The Preachers Wifebydestinie21©
This story is copyright 2006 of destinie21
Please don't view this story if you are under the age of 18 or if otherwise prohibited by local law.
That voice....Mema was singing again. With that deep down full, rich soulful voice. It was the song she sang every morning. Till the child knew the words like she knew the letters. To her own name.
Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
hear my humble cry;
while on others thou art calling,
do not pass me by.
Hear my humble cry
while on others thou art calling do not pass me by....
Even before she opened her eyes the child knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she would find herself living in the nightmare that had become her life. Even as she struggled to push them away, the memories flooded her mind. She had been watching the snow fall through the back window, and drawing pictures with her finger on the cold smooth surface of the glass. The excitement of Christmas was in the air, the falling snow covering the city like new paint, on it's dirty scratched veneer. She was lost in her own world of Barbie doll wishes and little girl dreams, afterward she couldn't even remember where they had been heading.
All she could really remember was the sun glinting off the snow, and feeling, for a split second like she was on the tilt a whirl. Like her body was somehow moving faster than the vehicle that contained it. Then the crunch of bending metal and breaking glass followed by a crack and a brighter light than the sun and then nothing. In truth she couldn't really remember that much, she had been unconscious upon impact, when her head had crashed into the same window she'd been looking out of. She hadn't heard the sirens or felt the paramedics pulling her small body from the vehicle that would burst into flames only moments after they had retrieved her, nor did she see the second ambulance that would follow behind her's to the hospital, moving in silence.
She would be unconscious for many more hours. When she awoke with her head swaddled in bandages, and a burst of dark angry color blooming over her left cheek and eye, and her left arm in a cast and sling, she would ask with a dry mouth and swollen tongue about her Mama. Then there would be silence and without anyone telling her she would know. Still she'd wait until they told her, praying all the while that everything was just a dream, or better yet a mistake that had never been made.
She might have lay right in this spot and let the events play through her mind over and over again, but a voice was pulling her out of herself and forcing her to open her eyes to the world she wanted so desperately to hide from.
"Kai, come on girl child, I know you ain't sleeping. There's no need of laying around like a no 'count bum when there's plenty of work to fill this day and the next."
There was a brief pause, and then the covers were gone and the child felt the chill of the room seeping right through her red long underwear and into her skin. She opened her eyes pushing away the thoughts that clouded her mind. She didn't say a word as she grabbed her overalls from the bedpost, and poked her skinny legs through the stiff denim legs and fastened the straps over her shoulders. She turned and made the bed as the old woman who had interrupted her thoughts watched her closely.
The woman watched the child, wishing she could soothe the hurt that lived in those small brown eyes. She knew nothing but time could ease that kind of pain but she also knew better than to let the child wallow in her sorrow. She had lived enough years to know that living in the past and not moving past the pain bred nothing but depression. Faith in God, love and hard work had been all she ever needed to get through and now she gave the child over to God, loved her as hard as she knew how, and taught the girl to work. As she watched the girl finish with the bed and walk past her into the bathroom, she prayed that God would keep watch over this child and the rest of the family for one more day.
Kai awoke with a start. The images of her dream clung to the inside of her mind. Even with her eyes open she could see the image of that small cool bedroom that had seemed so big to a child's eyes. The pine floors that were so cold in the winter, scrubbed to a smooth dull shine, by many generations of hands. And then there was Mema, the big-boned broad shouldered woman, with high cheekbones and skin the color of nutmeg. Even when she'd been a little girl there had been threads of silver spinning their way through the thick dark hair that was so much like her own.
She could even hear that voice fading into the second verse of a song that would forever be a part of her life.
Let me at thy throne of mercy
find a sweet relief,
kneeling there in deep contrition;
help my unbelief...
Kai had been having this same dream for weeks, seeing Mema the way she had been when Kai was just a girl. Before sickness and time had worn the image she remembered into one she hadn't wanted to see. She pushed away the images along with the thoughts that surrounded them. She hadn't realized that she was crying until she ran her hands over her face in an upward motion that traveled into her thick unruly hair. She'd probably been crying in her sleep, at least this time she hadn't woken Randi.
Turning onto her side Kai took care not to disturb the long lean figure lying beside her. She took in the beauty of the woman's face. The sharp angled planes of her cheeks and chin were softened by the slope of her forehead and the fullness of her lips. Kai knew she didn't love the young woman, yet she wasn't ready to give up the relationship that almost fulfilled her. Miranda was beautiful, intelligent, artistic, and sweet. Not to mention the fact that she was one hell of a cook and a consummate lover. She was in fact everything Kai was looking for, so much so that the woman wished she could will herself into loving the younger woman, but somehow she knew she couldn't. She was so tired of being alone and craving love, she was looking for something she couldn't quite grasp or define. She might have kept on searching and looking if everything in her world hadn't changed.
