Church, pretend and barriers OR how I learnt to trust

I moved closer to the window to have a better look. Watching her was always a paradox. Delightful and repulsive.
Today, I am focusing on the good. I resolved.

She went on with her activities as if oblivious of my presence. She said hi to one person, turned and smiled at the next. She laughed at a joke and paused to listen to earnest observations from yet another person.

She floated around the room with an air of confidence that could pull down a tree and challenge the el-nino. If you knew her as I did, you would know that she was anything but. She handled her interactions with practiced ease. Each day was a story to be told, she was starring in it. She could be who she wanted to be, and she would excel at it, that was guaranteed.

At first she cherished the theater, the influence, the power. How she could have them all wrapped in her small finger. But with time, her theatrics only exhausted her.

I squinted to have a better look. She was taking a seat next to an elder lady. She was trying hard not to jolt. I thought she looked restless. But I know I am the only one that held that opinion. Everyone else thought she looked sensational.
If only they knew! Look at her, wowing them all with her innocent act!

Today it seems she is playing the innocent girl. What a joke! The guy she is speaking to is buying it. He stands as though he is in control of the conversation, but really he is not. He does not know this.

I chose to lose myself in thought. This final act is not as interesting as I thought it would be. I think of the people I have met who had no real chance of knowing who I am because I had perfected the art of deception. I had put up walls to lock away people and I had locked myself inside instead(as if anything else could be expected!). For a long time, I had known no way out. I had given up hope of ever coming out.

It was when I joined a new church that I had another chance. I could feel the love that those brethren showed me tear down my defenses. Those little acts of kindness – being escorted to the stage after a meeting that extended late into the night, being asked questions that implied people being interested in who I am, a hug, a smile- little by little, stole into my heart and began teaching me to trust. And not in them, but in Him.

When I turned my attention back to her, she was speaking to someone else. I caught snippets of their conversation.
Him: …… kwani where are you going?
Her: There is stuff I need to take care of.
Right! There is always stuff!
Him: It’s okay then, tutaongea next Sunday.
Her: Poa.
Him: Thanks. Umenisaidia sana.
What a way to end the final act!

She walked away. Her face distorted. Trying to hold in her tears. That statement, that had been said, meant to express gratitude, to give her joy, made her broken. It reached into her depths, ripped her heart out and wrung it off all life and then returned it there to support the cold corpse that was her.

She wondered when it would ever end. When she would ever learn to really genuinely interact, who would draw her out. When her past would no longer trickle into her present.

I followed her. Matching her pace, longing to get home where I could be one with her. I am she.

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