Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!
Well… today was a day.
On the plus side, the weather was amazing. We had another day of just going out and enjoying the weather. I mean, it was like 70 degrees and breezy… how can you not like that? So that was great.
On the minus side… the pastor came over for dinner.
He kind of invited himself, though Sabby doesn’t really mind when he comes over. He’s not my favorite person in the world at the moment, but he’s not a bad guy, and he does care. I guess.
After we ate, we went to the living room and he asked me why I wasn’t going to church anymore.
I just looked at him with the best “are you stupid” face I could muster, and because I’m a teenage girl (18 counts!) I can muster up a good one.
“You really don’t know?”, I asked, with enough derision dropping from my voice that Sabby smacked my arm.
He sighed. “No, I think I know. But you can’t stay away forever.”
“Watch me,” I said, before I even really knew what I was saying. That isn’t a decision I’d really made, but, well, I guess I made it after all.
“I’ve never seen you like this,” he said sadly. “You’ve always been a cheerful, happy girl who brightens the day of everyone around you. Why are you being like this?”
“Because I didn’t ask for any of this!”, I almost hissed. “What you and the assistant pastor did is water under the bridge, mostly, anyway. I’m not really angry about that. But I’m not the happiest girl in the world, either. You’ve met Yuki, right?”
He nodded. Yuki’s been going pretty much every week. She’s not really huge into the religious aspects, but she likes the ceremony and she likes the… mostly.. genuine community. There’s not a whole lot of that in Japan.
“Well, you know she used to be a Japanese idol, right?”
“What’s an idol?”, he asked, a little confused. “She doesn’t look like a graven image…”
I giggled a little in spite of myself. “An idol in Japan is like a pop star, but accessible to fans in certain ways. Some people grow to think they have a relationship with them… but they don’t. Yuki’s a little traumatized by it. She came to the US to get away from that world.”
He nodded, and it was quiet. Finally he spoke. “You think you’re going to be an idol.”
“I think I already am,” I said quietly. “What happened that day was great for other people, but awful for me. Now people will look at me like a prayer machine or some kind of hyper spiritual person or something, but they won’t want me around for me anymore. And what happens if I give in and pray and the prayers don’t work? They’ll blame me! I didn’t ask for any of this!”
He was quiet for a moment. “Why do you think so little of everyone? They haven’t done anything to you. You… haven’t given them a chance to, Lily. You just assumed that’s how things are going to be, and… you ran away.”
I could feel my face flushing a little. “Do you want me to be honest with you? Because if I do, I might yell.”
His face was impassive. “Go ahead.”
“Why do I think so little of everyone? It’s not everyone I think so little of. It’s God I think so little of. Yes, people might behave that way, and I don’t like it, and I don’t want it, but none of this would have happened if he had just minded his own business and not put me in this situation in the first place! People are going to be people. I don’t like how they might treat me, and maybe I do think little of them in that way, but why in ever loving heck would I go back to a place that worships a God that has done nothing at all but screw me all throughout my life? I lost my birth mother because of a hurricane, and other things, I lost all my memories because of some kind of divine event because my adoptive parents were idiots, and now I’ve got some kind of gift that will do nothing at all but drive a wedge between me and everyone who knows I have it? Why would I go back there?” I almost sneered. Dang it, where was all this coming from? “Maybe he’s done some good stuff for me. I did find Dave and Sabby after all. But at the end of the day, I am who I am in spite of him, not because of him. So… tell me. Why should I go back there?” I almost yelled the last bit. The silence afterwards was deafening. Sabby looked like she wanted to say something but thought better of it.
She knows I can go off on her too. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen sometimes.
I… didn’t even really know I felt that way. Not really.
The room was quiet for a minute.
Then he spoke.
“Because he’s all we have,” he said quietly. “He’s all we have, and as much as he might screw us, or as much as he might be blamed for bad things happening… without him, what would we have? We’d be nothing more than animals, slaves to our baser nature, doing nothing but scavenging for food and trying to find meaning an an empty life where there really isn’t any. He’s all we have, Lily. Don’t throw him out because you feel like he screwed you.” He sighed. “Maybe he did, at that. I can’t really speak for him, and you sure have had your share of traumas. Maybe the only reason you’re as well adjusted as you are, is that you can’t remember any of it.” He sighed. “I’m not a therapist. I’m just a pastor. I don’t have all the answers. But give us a chance. If we… treat you like you think we might, then I won’t blame you if you never come back.”
I was quiet. I didn’t have anything more to say.
He stood up. “I guess I’ll take my leave now. You’re welcome back when you decide to. I hope you don’t stay away forever.” He said his goodbyes and left.
Sabby gave me a look. “Did you mean all of that?”
“Have you ever known me to lie, Sabby?”
She shook her head. “I haven’t. I don’t know if you even know how to lie.” She sighed softly. “I can’t really blame you, I guess.” She wiped a tear from her eye. “But it makes me sad. I hurt for you, sometimes. Don’t hate me for that.” And before I could answer, she stood up and went to her room. Then I heard the bathwater running.
Remember how I said I’d never seen Sabby depressed?
But nothing to be done. Can’t be helped.
I don’t hate her, though. I could never hate her. I guess I’ll go get her a chocolate milkshake.
I was going to go out with Jack tonight until the pastor showed up. I guess… we’ll do it sometime this week.