If you were to look around and notice that all of the people around you are moving sacks of emotions, you'd understand how small the world really is, and how each and everyone of those sacks will be shoved over the lip of the world one day. Even the trendsetters. They'll die too. Then you begin to think that if there actually is an "all loving" god that all of us would go to hell for being human. All of us instead of Mary Winters.
If you look at her or ever have a chance to hear the "God loves all" speeches that she does most lunches and every breakfast you'd feel as though she and God had a big, fat, sloppy surprise up their sleeve for you.
Mary Winters is weird. You can never talk to her unless you'd like to talk about heaven or jesus and she never likes to talk about boys or anything like that. She says that she wants to save herself for God. She wants to marry God and I don't get it, because I thought that we were his children. We are God's children right? And I know that she doesn't mean it in a sexual way but that's all that marriage is… thats all that life is. Life is just a bunch of sex and then it's over. So, if Mary Winters never has sex, what would happen then? What would her life be?
Mary Winters really likes little children too. So she would never have the chance to have her own little strange, Mary Winters, Children. She loves to teach them hymns and the types of things that Mary Winters knows about Jesus.
I only know this because I was assigned to be her partner for when the kids from our county came to our school. And do you know that her parents would never let her go to public school or even a school with boys and the school has to be Catholic so then she got stuck being my roommate in our dorm at school for our senior year.
I tried to break bread with her but its more like breaking bricks because she doesn't really like to talk much about anything that I like to talk about.
My parents shipped me off to a school that a girl like Mary Winters goes to because they say that I'm awfully sad and God would be able to help me more than the electro shock therapy. But it only makes me even crazier and I can never help but think that if there were a real God that he'd never put someone as soulless and annoying as Mary Winters on this earth. He'd give us all someone like us and we'd never have to be different and there'd never even have to be trendsetters because we'd always wear the same thing.
And what if we all had to be like Mary Winters? If we all had to be like Mary Winters then we'd all be God loving sacks, rotting away because those people only live traditionally.
Of all of the words that I've learned from Brother. Bryan, our attractive economics professure, I remember traditional, because through out the whole course I sat behind Mary Winters and her hairstyles were traditional. Her clothes were traditional. Her laugh and the things that she said were traditional and I remember remembering that when we took our test based on Economic systems, and I got that answer correct because I'd used Mary Winters as a symbol of traditionalism.
If Mary Winters had been placed back three hundred years from now, she'd still be Mary Winters because those words have never ever left the english vocabulary and she'd still be translated into Mary Winters and she'd say the same annoying things that she always says only in a different language.
I couldn't even wait to get out of that place either. Not even becaouse of Mary Winters. I always had to pray to God for anything that I ever even wanted and after a while I started to feel like that place would have been perfect for spoiled daddies girls because they'd learn to give there wants and needs up to Jesus Christ for saving their sins. I don't think that it's worth it though. If I'm thirsty, and my parents are paying money that could have been used to buy a brand new house every year, I think that the least that they could do is climb up a tree and catch the rain water for me instead of slapping my knuckles with rulers.
I'd much rather take the electro shock therapy or the full transorbital lobotomy than having to be Mary Winters' roommate for a school year and pretend that I'd never sinned in my life so that she wouldn't try to excersise me in my sleep. Mary Winters was like that… she'd all of a sudden become a priest and bath you in holy water until she felt that you'd been cleansed and that's why I had to leave.
It was like febuary in California and I was getting so tired of the changing seasons. I packed my back pack and Mary Winters watched me silently peaking at my bags. She picked at the hem of her dress as I packed my things and I mumbled derogatory statements about how if there were a god the world wouldn't be so sick and deranged and he wouldn't have let his son, jesus christ, come here to be the savior of people who would ruin his existence. But I never quite said it that way.
