A playground was spooky at night. The ponies on springs looked baleful & clown-like, the spiral slide menacing as it loomed like a large serpent.
When I woke to 5 faces peering over me, I wondered if they were there to plead my case before the judge whose authority I did not recognize.
The revelations in the yard hadn’t just told me I had lost my mother, but that the mother I’d loved & admired hadn’t existed at all.
What was unconditional love, but the ability to love someone for all their flaws & sins, committed against everyone but themselves?
My ring, sparkling in the starlight, seemed to wink at me like a silent witness. The sky was ink-black. The landscape looked as if it had been finger-painted with thick acrylic. Nothing was soft or light or airy. Everything was muddled, like my mind.
My disappointment overshadowed the love I had for them, & it ate at me—not the disappointment itself, but allowing that disappointment to be so great.
An open window shattered my world, for I learned that my beloved David & his beloved had committed that sin that was second only to murder, that David had pulled a Leah, sleeping with my mother, letting her believe it was my father so that she could sin, & yet be blameless in her ignorance.
Was David wrong for loving a woman who thought of such evil? Did God still love us after we rejected Him to live in Hell forever, or did He forget us altogether?
Like David, the great king, he had taken a woman who had belonged to another, except that David, according to Mormon doctrine, had been barred from the celestial kingdom forever. Yet, this David, my David, the kingdom was not lost to him, for he had not sent my father to his death, as King David had sent Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, to his.
All these years, Mother had my sister & me pay our respects to one Patrick Nolan, & it had been to assuage her own guilt that she’d had us do so.
I had to go to my father’s grave. I had to tell him how sorry I was for rejecting him all these years & that I accepted him.
Patrick, my mother believed, had wanted to die that night; my mother had never wanted to die, she’d wanted my father to die so that she could live the way she wanted.
Mother & David had a past–a past that was like a stalker who wouldn’t let go until they killed it.