This was just a morning feeling. I am reflecting more and more on this character. She is my heart.
A beam of light spread across the stark white room. The glass door that led to the beach welcomed the sun inside. Stretched across the bed Gypsy pushed her feet off the end of the bed, toes wiggling the moment the ocean breeze kissed the tips. As she tightened the soles, her body shook in an orgasmic release of tension inside of her small frame. The calendar on the side of the bed read Sunday, but she already knew. The day of the Lord was always one that sent a rush of emotions through her soul. Today was different though. Today was the 2nd Anniversary of the shooting. The day her father sent a hired killer after her and the deed was done. Well, or so he wished. Slowly, she rolled her naked frame to her back, still, her eyes refused to let the day begin. As she placed her right hand on her chest, the bare nipples already alert, the warmth of the outdoors bringing them out to bask in the light. Her body always did react differently than most.
The sound of the sea birds taking their breakfast curled her lips with a smile. The ocean was the one place she found peace. As her fingers arched, only the tips on her flesh, Gypsy slowly walked them down her flat stomach to the spot. On her right hip was a reminder of the day her Daddy showed her how much she was worth. In a small circle, the nail of her finger rolled around the gunshot wound that once threatened to take her life. Normally, it would not be life threatening, but that one hit her femoral artery causing her to bleed out at a rapid pace. Her only memories were one of begging for him to finish it quickly and the other the sound of the helicopter as she was life flighted. For 48 hours after the shooting she remained on life support to keep her alive. It was a miracle of God that brought her back, or was it? Since the day she was shot in the small church on Sanibel Island, she had never stepped back onto the house of the Lord. Maybe today was the right time to make peace.
Three hours later, sitting at the back of Holy Innocent Catholic Church, Gypsy felt as though she would be sick the moment the Priest began his sermon. Her mouth dry, she tried to push herself back deeper into the pew, but the old wood refused to budge. She couldn’t get deep enough to feel safe again. Her eyes never left the front of the church, but her hand instinctively went to her wrist, holding and counting. 124 and rising. She was going to panic and knew it. Would she bolt from the place like a bat out of hell, or would she freeze in place until they scrapped her from the seat? The moment she found the courage to run, a vortex pulled her into waves of anger.
“‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
Gypsy shook her head, her blonde locks moving from right to left as she listened to the bullshit that spewed from the Priest. Did he really just say to honor your father? On this day, of all days, did he tell her to honor that man? Again, her mind went to a hue of red that she had never before known to exist.
“‘Cursed be anyone who dishonors his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’’
The members of the church all repeated the last word when she snapped. No, she completely lost her mind. Using her hands to adjust the pencil thin black skirt as she stood, the next thing she did was slip from the pew and walk to the front of the church without an invitation from the Priest. She really had lost her mind as she spiralled into a black abyss of hate. When she reached the front, a hand reached out, grabbing hers, but Gypsy heard nothing the woman said. A quick turn to face the packed church, she found her voice for the first time.
“Honor my father and mother? Did I hear that right? Did each of you add an amen to the bullshit this man just spewed?” she asked. “Let me tell you about my father. That man you’ve all told me to honor. I was 11 years old when he first touched me.
E L E V E N years old,” she spelled out. Gypsy knew her legs shook, and her voice cracked, but it was time to put the wonderful parent lie to rest. “Oh, he never completed the act. He didn’t have to complete it to burn the memories of his hands all over my fucking body. The flashing of the camera took enough images to prove the act was done. Remember, I was 11 years old,” she screamed.
“Ma’am, this is not the place for this?” whispered the Priest.
A cackle of laughter rushed from her lips as Gypsy ignored his pleas for her to stop. “He invited his friends over for a little peek of his perfect angel. His drugged little girl. You see, each night with dinner my father made my milk for me. Each night during the meal I fell asleep at the table and my loving father carried me to bed as my mother poured another drink. She listened to my scream as she finished her gin and tonic. If she drank enough, my cries stopped. At 16 he crawled into my bed for the last time. It was my sweet 16 and Daddy was about to take what he called his. Lucky for me he passed out before he could,” her voice cracked. “Most girls get a party and a new car. I got molested. I guess you could call me lucky though. He never finished,” she stated. It was then that the first tear rolled down her cheek. “I left that night and never went back, but to what? I spent 6 months in a homeless shelter and 2 ½ more years doing what daddy couldn’t,” Gypsy whispered.
“Let’s take this into my office and talk about it,” begged the Priest.
Shaking her head with vengeance, Gypsy wasn’t done. Not yet at least. Taking a deep breath, her pulse racing, she pushed her skirt down enough to show the last of her father’s anger on his little girl. “See this scar? The last time I stood in a church my father had me shot by one of his men, and you’re asking me to honor this man? To respect that piece of shit?” her voice elevating with each word she spoke. Taking a step up to meet the Priest, Gypsy fell the farthest from grace that she ever had in the past. Retracting her arm, she punched the man dead in the face, knocking him off his feet as the blood poured from his nose. “I’m sorry Father, but I can’t respect someone who killed me years ago. So fuck you, and fuck your God. I rather be a whore than sit in this place full of lies. At least I can live with myself, can you?” she asked, but never waited for a response. As the church rushed to the man’s aid, she pulled her skirt up and walked out knowing this was the last time she tried to make peace. She would rather burn in hell than live another man’s lie.