Weeks go by and my mom doesn’t call or write. It costs too much to talk on the phone. They’re busy with school.
The pre-seminary guys tell me I have to obey them when they’re pastors. They interview prospective wives and everyone pretends to be a virgin. I fail at the interviews. I hate men. I hate being second-class especially when I’m smarter than they are. I am so alone here.
My head is shouting. You’re a nasty girl. You’re a farce. You’re shit. You’re going to hell. I take the shade off my desk lamp. The light creates blue halos. The accusations in my head whir, then drop off. My roommate plays ABBA and worries about me. My mom still hasn’t called or written.
The classes are easy. I get a four point to show up the pre-sems, and my parents say mhmm. I play the lead in the musical, and my parents and relatives come to see. Dreadful. The most humiliating thing ever. They smile proudly and leave quickly, no talking or celebration. Church or school or something in the morning. Bouquets. A desk lamp with no shade. There is no reason for this, no reason to be feeling so bad. Everything is going well. What the hell is wrong with me.
I go home for the summer to a tiny room with a growing sister. My mom is bored with my stories of the play and my friends at school, I can tell, so I listen to hers.
I dream someone is dead, I killed him, and hide his body in shoe boxes in the closet. I dream it again and again. I go back to school.