Heartward

She leaned her head on the door post and sighed.

She didn’t like this life.

Church was over and it was time to go home. She had just sung one of her least favorite from her LP Aida collection. To her, it was a song with a distasteful melody but she was her pastor’s minstrel and so she did what she was asked to. When it came to singing at least.

When it came to other things, Efua was gradually wriggling her wings out of her larvae’s skin, because she felt ready to fly. She had had enough of the Christian garble. Every Sunday’s sermon sounded similar. It would be Soul-Winning or Tithing or Quiet-Timing. And she didn’t see how much of a difference any of those made in her life.They didn’t bring meaning and purpose to her. So she was through with all of it. But she would show up to church. For now, she would.

“Efua!” It was her roommate calling. She whipped her head and turned to see Harriet.

“Arri,” she responded and threw out one arm to embrace her. But rather, Harriet shoved into her hands her cell phone. 

“Take a look,” she said while a mischievous smile crept on her face. “And it’s happening tonight,” she went on, her tone hushed.

Hand in hand, the two walked out of church. Harriet was her BFF. When things started to change for Efua and she started feeling way more at home outside than in the church, Harriet was there for her. Arri had her back no matter what and she loved her for that. When Efua got played on by one of the guys from church, Arri was there. When Efua got rebuked for mishandling church affairs that had nothing to do with her, Arri was there. The church had left several little scars on her ebony-colored skin. That made them hard for everyone else to see, except Arri. Arri not only witnessed her best friend’s pain but she emphathized. 

“This party’s about to be so lit!” Efua squealed. She was loud. But she was mindful of her surroundings so not as loud as she could have been. No one at church needed to know where she was and what she was doing. It was her life and her choices. And when she needed them, she knew how to call.

And truth be told, it wasn’t like she hated everyone all of a sudden. It was just that she was tired. She had fallen into a rut. And she couldn’t really talk about it with anyone. She no longer had a desire to pray or worship and it all felt routine. Plus she was constantly stressed out. She didn’t know how to relax or wind down, other than to stay away from church for some time and listen to some good music, like some Adele. Boy, did she need that! Something was gnawing at her. 

It was eating into her quiet moments. It was eating into her mind, bringing insecurities and fears to the surface. It was making her feel so alone, even though she had her friends and her boyfriend. It left her restless. So even as she left church that night and Harriet animatedly chatted her up, one would never be able to tell from her demeanor but her heart was on a search.

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