The whisper came to her while she slept. The riddle unravelled while she prayed. The knot untied and the loose ends ran like ribbons through empty halls, like the tape of a cassette with white noise and expectant waiting.
The story made its way, moment by moment into her consciousness. Moment by moment, her physical actions joined with the story written like a blurred picture coming in to focus.
‘In this world….,’ rang the echo. The fingerprint in her mind had its own heartbeat and seemed ready to take over. ‘…you will experience hardship.’ Faint and exhilarated together, she looks around to see if anyone else knows this, too.
Automatons. Human robots putting shovels to ground and building towers to admire. Robot moms straightening parts one minute and comparing estrogen the next. The robots scatter when blood steps on the scene. When something real comes spilling out of the mouth of a once inconspicuous member of society. Society doesn’t care who you really are as long as you can fit in and keep up.
Tears are so awkward. So ill fitting in a world where teeth are florescent white and the skin is pulled tight, plumped up and decorated orange.
‘You will deny me….,’ pulses the whisper. Can you hear it? She must not show signs of life or she’ll lose her social position. She must not make eye contact or they’ll know she’s real. She slips into a covered alley to pull on her hair, to slap her cheeks. My gosh. The whisper is revealing the riddle of the future and there is no one she can tell. The preacher will put it up as an example of irreverence. Her boss will make her take leave. Her mother will cry. Her husband will send her to a therapist. The therapist will medicate her. ‘…you will make a run for it and abandon me.’
She asks her best friend. A moment of trust, which of course, is always weakness. Her friend doesn’t know this voice. Her friend doesn’t know who she could be ‘abandoning’ and as long as she plays by the rules, she will not experience ‘hardship.’ Per say.
Fake your laugh. Let it go. Proof is found floating in the cereal. What ‘will be abandoned’ has, in fact, been abandoned. To the devastating extent that most don’t even know that there was something to be abandoned.
The life that she feels is hard to continually ignore. She feels more and more detached from the clammy skin, perfume and pink cheeks.
Prayers to make sense turn into answers and answers take her into a crushing transition between what was and what will be. She enters the knowing from eating the fruit. Fruit makes her sick and when she heals she’s on the outside. No longer a member of the society inside the bubble.
Fear starts to creep when the whisper echos in, “I told you all that so that you would believe. Belief leaves you unshaken, assured and deeply at peace.”
She started her travels, putting secrets on pages. He said one more thing that she rolls in her head. Something that she never understood before she got sick, but now hangs on to whenever she doubts.
A friendly face from a fellow outcast sprinkles her walk.
Onward she goes, through territory new, thinking about the words that were whispered in sleep.
‘In this godless world, you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I have conquered the world.’
Quotes whispered from John 16:17-18 MSG
Copyright © 2009 by Serena Woods. All rights reserved.