Nothing ever remains the same.
Later that year things changed for us. More precisely things changed for me. My grandmother's health was deteriorating. I had been watching her slowly fading away and this was wreaking havoc on my faith.
She was such a beautiful soul who loved me unconditionally. There were a handful of people in my life that had made me feel safe and loved. It would seem that another was going to be taken from me.
She had tried to protect me and she always made me feel loved. Even when she was stern with me, her angry voice and stern words never made it to her eyes. In her eyes, all I saw was love. Unconditional love. She was the light in the dark tunnel.
If something happened to her...what would happen to her soul? Would she meet me in the pearly gates of heaven or would I arrive to find her absent? Her warm smile that lit up the room...wouldn't be there waiting for me.
I couldn't think about these things. The hole inside of my heart grew. Fear. Anguish. Terror. It was a stone that rippled through the calm lake. I was a tiny hole that had turned into a chasm.
My facade was breaking. If I wasn't careful, they would see that I hadn't really changed. I was still heartless...or to put it simply, my heart no longer worked. No matter. I was who I was.
If the church knew that I never really cared about them or their cause what would they do? What about the people I saved? Those lonely, desperate people that joined because they wanted a friend?
Give me a break! My heart went out to them but it could only go so far. This had never been a part of my plan. This was just a pit stop on my journey. I needed to understand the world. I needed to understand my creator. I needed...something.
What that was, wasn't clear to me yet but I knew that something was shattering. Day by day the walls began to crumble on this damn I called my faith.
Mr. Sunshine continued to visit every single day. He had convinced my father to teach him to drive. The cost for these lessons was that I would need to learn as well. I had zero desire to learn to drive because I lived in NY and who needs to drive in the city? No one. That's who.
I was in a living nightmare because when it came to driving my father was a drill sergeant. I know that he just wanted to protect me and so he was thorough. I was bitter but my bitterness was not directed towards my father. Nope.
Mr. Sunshine, he had stolen my choice and I found myself slowly despising him. I hadn't even seen it coming. Any warm feelings that I felt for him were slowly fading away. I knew that we were lost when the sound of his voice began to pierce me.
The voice that once brought me comfort now resounded in my mind. It brought me back to the small room at the far end of the hall. Always taking, never giving.
Always taking, demanding, needing, commanding, and stealing from me. He'd stolen my time, my privacy, my choice, and my freedom. His voice was becoming...monstrous. How much longer would I tolerate him?
He would come to my house at 6 in the morning on a Saturday to get an early start and of course I was dragged out of bed and forced to go. Mr. Sunshine, would come into my room and wake me up with a kiss on the cheek or forehead.
"Come on sleepy head" he would whisper and I wanted to punch him in his cocky face.
'Be a good Christian' I reminded myself as I wiped the sleep from my eyes. Bitterness grew. I still didn't see it. It wasn't clear to me. I thought that I still cared for him but maybe I never really did. I was just in love with the idea of loving him.
I hadn't realized at the time but I was incapable of loving someone. Holes dug that deep can't be filled.
I lacked the capacity to love anyone. That wasn't true though was it? I loved her, the woman who was fading away. Did I mention that this was the year she had lost a leg? I can't even imagine the pain she must have been in.
I wanted to be with her, not here. Not now. Not with him. I dragged myself out of bed. Plastered a fake smile on my face and headed out the door. Let's just get this over with.
My father taught us everything about driving and had us drive over and over and over again for hours. He continued like this until my frustration level rose so high that I parked the car in the middle of the road, got out and walked home.
I refused to drive after that for days. Mr. Sunshine begged me to continue, he literally begged. Like on his hands and knees.
"Please, Cathy. If you don't drive your father won't teach me. I need this. Please, help me. Come with us. Please."
See...I told you. He begged. My father had refused to train him on his own. Secretly, I was proud of my dad. He wasn't going to be used. If he was going to spend his time doing something his little girl was going to gain some benefit from it. Thank you, daddy.
Mr. Sunshine begged me as though I owed him something. More bitterness.
"Fine" I muttered, exasperated.
His smile disgusted me and I couldn't quite place the feeling. It was loathing but I hadn't known that emotion yet. I wouldn't recognize it until much later.
When the time came for us to take the exam I passed. He failed. It brought me a pleasure that I couldn't place. Was I evil for feeling happy about his failure?
His noticeable frustration with my success confirmed to me that my joy was not misplaced. He was upset that I passed and he failed. If he had truly loved me, he would be happy for me. He wasn't.
He couldn't believe that me, the person who didn't even want to drive in the first place, now had a license. His displeasure at my success only brought me more joy. I was better than him in every way.
This only reaffirmed that belief. I didn't need him. He needed me. It was as it always was and always would be. Mr. Sunshine needed to understand his place, beneath me.
I built you up and I could tear you down. In this case, I didn't need to lift a finger. He did it all himself.
Author's Note: Mr. Sunshine is a complicated character which doesn't really get shown in this chapter. Not sure if I will divulge into it more or leave it as is. What would you like to see? If you enjoyed this chapter please like it and thank you for reading.
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