“Bless me father, for I have sinned.”
“What is your sin, my child? Speak freely.” Father Cornelius recognized Daphne Green’s voice. A young woman who worked the motel with her husband.
The young woman’s voice cracked. “I am an adulterer, father. I have laid with another man, not my husband.”
Of course she had. Daphne Green was no saint, not a monster, but a human. A human with human weakness. With the clientele that motel attracted, Cornelius was surprised he wasn’t hearing about this once a week.
“Tell me what happened, my child. God understands the frailty of human weakness. Tell me, was this of lust or of love?”
“Lust is sinful, but forgivable. We all lust. We are human.”
“Then why do I feel so truly awful.”
“Guilt is good, guilt is how god reminds us to set ourselves back on the right path.”
She coughed, “It’s not that, father. This man. A stranger. He had skin as pale as milk, he drove a hearse with tinted windows and wore a shirt that was decades old. Who wears a shirt that old?”
Cornelius laughed, “Men do, my child.” This one is actually getting kind of entertaining. “Go on.”
“This man, he did things like I hadn’t even thought a man could do. We did things, and ever since my entire body has felt sick. Sick and disgusted.”
“This will pass. Does your heart feel lighter? Certainly the forgiveness of god may lift your spirits.”
“Father! I am not talking about guilt. Ever since that night, I have felt different. It hurts to leave the house. I tried to visit my mother’s and it felt like I was electrocuted when I walked through the door.” She shuffled on the other side of the panel. “It hurt to enter the church. My entire body feels hot, like I’m leaking through every pour.”
Dumb girl caught something from this stranger. “This may be beyond spiritual assistance, my child. The good doctors may be able to assist you.”
She shuffled, growling, “I don’t know if they can help me!” she struck the side of the panel. “I can smell you, father! I can smell you’re blood. It drums in my ears. Please god, help me!”