Friday, December 19, 2014

Chapter 35, part 1: True Colors

I didn’t even try to resist Brad’s advances when he came back to town that night. If it were too late for me to repent, might as well enjoy my sin as much as I could, right?

“I’ll be right back,” I told Brad afterward as I slid out from the sheets.

In the bathroom, I checked the tissue out of habit. Blood soaked the toilet paper.

My period? Relief and disappointment hit me all at once. I started to cry. Once I started I couldn’t stop. There wasn’t a baby, probably had never been one. This was crazy. I was only 19, supposedly a Christian, and definitely not married. I shouldn’t even be worrying if there might be a baby.

“Giselle? What’s going on in there? Are you all right?”

I was crying too hard to answer.

“You’re scaring me, babe.” He tried the handle, but I had locked it. “C’mon. Tell me what’s wrong. Or at least come out of there.”

Finally I didn’t have energy to cry anymore. I splashed water on my face and opened the door. I had one thought: I needed to get out of there.

“I have to go home.” I repeated the phrase twice more as I went to the living room and started pulling on my clothes. “Where are my glasses?”

“It’s past midnight, babe,” he said, handing them to me. “Why don’t you sit down. Just calm down. You’re not thinking straight.” He grabbed my arm and whirled me around to face him. “C’mon, stay? We could fall asleep in each other’s arms … In the morning, we could have a little bit of wake-up action, and I’ll drive you over to breakfast—”

I wrenched myself from his grasp and started fumbling with my shoes.

“You need to leave. I get it. Just tell me before you go. Why were you crying?”

How could I tell him? How could he ever understand the feelings brought up by the idea of a baby that never was?

"I was trying to find the right time to tell you. My period, I thought it might have been late.” My voice broke. “Now … I’m bleeding.”

“Oh, now I get it.” Disdain tinged his voice. “This flood of tears is just because you’re PMS-ing.”

“It’s not just that. You don’t understand. When I thought I might be — that there might be — a baby, it opened my eyes.”

“So what’s your big revelation, Giselle?” he sneered. “Wait, don’t tell me, another one of your guilt trips. You know how irrational you’re being, Giselle? You probably weren’t even late. You’re not the greatest at keeping track of stuff like that you know.”

“That’s not the point.” I covered my face with my hands and sank to the floor, fresh tears spilling from my eyes. My shoulders shook as I hugged knees to chest and buried my face in my arms. Sex was like a drug, an irresistible poisonous drug. More than a drug. It was sin. We’d been sinning. We needed to stop, but how?

Who was I kidding? I had no self-control left. It was probably too late anyway. The verses from Hebrews said it was impossible for me to come to repentance.

No. I love you. It’s not too late to come back.

Before I could register that still small voice, Brad knelt beside me and brushed hair back from my forehead. “Babe, I get it. You were scared about there maybe being a baby. We’re not ready for that, I agree. We’ll just be more careful from now on.”

“You don’t get it at all. It’s not just fear or a guilt trip. It’s conviction of sin.”

“You didn’t seem to think it was sin earlier tonight. C’mon, how many times are we going to go back over this.” Contempt dripped from his voice.

Suddenly I saw him in a new light, cold and calculating. “You seduced me.”

“Seduced you? If I remember correctly, you begged me for it.” He smirked. “I always knew you’d be a tiger in the sack—“

I glared at him. “That’s right. You always did know didn’t you? You whittled at my boundaries from day one.”

He jumped to his feet and swore. “Listen to yourself. Just listen to how ridiculous you sound. I’ve never met anyone as paranoid and neurotic as you.”

I stood too. "Stop talking to me like that.”

“I won’t. You opened this can of worms, so you’re going to hear every last word I have to say. You’re lucky that I didn’t dump your butt as soon as I got you in the sack and you freaked out. Do you think other guys would have been so patient? For some reason I was deluded enough to think that I could rescue you, that if I could just help you get over your massive guilt complex, maybe we could be happy. But I see now that you’re totally beyond help.”

He stood fuming for a moment, then hit the wall above my head with his fist. I cowered away, then sank to the floor again.

“What really gets me riled is that you’re acting like I tricked you into this. We both know that I didn’t force you to do anything. This was your decision Giselle, plain and simple. Don’t pin responsibility of this on me. You weren’t so pure and innocent as you wanted everyone to believe.”

I looked up. “Maybe not. You’re right. You didn’t trick me into this. I don’t know where that came from. It was a willful act, a conscious decision.”

“Okay, that’s more like it. If you’re going to be calm like that, maybe we can talk this through like reasonable people.” He helped me to my feet and led me to the sofa.

“Ian talks about the conviction of the Holy Spirit – maybe this is it. It’s not too late, don’t you see? We can admit to God we made a mistake. We can start fresh, get back on course and wait until marriage as if this never happened.” I reached toward him.

He shrunk from my touch. “Where is this coming from? I thought you agreed with me that God could care less about sex. Why are you going back on your guilt trip?”

“Brad, don’t you see? These feelings, this guilt, it means something. God’s trying to call us back.”

“Yeah right. You know what I think? I think you just enjoy punishing yourself. You want to be miserable. All this self-flagellation gives you some kind of perverse pleasure. But don’t think you can drag me down with you. No freakin’ way.” He slammed his fist against the wall again. “Why did I waste so much time on you? You’re so screwed up Giselle, do you know that? At first your neuroses were kind of cute, but I’m sick and tired of this. Frankly, I don’t see why I should have to put up with you another second.”

“Don’t say that,” I said, trying in vain pull his hand so he would sit down again with me.

“I’m saying it. I said it.” He shook off my hands. “I’m through with you and your insufferable neediness. I give and give and give, and all you do is waffle and whine and make me out to be the bad guy. No wonder that high school guy made up some lame story about his parents to get away from you. You make it impossible for anyone to love you.”

“Brad, just listen—”

“No you listen.” He let out a string of profanity. “Get my point? I want you out of here. Go home and cry to your mommy or your little do-gooder friends about what a big bad man I am if you want. Just don’t bother waiting for me in the dining hall or after class. I can’t believe you turned out to be just another psycho after all. I’m so done with you.”