She'd ask me where I would be going and I never felt like I should have told her. If I were to tell Mary Winters where I was going, if I even knew at that moment, then she would have told everyone on campus and they'd find me before Valentine's day, which I was hoping that by then, I'd be in love with something instead of in total hate with it. I only told her that I was packing to go to a nut house because God didn't love me enough.
I snuck away from her after that. I told her that I was carrying my stuff down to the front door so that my father could pack it into the car because he was waiting outside with his car. I told her that she should have watched my letterman so that Chelsea Browman wouldn't come to try to take it. I didn't even plan on going back for it until I knew that I could just tell her that my father was in a big rush and he didn't want me saying any good bye to her, he just wanted me outside, so I was able to get that coat back.
I'd packed lightly and left a lot of things though. I only brought a couple of dresses and an extra pair of shoes just in case mine gave up on me. In a back pack I'd packed some cash from my weekly allowance and a couple of books from the more mature side of our library.
I could have gotten a glimpse of the word "sex" or something when looking in those books, even if it were only to classify the gender of the given subject. Then, we had the sweetest peaches in our kitchen so I stole a couple of those and if I would have told Mary Winters that, she would have said something like "thou shall not steal" or something like that and I'd have to pretend like I hadn't heard what she'd said because if god were real and I just so happened to sock her in her face then he'd hate me.
I walked for hours and the hours were starting to get to me and the balls of my feet felt like they'd been worked down to my bones and even my hands hurt. But I couldn't stop walking because if I did the cops that they'd sent out would find me. I'm pretty sure that they sent the cops out to find me. They had to have sent the cops for me.
I didn't even hitch hike or beg for a place to stay. At some point in the night, when I'd walked all that I could, I stopped and made a place to sleep in the depths of a corn field away from the road. I used the letterman and the couch throw from the dorm to cover myself because, no matter how hot it is during the day, it still gets freezing cold at night.
In the morning, when I decided I'd start walking again, I'd even ran into the gorsest road kill. Once a truck hit a squirrel and it skittered across the pavement in the sickets way. I felt so naueseas afterwards and the huffing up air didn't make me feel any better. But I had to keep going until I'd stopped by a house. I didn't stop there, in fact, I was stopped by this house. It was a grand house attached to a farm and a couple of luxury trucks. A young girl stopped me. She was screaming not to step into the mar or I'd die and she'd have to come and get me and she'd have to burry me beside her dog. But there was no mar and she'd only been playing a game with her small friends. She invited me in for tea and the tea was real. I sat and I'd sacrificed a couple of peaches and a chocolate bar to her and her two friends, one, a boy, and one, a girl.
"Welcome, fellow American, to my humble abode. These are my acquaintances, Freckle and Page," she told me.
"It's Gecko," the boy cried out as if the name were still within norms.
"Feckle, Gecko, who cares, we have a wonderful visitor!" she cried and she grabbed my hand and pulled it up into the air. "To thee, we grant, green tea with lemonade. My mother doesn't like it when I drink her other tea, is that okay?" she asked. I laughed as she poured me a cup. She passed me a scone and watched me sip on the tea.
"What an amazing cup of tea you've made, my queen." She smiled a toothless smile and sipped her own tea happily.
"Why were you walking?" Gecko asked. I looked up at him.
"I've been looking for your castle for so long. Back in Shiloh, our queen has been captured and I'd been born a knight so I ventured off away from the princess, Mary Winters, to find an army that would avenge the damage done to our queen." The queen looked around at her friends.
"We don't have an army," she told me with a voice full of worries. Then I'd noticed how this stay would have been cutting into my day time.
"That's acceptable. If only there were a place I could stay before returning to the road for my journey." She stood in excitement.
"You could stay here in our barn. My daddy sent all of the cows to the slaughter house this morning!" she cried then I was holding back my sickness thinking about that sqiurrel earlier. "You could sleep over where the cows use to sleep. Thilo won't think twice of going back there to snoop around."
"Who is Thilo, my queen?"
