Fridays (Friday Number Six, September 22nd, page 4 of 10)


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I was a bad girl who had placed herself "in the near occasion of sin," as church had so strenuously taught me. (I had overheard a school boy describe the term succinctly as going to a whore house with a hundred dollars in your pocket). But still Paul Croucher failed to contact me.

It was nearly two weeks later when I heard quite by accident Paul was dead. It had happened while I was away at church camp. The event was of such local insignificance no one had mentioned it. In a moment of inattention he had run off the road, demolishing his beloved Chevy, crushing and ending his young life, against an unmoving maple. I had no shoulder to cry on, no one with whom I could mourn. Our time together had been limited to the two of us, without knowledge of another human being. I was again alone. I hid in my room and feigned sickness until I could bring myself to face the world without bursting into tears.

Not only was I devastated, but to make matters worse, I was convinced I must be pregnant. While I'd suffered my period at church camp, I remained uninformed if that event assured me I wasn't with child. This feeling was intensified when the time for my next period came and went. Finally, a thousand prayers and promises later, it arrived in a torrent, amid a sense of relief and sorrow; sorrow that what was passing through my body might be more than a natural flow; the last vesture of Paul Croucher's final grasp for immortality. I never told a soul. Whatever feeling I had for the first person who kissed me, was so tattered and confused, I forced the thoughts out of my mind, as if in so doing the entire episode could be relegated to having never happened.

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