She sat in her soft-yellow slug bug pounding the steering wheel. Tears came down her face as she watched the people file out from the church. All of them were so happy. She remembered being one of them, much to well. She hated the memories that were happiest here. Her childhood had lived and breathed here. Ever so slowly though, in her teen years, she started drifting away from the people who kept her there. After she graduated from high school, she attended the state university. There she had felt freedom like she never had before. She closed her eyes and rested her head against the steering wheel. There were so many things she regretted from her decisions. Now, she came to the only place where she had felt love and couldn’t even bring herself to go inside. All the shame and guilt held her in her seat. She wasn’t worthy of any type of love. She wondered what she was even doing here; it was a stupid idea to come.
“Elle? Is that you?”
Oh, please go away. I thought.
“Elle?” He knocked on the drivers-side window.
“Go away.” I said.
“Come on Elle, it’s me, Mac. Remember? I haven’t seen you in forever
The way he said it made him sound like he was pleading for some sign of my excitement. I looked up at him, still secluded in the safety of my car.
“What happened Elle?” He loudly demanded after seeing my face.
I put my finger to my mouth to hush him. I didn’t want anyone else to know I was a pathetic wimp who was crying in my car.
“Want to come inside and talk?” Now, more sincere he pointed to the church.
I shook my head. I couldn’t go into a place that reminded me of my failures. I watched him as he walked around to the passenger side of my car and tried to open it.
“Unlock the door, Elle.”
Fear flashed in my eyes.
“I promise, I won’t hurt you.” his eyes held compassion and questions.
Slowly, I reached my hand out and touched the unlock button. He opened the door and situated himself in the passenger seat. He looked at me and smiled.
“It’s been forever.”
“What happened Elle?”
“Nothing. Nothing at all.” Calm, cool, and collected.
“Come on Elle, we were best friends back in youth group. We used to tell each other everything. You can trust me…” He held his breath and hoped for something more.
Failure. Screw up. I shook my head, another wave of tears about to force themselves out. I pounded my steering wheel with my hands. My heart told me yes, my brain told me no.
“Elle, why did you come back? What has happened? Why are you so afraid? I want to help you.”
“You can’t help me Mac. I’ve messed up to much.” I whispered. I felt the cold touch of his hand on my tightly grasped fist.
“Nothing you can do or say will make me leave without helping you. I’m guessing that’s why you came here.” His hand covered mine and gently grasped it.
I looked at him. Sternly he kept eye contact with me and said, “I will not hurt you.”
I sighed. So many secrets that were held and watched so closely over the years were about to rush out as fast as Niagara Falls...
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~Believer in PRTC