"Thilo is my big, butt head brother." I looked around the barn. "My dear knight, you must stay here for the night and I'll even bring you dinner if you want. I could just tell my mommy that I left my dolls outside." I pulled a hand up to stop her.
"Oh alright, if you insist. But do you think that you'd be able to bring books for me to read?" She nodded vigorously as Gecko and Page stood. "We just have to keep me being here a secret. I don't want to alarm any of the townsmen."
"Of course I wouldn't tell anyone. Do you really think that my mommy or daddy would want a random knight sleeping in our barn?" she cried. She swiveled on her feet to her friends. "You two must leave at once and round up books for the knight as well as," then she whispered, "chocolate." I smiled and picked up my backpack. She grabbed my hand and pulled me over to a ladder. "You can stay here until I get back with your dinner and books. If you hear anything its my brother." she turned to run toward the doors. "Wait up there, I'll be right back."
I climbed up the ladder juggling my duffel bag on my shoulder and my backpack. I threw the duffel back above me and when my body was thrown up there, I opened up my backpack to pull out the book I'd been reading in the rest stop. But I couldn't stop thinking about that little girl and her older brother. What if he did find me? How big was her brother? How old was her brother? I'd fallen asleep thinking about it too and then I stopped caring.
I sat up and Pam sat by my side crouching down, watching me. She smiled when I lifted and she handed me a small stack of books.
"Thilo moved you here because my daddy wanted to look at a leak in the roof," she told me. "He'd never look here." But that was what she'd said last time and her brother'd found me. Was he going to rat me out? and if so I could have just left then and that's what I started to do once I'd grabbed my back pack. I opened it and put the books inside of it to find that there was a pile of chocolate bars at the top of all of my clothes and the throw. She smiled and looked around toward the barn.
"I'm just going to walk," I told her. I hopped from the truck and zipped up my bag and she pushed my duffle bag over to me. I put it over my shoulder.
"But Thilo wanted to go with you. We were going to go with you to find your army!" she cried and grabbed my hand. "He's getting ready right now." I looked up at her as she stood in the back of the truck and I fixed her curl from whisping into her eyes.
"You can't come with me."
"Thilo said that I could come and he's going to come too, to keep us safe." She hopped down from the bed and looked up at me. "Besides, I want to be in your army."
"Pam, you can't come." I turned intoa boy, who I'm guessing was Thilo, and he handed her a small backpack. He pulled my duffle bag. "You can't come either," I told him as I grabbed at the bag.
"Oh, I'm going. We can take my truck."
"I'm not riding in your truck with you. I'm not going anywhere with you. This is my trip and I'm doing it buy myself." He smiled and let go of the bag. He looked back at Pam and grabbed her hand. I turned from the two and started up the road and they seemed to follow me and no matter how hard I tried to shake them, they never turned to split ways and go back home. Maybe he thought that this was all a joke and that I was only doing this for the attention. That's why I didn't want him or his kid sister tagging along. It was too much work and they'd want to spend money. I remember hoping that they brought their own money because I wanted to save mine for a rainy day when it was more do or die than do just because.
Then I got tired and the sun was starting to set. We'd entered a town by then and I wanted to avoid the hotels and the restaurants and just live off of the land so when she'd said that she was tired I was happy that he continued to carry her all the way to the tip of the town where we'd found a bridge. I was the one that'd found it. He was only following me.
I sat on
one side while he sat on the other. I wrapped myself in the throw
cover I'd brought and he wrapped her up in her pink princess
blanket. He let herlay against him and he used his jacket to
keep himself warm. I was actually pretty happy that the night
stayed warm so that the little girl wouldn't freeze. I woke up
with the two seated by my side with a bag of apples.
She handed me one as I lifted and wiped my hair back. I fixed my pony tail and he threw a book back into his bag and zipped it up.