For the second time she had lost the most important woman in her life. At the age of thirty she didn't feel robbed by Mema's passing, nor the keen sense of shock, that she'd felt with her own mother's untimely death. She hadn't been struck unaware, she'd long since realized the how precarious mortality could be, still even though Mema had been eighty-four years old Kai hadn't expected her to be gone so soon. She was still adjusting to the fact that she would never see her grandmother's smiling face or feel the warm strong embrace of her arms. Still even in her grief she found a sort of peace. Mema had, had a strong belief and faith in God, a belief that she had shared with and sometimes forced on her granddaughter. Kai had been there when they'd had nothing and watched as the old woman fell to her knees and prayed to an unseen entity. They had never been rich but they'd never been in need either, and what's more they had most of what they wanted.
Kai wasn't sure what to make of it all, there were times when she doubted God and everything she'd learned in the small southern Baptist church her grandmother had taken her to Sunday after Sunday. Then there were times when she couldn't help but believe there was a God because she'd felt his presence and saw his hand at work, and then there were the times when she was too confused to contemplate exactly what she believed. It was in those times when she found it easy to eschew all things even remotely religious, when she chose not to consider her spiritual situation at all because she was tired of struggling and not knowing.
Now something in her was ready for a change. Something in her craved that peace she'd witnessed in her grandmother, she'd found herself not only praying for it, but believing that her request would be answered. She knew her renewed faith would have pleased her grandmother to no end, but for the first time she was taking this step because she wanted to, or perhaps it was more accurate to say that she needed to.
She knew that the changes in her life wouldn't be small nor would they prove easy. As always she knew the biggest issue would be her sexuality. She had struggled with who she was for years, always hiding in one way or another. When society had said it might be okay to be who she was, the church had said not so. Then society had backed down on nearly all the equalities it promised, and gone back on its word. Now here she was lying beside her lover, wondering if she was abnormal, and if she really was some sort of abomination. Kai wasn't sure just how to end this relationship, she was only sure that she was going to. She still hadn't decided on her sexuality but she had decided to forgo fornication at least for a little while.
Without realizing it she found herself humming a refrain
Hear my humble cry
while on others thou art calling do not pass me by....
Randi opened her eyes at that moment as if the thought of her had brought on consciousness. She stretched her limbs and looked Kai right in the eye. She didn't know the song her lover was humming but at least she could guess why she saw the glint of tears in her eyes. She knew nothing of grief and mourning, had never felt the pain of losing a loved one. She didn't know what to say or not say. All she knew was the tears and dreams made her uncomfortable, and helpless.
"Good Morning Baby," was all she said.
Kai smiled in return, wishing her life was less complicated.
"Good Morning." She replied.
Makayla Childress lowered her head into her hands, she wanted to tear out her sleek jet black hair by the roots. Instead she sobbed softly into her perfectly manicured hands and wondered for the umpteenth time what she had done to deserve this. She wasn't surprised, no she'd known this moment was coming for the past six and a half months. She wasn't shocked, just incredibly sad. In the past ten years David had cheated on her more times than she cared to admit, the larger his congregation grew the more he seemed to stray.
The first time she'd caught him in the act her heart had broken, but she'd stayed. She had loved him enough to try and forgive his mistake, had in fact loved his imperfection. She'd seen it as a test of her love and as a test of her faith in God. The second time she'd caught him she was a little less in love and not quite so ready to forgive, still she'd prayed and somehow found the strength to stay. By the third fourth and fifth time, she'd stopped praying all together and had no love for the man who's name she shared. By that time her Mama had already had a stroke and David was paying all the medical bills and making sure his mother in law was in the best senior care facility the city had to offer.
David, loved to keep up appearances, and devoted son in law, dedicated pastor and faithful husband were all key parts of his well constructed facade. Forget the fact that all of the things he pretended to be had little to do with the man he really was. He'd always been so careful with his philandering, he'd never bought another woman into his marital bed, but he certainly had entertained them in his home. Away from the prying eyes of his more than 2000 members and eliminating any chance of a jealous husband or boyfriend catching him. He'd never gotten caught by anyone but Makayla, until now.
Now he was caught and there was no way to deny that he'd slept with a girl a decade and a half younger that his own 33 years. The girl had a brand new two week old, with the DNA to prove that Pastor David Joseph Childress, had been doing more than fasting and praying and preaching. The girl and her grandmother had at first cried out for justice but apparently they were satisfied with a church funded scholarship for the girl to go to college, child support for the little boy who would have his maternal last name, and last but not least a undisclosed amount of money that they would take in exchange for their silence. His extramarital activity and rumors of it had been blatantly ignored by the leaders of the church until they'd had to make a payout. Now the Bishop had gotten involved which is why David and Makayla were being relocated.
So here she sat in her barren living room surrounded by her life, that had been so easily boxed and labeled. Her marriage had long since been in tatters and on top of everything else she had to bear the burden of his latest affair. This young woman had been able to do something she herself hadn't accomplished in the last ten years.
She had given David a child.
Tears still coursed down her face as she moved from her position, she rose and walked for the last time, through the rooms of the house that had been her home for the last seven years. She wanted to have the faith to pray and call on Jesus but like her marriage she had given up on that union a long time ago.
