least once a week.
Michael walks over to one of the dining room chairs, “Why is this chair always turned around?” No one pays attention because we’re used to it by now. Dad goes to his office, Mom goes to check the pot roast and Mark and I go to our separate rooms.
One time, I overheard Michael tell Mom, ‘Kelly keeps turning the chair around.’ To which Mom replied, ‘I know.’ I don’t even bother defending myself anymore.
It never fails, when we go to bed, the sixth chair is facing the table along with all the other chairs. But every morning it’s turned, facing out toward the living room. So, I try to make it out there before anyone else in the early mornings, to turn it back in. Sometimes it happens other times of the day too, like today. Maybe when Dad bought it from the garage sale it still had someone in it.
Dad sits at the head of the table, Michael and Mark are to one side of him and Mom and I are on the other side. The sixth chair, next to mine, sits empty as we gather around for our meals.
My family hold hands to say our prayer before we eat. With one hand wrapped in my Mom's hand and the other in Mark's hand, stretched across the empty chair, we say our blessing before diving in to pot roast.
“Dear Heavenly Father, we ask that you bless this food that you have provided for our nourishment today. We thank you, Lord Jesus, for your blessings. And we ask you to continue to bless our family, and protect us from the evil spirits. Amen.”
All of our prayers always end with that line, ‘Protect us from the evil spirits.’ I never really thought about it before recently.
“What’s do you mean by, evil spirit?” I ask Dad.
The question lays between my family like thick fog as they all look at each other.
Dad clears his throat, “Kind of like a bad ghost…” He looks at Mom for approval, she nods.
“Is that what keeps turning the sixth chair around?” I ask.
Mom gives him a sideways look before she gets up to pour more milk into my glass, “Don’t drink all your milk before you eat honey, or you’ll be too full to eat.”
I nod, looking back at my dad to finish his explanation but he’s already on to another topic with Michael.
“Who do you think Faith was Kelly? I mean, do you think she was an imaginary friend, or what?”
I consider this question thoughtfully before answering. I’ve never talked about this with anyone before.
“I think…I think she’s my guardian angel. Even though I haven't seen her since I was little, I feel her sometimes. I think she's still around.”
I look at Dr. Andrew with squinted eyes to gauge his reaction before continuing, “The other day, I was waiting outside for my Dad to pick me up from the library and a dragonfly landed on my finger. I sat there with that thing on my finger for like, fifteen minutes I swear. I think it was Faith, you know, like in another form or something.” I squint my eyes at him again, daring him to disagree.
The orange tabby cat jumps to the third shelf behind him and curls up behind a dusty decorative vase. The corner of its ear twitches as a gnat buzzes around its head. I’m slightly allergic to cats so I’m glad it usually stays away.
“Faith seems like an appropriate name for a guardian angel to have.” Dr. Andrew says.
A few minutes of silence passes as I start peeling my fingernails and dropping them to the floor, trying to decide if he's patronizing me.
Finally, I look up at him, “That’s probably the name I gave her.” I know he doesn’t believe me but still, it feels good to finally talk about Faith after all this time. “I probably made her up, I was just a stupid kid.”
Dr. Andrew clears his throat, “You’ve been coming to see me almost every Thursday for several years now Kelly, I’m curious, why haven’t you ever talked about this before?” He seems disappointed. I hate disappointing people.
“Well...” I say in a high-pitched voice. “Ever since they ‘fixed’ me, by baptizing me and taking me to a shrink…no offence, I tried so hard to be who they wanted me to be for so long. But now, I feel like I can’t hold myself in anymore.”
Dr. Andrew raises an eyebrow and I shrug, “I can’t help it, sometimes my temper flares up over little things, and I blurt out stupid things at inappropriate times. So, I was hoping you would diagnose me with…with something. So when I blurt out something stupid they’ll just be like, ‘Oh that’s just Kelly, don’t mind her, she has Turrets.’ or maybe a Bi-polar diagnosis, ‘Oh, don’t mind Kelly’s little temperamental outburst. It’s not her fault, she’s bi-polar.’ You know, if I’m diagnosed with some type of personality disorder then they’ll think the way I act isn’t my fault and they’ll finally accept me for who I am, instead of thinking I’m bad.”
I see Dr. Andrew trying to hold in a grin. He shakes his head, “You don’t have a personality disorder Kelly. You are completely normal.”
“Ha! Normal.” I blurt out. “I didn’t know you were a comedian too.” But, part of me is relieved to hear him say this.
“You’re just on a different level than most people. That’s why they have a hard time understanding you. You are good Kelly.”
I clearly remember the last words Faith said to me, ‘Don’t ever let them tell you you’re not good.’ I have often repeated the words to myself over the years, just one of my mantras to help me control my temper.
