Consolation of the Damned

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


She was an Irish maiden, guilt-ridden, rosary racked, and sorely in need of the Consolation of the Damned....

Submitted: August 30, 2018

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Submitted: August 30, 2018

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Thank you, Maximilian, for your thoughtful observations. In honor of your consideration of my unsettling narrative of alien encounter, I shall endeavor to reply honestly to the important issues upon which you so reflectively touched.

When I was in high school English, a beautiful girl, a classmate and friend of mine, became pregnant.  The senior who had gotten her in the family way was the star quarterback of the football team.  He wanted nothing else to do with the frightened girl when, in a pitiable state of nervous anxiety, she revealed to him the truth. Her first name was Melody. She was one year younger than I. According to what she told me, the football jock, in the crudest terms, said, in effect, that he had a bright future in sports and athletics which he would not allow to be impaired by scandal.  He told Melody she’d have to prove he was the father of the baby growing inside her, otherwise he would deny everything she said. In heartrending tears, the wrongly persecuted girl confided to me that the twelfth-grader spat dirty names at her that insulted her integrity and brought her virtue into question.

I was not friends with the football player, but of course I knew something of his calloused and inconsiderate attitude. I felt in my heart a great sympathy for Melody.  I was a senior myself at the time. I had been saving money from summer jobs.  I had a little over $2000 in my bank account, the bulk of which I withdrew to purchase an engagement ring.

One day after school in the parking lot behind the gymnasium while Melody was again confiding to me in private about worrying over not knowing what she was going to do (there had been lurid suggestions of abortion), I showed her the engagement ring and asked her to marry me.  The sorely stressed girl gawked in confusion at the ring, then gazed directly into my eyes for a long moment, after which she dropped her face into trembling hands and began sobbing uncontrollably.

I had never felt so guilty about anything in my entire life.  Here was a devastated adolescent girl facing an unthinkable predicament at such a tender young age, and I, though meaning well, had committed an act which, instead of relieving the strain of her unbearable burden, had only added to it.  Melody gave voice to an unintelligible ululation of strong emotion, then turned and ran away, salty tears of inscrutable internal turmoil streaming down her flushed cheeks. I stood there behind the gym, with that shiny new engagement ring in my hand, feeling like the biggest dumbest clod on earth.  I never saw Melody again after that fateful afternoon when I made such a fool of myself.  The next day horrid gossip was being whispered all around campus that Melody’s mom had found her face down in a bathtub full of water.  Apparently, the poor girl killed herself with an illicit opioid overdose.

Since that dreadful tragedy all those long years ago, my life has been shadowed by an unforgiving penance of morally debilitating guilt as though I had somehow been responsible for sad Melody’s untimely death.

To this very day, I suffer panic attacks which over time I discovered can be somewhat alleviated by profuse application of descriptive narration of traumatic experiences that I’ve suffered. Detailing real life horrors with extensive superlative composition mysteriously invokes emotional catharsis.  I suppose the vernacular way of saying it would be something like “getting it off ones chest” or “not keeping it bottled-up inside”.  Not all the attacks of panic that plague me can be treated in like fashion, yet in most cases, this psychological therapy does help.  I am a victim of circumstance, my eccentricities in communication of haunting memories are an inevitable consequence of my desperation to attain a morbid type of consolation of the damned.

Again, I thank you, Maximilian, for your generous and attentive interest in the grim horrors that torment my anguished mind.


© Copyright 2018 Sean Terrence Best. All rights reserved.

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