With any other youth group,
the idea of dating a lot of different people
seemed like cheating,
but in Mormonism,
until one felt ready to marry,
it was better not to get fixated on any one person,
for that might lead to falling in love
& that just might lead to sin.
Tony had been willing to give up his reputation for Kath
but not Elder Roberts.
Tony had sealed his fate with his beloved by impregnating her,
whereas Elder Roberts had denied himself
by denying me.
It was a jubilee of sorts—
the tinkling of our fluted stems
signaling the beginning of the New Year
& the best years of our lives to come.
A cool gust, a warm breeze,
stirred me from my slumber
like a ghostly lover beckoning me.
I just stood back and watched him,
& when he spoke to the sky,
it was then that I realized that he was speaking to the God
I thought he didn’t believe in.
I would never know if David lied to himself,
so he could lie to Mother,
but they would have a year before the temple
for her to fall in love with him—
without all the trappings of Mormonism,
before she would expect him to take her to the temple
& promise things that he would never do,
not even for her,
even if she were me.
Logline for Because of Mindy Wiley: An Irish-Catholic girl coming of age in the Deep South during the New Millennium finds her family splintered when two Mormon missionaries come to her door, their presence and promise unearthing long-buried family secrets, which lead to her excommunication and exile.