I know I shouldn’t have but I was very worried about Sandra so when I was sure everyone was asleep I crept from my bed and knocked quietly on the closet door. She had been screaming for so long that when she stopped… I was very worried.
Sandra’s voice was hoarse, throat-choked and stuffy like from before. From when she lived in the city with her mean-man husband. It made me so sad to hear her sound that way again.
“I thought this was a retreat,” she said through the door. “You told me this was a retreat.”
“It’s a retreat from the Unholy,” I said, trying to make her feel better, but then she sounded angry instead of sad.
“You’re out of your fucking mind,” Sandra told me. That made me mad, too. She shouldn’t use those words! They are impure! She should be happy to be here with Mama and me!
“You belong in there.” I said it in a mean voice to hurt her because Sandra didn’t understand the gift I had given. She didn’t understand I had saved her from herself. From her husband who yelled all the time and probably didn’t love her anymore. From the stinky air of the city, from a job she didn’t like. It is pure and beautiful here and she looked at this gift and spat on it.
Spat on my kindness. On Mama’s kindness.
I went back to bed and didn’t unlock the door. I suppose I had thought about it but Sandra changed my mind. I mean it — she belongs in there.