Casey is an average fifteen year old about to enter into the first year of high school. With an extremely Christian dad, and a deceased mom, Casey has more than academics on mind. Making new friends, creating bonds, but keeping a large secret is all in a day’s work.
Warning: This is rated M (MATURE ADULT THEMES) for a reason. Some of the chapters may seem tame, but it will get into sexual and adult situations. Please be aware. Do not read if these things may upset you.
The wig was firmly in place, brushed and looking lovely. I only looked in the mirror long enough to make sure it was as real looking as I could ever have it. Then I turned away. I was ashamed of my image and I made sure to never look if I was naked. A knock sounded gently onto my door and I called for the person to enter.
My father opened the door enough to look in, “Ready for church?” I smiled and nodded at his peppered gray head. The wig twitched, but held fast with the pins. I just hoped I could find all of them when I took it off before bed. He left the room and shut the door behind him. He had been doing that since the start of summer. He had also been only peeking into the room instead of entering it. Something about me becoming a young lady and not needing to see the woman I was growing into. I didn’t mind it.
My bedroom, in our new house that we had moved into the Monday before, was sparsely decorated. I had put my collection of Barbie through the Ages on a high shelf above the window that was pulled shut with my pink lace curtains. A few My Little Ponies and Treasure Trolls were on my desk and a big poster of some boy band that Mary had told me was popular hung on the wall. On the far side, above my bed which was covered in a flower pink bedspread, was the pictures of my mom, my dad and myself. My last picture of mom was with me at the age of seven before she had gotten sick and passed away. I also had a full length mirror on the other side of my closet door, which was shut currently since my dad was home. Inside of the closet lay my secret clothing and a few of the dresses and nightgowns I hadn’t thrown away. The horror of the room really lay in the fact that the pain behind everything was a pale pink and the trim around the doors and window was a baby purple. My father thought it was perfect for me and I just wanted to get out a white paint bucket and fix it all.
I looked down and smoothed down the frills on my ankle length light blue skirt, and felt self-conscious of my bluebell flowered blouse. ‘I’m in a play,’ I reminded myself as I smiled and left the room. As long as I continued to think that this was just a play and soon the stage lights would rise, I could continue like this.
It really was only Sunday now that my dad was even home long enough to see me. He owned a few stores around the city and now preferred to check on every single one every day. His business was booming. We had moved to the other side for him to open three new stores on the East end. There was a private school that was attached to the branch for our church on this end of the city, but my pleading to enter into public school broke him down. As long as I remembered the “rules” then he didn’t see a problem with the state’s government education. With me in the public school, he didn’t see any reason to change into this branch’s church location. This meant that I would be taking the fifty minute drive to the church on Sunday morning and fifty minutes back with my dad.
I climbed into the passenger side of the four door white sedan. We entered the freeway and started on our way to the other side of the cities to where my old school mates would be. Everyone would be gathered in the church with their families waiting for the announcements from the director and then the preacher would do his sermon. I yawned just thinking about it all.
My dad wasn’t a conversationalist. Mostly, I think, he was afraid to ever try and talk to his daughter. I’m sure it scared him that maybe he would not understand his almost 15 year old girl. I could probably scare him senseless by talking about some boy band everyone daydreamed about or even that Mary finally asked her mom to speak with Johnathon’s mom. I know he was dreading that talk, because he had started the conversation two weeks ago while we were packing the movies in the living room. He had only was able to mention talking with my old babysitter, a mother to three kids who watched me after mom died, that I interrupted him with, “Dad, I don’t have any reason to date anyone right now. I have high school to worry about.” He seemed to have sighed in relief and we continued packing in silence.
The large parking lot was packed when we arrived. The dashboard showed that we had ten minutes to rush inside and take our assigned seats. I gathered up the skirts so that my flat dress shoes would skip fast next to my father as we hustled up the large stone steps into the main hall. The director was there and I quickly found the flagstones fascinating. I knew the rules, the old fashioned ways never ended for our church, and I was not allowed to “challenge” a male by looking at his face. I felt stupid and inferior every Sunday. I was just happy that my parents had never kept the rules in the house, except for the dating and dress code rules, and I was allowed to speak freely with my dad if I wanted to. I didn’t want to, though, because I feared my brain wouldn’t filter something he really didn’t need to know about.
My dad had speckled gray hair within his dark brown, the same brown that my hair had matched. From the small glances I was able to give the director, I knew he had a full head of gray hair cut short. I had hoped he would have been balding, like our older pastor, but no such luck. I could feel his dark brown eyes take in my form and I wanted to retch at the thought of him thinking about me at all. I wondered many times if he was one of those pedophiles, but I never heard that he had touched one of the girls. My dad greeted him and went to push me into the doors from the main hall and into the chapel.
“Joseph,” the director said in his silky voice. I looked over and saw he wasn’t looking at my dad. My eyes averted themselves as we both stopped. “May I have a word with you after service?” My dad must have nodded as he put his hand onto my shoulder to guide me to walk, again.
The director followed behind us and all I wanted to do was straighten up and be proud. I couldn’t. I feared what he was going to talk to my dad about and I feared that my secret had been told.
I sat down in my chair across the aisle from Mary. She kept glancing my way and I made it a point to ignore her. The director started with his normal announcements of school starting tomorrow for the children, and the charity drive for the city orphans would be held next Saturday. Then he caught me completely off guard as he announced, “Our final announcement is that Ms. Cherish Presley will be attending our Love Jesus camp, so we should all pray for her soul to be released from the clutches of Satan.”
The Love Jesus Camp was our church’s camp on the west coast for children found to be “confused” about their love life. It was where we sent preteens and teens who have been caught being gay or even suspected of being gay. It was a common nightmare of mine. The people who returned from there always seemed different. They would claim to have seen the Devil himself alongside their bedsides and Jesus would come and save them as long as they were truly repented. Sometimes, though, the kids didn’t return. I asked the female youth coordinator last year why Michael hadn’t returned. She had said that he had found a “higher calling”. His parents, though, were sobbing messes for three weeks. When I questioned whether or not he was dead, I was scolded and gave a thrashing with the ruler for being obstinate. I wasn’t to question the answer I had been given. I knew, though, as I watched his mom shuffle through the routines for weeks, I was right and he had died.
The pastor came onto the altar and started with his normal reading of the Bible. He went on to explain the sin of the homosexual and the sin of the cross dressers of Jesus’ time. How a harlot could be redeemed, but only after changing their ways. His blue eyes seemed to shoot flames as he condemned everyone in the church if they knew of such a lifestyle and his bald head gleamed under the bright spot lights. Mary kept glancing my way, and I kept pretending not to notice. I couldn’t acknowledge her, because I knew in my heart that God would not have given me this mind if I wasn’t meant to fix the wrong done on my body. Was God wrong to give me this body? I couldn’t say, but I knew technology could fix it once I was old enough. My brain wouldn’t be swayed any longer by the sinful preaching from a book and not from God, himself, talking to me.
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Copyright: 2015 France Gamble
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