i went to church once. the pastor brought a piece of wood, some nails, and a hammer up to the pulpit. he called me up to drive the nail into the wood. it was hard. i didn’t want to hammer my finger at first, and then the nail wouldn’t go in straight, and i couldn’t swing the hammer hard enough. i handed the board back to him. he said, pull the nail out. that was equally as hard, but i retrieved the nail and handed everything back to him.
he said, get rid of that hole.
i said, i can’t.
hurtful things are like nails, he said. when we hurt someone we drive a nail into their heart. you can pull the nail out, but the hole is still there. you can cover it up, sand down the rough edges, and paint over it, but the hole will always be there.
i was pregnant. we stared incredulously at positive pregnancy tests. we talked about names, looked at baby clothes in the mall, cringed at price tags in baby sections, and smiled despite people’s thoughtless words. a few weeks later, we were holding our breath as a doctor searched for the flicker of a heart beat. today, there is no more baby.
for a while, my insecurities were gone. hope had numbed the pain of past hurt. now it’s like i’m waking up still a little drunk from a night of trying to forget.
i’m insecure about my body. about money. about my worth as a person. about love. maybe i don’t deserve this. i’m probably going to fuck it up. he’s going to regret this. maybe he regrets it already.
part of me knows it’s irrational. i read into things way too much. i’m constantly looking for affirmation of my fears, trying to keep my guard up so i can be prepared for the inevitable hurt. but focusing on the possibility of failure never led anyone to victory, and right now is not my past.
i’m abandoning salvation. i was going to give casey nine months to clean up the town. nine months because cherry is pregnant with the native’s baby and if casey didn’t drive out the bad guy the baby would be killed. i was going to give myself something to focus on so maybe i would still have the drive to write between feedings and diaper changes and whatever. but there is no baby, so there is no salvation.
maybe i’ll write a story about a heroine who overcomes her insecurity. i’ll make her do something completely out of her comfort zone, and i’ll put the life of someone she loves on the line. i’ll drive nails into her and leave her to rip them out.
i think i’m actually going to start on that right now.