Opposite Cults
By Deandre Sanchez
Date: October 25, 2016
Ch. 66

Not knowing what to do, he decided to just sit there upon a bench until his once upon a time mentor Father Rodriguez arrives.
There was supposed to be a sermon. He had read the message right – the one that had come last night. He emptied his right vest pocket and removed a parchment of paper. Unfolding the sheet, he read:
Dear Roger,
It is me, Father Rodriguez. I am deeply sorry for the loss you must be feeling right now. I meant to come personally to you and invite you to the sermon tomorrow morning but I am caught up with some work of my own. So, I am sending this letter hoping you would attend for trust me, son, it shall be of great use to you. Be there at eleven in the morning. Hoping to see you there.
Father Rodriguez.
A drop of tear wetted the paper parchment. He felt the wet touch upon his cheeks and immediately wiped it off with his hands. Looking up at the idol of Jesus Christ getting crucified upon the altar hung upon the wall, he prayed to him bending down upon his knees and his head bowed.
“Please, Father, if I have done no sin and if I have stayed loyal to you over these past few years, release me from this pain. Help me let go of her, she who I loved very much. Perhaps it was fate’s plan for me to lose the things I love but I feel it has done me no good. If you have mercy in your heart as they say you have, release me from this life. I want to be with her. Without her, life has become impossible. I beg of you, my Lord.” He muttered, his eyes still shedding tears.
“Asking the Lord to release you from your life is not what I have preached, Roger. What you are doing is running away from your fears. How is that bravery? Pray, tell me” said a voice from behind.
He recognized it immediately and stood up. Turning behind, he saw the familiar figure of Father Rodriguez. He bowed and said, “Father Rodriguez!”
Father Rodriguez smiled. “You look troubled. Your face betrays your inner struggles. What has happened, son?” he asked.
“Nothing, Father. It is just that I am having these visions….”
“Of Natalia. I get it.” The Father said, cutting Roger off. “It happens to all, Roger. We always miss who we loved and who we still love.”
Roger lay silent, tears welling up in his eyes. Father lightly smiled. “Emotions can flow as swift as a river son. Do not be ashamed to cry. For releasing your tears would mean releasing all those emotions you are trying to hold up inside. Let go of everything. It is not that difficult. It is all about control, son. Had you attended my sermon today, you would have understood. I was hoping to see you actually but it seems you have arrived late. Some things have been bothering you. Now I see.”
Roger nodded, his head still bowed down.
“Sit, Roger, sit.” The Father beckoned Roger to a seat on the bench. As Roger sat down, he continued, “You must talk about this, you know. We all are there for you. We will support you throughout your crisis. Everyone understands the way you are feeling right now. But you have not let those memories torture you, son. You will have to move on. You will have to let her go; if not for your sake for her sake at least. Her soul won’t be at peace until you are at peace within your heart. The Lord wants you to be happy. The Lord wants you to let her go. Her time had come and fate had decreed it. But you do not have to follow. You do not have to beg for release. Face your pain and everything shall then be back to normal. The Lord is with you, son. Trust Him. Keep faith in Him. He will definitely help you.”
Roger looked up at the Lord and said, “He took away from me who I loved. How can I trust in Him?”
The Father put his palm over his shoulder. “Do not blame Him for your loss. Even He will not interfere with the plans of Fate. He works in mysterious ways and maybe, there will be something good for you. Maybe He has planned your way forward. You only have to reach to the Lord and see it right in front of you. The question is: will you face your pain so you will have a future as bright as the rays of the sun?”
Roger looked at the Father silently.
The Father shrugged. “Perhaps I was wrong in assessing you. Perhaps I was wrong in thinking you are the right person. Perhaps it was foolish of me to ask you to let me in.”
At the words Let me in, Roger started. His vision grew blurry and when after a few moments, he opened his eyes, there was no Father Rodriguez. There was nobody.
He was not even safe in the Church. “Trust God. Trust Jesus. What a fool was I to think He could keep me safe!”
He ran away from the Church and this time by the main door.

The main gate of the Church led straight to a neatly graveled road. A car or two zoomed past without giving any credence to the man tired from running.
On the other side of the road was a land of thick and tall bushes. A noise came from one of the bushes that lay beside the road. Roger looked up, his chest heaving from all the running he had done since the morning.
His mind had never been curious but there was something about that bush which unsettled him. He gathered his strength and walked briskly towards the shaking bush. The noise stopped. The bush moved no longer. He walked faster towards the bush but out of it leapt a beautiful woman who looked at him with wide and open eyes and at the next moment, she sprinted into the lands behind.
He had looked at her long enough to know who she was. The town was a small one after all. Everyone knew each other at Faulkner.
She was Emily. He knew and wondered what she was doing in the bushes.

“Come on, Emily, stop blushing. Tell it to me. Don’t be shy” said Maira pleadingly.
Emily walked past Maira, slightly pushing her on the shoulders.
“Oh, please?” requested Maira.
Emily placed the steaming pan containing the sausages down on the table and said, “You are really interested in gossip, aren’t you? Just like the old days.”
“Oh, you remember.” Maira said in a mocking tone.
“Of course I do. You used to be aware of all the relationships in the old town. What days? It was fun.”
“Until you ran away.”
Emily looked at Maira, assessing whether her words were meant as friendly banter or blame.
Maira hesitated to ask but seemed to get the better of her emotions. “Err, Emily, why did you leave? Something happened to you in that forest but that was no reason to run away. Were you afraid of something?”
Emily began to feel uncomfortable. She could feel the dam still in her mind. Why was Maira keen on breaking it? Maira had been always inquisitive about other people’s affairs but had always found her boring. Why this sudden interest now?
“I do not remember, Maira. I will not speak anything about it” Emily said with a tone of finality.
Maira knew that she, Emily, would not open up just yet. Something was bothering her.
“Well, at the least you can tell me about how you met your husband. That gossip is legit.”
Emily laughed. “It is this or the other. Alright, I will tell you how I met my husband.”

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