Kai had known Mema would leave her the house, what she hadn't known that the old drafty house would mean so much to her. She had thought she'd sell it and be done with it but now four months later she found herself living and working from the one place that truly felt like home. She could write from anywhere in the world, yet at this moment she couldn't think of anywhere she'd rather be. She'd seen the new neighbors moving in, and hoped they wouldn't disturb her too much, she'd come out here looking for some time to herself and she'd found just that. She'd been meaning to get to church but somehow she never made it, with the exception of Mema's funeral she hadn't set foot in a church in many, many years. She couldn't say exactly why she wouldn't go to church, the reasons and been so clearly defined all those years ago when she'd made the conscious decision to give up on organized religion but the older she got the weaker those reasons seemed until she almost forgot about them all together. She was past the place where being judged was reason enough to stay away.
Hell if that was the case she might as well become a recluse because no matter where she went or who she was or wasn't somebody was going to be passing judgement. She also knew what she'd been taught all those years ago was starting to sound more and more like the way the truth and the light, she didn't go in for all the man made doctrine that had nothing to do with the bible but even so she had started to feel the beginnings of conviction and she didn't have the slightest idea how to reconcile herself with God and his house. She wished for the hundredth time that day that Mema could be there to tell her exactly what to do, or rather how to do what she knew she needed to do. She had prayed every night when she was a child in this very same house but now she didn't know how to talk to God.
She had been trying to work but she found noting but distraction at every turn, after two hours of trying Kai gave up and shut off her laptop. She had decided to go tend to the garden that had been Mema's pride. It was more than a little out of control and weeds had very nearly choked the rose bushes to death. Mema had always pruned the rose bushes in the third week in March, she'd claimed that this was the ideal time, now her it was coming up on the beginning of June. From girlhood Kai had been recruited to help, she had forgotten most of what she learned, it had been years since she'd done any gardening at all.
Now she was falling right back into the comfort zone she run from so hard and fast. The hours she had struggled to fill writing flew by as she weeded the garden, she had hoped to get to the pruning process but it was mid-afternoon when she found herself sweaty and exhausted from just pulling the intrusive weeds from around the dangerous beauty of the rose bushes. She was ready for a break and some kind of meal, she checked her watch surprised to see how much time had passed. She stood up rubbing the dull ache in her back that being on her knees for so long had brought on. Looking down on her handy work she at least felt like she accomplished something productive today. There was still much more work to be done but at least she hadn't idled away the hours. Mema was always saying something about idle hands being the devils workshop.
Makayla had been watching the woman next door to her for at least an hour straight and off and on for longer than that. They'd been living in this teeny tiny town for two weeks and so far she hadn't caught so much as a glimpse of the woman who was kneeling in front of the dwarf roses and pulling weeds like her life depended on it.
She couldn't help but think she'd seen this woman somewhere before, and as much as she racked her brain she just couldn't remember where. She couldn't say why she was watching the woman, the work she was doing wasn't particularly interesting, she would have written her gazing off as sheer boredom but there was plenty to do inside her own house to stave off boredom for the next few months. It was clear that they would have to sell a good deal of their furniture as the new house was simply to small to accommodate all of their belongings.
As of right now at least half of the things she no longer had use for had been carted off to storage, the rest of it with the exception of the two bedrooms that had been set up everything else was still spread throughout the three bedroom house. She and David hadn't said much to each other since the relocation, at least not within the confines of their new home. She still presented the front of the perfect pastor's wife when they set foot in the church. But their home life was miles away from the loving union they presented.
Without having to discuss it they had each claimed their own separate rooms with David taking the furniture that used to fill one of their many guest rooms. She had smirked when she'd seen the set he'd taken for his own. It was the one she'd caught him cheating on the time before the newest infidelity. She had been past the point of demanding he get rid of it, at the start of their marriage she would have cried and sold the set or set it aflame herself. At the time she had felt nothing beyond disgust and even that had been mild and diluted.
She had taken their marital bed because it had been the only bedroom set she could be sure didn't come with the taint of fornication attached to it. Her church clothes alone filled the small walk in closet as well as the closet across the hall in the empty room, which had become her dressing room by default. Most of her remaining clothes were still packed up in boxes waiting to be put away. She didn't really mind living out of boxes it made this new home seem less permanent. She had been thinking about leaving this house and the farce of a marriage since the day she had set foot in the town. It was so small I t didn't even have its own airport, and the "mall" was a joke. The only thing stopping her was the fact that she had no money that wasn't somehow linked to David and no where to go. Her mother was living in a nursing home and she had long ago crossed and burned any bridges she had with her older sister. David had seen to that.
Looking back she couldn't believe she'd turned her back on Cece so easily. The competition between them had always been fierce, Cecilia had married a Law student who went on to become one of the fiercest litigators in Memphis and later the district attorney, he was working his way up to being a judge. When Makayla had married David four years into her sister's marriage he had disliked Cecilia mostly because she had been against Makayla leaving school a semester shy of getting her BA in political science.