"You lead the way, fellow knight," he told me. I looked over at Pam who ate her apple and I scoffed as he watched the other side of the bridge. I helped her up and into her backpack and he grabbed his bag then he grabbed the duffle bag and unzipped it. "Girls never know how to pack." He opened his back pack and filled it up with the things I'd had in the duffle back and he threw it and I was upset so I glared over at him. He only started to walk.
"You tagged along on my trip!" I screamed forward at him. Pam grabbed my hand. "You can't just come here making everything so complicated." He looked back at me an scoffed.
"Two bags for one chick makes things very complicated." He grabbed Pams hand and yanked her up from the ground. She dropped the apple on the ground in the time that he'd lifted her up.
"You can't treat her like that!" I screamed at him again. I grabbed her hand and she looked in-between the two of us. "You're going to hurt her!"
"I'm not gonna hurt her!" he shrieked. Then he stepped back and closed his mouth. She reached over to me and I grabbed her and put her on my hip. She was too heavy for me to carry though, so I placed her on the ground. I held her hand and we walked ahead of him for about 3 hours and in those hours, couldn't help but think about him and why he was so mean and why he'd come to help her when she didn't even have to come. She told me about how her father married a woman that's really mean to the two and Thilo hates her more than Pam does. I learned that the girl's name was Pam and she was 7 years old. Her mother died in the barn after being kicked down by one of the horses. Thilo would scream for her to be quiet each time she brought up something new and I started to wonder how he'd even heard us. But he also wasn't that far back.
"Is Mary Winters nice?" she asked. He'd caught up to us by then and lifted her up from the ground onto his back.
"Is Mary Winters nice?" I scoffed. "She's the nicest person I know most times and she's really pretty but she's going to marry God when she gets older." she looked into Thilo's hair then back over at me as she laid her head down on his shoulder blade.
she asked. "She can marry God? I didn't know that."
"Yeah. If you love God so much, you get to marry him." She looked back into Thilo's hair then back over at me. She was trying to drag him into the conversation but he and I both knew that we didn't want him to be in the conversation and that's why he never said anything to her.
"Is she good?"
"She's pretty honest all of the time. I don't think that the girl has ever lied about anything." I looked over at her as he hicked her up higher onto his back and she smiled as I fixed my hair back from my face. "When you get older and pretty, don't waste your looks on something like God. Have a bunch of babies for him." Thilo stopped and looked back at her then over at me. He lifted her up onto his back higher.
"Don't tell her that kind of stuff." I rolled my eyes pretty hard. It was almost so hard that it gave me a head ache but I knew that he got the hint. The three of us walked together after that. Until Pam caught another thought.
"What does your kingdom look like?" she asked me.
"It's pretty nice, I suppose. I shared a room with the princess and the queen taught us new things almost every day."
"Is there a prince in your kingdom?" and that time Thilo was asking. I looked over at him again and then down at my shoes.
"There's another knight that every woman in my kingdom wants to marry... Bryan," I told him. He scoffed and scracthed his head.
"You want to marry him too?"
"I want to walk for ever in silence," I said and he laughed and looked back at Pam again. Then she didn't ask anymore questions and we walked for another 3 hours without talking. The only reason our walking had been cut short was because we'd ran across something beautiful.
A lake below a bridge glistened underneath the sun and Thilo helped her down the gavely cliff. I followed behind the two because I didn't need his help. She looked up at the two of us and smiled. I looked over at Thilo and he rolled his eyes away from the two of us.
"Can we get in?" she asked. I pulled off my back pack and opened it. She watched me as I kneeled down in front of her. Her smile grew as I pulled out a shirt to hand it to her.
"You can't get into that lake," he told the two of us. "You're going to be soaking wet… People might see you."
"Don't be a loser Thilo!" I told him. I turned away from him and grabbed Pam's hand. She followed me into the bushes and I turned away from her. "Pam put that shirt on. You can swim in that."
"Hey, knight?" I pulled off my dress and threw it onto the ground.