I enjoy my time with Dr. Andrew. I look forward to our weekly sessions. I’ve been seeing him so long, it feels more like hanging out with a friend. He’s young, maybe in his late twenties, I would guess. He has a baby face with pink cheeks, making him seem younger though. I feel like I can tell him anything and he won’t judge me. I hate feeling judged.
“I know what you’re going to say Andrew. you’re gonna say that it’s normal for small children to have imaginary friends.” I roll my eyes and continue, “I have always seen them though, the spirits. I’ve just never told anyone, until now.” I look away, embarrassed.
“You can tell me anything Kelly.” Dr. Andrew says gently.
We usually talk about my day to day activities like school, church, and family. He knows I have a hard time being accepted at home, I tell him all about that. He knows everything about me, but I’ve never talked in detail about this.
“Some people have the gift of seeing uh…”
“Ghosts?” I pause and continue reluctantly, “My mom…” I stop and bite what’s left of my pinky nail nervously. It’s raw from chewing on it all the time, but for some reason the pain is comforting. “My mom has one. It follows her everywhere, it’s a shadow. I’m not sure, but I think it’s a little girl. Maybe it’s my sister, or would have been. My mom never told me about her, she never told me she lost a child. I just know.”
When I was real little, I guess I was around three, I remember splashing in the tub with my little friend. Mom scooped me out of the tub, ‘Who were ya talkin’ to silly girl?’ I remember pointing and getting upset that they didn’t see what I saw.”
Dr. Andrew waits patiently as I stop talking to snap my gum repeatedly before continuing, “I think that’s when my parents started seeing me differently. The look in their eyes use to scare me, it made me feel like something was wrong with me. They had the preacher come to the house and pray over me a lot.”
I stretch my bubble gum out and twirl it around my finger.
“Seriously, maybe you could just prescribe some medication that would help me be more like they want me to be.”
Dr. Andrew reiterates, “There is nothing wrong with you Kelly. Just be yourself, your family loves you very much.”
I smile, knowing he doesn’t understand. If he understood he wouldn’t have said I was normal. It’s not his fault.
“They love the person they think I am, the person they want me to be. That’s not the real me though. And I just don’t think I can pretend anymore.”
He leans forward. “Are you the real you when you’re in this room with me Kelly?”
I take a few seconds to think about that, “Yeah, I think I am.”
He smiles and sits back in his chair. “Do you think Faith was your Mom’s shadow?”
I think about the possibility of that for a long time while digging a paperclip into my raw cuticle.
“No, I don’t think so. I think Faith would have told me if she was my sister.”
Mark and I interrupt the quiescent silence of the Baptist church as our shoes reverberate up the steps to the second floor. The long hallway leading through the empty Sunday school rooms echo with our approach.
This is my favorite time to be at church. When it's empty it seems more spiritual to me. The brick walls and stained-glass windows are filled with sanctity until you fill it with pretentious hypocrites like Michael. I mean, they're not all pretentious hypocrites. Take Mom and Dad (not pretentious hypocrites) for instance. They are so spiritual that you feel it oozing out of their pores when you stand next to them. Being in their presence makes you want to be a better person. But then others just show up because judging people is their hobby.
Mom and Dad are downstairs now, they’re in charge of the older teenager’s youth group. Michael is the only one of us old enough to be in that group. That’s ok with Mark and me. Of course, we are supposed to be using one of the empty classrooms to do our homework, being that it’s a Tuesday night. But we try to finish our homework in school so that we can play hide and go seek, and run around the empty church.
Wednesday nights are the younger teen youth group that Mark and I attend. Michael is our counselor, because Wednesday nights are Mom and Dad’s Christian couples retreat nights. It must make for a strong marriage because I never see my parents fight. They’re always hugging, kissing, and saying they love each other. I’m surprised I don’t have ten brothers and sisters the way they act. “A family that prays together stays together.” It’s their favorite line, so it must be true.
I’m pretty sure being in charge pumps up Michael’s power trip. It’s obvious he’s just trying to show off for Karen. I don’t know what she sees in him. He sucks the fun right out of our youth group.
Mark and I make the most of our free time on Tuesday nights, because we don’t get much freedom at home. When we’re not in school we’re at church, or at home doing chores and studying.
My only free time away from everyone is at the library. I go there after school a lot. I love to read and do research on random subjects. It makes me feel smart to be able to cite facts about subjects most people don’t know about.
“Last one to the water fountain is a rotten egg!”
Our shoes squeak across the freshly mopped vinyl floor, as we race down the long hallway and slide to the water fountain, leaving black skid marks with our shoes.
