She had decorated her small piece of the world as precisely as she could to a picture she’d seen in a Good House Keeping Magazine a few years ago. It was, to her twenty year old mind, her truest statement of home. She’d used straw mats over the carpet to simulate hard wood flooring, but all in all the room was picture perfect. She’d framed the magazine picture on the wall over the little desk as a conversation piece for visitors, but she didn’t have visitors often and her siblings all thought it was odd. But to her it was just home, a place to escape the harshness of the outside world and she’d almost ruined that by allowing Steve to even enter the airspace! He’d disrespected her furniture and her sense of style. He was often rude in his way and yet loving when he wanted to be intimate. She’d chalked this all up to the life he’d led in New York. It would seem to her that New Yorkers were like this, cold and hard on the outside, but warm and gooey on the inside. The very thought that she’d missed all those red flags made her even angrier!
Flopping down on the couch, she began to unbutton her coat. She rested her head on the back of the couch and stared at the pictures she secured to the ceiling. She chuckled to herself. This was probably the oddest part of her home. There were pictures on the ceiling in every room. She’d had them professionally mounted so there wouldn’t be any surprises. The ones in the living room were of fields and meadows. Each ceiling held room appropriate paintings or framed photos. It was truly relaxing to lie back in the tub and look at pictures of the beach and the ocean. She’d gotten the idea one day at her Gyno’s office. She wondered if the cute kitty picture over the exam table eased anyone’s fears. It was truly odd to have pictures of kittens and cats in a Gynecologist office anyway, far too many innuendos.
She yawned. The silence was her least favorite thing in her apartment. It hung like a big heavy drop cloth over every beautiful thing. It’s probably why she’d allowed Steve to come into her space in the first place.
She’d thought about getting a pet, but couldn’t decide which one she wouldn’t mind cleaning up after. It would also have to be odorless, didn’t shed, nor have to be fed regularly. These truths of the pet search had led her to the thrift store in search of a pet rock. This hadn’t been good either, because it came up missing one day.
She looked about her place, it was picture perfect, but there wasn’t any signs of life. No plants graced the corners. There were no pictures of smiling faces on any surface. It did cross her mind that this was one of the reasons why Steve had thought her an easy mark. Her entire existence screamed “LONELY PATHETIC CHRISTIAN WOMAN LOOKING FOR SOMEONE, ANYONE TO BRIGHTEN HER WORLD!”
In truth it had also been easy for Brighten, her very first boyfriend, emphasis on “boy”. Brighten had been about sex also, but she’d met him at church and they’d played the role of sweet courting couple; making out in private and barely touching in public.
They’d lasted one year. She decided that she didn’t want pretense to be a part of her married life.
She slipped her arms out of her coat and slipped off her shoes and wiggled her toes. Brighten had liked her feet, a lot. That thought made her giggle. He would kiss and caress her feet. They’d go on shopping trips to find just the correct shade of whatever color he wanted to paint her toenails. In the end he never spoke of marriage, just her feet.
She never painted her toenails now and Steve had never noticed. He wasn’t about body parts he’d told her, he was about the entire woman. He wanted to know what made her tick. And then he’d used the information to take her most prized possession – her identity. Sure her virginity had been prized, but no one had ever told her about the emptiness that follows a sex act when love isn’t present. She’d thought she loved him, but it turned out that the “reasons had just disappeared”. She laughed out loud. Such a pretty song; such a sad, but true message. She began to sing: “Now, I’m craving your body, is this real
Temperatures rising, I don’t want to feel
I’m in the wrong place to be real
Woahh and I’m longing to love you
just for a night, Kissing and hugging and holding you tight
Please let me love you with all my might
Reasons, the reasons that we’re here,
The reasons that we fear our feelings a-won’t disappear
Oooh! And- after the love game has been played
All our illusions were just a parade
And all the reasons start to fade…..”
>Game, there’s that word again. Why did it have to be a game? Why was it even considered a competition? Isn’t that what a game is, chance, luck, skill? Someone wins and someone loses. Why did it have to be a game? Why couldn’t it be a meeting? Two people coming together to discus the possibility of oneness? She sighed. Meeting of Love? No, it wasn’t very poetic. She closed her eyes and prayed. It wasn’t a very long prayer, just one to soothe the ache in her heart. She stared at the pictures on her ceiling. “I don’t mind waiting God. It’s the unknown that gets to me. I thought I’d be married by now. Please help me to see your hand in all of this.” Rachael paused. She understood that saying AMEN meant far more than just ending her prayer. It meant that she had changed her mindset and would allow God to have his way in her circumstance, so she didn’t say AMEN.