"Where do you get that from?" she asked. I turned to her to see that she'd put the shirt on and was then pulling off her pants. I unbuttoned mine. She pointed at my bra. I chuckled.
"I got them from the store," I said.
"I want one," she said. I smiled and pulled the pants off.
"You'll get one one day."
"Guys, if you're going to get in hurry up!" Thilo screamed. She ran out and I followed. I jumped in followed by her. I caught her in the middle of the lake. Thilo sat at the edge with that same frown on his face.
"Thilo, you have to get in!" she screamed. He rolled his eyes again. A patter ahead of us in the sky fluttered down. She looked up and blocked the sun out with her hand as an airplane passed by with a banner.
"Happy Valentines day Melanie, I love you," she read. She looked over at me and smiled. "You guys, it's valentines day!" she screamed. I laughed and splashed her. She splashed me back.
"Guys, lets go now."
"Don't be such a loser, Thilo. Get in with us."
"Yeah, Thilo. It's valentines day! It could be your gift to us."
"I didn't get you guys a valentines day gift for a reason," he grumbled. I splashed at him and chuckled.
"Come on loser," I said.
"Please Thilo!" she cried. He looked around and started on his belt buckle.
"Don't look," he groaned. We both turned and giggled as he shuffled around behind us. I turned and covered my eyes. "I told you not to look, you pervert." I heard him run and the splash he made. I laughed as he swam to the two of us. I splashed him. "You're gonna get it into my mouth." He turned and pointed at a rope. "I dare one of you guys to use it."
"I'll do it," Pam shrieked. She began to paddle and he followed behind her. She got out of the lake and he looked over at me.
"She knows you aren't really a knight," he said. She grabbed onto the rope. I rolled my eyes over to Pam who held on so tight to the rope.
"No she doesn't. She called me a knight in the bushes," I told him.
"Because she doesn't know your name."
"Thilo, I'm scared," she chuckled.
"Just swing and I'll catch you," he told her. He looked over at me. "The only reason we came is because I didn't want you to get hurt wondering around," he said. I bit my lip and pointed over at her as she stepped back with the rope. "Let me know when you're ready."
"Why'd you care?"
"Because, I got bored," he said. "About what you told Pam." She stalled and he looked back over at me. "About Mary Winters being stupid for wanting to marry God." She stalled even longer. "And about wasting your looks." I pointed back over at her.
"Wait Pam, I don't think he's ready," I told her.
"Well, you're wasting your looks by going on a long, never ending, trip to nowhere and I thought that maybe we could all waste our looks together," he said. She jumped and for a split second her scream ripped through the air. He caught her and my cheeks had gone pink. He splashed her and she blinked out lake water from her eyes.
The sun had started to go down since we'd spent too much time with Pam who wanted to jump in with the rope so many times. We decided we'd stay the night on the lake. He looked out as she laid on his lap lightly snoring.
"You guys should get back home," I told him.
"for what?" He asked.
"For her." I crossed my arms. "I only came on this trip to get away from school." He didn't say anything to me. "You should start getting back now before it's too late."
"you don't really want us to go." I looked over at him. "I can hear you thinking about it."
"You can't read my mind."
"I can." I rolled my eyes.
"Then what am I thinking now?"
"You're thinking about me and Pam," he said. "You're thinking that you're in love with us and you'd like to walk along the lines of the earth with us forever." I looked over at him.
"You just got lucky. And I'm not in love with you," I said.
"You are," he said. "I'm gonna kiss you okay... For valentines day" I blushed and turned away from him.
"I'm going to sleep, Thilo," I told him as I laid against my back pack.
"I'll see you in the morning."
I'd hate to say that we lived happily ever after, because we didn't, because there was something that was more than happier than wondering with someone that you had to pretend to hate and I'm happy that he didn't go home even though Pam seemed to be needy of her parents most of the time. And the longer that I pretended to hate him, the less it showed, and the more I fell in love with them and by the next year, on the next valentines day, there was something a little more magical than our first kiss.