Mark taps me on the head, “Tag, you’re it.” He barely gets the words out before he’s running back down the hallway the same direction we came. I catch my breath and race behind him but he’s down the stairs three at a time, and through the front foyer across to the other side of the church.
I see him turn down the far hallway so I cut through the other hall to cut him off where they meet at the back of the church.
As I turn the corner, I skid to a halt when Michael comes out of the bathroom. He always has his shoulders arched back and his chest out like he thinks he’s cool or something. His fresh haircut makes his forehead look big.
Michael frowns at me with squinted eyes, “We do not run around church,” He scolds me like I’m a toddler. “Grow up Kelly, you’re thirteen not six.” When he gets no reaction from me he throws in, “Don’t be so disrespectful to God.”
My shame turns to anger. Who does he think he is, judging me like that? I hate being judged.
I lift my angry eyes to meet his. “I’m almost fourteen, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun. At least I don’t act like you, seventeen going on sixty.” I start running again but not before a quick flash of my middle finger.
I turn the corner at the end of the hall and run into Mark, giggling. “Tag you’re it. But don’t go down that hall or Michael will lecture you.” I take off running and look back to see Mark just standing there. I know he’s afraid to get in trouble. “Don’t be such a rule follower.” I taunt.
As I run down the hall and around the corner I see a shadow. I can hear Mark's footsteps behind me, so I pick up my pace. I’m happy that he started running after me despite his reluctance.
“Come on slow poke, you can’t catch me!”
I follow the shadow out the front door of the church laughing, but we’re not supposed to leave the building so when I look back Mark’s face is up against the glass window of the front door.
I laugh, but I know he won’t come outside, so I leave him and walk down the sidewalk lined in perfect square bushes. Just before the parking lot, I hop over the landscaped flowerbed and make my way around the side of the church.
It’s dusk, that few minutes between day and night when the shadows are longer. The warmth from the sun is gradually consumed by the imminent cool night air.
I wrap my arms around myself as an excited shiver runs though me, not really because I’m cold, but because I’m out here alone when it’s almost dark and I know I’m not supposed to be. A single shadow falls on the ground before me. I try to hop over it, but it moves forward. I follow it, looking back to see if Mark followed me but of course he would never break the rules by following me outside, so I continue, alone.
There’s a blue house to the left of the church, that’s where the preacher lives. I walk to the back of the church to the opposite side, toward the cemetery. I find myself drawn to it, like it’s calling me over.
There’s no break in the ranch style fencing between the church and the graveyard for me to get through, so I go over.
Carefully, I wind my way through the tombstones, getting acquainted with those whose souls have left this Earth. I sit down on the concrete bench next to Sidney Murphy, who has a bouquet of fresh flowers propped against her tombstone. She died five years ago. It’s nice that someone still brings her flowers.
I have a good view of the church from here. I can even see the upstairs window to the empty Sunday school room Mark and I usually study in. He’s probably already in there, like the good boy he is.
I turn to the other side of the bench. “Benjamin 1972-1974,” I read aloud. Oh my gosh, poor thing was only two years old.
I look around before I lean in, and sneak a daisy out from the middle of Sidney’s bouquet and place it on Benjamin’s headstone. I’m sure Sidney wouldn’t mind, after all they are neighbors.
Goosebumps erupt on my skin from head to toe when a gentle wind lifts the daisy and then lays it back down a few inches over.
“You’re welcome,” I say, imagining that was Benjamin’s way of thanking me.
I hurry back over the fence when I glance at my watch. Youth group will be over in seven minutes and I don’t want to get caught outside.
“I’ll come back to visit next week.” I announce over my shoulder to no one.
When I approach the church doors, an imprint of Mark’s face is smudged onto the glass. I laugh, wondering how long he stayed their waiting for me like a good kid on the right side of the glass. I always seem to be on the wrong side.
He’s sitting on the floor with his knees up and his chin resting on his folded arms. “You’re cutting it close Kelly, they’ll be out any second. Are you trying to get into more trouble?”
I scoot down beside him. “I went to the graveyard, it was so cool. Will you go with me next Tuesday?”
His eyes widen and he slowly shakes his head, “No.” I swear I feel fear emitting from him.
We pop up to our feet when the doors open and everyone streams out. Mark glares at me sideways, shaking his head as he walks out to the minivan in procession with the rest of the family.
I snuck out to visit the cemetery every Tuesday that I could. Of course, Mark never went with me, in fact he always tried to stop me. There was something in his eyes that almost made me want to listen to him. Was it fear of getting caught or something deeper?
Sometimes I pick the flowers from the landscape in the front of the church and placed them on Benjamin’s forever concrete home. I wonder why no one brings him flowers. I wanted to look up his death at the library but there is no last name on the tombstone. I did however, find out that his neighbor Sidney Murphy died in a car accident.